Our Stolen Futurea book by Theo Colborn, Dianne Dumanoski, and John Peterson Myers



Houlihan, J, R Wiles, K Thayer and S Gray. 2003. BodyBurden. The pollution in people. A study by the Environmental Working Group.

A sampling of press coverage:
Detroit Free Press
New York Times
San Francisco Chronicle
San Francisco Chronicle op-ed
Washington Post

This report provides an in-depth examination of the chemical body burdens of 9 Americans: "the consequence of lifelong exposure to industrial chemcials that are used in thousands of consumer products and linger as contaminants in air, water, food and soil."

Each was measured for the presence of 210 chemicals, most of which did not exist 75 years ago. All told, 167 were found in their blood and urine, an average of 91 compounds each.

Importantly, none of the subjects works with chemicals in their job. Indeed, all lead healthy lives, although not all are healthy.

The range of health problems linked by scientific research to the compounds found in the subjects was breathtaking: cancer (76 compounds found), neurological disorders (94), hormone disorders (86), birth defects and abnormal development (79), reproductive problems (77) and immune system (77). Many of the studies on which these links are based have been done with animals. Some are from epidemiological work with people. None have focused on the complex chemical mixtures which are the way that people actually experience them.

The actual testing was carried out by the Mount Sinai Medical Center in collaboration with laboratories specializing in analytical chemistry.

The report, available on line at www.ewg.org/bodyburden/ contains details of the testing and results, as well as considerable background information on consumer products (and their manufacturers) that contain the chemicals found, summaries of what is known about health effects, an analysis of potential impacts of low doses, and recommendations for policy reform. It also provides an interactive survey that allows visitors to estimate what their body burdens might be.





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