GROUP:

EWG/Commonweal Study #7, consumer product chemicals in adults and teens


health & safety concerns:
chemicals found
on average indivi-
dual range
entire group
Brain and nervous system 21 14-25 31
Reproduction and fertility 20 13-24 31
Immune system (including sensitization and allergies) 6 5-7 7
Chronic effects, general 4 2-6 9
Endocrine system 4 2-6 8
Respiratory system 4 3-4 4
Birth defects and developmental delays 3 2-3 3
Cancer 2 2-3 4

Group members:

(19 People)

Anonymous Adult 2
Anonymous Adult 3
Anonymous Adult 5
Anonymous Adult 4
Anonymous Adult 6
Anonymous Adult 7
Anonymous Teen 1
Anonymous Adult 9
Anonymous Adult 12
Anonymous Adult 13
Anonymous Adult 11
Anonymous Adult 10
Anonymous Adult 14
Anonymous Adult 15
Anonymous Adult 16
Anonymous Adult 17
Anonymous Adult 18
Anonymous Adult 20
Anonymous Adult 21


Locations:

Chicago, IL
Newton, MA
Fredericksburg, VA
Washington, DC
New York, NY
Lamont, FL
Atlanta, GA
Mountain View, CA
Stanford, CA
Palo Alto, CA
San Francisco, CA
Berkeley, CA
Alamo, CA
Fallbrook, CA



picture of group

Group: EWG/Commonweal Study #7, consumer product chemicals in adults and teens
Found 58-62 of 84 tested chemicals (19 participants)

The blood and urine of the "EWG/Commonweal Study #7, consumer product chemicals in adults and teens" group contained 58-62 of 84 industrial compounds, pollutants and other chemicals tested, including chemicals linked to brain and nervous system toxicity, reproductive toxicity and fertility problems, and immune system toxicity.

Summary of chemicals found in EWG/Commonweal Study #7, consumer product chemicals in adults and teens

chemical family level found in group health effects exposure routes
Alkylphenols11% high
Endocrine system Cosmetics, detergents, pesticides, paints, carpet and dry cleaning
BADGE-4OH11% high
47% moderate
Endocrine system Food can linings, dental sealants
Lead26% high
63% moderate
11% low
Lead-based paint in older homes, household dust, vinyl products, tap water
Mercury84% high
5% moderate
11% low
Brain and nervous system Seafood, flu shots/vaccines, dental fillings
Methylmercury84% high
5% moderate
11% low
Dietary sources, particularly seafood
Nitro- and polycylic- musks26% high
63% moderate
Endocrine system, Cancer Cosmetics, perfumes, cleaning agents, detergents, soaps
Perchlorate26% moderate
58% low
Hematologic (blood) system, Birth defects and developmental delays Contaminated food and drinking water
Perfluorochemicals (PFCs)11% high
68% moderate
21% low
Birth defects and developmental delays, Cancer, Endocrine system Stain- and grease-proof coatings on food packaging, couches, carpets, pans
Phthalates32% high
53% moderate
16% low
Cosmetics, paint, soft plastic, food packaging, and other consumer products
Polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs)11% high
68% moderate
21% low
Reproduction and fertility, Brain and nervous system Foam furniture, carpet padding, computers, televisions, contaminated house dust, food
Triclosan89% found, not quantifiedEndocrine system, Skin Antibacterial soap, toothpaste, cosmetics, cleaning products, shoe insoles, plastic cutting boards, other antibacterial items

Detailed report by chemical (return to summary)

alkylphenols

2 of 2 found

Surfactants in cosmetics, paints, detergents. Toxic to wildlife. May harm hormone system.

1.4ng/g in blood serum3.3


Total Alkylphenols

Widely used surfactants in commercial products; highly toxic to aquatic organisms, and endocrine disruptors in human and animals.

  • geometric mean: 1.02 ng/g in blood serum
  • found in 1 of 19 people in the group
  • found in: Anonymous Adult 16
1.4ng/g in blood serum1.4


Surfactants in cosmetics, household cleaners, and other products. Toxic to wildlife. Reproductive toxins.

