The study was conducted by the Toxic Free Legacy Coalition, a Washington coalition of more than 50 groups. Details of the study, including profiles of the participants, are available on the group's Pollution in People web site, which also offers suggestions on safer choices for foods and consumer products.
The news is in for 10 residents of Washington state, who volunteered themselves last year as guinea pigs in a toxic chemical study. They gave samples of hair, blood, and urine, which were examined by the Washington Toxics Coalition. And, according to an article in the Seattle Post-Intelligencer - one of several publications that reported on the results - "their levels of phthalates (found in such diverse products as shower curtains and fragrances), PBDEs (found in flame retardants, mattresses and furniture), mercury, pesticides, lead and other chemicals were high enough to make both scientists and subjects sit up and take notice." The paper's headline read, "We're walking, talking toxic waste dumps." The ten test subjects were from diverse geographic areas and backgrounds. One, a Native American woman who lives on a reservation, had high levels of pesticides in her body. Another, a Seattle surgeon, had dangerously high levels of PBDEs and exceptional levels of DDT, a pesticide that has been banned for more than three decades. All ten tested high for at least five of the substances.