UPdate Spring 2004
In May 2004, the US organization Pesticide Action Network (PAN) released a report documenting that many Americans carry toxic pesticides in their bodies above government assessed "acceptable" levels. The report Chemical Trespass: Pesticides in Our Bodies and Corporate Accountability, makes public for the first time an analysis of pesticide-related data collected by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in a study of levels of chemicals in 9,282 people nationwide. The report reveals that government and industry have failed to safeguard public health from pesticide exposures.
"None of us choose to have hazardous pesticides in our bodies," said Kristin Schafer, PAN Program Coordinator and lead author of the report. "Yet CDC found pesticides in 100% of the people who had both blood and urine tested. The average person in this group carried a toxic cocktail of 13 of the 23 pesticides we analyzed." Experts say that Canadians would carry similar pesticide loads.
Many of the pesticides
found in the test subjects have been linked to serious short- and long-term
health effects including infertility, birth defects and childhood and adult
cancers. "While the government develops safety levels for each chemical
separately, this study shows that in the real world we are exposed to multiple
chemicals simultaneously," explained Margaret Reeves, Ph.D., Senior Scientist
at PAN. "The synergistic effects of multiple exposures are unknown, but
a growing body of research suggests that even at very low levels, the combination
of these chemicals can be harmful to our health." The Chemical Trespass
report can be found at http://www.panna.org/campaigns/docsTrespass/chemicalTrespass2004.dv.html