about this participant:

Suzie Canales, a community activist from Corpus Christi, TX, participated in the -0001 biomonitoring investigation entitled "Adult Minority Leader Report." She gave blood and urine for the study on July 9, 2008 at age 48.

Suzie Canales returned home to Corpus Christi to spend time with her sister, Diana Bazan, as she was dying of cancer at the age of 42.

Ms. Canales, an Hispanic American, began to wonder if her sister's fatal illness, the hysterectomies undergone by her other two sisters and other unusual diseases in her family and among her acquaintances might be related to the dumps and refineries near the low-income neighborhood where she grew up.

In the year 2000, Ms. Canales and her sister, Ciny Pena, founded Citizens for Environmental Justice to tackle environmental justice issues in Corpus Christi. One of their first achievements: a study that found the city's birth defect rate to be 84 percent higher than in other parts of Texas.

Canales and her organization have engaged in a long-running battle to prevent the Citgo Petroleum Corp. from expanding its operations in Corpus Christi. The case is still in litigation.

Ms. Canales is the recipient of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus Institute Award for Outstanding Achievements in Environmental Justice.


Corpus Christi, TX

Participant's groups:



Adult Minority Leader Report

Sample Date:

July 9, 2008

health & safety concerns:
chemicals found in this person
Brain and nervous system23
Reproduction and fertility22
Birth defects and developmental delays3
Endocrine system2
Immune system (including sensitization and allergies)2
Hematologic (blood) system2
Kidney and renal system1

picture of Suzie Canales

Participant: Suzie Canales
Found 26-29 of 75 tested chemicals

Suzie Canales's blood and urine contained 26-29 of 75 industrial compounds, pollutants and other chemicals tested, including chemicals linked to brain and nervous system toxicity, reproductive toxicity and fertility problems, and birth defects and developmental delays.

Summary of chemicals found in Suzie Canales

chemical family level found health effects exposure routes
Polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs)lowReproduction and fertility, Brain and nervous system Foam furniture, carpet padding, computers, televisions, contaminated house dust, food
Perfluorochemicals (PFCs)lowCancer, Birth defects and developmental delays, Endocrine system Stain- and grease-proof coatings on food packaging, couches, carpets, pans
Nitro- and polycylic- muskshighEndocrine system Cosmetics, perfumes, cleaning agents, detergents, soaps
PerchloratelowHematologic (blood) system, Birth defects and developmental delays Contaminated food and drinking water
Leadlow Lead-based paint in older homes, household dust, vinyl products, tap water
MercurylowBrain and nervous system Seafood, flu shots/vaccines, dental fillings
Bisphenol Ahigh Polycarbonate plastics, food can linings, dental sealants

Test results by chemical family (see each chemical)

polybrominated diphenyl ethers (pbdes)

18-21 of 46 found — see each chemical

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

  • cumulative level found: 85.3 ng/g (lipid weight) in blood serum
  • High vs 116 tested in EWG/Commonweal studies (88th %ile)
  • Low vs 2,337 tested in CDC biomonitoring [1] (20th %ile) (comparison based on congeners tested by CDC)
1.11ng/g (lipid weight) in blood serum314

Total Polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs)

perfluorochemicals (pfcs)

3 of 13 found — see each chemical

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

  • cumulative level found: 5.07 ng/mL (wet weight) in blood serum
  • Low vs 55 tested in EWG/Commonweal studies (8th %ile)
  • Low vs 3,959 tested in CDC biomonitoring [1] (8th %ile) (comparison based on congeners tested by CDC)
2.63ng/mL (wet weight) in blood serum77.7

Total Perfluorochemicals (PFCs)

nitro- and polycylic- musks

1 of 10 found — see each chemical

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

  • cumulative level found: 1.6 ng/g (wet weight) in blood serum
  • High vs 42 tested in EWG/Commonweal studies (86th %ile)
ng/g (wet weight) in blood serum4.23

Total Nitro- and polycylic- musks


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.

  • level found: 0.77 ug/L in urine
  • Moderate vs 24 tested in EWG/Commonweal studies (42nd %ile)
  • Low vs 2,818 tested in CDC biomonitoring [1] (5th %ile) (comparison based on congeners tested by CDC)
ug/L in urine5.6


2 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.

  • level found: 0.376 ug/dL (wet weight) in whole blood
  • Low vs 71 tested in EWG/Commonweal studies (13th %ile)
  • Low vs 8,373 tested in CDC biomonitoring [1] (7th %ile) (comparison based on congeners tested by CDC)
0.222ug/dL (wet weight) 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.

  • level found: 0.16 ug/L (wet weight) in whole blood
  • Low vs 40 tested in EWG/Commonweal studies (20th %ile)
  • Low vs 8,373 tested in CDC biomonitoring [1] (22nd %ile) (comparison based on congeners tested by CDC)
7.0E-5ug/L (wet weight) in whole blood12

bisphenol a & badge

1 of 1 found

Detected in polycarbonate plastic, dental sealants, and resins that line metal cans. Linked to hormone disruption, birth defects, cancer with effects at very low doses.

  • level found: 6.06 ug/g creatinine in urine
  • High vs 17 tested in EWG/Commonweal studies (99th %ile)
  • High vs 2,612 tested in CDC biomonitoring [1] (85th %ile) (comparison based on congeners tested by CDC)
ug/g creatinine in urine6.06

Chemicals not found in Suzie Canales

46 chemicals

Tetrabromobisphenol A, Methylmercury, Musk tibetene, Traseolide, Phantolide, Musk xylene, Musk moskene, Musk ketone, Galaxolide, Celestolide, Cashmeran, PFBS (Perfluorobutane sulfonate), PFPeA (Perfluoro-n-pentanoic acid), PFUnA (Perfluoroundecanoic acid), PFOSA (Perfluorooctanesulfonic acid), PFHpA (Perfluoroheptanoic acid), PFHxA (Perfluorohexanoic acid), PFHxS (Perfluorohexanesulfonate), PFDA (Perfluorodecanoic acid), PFDoA (Perfluorododecanoic acid), PFBA (Perfluorobutyric acid), PBDE-11, PBDE-13, PBDE-66, PBDE-181, PBDE-128, PBDE-116, PBDE-126, PBDE-105, PBDE-85, PBDE-99, PBDE-77, PBDE-75, PBDE-71, PBDE-51, PBDE-209, PBDE-119, PBDE-37, PBDE-35, PBDE-32, PBDE-30, PBDE-10, PBDE-7, PBDE-120, PBDE-8, PBDE-12


[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.)

See results for this participant's group