GROUP:

Seniors (65+)


health & safety concerns:
chemicals found
on average indivi-
dual range
entire group
Brain and nervous system 52 14-186 195
Immune system (including sensitization and allergies) 40 5-169 178
Reproduction and fertility 24 3-51 57
Gastrointestinal (including liver) 10 1-44 47
Birth defects and developmental delays 6 2-14 18
Respiratory system 3 1-4 5
Endocrine system 2 1-4 6
Chronic effects, general 2 1-5 6

Group members:

(6 People)

Anonymous Adult 7
Bill Moyers
U.S. Representative Louise Slaughter
Participant #1
Fred Gellert
Participant #20


Locations:

NJ, USA
Upstate New York, NY
CA, USA
Belvedere, CA
Lamont, FL



picture of group

Group: Seniors (65+)
Found 260-331 of 535 tested chemicals (6 participants)

The blood and urine of the "Seniors (65+)" group contained 260-331 of 535 industrial compounds, pollutants and other chemicals tested, including chemicals linked to brain and nervous system toxicity, immune system toxicity, and reproductive toxicity and fertility problems.

Summary of chemicals found in Seniors (65+)

chemical family level found in group health effects exposure routes
BADGE-4OH50% high
50% moderate
Endocrine system Food can linings, dental sealants
Brominated dioxins & furans100% moderate
Immune system (including sensitization and allergies) Dietary sources, fatty meat, dairy and fish
Chlorinated dioxins & furans100% high
Immune system (including sensitization and allergies), Birth defects and developmental delays Dietary sources, fatty meat, dairy and fish
Lead80% high
20% moderate
Lead-based paint in older homes, household dust, vinyl products, tap water
Mercury100% high
Brain and nervous system Seafood, flu shots/vaccines, dental fillings
Methylmercury83% high
17% moderate
Dietary sources, particularly seafood
Nitro- and polycylic- musks100% moderate
Endocrine system Cosmetics, perfumes, cleaning agents, detergents, soaps
Organochlorine Pesticides (OCs)33% moderate
33% low
Reproduction and fertility Contaminated food and drinking water
Organophosphate Pesticide metabolites (OPs)100% moderate
Brain and nervous system Contaminated food and drinking water
Perchlorate100% moderate
Hematologic (blood) system, Birth defects and developmental delays Contaminated food and drinking water
Perfluorochemicals (PFCs)40% high
40% moderate
20% low
Cancer, Birth defects and developmental delays, Endocrine system Stain- and grease-proof coatings on food packaging, couches, carpets, pans
Phthalates80% moderate
Endocrine system Cosmetics, paint, soft plastic, food packaging, and other consumer products
Polyaromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs)100% low
Reproduction and fertility Air polluted by vehicles or factories, burned and fatty food
Polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs)80% moderate
20% low
Reproduction and fertility, Brain and nervous system Foam furniture, carpet padding, computers, televisions, contaminated house dust, food
Polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs)100% high
Brain and nervous system, Immune system (including sensitization and allergies) Dietary sources, fatty meat, dairy and fish
Polychlorinated naphthalenes (PCNs)100% high
Gastrointestinal (including liver) Dietary sources, fatty meat, dairy and fish
Volatile and semivolatile organic compounds (VOCs and SVOCs)100% found, not quantified Contaminated indoor and outdoor air

Test results by chemical family (see each chemical)

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


brominated dioxins & furans

1 of 12 found — see each chemical

Contaminants in flame retardants, pollutants from plastics. May harm hormone system.

  • geometric mean: 8.53 pg/g lipids in blood serum (vs. 14.8 in CDC biomonitoring [1])
  • found in 1 of 1 people in the group (vs. 2,163 of 4,821 in CDC biomonitoring)
  • found in: U.S. Representative Louise Slaughter
7.72pg/g lipids in blood serum1440


Total Brominated dioxins & furans

chlorinated dioxins & furans

15 of 17 found — see each chemical

Pollutants from PVC production, industrial bleaching, and incineration. Cause cancer and may harm hormone system.

5pg/g lipids in blood serum1860


Total Chlorinated dioxins & furans

metals

3 of 6 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.

