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Summary of Results

Pollution in People: A Study of Toxic Chemicals in Washingtonians


In 2005, ten Washington residents agreed to testing of their hair, blood, and urine for the presence of toxic chemicals as part of an investigative study by the Toxic-Free Legacy Coalition.  The Coalition wanted to know which chemicals were getting into our bodies, and at what levels, to better understand the potential harm posed by poor regulation of chemicals, and to develop better solutions.

We tested ten Washington residents for six groups of chemicals:

  • the plasticizing chemicals known as phthalates,
  • the flame retardants PBDEs,
  • the heavy metals: lead, arsenic, and mercury,
  • perfluorinated chemicals like those used to make Teflon,
  • pesticides, and
  • banned, but persistent, PCBs and DDT.

Our study revealed that toxic chemicals have traveled to the worst possible destination: our bodies.

New chemicals policies are needed today, to keep chemicals that can harm our health out of industries and out of everyday products.


Read the executive summary here >>>

Read the full report here >>>

Read the profiles of the study participants here >>>

Read the Full Report

  1. I.Participant Profiles
  2. II.Executive Summary