Molecular Darth Vaders Invading My Body?

You bet! They have invaded the bodies of all living animals.

They may not use laser swords, but they are equally deadly. Who are these invaders? The toxic molecules that my blog articles have described: dioxins, BPA, phthalates, fluoride, mercury, flame retardants, PCBs, fluorinated Teflon-like chemicals, and more. How do we know  these foreign chemicals are in out bodies?

The World Wildlife Fund in  2004 initiated a DETOX campaign to discover the level of contaminates in people’s bodies. Blood samples from 14 Ministers of European countries were analyzed for 103 man-made chemicals from 7 different chemical families. The findings stunned the ministers. As the director of the campaign, Karl Wagner, stated, “I was shocked because in my blood were at least 43 artificial chemicals; I had no idea these chemicals were in my body or how they got there, and nobody can tell me what effect these chemicals have.” The testing disclosed that 100 percent of the ministers’ blood samples were contaminated with PCBs, pesticides, brominated flame retardants, and perfluorinated chemicals; 79 percent were contaminated with phthlates, 21 percent with synthetic musks (scent enhancers in perfumes) and anti-bacterials. The highest concentration of any chemical was 160 ppb of diethylhexyl phthalate, the plasticizer found in soft polyvinylchloride (PVC) products.

David Ewing Duncan wrote an article (“The Pollution Within”) for National Geographic magazine (October 2006) that describes the foreign chemicals found in his own body. Of 320 chemicals tested for, 165 were found in his body. The article graphically demonstrates that PBDEs, phthalates, pesticides, PFOAs, PCBs, dioxins, bisphenol-A, and heavy metals, commonly found in homes can find their way into our bodies. Would you be comfortable if your body contained so-called “safe” levels of 165 toxic chemicals?

The Environmental Working Group (EWG) reported on a study by the Mount Sinai School of Medicine that involved testing for chemicals in the blood and urine of nine volunteers who did not work with chemicals on the job and did not live near an industrial facility. They found 167 chemicals in the bodies of volunteers, of which chemicals 76 cause cancer, 94 are toxic to the brain and nervous system, and 79 cause birth defects or abnormal development. The predominant toxic chemicals were the familiar phthalates, organochlorine pesticides, PCBs, and dioxins and furans.

A good discussion of the general features of toxic chemicals in our bodies can be found in Nena Baker’s book, “The Body Toxic.” She went so far as to have her own blood tested for toxic chemicals. The lab analysis showed that her body contained traces of at least three dozen persistent toxic chemicals, including DDT and PCBs, even though as she points out, both of these chemicals were banned about thirty years ago when she was still a teenager.

You have the evidence, now what to do with it? I recommend keeping your house, yard, and garden free of common toxics, and whenever possible, eat organic foods.

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About donlouis

The author has long had a keen interest in staying healthy and fit, and in doing whatever I can to keep the natural environment unpolluted and a healthy space for people and all animals. As a former Board Member of a municipal water district, I regularly had to deal with the issue of water quality. I first became aware of radiation hazards from toxic materials while working on uranium for nuclear reactors. During the 1960s I was tuned into the global hazard from Strontium 90 raining down from atmospheric testing of nuclear bombs. While working in the chemical industry in later years I became aware of the many forms of chemical contaminants entering the environment every day, and resolved to do something about it. I am able to make sense out of the voluminous descriptions of common toxic chemical because of my training in chemistry, with a Ph.D. degree and several decades of research and development work in the chemical industry. My training and experience enables me to present to readers reliable and current information on the topic of chemical hazards in the environment, and their threats to human health. All my life I have loved hiking and camping in nature. Skiing, river kayaking, and tennis have been my favorite physical activities. Nature photography is my artistic passion.
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