  • geometric mean: 9.56 ug/L in whole blood (vs. 0.56 in CDC biomonitoring [1])
  • found in 1 of 1 people in the group (vs. 7,584 of 8,373 in CDC biomonitoring)
  • found in: Anonymous Adult 7
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

3 of 9 found — see each chemical

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

  • geometric mean: 0.81 ng/g in blood serum (vs. 0.295 in all EWG/Commonweal studies)
  • found in 1 of 1 people in the group (vs. 35 of 42 in all EWG/Commonweal studies)
  • found in: Anonymous Adult 7
0.0547ng/g in blood serum4.23


Total Nitro- and polycylic- musks

organochlorine pesticides (ocs)

14 of 30 found — see each chemical

Includes DDT, chlordane, other pesticides. Largely banned in the U.S. Build up in the human body over time. Cause cancer and reproductive harm.

0.615ng/g lipids in blood serum2830


Total Organochlorine Pesticides (OCs)

organophosphate pesticide metabolites (ops)

2 of 9 found — see each chemical

Breakdown products from pesticides, including Dursban, formerly used in homes and currently used on produce. Can damage brain development.

  • geometric mean: 30 ppb in urine (vs. 22.6 in all EWG/Commonweal studies)
  • found in 1 of 1 people in the group (vs. 9 of 9 in all EWG/Commonweal studies)
  • found in: Bill Moyers
4ppb in urine70.4


Total Organophosphate Pesticide metabolites (OPs)

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.

  • geometric mean: 3.5 ug/L in urine (vs. 3.77 in CDC biomonitoring [1])
  • found in 1 of 1 people in the group (vs. 2,818 of 2,818 in CDC biomonitoring)
  • found in: Anonymous Adult 7
0.2ug/L in urine5.6


perfluorochemicals (pfcs)

9 of 14 found — see each chemical

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

Perfluorochemicals (PFCs) were measured in different units for some of the members of this group. Overall it was found in 1 of the 1 members tested in the group. The bars below are grouped by units:

  • geometric mean: 27.8 ng/g in whole blood (vs. 4.46 in all EWG/Commonweal studies)
  • found in 1 of 1 people in the group (vs. 23 of 23 in all EWG/Commonweal studies)
  • found in: U.S. Representative Louise Slaughter
0.736ng/g in whole blood27.8


Total Perfluorochemicals (PFCs)

phthalates

11 of 13 found — see each chemical

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

Phthalates were measured in different units for some of the members of this group. Overall it was found in 5 of the 5 members tested in the group. The bars below are grouped by units:

  • geometric mean: results not quantified
  • found in 1 of 1 people in the group (vs. 9 of 9 in all EWG/Commonweal studies)
  • found in: Bill Moyers

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

 


Total Phthalates

102ug/g creatinine in urine10800


Total Phthalates

polyaromatic hydrocarbons (pahs)

7 of 18 found — see each chemical

Pollutants from burning gasoline and garbage. Linked to cancer. Accumulate in food chain.

  • geometric mean: 130 ng/g lipids in blood serum (vs. 230 in all EWG/Commonweal studies)
  • found in 1 of 1 people in the group (vs. 8 of 8 in all EWG/Commonweal studies)
  • found in: U.S. Representative Louise Slaughter
130ng/g lipids in blood serum384


Total Polyaromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs)

polybrominated diphenyl ethers (pbdes)

30-35 of 46 found — see each chemical

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)

polychlorinated biphenyls (pcbs)

106-156 of 209 found — see each chemical

Banned industrial insulators and lubricants. Cause cancer and nervous system problems.

2.95ng/g lipids in blood serum600


Total Polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs)

polychlorinated naphthalenes (pcns)

28-44 of 70 found — see each chemical

Wood preservatives, varnishes, machine lubricating oils, waste incineration. Cause liver and kidney damage.

  • geometric mean: 3.27 ng/g lipids in blood serum (vs. 0.693 in all EWG/Commonweal studies)
  • found in 1 of 1 people in the group (vs. 23 of 23 in all EWG/Commonweal studies)
  • found in: U.S. Representative Louise Slaughter
0.0743ng/g lipids in blood serum3.43


Total Polychlorinated naphthalenes (PCNs)

volatile and semivolatile organic compounds (vocs and svocs)

29 of 76 found — see each chemical

Used in wide range of household, craft, and industrial products. Common tap water and air pollutants. Includes neurotoxins and carcinogens.

  • geometric mean: results not quantified
  • found in 1 of 1 people in the group (vs. 9 of 9 in all EWG/Commonweal studies)
  • found in: Bill Moyers

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

 


Total Volatile and semivolatile organic compounds (VOCs and SVOCs)

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.)