Saturday, March 14, 2009

Pollution Begins in the Womb

I've been too busy to blog this week. Geesh- that means that I am too busy. But - I picked up a couple of projects, so it was good to have some work. Did I really just say that? All kidding aside, it is good to have work, it does cost money to shop at Whole Foods and Trader Joe's.

OOOhhh, fun news! My brother and sil got a new puppy!! I love her. She's sooo sweet. I'll post some more photos of my new "niece" tomorrow (you've got to see her tail!) along with the only restaurant that Nick has been to in 4 months. It was a great experience and it's nice to be able to have some positive flowing around here, among all the negative.


The U.S. faces an epidemic of chronic and childhood diseases that are ofen linked to the pollution in (inside of) people. These include asthma, autism, ADHD, developmental and learning disorders, a decline in fertility, early puberty and childhood cancers. The list could go on...

"Scientists are still in the early stages of exploring the pathways through which environmental chemicals trigger diseases and disorders. This much is certain: Americans, including infants in the womb, babies and toddlers, are being exposed to a vast array of toxins that have contaminated food, water and household items such as stain-proofed fabric and foam furniture laced with flame retardants.

EWG's benchmark 2004 study, Body Burden - The Pollution in Newborns, found a total of 287 chemicals in the umbilical cord blood of 10 newborns. These included eight perfluorochemicals used as stain and oil repellents in fast food packaging, clothes and textiles - including the Teflon chemical PFOA, which the Environmental Protection Agency's Science Advisory Board characterized as a likely human carcinogen, dozens of widely used brominated flame retardants and their toxic by-products; and numerous pesticides. Of the chemicals found by EWG lab tests, 180 are believed to cause cancer in humans or animals, 217 are toxic to the brain and nervous system, and 208 cause birth defects or abnormal development in animal tests.

In a September 2008 study entitled Teen Girls' Body Burden of Hormone-Altering Cosmetics Chemicals (, EWG found 16 chemicals from four chemical families -- phthalates, triclosan, parabens, and musks - in blood and urine samples from 20 teenage girls. Studies indicate that these chemicals, all found in personal care products, can cause a number of potential health problems, including cancer and hormone disruption.

Also in September 2008, an EWG study of Fire Retardants in Toddlers and Their Mothers ( found 11 flame retardants in the bodies of 20 toddlers and preschoolers. The children typically had three times as much of these hormone-disrupting chemicals in their blood as their mothers.

Other academic and government biomonitoring projects have documented similarly high levels of dangerous industrial chemicals and pesticides in people's blood and urine. For example, a team lead by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control found bisphenol a, a synthetic estrogen and plastics component that has caused reproductive and neurological system damage in laboratory animals, in 93 percent of Americans over the age of six (

In a pioneering December 2008 study entitled Exposure to Bisphenol A and other Phenols in Neonatal Intensive Care Unit Premature Infants ( a team of scientists from the CDC, Harvard Medical School, University of Michigan schools of public health and medicine and Rush University Medical Center tested the urine of 41 premature infants being treated in two Boston-area hospital neonatal intensive care units for the presence of BPA and other plastic chemicals.

The scientists detected BPA in the urine of every infant, with a median level of 28.6 micrograms per liter, nearly 8 times the median level (3.7 micrograms per liter) found by the CDC in children 6 to 11 in the general population. The most alarming finding: the infant with the most severe exposure to BPA had a total urinary concentration of 946 micrograms per liter, 256 times greater than levels in older children tested by the CDC.

The shortcomings of TSCA are well-known. Under the law, the EPA approves an average of 700 new chemicals for commercial use each year with or without safety tests. The agency has required testing for fewer than 200 of the 62,000 chemicals grandfathered in and presumed safe by TSCA and has banned or restricted just five chemicals. TSCA is the only major environmental and public health law that has never been modernized and is widely considered to be the weakest.

Last month, the Government Accountability Office (GAO) ( included reforming TSCA in its 2009 "high risk" priority list, indicating it is a must-do for the Obama administration."

Looking ahead... "Our Trip to the Best Restaurant in the County", maybe even the state; "Guess What MSG Did to Me" and "A Look at Created Chaos - Shopping with Nick"...

1 comment:

  1. I ate much healthier with my second pregnancy than with my first one, probably because I was home instead of working full-time. That is so important.

    Looking forward to your post on the best restaurant in the county.