Diary of Unknown Symptoms

Mystery of the Internal Vibration

Entry for July 17, 2007

“Current international standards are based on fish instead of air-breathing animals.” Brutal… that’s all I’ve got to say…

Toxins in humans go unrecorded

Elaine O’Connor, The Province
Published: Monday, July 16, 2007

We may be more toxic than we think.

Researchers at Simon Fraser University have found methods used to calculate chemical levels in humans may seriously underestimate our true toxic loads.

That’s because current international standards are based on fish instead of air-breathing animals.

As a result, thousands of chemicals — from pesticides to perfumes — are likely not being measured properly, leading to lower estimates of our environmental toxin load.

“The study is a red flag to show that there are numerous chemicals out there with these properties that could potentially accumulate in these animals,” said lead author Barry Kelly, a post-doctoral student.

“Some of these chemicals are not being scrutinized. The main goal is to try to broaden our approach in the risk-assessment stage before chemicals can be approved,” said the environmental toxicologist.

Kelly explained that while the fish method was effective years ago when the most dangerous toxins were PCBs and DDT, new chemicals have different properties and the old standard doesn’t apply.

Environment Canada, Health Canada, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and United Nations use fish-based models.

According to co-author Frank Gobas, a professor in the school of resource and environmental management, the consequence is that “about a third of all industrial chemicals are currently wrongly assessed in terms of their potential effects in mammals, birds and humans.”

The research is published in Friday’s issue of the academic journal Science. It was a joint project between SFU, the Department of Fisheries and Oceans and the Institute of Ocean Sciences.

The researchers hope their study will encourage agencies to add new tests to improve their toxin measurement standards.

July 17, 2007 - Posted by | Health | ,

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