Diary of Unknown Symptoms

Mystery of the Internal Vibration

Entry for June 02, 2006

Environment Minister Rona Ambrose has accepted the challenge to be tested for toxins. From everything I’ve read so far, I have a feeling I’ll know what the results will be already…

Children ‘being poisoned’ by chemicals

Jun.1, 2006. 05:21PM


OTTAWA — Environment Minister Rona Ambrose has accepted a challenge from an environmental group to have her blood and urine tested for toxic contamination.

Ambrose agreed to be tested at the request of Toronto-based Environmental Defence, which has been raising alarms about contamination of Canadian children.

On Thursday, the group released results showing that the bodies of seven children tested are contaminated by a cocktail of toxic chemicals ranging from PCBs to flame retardants.

“The minister cares about that and that’s why she’s going to take up the challenge,” Ryan Sparrow, a spokesman for Ambrose, said in an interview.

The study found an average of 23 known or suspected toxins — including carcinogens, hormone disrupters and neurotoxins — in the bodies of the children tested.

The researchers tested 13 individuals from five families, six adults and seven children. The families live in Vancouver, Toronto, Sarnia, Montreal and Quispamsis, N.B.

“Our children are being poisoned every day by toxic chemicals that surround them at home, school and play,” said Rick Smith, executive director of Environmental Defence.

He said Ambrose will be tested using the same methodology, and results should be available in the fall. Health Minister Tony Clement and NDP Leader Jack Layton have also volunteered to be tested.

Smith said the study was intended to change the pollution issue from “a theoretical, abstract debate to a highly personal discussion of health,” said Smith.

He said most environment ministers in Europe have been tested, and this has contributed to a strong push to control toxic chemicals.

The adults in the Canadian study were contaminated by 32 chemicals, and had higher concentrations of some products no longer in use, such as DDT and PCBs.

But the children had higher levels of newer chemicals such as brominated flame retardants (PBDEs) and perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA), used in stain repellents and non-stick coatings.

“It is common to expect adults to be more contaminated by harmful chemicals than children because they have had a longer time to accumulate chemicals in their bodies,” says the report.

“The results of this study, however, show that this is not always the case.”

A decreased presence of banned chemicals in children is evidence that bans do work, says the report. But effects linger long after a chemical is removed from use — DDT was banned years ago but can still be detected in children as young as 10.

Health Canada responded to the findings by promising a national study in which 5,000 people will be monitored for toxic contamination over a two year period from 2007 to 2009.

“The government of Canada takes very seriously the exposure of Canadians to environmental chemicals,” said Health Canada spokeswoman Carolyn Sexauer.

She said children are at greater risk of contamination than adults because of their physical size, immature organs, physiology, behaviour, curiosity and lack of knowledge.

Vivian Maraghi, a study volunteer from Montreal, said she was astounded to learn she had 36 industrial chemicals in her body.

“But when I saw the toxic chemicals in my son’s body, I was angry. Our children deserve better protection.”

Environmental Defence says Canada’s regulation of toxic chemicals is weak and ineffective. However, similar levels of contamination have been found in the United States.

Many chemicals now on the market were never screened for health effects because they were introduced before awareness of the hazards of industrial pollution.

June 2, 2006 - Posted by | Health | , ,

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