The Centers for Disease Control has released what it calls
the “most comprehensive assessment to date of the exposure of the
U.S. population to chemicals in our environment.” In the
Fourth National Report on Human Exposure to Environmental
Chemicals
, the CDC measured 212 chemicals in people’s blood
or urine to discover how much of the chemicals in air, water, food,
soil, dust and consumer products actually gets into the human body.
Seventy-five of the chemicals, including arsenic, bisphenol A
(BPA), and perchlorate, had never before been measured in
Americans.

Just because a chemical is present in the blood or urine
doesn’t mean it threatens that person’s health—that
depends on its dose or concentration and the person’s individual
susceptibility to the chemical. “For most of the environmental
chemicals included in the Fourth Report, more research is needed
to determine whether exposure at the levels reported is a cause for
health concern,” the report stated.

Some of the key findings include:

Fire retardants (polybrominated diphenyl ethers) that
accumulate in the environment and in human fat tissue were found in
nearly all participants.

Bisphenol A, an endocrine disruptor, was found in more than
90 percent of the urine samples.

• Most participants had measurable levels of
polytetrafluoroethylene, otherwise known as Teflon, which
is used to create heat-resistant, non-stick coating in
cookware.

Read the full report at www.cdc.gov/exposurereport.

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