Wednesday, September 06, 2006

Toxic Nation?

The local get-it-at-the-skytrain-station daily newsblip called 24 Hours had a story yesterday that has me appalled.

A local family -- one of five families across the country -- has been tested for environmental toxins present in their blood, and the results were horrific. It was stated in the story that they have only been living in Vancouver area for a year...previously, they were living on an organic farm, and then an island in the Strait of Georgia.

The teenage daughter of the family (the full report is here) tested positive for 26 carcinogens, 19 hormone disruptors, 7 respiratory toxins, 27 reproductive/developmental toxins, 15 neurotoxins, and 2 others on which there are no substantive health data.

The family was being tested for a possible 68 toxins, and this 15-year-old girl has 32 of them romping through her bloodstream. She actually showed more toxic poisoning than her parents.

What's really interesting is that both teenagers (the other is a 13-year-old boy) show high levels of PCBs, which were banned in this country long before they were born.

The group conducting the studies, Environmental Defense, has also taken blood to test from John Godfrey (Lib. environment critic), Rona Ambrose (Environment Minister), Tony Clement (Health Minister), and Jack Layton (leader, NDP).

They are promising to publish the test results next month on the website, Toxic Nation. I wonder if they'll actually do it. I've added that website to my sidebar, in the news links.

Keep yourself informed. It's the only body you have, after all...


Blogger Dez said...

Exposing yourself to trace quantities of toxins can help build a tolerance for them, except for heavy metals like lead, mercury, gold, or arsenic, which tend to accumulate over long periods of time.

We come into contact with toxins all the time. We bathe in bacteria, too, but most of the little buggers are fairly benign.

Did you know that nature is trying to kill you? It is. But it attacks us in order to keep us on our toes, like Inspector Clouseau's little asian servant. The cells that survived are stronger than the ones that were killed.

As long as you don't overwhelm your system with toxins and bacteria, to the point that you become weakened from the battle and other opportunistic organisms take advantage of you, a small exposure is a good thing.

Thursday, September 07, 2006 2:24:00 AM  
Blogger Chimera said...

I'm aware that, for the most part, small amounts of some toxins can help your body build up an immunity. In history, there are several examples of "arsenic eaters," who thought that by ingesting small amounts of poison every day, they were protecting themselves from being poisoned by their enemies. Wrong poison in this case, but they had the right idea.

But PCBs are not one of those toxins.

How does a teenager who lived most of her life on an organic farm end up with PCBs in her blood?

What I'm really waiting for is the report on the blood tests from the members of the government. I'm very tempted to put money on the opinion that they'll never allow their blood tests to be published...

Thursday, September 07, 2006 8:59:00 AM  

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