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links to related resources about pollution in people, including other body burden studies and useful fact sheets

Related Resources and Information

Useful resources on this web site
Profiles of study participants
Information about the toxic chemicals we tested, including health effects and how we're exposed
Information about safer food choices
Information about safer consumer product choices, including electronics, personal care products, furniture, baby's products, and kitchenware

About body burden studies

Body burden testing is a type of research that measures "pollution in people" by analyzing blood, urine, hair, or breast milk sample to identify the toxic chemicals we carry as a result of our exposure to environmental toxicants. The accumulation of these chemicals is known as our "body burden".

What are body burden results used for?

  • To document exposure levels of contaminants and help identify chemicals of concern
  • To promote public health by providing a report card on the effectiveness of actions taken to prevent exposures
  • To expand our understanding of how environmental contaminants are linked to diseases
  • To identify disturbing gaps in our system of regulatory safeguards

Links to other body burden studies
PBDEs and PCBs in Breast Milk of Northwest Mothers
originally released in Sept. 2004, updated August 2005
by Sightline Institute (formerly Northwest Environment Watch), a Toxic-Free Legacy Coalition member
Toxic Nation on Parliament Hill: A Report on the Pollution in Four Canadian Politicians 2007
Environmental Defence
Polluted Children, Toxic Nation - a report on pollution in Canadian families
June 2006
Children and parents from five families were tested for 68 chemicals, such as pesticides, PCBs, stain repellants, flame retardants, mercury and lead. In some cases, the children in the study had higher levels of certain chemicals than their parents.
Environmental Defence
Toxic Nation: A Report on Pollution in Canadians
November 2005
Environmental Defence
Taking It All In: Documenting Chemical Pollution in Californians Through Biomonitoring
December 2005
Third National Report on Human Exposure to Environmental Chemicals
July 2005
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
The Human Toxome Project: Mapping the Pollution in People
Human Toxome Project (HTP) is working to define the human toxome—the full scope of industrial pollution in humanity. This website compiles the extensive body burden studies conducted by Environmental Working Group.
Environmental Working Group & Commonweal
Body Burden: The Pollution in People
Six studies since 2000, including a May 2006 study testing mothers and daughters.
Environmental Working Group
A Body's Burden: Our Chemical Legacy
ongoing Oakland Tribune series which began in 2005 with testing of an Oakland family for toxic chemicals
Body Burden: The Pollution in Newborns
a July 2005 report investingating industrial chemicals, pollutants and pesticides in umbilical cord blood
Environmental Working Group
Chemical Body Burden
An overview of chemical body burden, links to case studies and reports, and other resources.
Coming Clean
Body Burden Community Monitoring Handbook
International POPs (Persistent Organic Pollutants) Elimination Network web site, provides an international perspective on the problem of toxic chemicals exposure

Information about pollution and environmental quality in Washington State
Our Health and the Environment in Washington State
Database bringing together available data and resources about environmental health, including health costs linked to environmental factors, created in 2006 by the Collaborative on Health and the Environment, Washington (CHE-WA)
Toxics Release Inventory (EPA)
Database of industrial pollution releases, searchable by zipcode.

Information on safer product choices

Fact sheets from the Washington Toxics Coalition
30 titles on topics including pest control (such as weeds, insects, and slugs), cleaning products, and building materials.
Safer Products Project
Information on companies phasing out toxic chemicals, toxic chemicals in house dust, and resources for taking action.
Environmental Working Group
Studies on environmental health topics including arsenic-treated wood, toxic flame retardants (PBDEs), perfluorinated compounds, cosmetics, and toxic chemicals in food.
The Green Guide
Consumer guide to less-toxic and environmentally sound products.
Household Products Database (National Institutes of Health)
Searchable database of ingredients and potential hazards of everyday products.
Environmental Home Center
Retailer in Seattle offering less-toxic products for home construction and maintenance.
PVC: The Poison Plastic
Resources about PVC and PVC-free products from the Center for Health, Environment, and Justice

State of Washington programs to reduce toxic pollution
Persistent Bioaccumulative Toxins (PBT) Program
Dept. of Ecology's web site on its PBT strategy
Department of Ecology PBDE web site
Information about toxic flame retardants and the PBDE Chemical Action Plan created in Jan. 2006
Washington's Mercury Chemical Action Plan
Dept. of Ecology's web site on the CAP created in Feb. 2003