part of its DETOX campaign, in support of European
Union proposals for stricter chemical regulation, the World Wildlife
Fund analyzed blood samples from 14 Ministers from 13 European
Countries. The analysis found 55 separate chemicals in the samples, with
PCBs, organochlorine pesticides, perfluorinated compounds and brominated
flame retardants in the blood of every Minister.
here for the report.
National Exposure Report
The CDC has issued its second
National Report on Human Exposure to Environmental Chemicals. The report presents exposure information for 116 environmental chemicals measured in blood and urine
specimens taken from a sample of people who represent the U.S. population for the years 1999 and 2000.According
to the CDC, the report is "by far the most extensive assessment ever of exposure of the U.S. population to environmental chemicals."
here for the report.
the Burden of Toxic Exposures
As a companion to the CDC
report, Physicians for Social Responsibility has published Bearing the Burden: Health Implications of Environmental Pollutants in Our
Bodies. The report is intended to help
the public interpret CDC's findings.
here for this report.
Concern has grown in recent
years regarding the proliferation of pharmaceuticals and personal care
chemicals in the environment, including a number known to store in fat.
It is becoming apparent that these "emerging pollutants" are
regulated by agencies with little expertise regarding their
here for a site on this subject hosted by the US EPA's National
Exposure Research Laboratory.
here for a supplement on this topic published in Environmental
Health Perspectives (pdf format).
In a commentary just published
in the UNEP magazine Our Planet, J. Peterson Meyers, the author
of Our Stolen Future, offers an an overview of current research
regarding chemical interference with the "messaging systems"
that direct biological development. He suggests that all bioaccumulative
compounds should be eliminated from use, even without demonstrating
here to read the commentary.
A new report from the UK-based
Friends of the Earth (FOE) examines how the Human Genome Project,
related research, and new techniques such as "expression profiling," will increase understanding of the effects that specific
chemicals have on the body. FOE warns this may mean a crisis for the
chemical industry, opening the door to product liability suits and
damaging consumer confidence.
here to access the report and related materials.
The 2001 report from the United Nations
Population Fund observes that, "Human activity has affected every
part of the planet, no matter how remote, and every ecosystem, from the
simplest to the most complex."
here to view this report online. The chapters
"Environmental Trends" and "Health and the
Environment" have particular relevance to the need for effective
Trade Center Disaster: Estimating Chemical Exposures
Researchers have made an attempt to
estimate the impact of mass exposure to chemicals such as dioxin and
dibenzofuran as a result of the destruction of the World Trade Center.
here to view an abstract or download the complete paper.
The US EPA has posted
summaries of environmental monitoring at the World Trade Center and
Pentagon sites. Click here.
In March, 2001, the Centers for Disease
Control and Prevention (CDC) released the first National Report on Human
Exposure to Environmental Chemicals.
This report measures the exposure of the U.S. population to 27
environmental chemicals. The data is based on blood and urine samples
here to view the report online.
According to an analysis just released by the Institute of Medicine, the
children of veterans exposed to herbicides such as Agent Orange during
the Vietnam War may have a greater chance of being afflicted with a
certain type of leukemia. Anthony
J. Principi, secretary of veterans affairs, called the report "very
here to read the Institute of Medicine's press release, and view
the report online.
A study conducted by the Pew Environmental Health Commission at the
Johns Hopkins University School of Public Health concluded that there is increasing
evidence that environmental factors, including diet, personal behavior and exposure to toxic substances and pollutants, may play an important
role in the development of birth defects and related conditions. The
report is available online at the Commission's
Web site. Click
The annual report of the International
Narcotics Control Board (INCB) -- an independent organization with
responsibility for implementing United Nations drug conventions -- gives
region-by-region details regarding trends in drug abuse and drug trade.
Reports for the last 6 years can be found at the INCB Web site. Click
Statistical data regarding
drug abuse trends in the U.S. are provided online by the Substance Abuse
and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA). Household surveys of
drug use and summaries of drug-related emergency room episodes (the DAWN
report) are available. Click
Academy member Carl Smith recently edited "The Precautionary
Principle and Environmental Policy: Science, Uncertainty and
Sustainability," a series of papers published in the International Journal of Occupational and
Environmental Health. A limited number of copies of the journal are
available to Academy members and others with an active involvement in
contamination issues. For details, send an email to email@example.com.
Chemicals in the European
Low Doses High Stakes?
A joint report from the European Environmental Agency and the United
Nations Environment Programme (full text available
A summary of current global issues relating to environmental
contamination from the United Nations Environment Programme. Click