Body burden. Toxic trespass. Chemical contamination. What does it all mean?
Each of these phrases refers to the load of synthetic chemicals that each human being on this planet carries. Yes, even you. Not even people who practice subsistence fishing in remote Alaskan villages escape the chemical background noise of the industrial age.
In fact, those people can be more heavily contaminated with mercury, arsenic, lead, PBDEs and other chemicals than people living in a city because the seafood they eat contains high concentrations of these chemicals, due to food-chain magnification.
"But I eat organic produce!" you protest. "I drink from a Sigg bottle. I avoid bluefin-tuna sushi. I ride my bike to work. You're telling me that I still have a body full of poison?!"
It's great that you do all those things. You're undoubtedly better off doing them than not. But to answer your question in a word: yes. Your body is full of toxic chemicals. Not ultra-high doses, but still, they're there. Sorry.
Even the young aren't spared. A 2005 Environmental Working Group study found an average of 200 synthetic chemicals in -get this- the cord blood of newborn babies.
The Oregon Environmental Council did a body-burden study of ten diverse Oregonians that found one thing they all had in common.
Pollution in People
Even more disturbing: a coalition of state and national organizations tested 25 Americans from seven states for a report called "Is It In Us?"
From the website:
"Shower curtains, water bottles, baby bottles, toys, shampoo, cosmetics, couch cushions, computers, and hundreds of other common products that ordinary people use every day contain toxic chemical ingredients that leach out of the products and into our bodies.
Thirty-five Americans from seven states participated in a national biomonitoring project in the spring of 2007. This is the broadest non-governmental project of its kind to measure toxic chemicals in the bodies of average Americans.
Each participant was tested for contamination by twenty toxic chemicals from three chemical families: phthalates (THA-lates), bisphenol A, and polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs).
The project found toxic chemicals in every person tested.
* All 35 participants had at least 7 of the 20 chemicals in their bodies.
* All 33 participants who contributed urine samples had phthalates in their bodies.
* All 33 participants who contributed urine samples had bisphenol A in their urine.
* All 35 participants had six types of PBDEs in their bodies, and all but one had decaBDE."