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


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
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
Phthalates32% high
53% moderate
16% low
Cosmetics, paint, soft plastic, food packaging, and other consumer products
Triclosan89% found, not quantifiedEndocrine system, Skin Antibacterial soap, toothpaste, cosmetics, cleaning products, shoe insoles, plastic cutting boards, other antibacterial items
Alkylphenols11% high
Endocrine system Cosmetics, detergents, pesticides, paints, carpet and dry cleaning
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
Perchlorate26% moderate
58% low
Hematologic (blood) system, Birth defects and developmental delays Contaminated food and drinking water
Nitro- and polycylic- musks26% high
63% moderate
Endocrine system, Cancer Cosmetics, perfumes, cleaning agents, detergents, soaps
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
Lead26% high
63% moderate
11% low
Lead-based paint in older homes, household dust, vinyl products, tap water
BADGE-4OH11% high
47% moderate
Endocrine system Food can linings, dental sealants

Test results by chemical family (see each chemical)

polybrominated diphenyl ethers (pbdes)

25-29 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)


6 of 7 found — see each chemical

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

102ug/g creatinine in urine10800

Total Phthalates


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



2 of 2 found — see each chemical

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

1.4ng/g in blood serum3.3

Total Alkylphenols

perfluorochemicals (pfcs)

12 of 13 found — see each chemical

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

2.63ng/mL in blood serum77.7

Total Perfluorochemicals (PFCs)


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

nitro- and polycylic- musks

7 of 9 found — see each chemical

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

0.0547ng/g in blood serum4.23

Total Nitro- and polycylic- musks


3 of 3 found

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

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

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


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