GROUP:

EWG Study #5, Teflon and mercury in blood in adults and teens


health & safety concerns:
chemicals found
on average indivi-
dual range
entire group
Cancer 2 2-2 2
Birth defects and developmental delays 2 2-2 2
Behavioral effects 1 1-1 1
Biochemical effects 1 1-1 1
Immune system (including sensitization and allergies) 1 1-1 1
Hematologic (blood) system 1 1-1 1
Reproduction and fertility 1 1-1 1
Endocrine system 1 1-1 1

Group members:

(8 People)

Participant #2
Participant #8
Kelsey Wirth
Michael Goodstein
Margie Roswell
Nina Damato
Nora Pouillon
Stephanie Berger


Locations:

Silver Spring, MD
Washington, DC
Cambridge, MA
Bethesda, MD
Baltimore, MD


about this group:

Tests uncover two extremes in human blood pollution: mercury, the well-studied, ubiquitous power plant pollutant that accumulates in seafood like tuna; and emerging Teflon pollution only now under intense scrutiny by public health officials. In both cases, body burden tests give vital clues to exposure and health risks in a system that fails to require this understanding up front.


picture of group

Group: EWG Study #5, Teflon and mercury in blood in adults and teens
Found 9 of 14 tested chemicals (8 participants)

The blood of the "EWG Study #5, Teflon and mercury in blood in adults and teens" group contained 9 of 14 industrial compounds, pollutants and other chemicals tested, including chemicals linked to cancer, birth defects and developmental delays, and behavioral effects.

Summary of chemicals found in EWG Study #5, Teflon and mercury in blood in adults and teens

chemical family level found in group health effects exposure routes
Methylmercury63% high
25% moderate
13% low
Dietary sources, particularly seafood
Perfluorochemicals (PFCs)25% high
50% moderate
25% low
Cancer, Birth defects and developmental delays, Endocrine system Stain- and grease-proof coatings on food packaging, couches, carpets, pans

Detailed report by chemical (return to summary)

metals

1 of 1 found

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


perfluorochemicals (pfcs)

8 of 13 found

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

8.51ng/g in blood serum59.7


Total Perfluorochemicals (PFCs)

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

0.2ng/g in blood serum2.03


Breakdown product of stain- and grease-proof coatings on food packaging, couches, carpets, including Stainmaster. Highly persistent and bioaccumulative.

0.106ng/g in blood serum0.168


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

0.044ng/g in blood serum0.127


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

0.591ng/g in blood serum5.24


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.

2.92ng/g in blood serum7.83


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

0.115ng/g in blood serum1.49


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

0.633ng/g in blood serum3.5


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

3.96ng/g in blood serum47


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.)