  • geometric mean: 1.06 ng/g in blood serum
  • found in 1 of 19 people in the group
  • found in: Anonymous Adult 18
3.3ng/g in blood serum3.3


bisphenol a & badge

1 of 2 found

Metabolite of BADGE, used to make metal food can linings. Linked to hormone activity, skin and immune system toxicity and cancer.

3.02ng/mL in blood serum174


metals

3 of 3 found

Neurotoxic heavy metal linked to IQ deficits and behavioral problems. Found in dust from chipping lead paint in older homes, and in some tap water.

0.222ug/dL in whole blood4.7


Mercury is used in dental fillings and to preserve vaccines; it is also a common pollutant in seafood. Mercury harms brain development and function.

7.0E-5ug/L in whole blood12


Forms from mercury, a pollutant from coal-fired power plants and other sources. Methylmercury accumulates in seafood and harms brain development and function.

0.0735ug/L in whole blood25.9


nitro- and polycylic- musks

7 of 9 found

Fragrance ingredients. Build up in human tissues. May harm hormone system.

0.0547ng/g in blood serum4.23


Total Nitro- and polycylic- musks

Synthetic fragrance in perfumes and cosmetics. Can cause skin reactions including hyperpigmentation and contact dermatitis. Bioaccumulative.

0.06ng/g in blood serum0.45


Synthetic fragrance in cosmetics, perfumes, soap, other consumer products. Causes cancer in lab animals. Bioaccumulative.

0.14ng/g in blood serum0.37


Synthetic fragrance in detergents, fabric softeners, soaps. Can irritate the skin and bioaccumulate in people. Suspected hormone disruptor. Causes cancer in lab animals.

0.06ng/g in blood serum0.19


Synthetic fragrance in cosmetics, detergents, air fresheners, perfumes. Animal study indicates interference with a cell's ability to prevent entry of toxic substances. Bioaccumulative.

  • geometric mean: 0.0415 ng/g in blood serum (vs. 0.0407 in all EWG/Commonweal studies)
  • found in 1 of 19 people in the group (vs. 1 of 42 in all EWG/Commonweal studies)
  • found in: Anonymous Adult 10
0.08ng/g in blood serum0.08


Synthetic fragrance in cosmetics, cleaning agents, detergents, air fresheners, perfumes. Suspected hormone disruptor. Prevents cells from blocking entry of toxins in animal study. Bioaccumulative.

0.0547ng/g in blood serum3.6


Synthetic fragrance in cosmetics, detergents, cigarettes. Suspected hormone disruptor. Prevents cells from blocking entry of toxins in animal study. Bioaccumulative.

0.11ng/g in blood serum1.6


Synthetic fragrance in soaps, perfumes, cosmetics. Animal study indicates interference with a cell's ability to rid itself of toxic substances. Bioaccumulative.

  • geometric mean: 0.296 ng/g in blood serum (vs. 0.29 in all EWG/Commonweal studies)
  • found in 1 of 19 people in the group (vs. 1 of 42 in all EWG/Commonweal studies)
  • found in: Anonymous Adult 12
0.57ng/g in blood serum0.57


perchlorate

1 of 1 found

Explosive component of solid rocket and missile fuel. Widespread contaminant of food, drinking water, and people. Disrupts thyroid hormones, particularly in women with lower iodide intake; may harm brain development.

0.2ug/L in urine5.6


perfluorochemicals (pfcs)

12 of 13 found

Includes Teflon, Scotchgard, Stainmaster. Linked to cancer and birth defects.

2.63ng/mL in blood serum77.7


Total Perfluorochemicals (PFCs)

Breakdown product of stain- and grease-proof coatings on food packaging, couches, carpets. A 4-carbon version of PFOA; persistent.

