CDC Report States Exposure To Chemicals Higher Than Expected
The first ever nationwide report to measure levels of environmental chemicals in the bodies of Americans has found unexpectedly high levels of compounds used in some types of soap, shampoo, and other products.
The study found surprisingly high levels of chemicals called phthalates in some people. Animal studies suggest that long-term exposure to phthalates, also found in hairsprays, nail polish, and flexible plastic products, can cause organ damage and other harmful effects. Whether long-term exposure is harmful to humans is being studied by government agencies.
Exposure to phthalates appears to be higher than previously believed. Other studies of environmental chemicals have relied on measuring levels in the air, water or soil. The current report measured blood and urine levels of 27 chemicals in a sample of about 5,000 Americans during 1999.
The CDC report suggests that the scientific models of exposure that we use generally underestimates the public's real-world exposure.
This report should serve as a wake-up call--Americans are clearly being exposed to an array of toxic chemicals--many of which can and probably should be avoided. Every family in America should be taking note of this unprecedented information and should be asking for more of it.
One encouraging finding was that cotinine levels, an indicator of second-hand smoke, have gone down more than 75% since the measurements taken in 1991.
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Press Conference Atlanta, GA March 21, 2001
US Geological Survey 3/02
J Agric Food Chem, 2/98
Environmental Health Perspectives, 2/03
LINK to msnbc.com writer
Francesca Lyman's article
LINK to non-profit organization dedicated to promoting natural lawn care
Carcinogenesis, Published online June 2006
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