Doctors and Nurses in Ten States Test Positive for Toxic Chemicals

October 20, 2009
Category: Uncategorized

It is widely accepted that Americans live in a sea of 80,000 chemicals and that these are stored in our bodies, but the long-term consequences remain unknown.

A small study recently released was the first to measure the presence of environmental chemicals in the bodies of healthcare professionals. Phthalates have been used to soften plastics in IV bags, tubing, catheters and other medical supplies. Mercury, once found in blood-pressure cuffs and thermometers, is fast being phased out of use in medicine, although it continues to be used in dental offices in the form of mercury amalgam fillings. Bisphenol A (BPA) is found in dental sealants as well as composite dental fillings. Metals are widely used in dentistry, including nickel chrome crowns, which have been linked to detrimental health effects. The FDA has yet to respond to AAHF/ANH-USA’s petition regarding the use of BPA in dental sealants.
The study released by the national organization Physicians for Social Responsibility surveyed 20 doctors and nurses in 10 states. The healthcare professionals’ blood tested positive for at least 24 different toxic chemicals. As many toxins are moved out of the blood to be stored in bone or other tissues, there may be more extensive body burden in these doctors and nurses.

According to one of the professionals tested, Dr. Stephanie Lash, a Bangor, Maine, neurologist, toxic substances are known to cause neurological damage in humans, including the developing brains of infants and the peripheral nerves of seniors. The first study to link BPA with human behavior has now been published. Girls born to mothers exposed to BPA early in pregnancy were more aggressive, and boys were more withdrawn and anxious. Carbonless credit card receipts and modern cash register thermal paper both contain BPA. According to Dr. John Warner, who co-founded Warner Babcock Institute for Green Chemistry to develop safer products, while nanograms of BPA leach out of polycarbonate bottles, the average cash register receipt has 60-100 mg of free BPA.

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