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Canadians Contaminated?

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Mike

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Environmentalists test Canadians for pollutants
Last Updated Wed, 09 Nov 2005 14:20:07 EST
CBC News

Many Canadians are being contaminated with heavy metals, pesticides and other toxic chemicals, suggests a study by an environmental watchdog group.

Environmental Defence tested the blood and urine samples of 11 men and women volunteers, including wildlife artist Robert Bateman. A total of 88 chemicals, including PCBs, flame retardants and insecticides, were found.

Lab tests showed a total of 60 chemicals, with an average of 44 found in each volunteer, some in trace amounts.

The contaminants include suspected carcinogens and chemicals that may cause reproductive disorders, harm the development of children, disrupt hormone systems or are associated with respiratory illnesses.

A spokesperson for Health Canada said the department will look into claims made in the study, noting a sample of 11 people is too small to produce statistically significant results.

Such body-burden studies have been conducted in Europe and the United States, but little is known about pollution levels in Canadians. The tests included in Environmental Defence's study cost $1,545 per volunteer, the report said.

Volunteers were selected to be representative of the Canadian population. They were asked about their diet and lifestyle as part of the report.

Contaminants included polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs), persistent chemicals used as fire retardants that are suspected hormone disruptors, and perfluorinated chemicals (PFOs) used in stain repellents, non-stick cookware and food packaging.

The European Union as well as California and Maine plan to ban certain types of PBDEs by 2006 as a precautionary approach, until more is known about the health effects. In 2004, Canada took a precautionary approach and banned three PFOs for two years.

"Canadians expect their country to be a leader in environmental protection and in protection for human health," said Rick Smith, executive director of Environmental Defence. "The reality is that Canada is lagging behind Europe and the United States when it comes to regulating pollution and reducing the number of toxic chemicals in our environment."

Tests found 48 chemicals in samples from Bateman, described in the report as a naturalist who says 80 per cent of his omnivore diet is organic. The artist is exposed to chemicals in paints.

David Masty, chief of the Whapmagoostui First Nation in northern Quebec, showed 51 chemicals, including the highest levels of mercury and persistent organic pollutants. POPs can concentrate in the north.

Older volunteers showed higher levels of PCBs than younger people. The chemicals were banned in Canada in 1977.

The group suggests Canadians can reduce their exposure by making small changes in their lifestyle and purchasing habits, such as not using pesticides and avoiding cosmetics and toiletries with synthetic fragrances.

Smith called on the federal government to:

* Eliminate the use of toxic chemicals.
* Make industry accountable for chemicals it produces.
* Regulate chemicals in consumer products through the Canadian Environmental Protection Act.
* Focus on reducing pollution in the Great Lakes basin.
 

Mike

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greg said:
Yup, a study done on 11 people in Canada proves a HUGE point LOL

Ain't it the truth! These whackos puttin out this info sound like escapees from the funny farm.

But don't feel alone, we got them down here too! :wink:
 

Kathy

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I agree it would be nice if we actually tested more people. Including a program for testing farmers and their families.

This article reminds me of a pamphlet from a BVD? type vaccine that our neighbour was using. His cattle still ended up with big troubles after he had vaccinated. When he looked at the pamphlet which came with the vaccine, it stated that the research done on that particular vaccine product was conducted on a whopping 10 animals. Yes, only 10! Yet, the determination was made that it worked and it is sold to ranchers by the thousands of doses, if not millions.

The Environmental Working Group in the USA tested the umbilical cord of 10 newborn babies from the USA (but had Canadian companies do the testing, hmm). They found an average of 200 chemicals in the umbilical cord blood.

http://www.ewg.org/reports/bodyburden2/execsumm.php
sample:

Had we tested for a broader array of chemicals, we would almost certainly have detected far more than 287. But testing umbilical cord blood for industrial chemicals is technically challenging. Chemical manufacturers are not required to divulge to the public or government health officials methods to detect their chemicals in humans. Few labs are equipped with the machines and expertise to run the tests or the funding to develop the methods. Laboratories have yet to develop methods to test human tissues for the vast majority of chemicals on the market, and the few tests that labs are able to conduct are expensive. Laboratory costs for the cord blood analyses reported here were $10,000 per sample.


As I understand it, the EPA in the USA is attempting to get legislation on the books that would mandate that before a chemical can be approved, the manufacturer must first have a test to find evidence of that chemical in humans. Since, many chemicals change their form (xenobiotic affect) once introduced into the patient. You are not looking for the same chemical makeup as the chemical - you have to look for its altered active form in the blood.
 

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