0.735ng/mL in blood serum1.51


Breakdown product of stain- and grease-proof coatings on food packaging, couches, carpets. A 10-carbon version of PFOA; persistent; bioaccumulative.

0.218ng/mL in blood serum1.47


Breakdown product of stain- and grease-proof coatings on food packaging, couches, carpets. A 7-carbon version of PFOA; persistent.

found in 17 of 19 members of the group, but not quantified

 


Breakdown product of stain- and grease-proof coatings on food packaging and household products. Highly persistent in people and the environment.

found in 3 of 19 members of the group, but not quantified

 


Breakdown product of stain- and grease-proof coatings on food packaging, couches, carpets. A 9-carbon version of PFOA; persistent; bioaccumulative.

0.283ng/mL in blood serum5.85


Used to make Teflon pan coatings; breakdown product of stain- and grease-proof coatings. Likely human carcinogen. Found in most people. Being phased out of some products.

0.366ng/mL in blood serum10.1


In Scotchgard prior to 2000 - part of the 'PFOS chemistry' phased out of use by 3M in 2000 over health concerns; metabolized into PFOS by the body.

found in 8 of 19 members of the group, but not quantified

 


Breakdown product of stain- and grease-proof coatings on food packaging, couches, carpets. A 5-carbon version of PFOA; persistent.

  • geometric mean: results not quantified
  • found in 1 of 19 people in the group (vs. 1 of 55 in all EWG/Commonweal studies)
  • found in: Anonymous Teen 1

found in 1 of 19 members of the group, but not quantified

 


Breakdown product of stain- and grease-proof coatings on food packaging, couches, carpets. An 11-carbon version of PFOA; persistent; bioaccumulative.

found in 19 of 19 members of the group, but not quantified

 


An active ingredient in 3M's new Scotchgard (old formulation was phased out in 2000 over health concerns). Persistent. Structurally similar to PFOS.

found in 2 of 19 members of the group, but not quantified

 


In fire fighting foams and carpet treatments. Phased out of consumer products by 3M in 2000 over health concerns.

0ng/mL in blood serum13.1


Active ingredient in Scotchgard prior to 2000. Phase out forced by EPA because concentrations in human blood close to levels that harm lab animals.

1.07ng/mL in blood serum64.1


phthalates

6 of 7 found

In cosmetics, paint, and plastics. Linked to sperm damage and birth defects of male reproductive system.

102ug/g creatinine in urine10800


Total Phthalates

Breakdown product of bis(2-ethylhexyl)phthalate (DEHP), used in plastics; fetal and adult exposure to DEHP in animals is linked to male reproductive issues.

5.64ug/g creatinine in urine6960


Breakdown product of bis(2-ethylhexyl)phthalate (DEHP), used in plastics; fetal and adult exposure to DEHP in animals is linked to male reproductive issues.

5.98ug/g creatinine in urine2850


Breakdown product of bis(2-ethylhexyl)phthalate (DEHP), used in plastics. Linked to male reproductive issues in people and animals.

1.45ug/g creatinine in urine829


Formed from dibutyl phthalates, used in nail polish, cosmetics, and other consumer products; linked to birth defects and male reproductive issues.

7.53ug/g creatinine in urine250


Breakdown product of benzylbutyl phthalate, used in vinyl flooring, car-care products, some cosmetics. Fetal and adult exposures are linked to male reproductive problems.

2.73ug/g creatinine in urine436


Breakdown product of diethyl phthalate, used in consumer products, fragrances. Fetal and adult exposures are linked to male reproductive problems.

9.38ug/g creatinine in urine849


polybrominated diphenyl ethers (pbdes)

25-29 of 46 found

Fire retardants in furniture foam, computers, and televisions. Accumulate in human tissues. May harm brain development.

1.11ng/g lipids in blood serum314


Total Polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs)

Brominated fire retardants used in polyurethan foam and plastics. These PBDEs are neurotoxic and persist in people and the environment. They were withdrawn from the market in the U.S. in 2005.

