The Toxic Body And Your Defense

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With the possible exception of David Beckham, I reckon we all have issues with our bodies. But extra poundage, thinning hair and wrinkles around the eyes seem like small potatoes compared to what researchers call the “Body Burden”.

Even those with little or no known exposure to industrial chemicals may be surprised to learn that their bodies are potentially contaminated with dangerous compounds they never thought possible. The San Francisco Chronicle cites the case of the president/founder of an environmental research institute who, after giving blood and urine samples, found his body “polluted with 101 industrial toxins and penetrated by elevated levels of arsenic and mercury”.

But his is not an isolated case. In the study of nine seemingly healthy people, led by New York’s Mount Sinai School of Medicine, the Environmental Working Group and the nonprofit health and environmental research institute Commonweal, “researchers at two major laboratories found an average of 91 industrial compounds, pollutants, and other chemicals” in the bodies of people who neither work with chemicals nor live near a facility that produces them.

Several of the compounds found in the study were known to cause cancer, birth defects, abnormal human development and damage to the brain and nervous system. The findings were best summed up by a woman who participated in the study: regardless of how safe you imagine your personal environment to be, “we all live in the same chemical neighborhood.”

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