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Are There Toxic Chemicals In Your Body? Probably

November 8, 2007

Minneapolis, MN – A report released today concludes there's a good chance you have toxins in your body that you don't want. A seven-state study that includes Minnesota, found three toxic chemicals used in everyday products in the bodies of everyone tested. Among those who tested positive were Minnesota State Rep. Shelly Madore and Minneapolis Health Commissioner Gretchen Musicant.

Lindsay Dahl, of the Minnesota-based group Healthy Legacy, says the study involved checking 35 volunteers for chemicals found in common consumer products.

"We studied them for bisphenol, phthalates and toxic flame retardants. All participants showed traces of all three of these toxic chemicals. The findings really are telling us the toxic chemicals in our everyday products are ending up in places they shouldn't be."

Dahl says main sources of the chemicals are plastics and cosmetics, and they get into the body through the skin or lungs. She notes efforts are underway in Minnesota and at the federal level to better regulate the use of hazardous chemicals in everyday products, adding that exposure to any level of the chemicals can have serious health consequences.

"They're linked to various health impacts that range from cancer and reproductive disorders to insulin resistance. We have these in our body, and low doses are showing up enough to matter."

She says the chemicals also have been associated with learning disabilities and asthma. There are several ways to reduce exposure to hazardous consumer chemicals, Dahl says.

"First of all, avoid plastics in general. And avoid heating them up. Plastics commonly leech various toxic chemicals, and there also is a problem with leeching after we discard the plastics. Secondly, in your home, just avoid using pesticides."

The report is the latest in a series of studies about potentially dangerous consumer products, including some toys and food. While consumers must always be cautious, Dahl says, it is the role of government to provide oversight and protect public health.

More information is at www.healthylegacy.org. The report is online at www.isitinus.org.

Jim Wishner/John Robinson, Public News Service - MN