0.00566ng/g lipids in blood serum3.23


Brominated flame retardants used in plastics. Break down into more toxic and persistent forms in the environment. Withdrawn from the market in the U.S. in 2005.

0.0122ng/g lipids in blood serum4.31


0.00588ng/g lipids in blood serum0.782


Brominated fire retardants used in foam and plastics. Break down into more toxic and persistent forms in the environment. Withdrawn from the market in the U.S. in 2005.

0.0262ng/g lipids in blood serum0.59


0.0025ng/g lipids in blood serum0.54


0.238ng/g lipids in blood serum76.9


0.0068ng/g lipids in blood serum2.73


0.0184ng/g lipids in blood serum0.488


Brominated fire retardants currently used in plastics and fabric. The major use is in electronic devices; the minor use is as a backcoating on industrial fabrics. Are directly toxic to mammals and breakdown to more dangerous forms in the environment.

  • geometric mean: 0.272 ng/g lipids in blood serum (vs. 0 in all EWG/Commonweal studies)
  • found in 1 of 19 people in the group (vs. 24 of 116 in all EWG/Commonweal studies)
  • found in: Anonymous Teen 1
0ng/g lipids in blood serum19.9


0ng/g lipids in blood serum19


  • geometric mean: 0.294 ng/g lipids in blood serum (vs. 0 in all EWG/Commonweal studies)
  • found in 1 of 19 people in the group (vs. 29 of 116 in all EWG/Commonweal studies)
  • found in: Anonymous Teen 1
0ng/g lipids in blood serum14.7


Brominated flame retardants used in plastics. Break down into more toxic and persistent forms in the environment. Withdrawn from the market in the U.S. in 2005.

0ng/g lipids in blood serum16.5


Brominated fire retardants used in polyurethan foam and plastics. These PBDEs are neurotoxic and persist in people and the environment. They were withdrawn from the market in the U.S. in 2005.

0.00528ng/g lipids in blood serum32.6


0.0121ng/g lipids in blood serum0.27


0.000971ng/g lipids in blood serum2.27


In PBDE chemical family - fire retardant in furniture foam, computers, televisions; may harm brain development and hormone systems.

0.0786ng/g lipids in blood serum31.2


Brominated fire retardants used in polyurethan foam and plastics. These PBDEs are neurotoxic and persist in people and the environment. They were withdrawn from the market in the U.S. in 2005.

In PBDE chemical family - fire retardant in furniture foam, computers, televisions; may harm brain development and hormone systems.

0.33ng/g lipids in blood serum143


0.0158ng/g lipids in blood serum1.26


  • geometric mean: 0.0142 ng/g lipids in blood serum (vs. 0.00557 in all EWG/Commonweal studies)
  • found in 1 of 19 people in the group (vs. 28 of 76 in all EWG/Commonweal studies)
  • found in: Anonymous Adult 13
0.00522ng/g lipids in blood serum0.191


0.0224ng/g lipids in blood serum1.33


0.00386ng/g lipids in blood serum0.128


0.00643ng/g lipids in blood serum0.823


Brominated fire retardants used in polyurethan foam and plastics. These PBDEs are neurotoxic and persist in people and the environment. They were withdrawn from the market in the U.S. in 2005.

0.0141ng/g lipids in blood serum0.673


0.0385ng/g lipids in blood serum6.17


0.00866ng/g lipids in blood serum0.386


triclosan

1 of 1 found

Antibacterial agent (pesticide) in liquid hand soap, toothpaste, cosmetics, cleaning products, footwear, and plastic products labeled "antibacterial." Triclosan may disrupt thyroid hormones, and can form several chemicals with health and environmental concerns.

found in 17 of 19 members of the group, but not quantified

 


References/Notes

[1] CDC (2005). National Report on Human Exposure to Environmental Chemicals, Centers for Disease Control. http://www.cdc.gov/exposurereport/. (Methylmercury results have been compared to total mercury in CDC biomonitoring.)

[2] The chemicals co-eluted in the laboratory analysis.