about this participant:

Bill Moyers, a television producer from New Jersey, participated in the 2003 biomonitoring investigation entitled "EWG/Commonweal Study #1, industrial chemicals and pesticides in adults." He gave blood and urine for the study at age 68.

During his 25 years in broadcasting, Bill Moyers has pursued a broad spectrum of journalism. In presenting Moyers with one of his two prestigious Gold Batons, the highest honor of the Alfred I. DuPont Columbia University Awards, Columbia University President Michael Sovern called Moyers "a unique voice, still seeking new frontiers in television, daring to assume that viewing audiences are willing to think and learn." Moyers reported the results of his body burden tests in his Emmy award-winning expose of the chemical industry, "Trade Secrets: A Moyers Reports," which first aired on PBS in March, 2001.

Related links:

New Jersey

Participant's groups:

Senior, Male


EWG/Commonweal Study #1, industrial chemicals and pesticides in adults

health & safety concerns:
chemicals found in this person
Immune system (including sensitization and allergies)48
Brain and nervous system36
Birth defects and developmental delays13
Reproduction and fertility3
Gastrointestinal (including liver)1
Endocrine system1
Chronic effects, general1
Respiratory system1

picture of Bill Moyers

Participant: Bill Moyers
Found 77.2-87 of 214 tested chemicals

Bill Moyers's blood and urine contained 77.2-87 of 214 industrial compounds, pollutants and other chemicals tested, including chemicals linked to immune system toxicity, brain and nervous system toxicity, and birth defects and developmental delays.

Summary of chemicals found in Bill Moyers

chemical family level found health effects exposure routes
Volatile and semivolatile organic compounds (VOCs and SVOCs)found, not quantified Contaminated indoor and outdoor air
Phthalatesfound, not quantifiedEndocrine system Cosmetics, paint, soft plastic, food packaging, and other consumer products
Polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs)highBrain and nervous system, Immune system (including sensitization and allergies) Dietary sources, fatty meat, dairy and fish
Organochlorine Pesticides (OCs)lowReproduction and fertility Contaminated food and drinking water
Chlorinated dioxins & furanshighImmune system (including sensitization and allergies), Birth defects and developmental delays Dietary sources, fatty meat, dairy and fish
Organophosphate Pesticide metabolites (OPs)moderateBrain and nervous system Contaminated food and drinking water
Leadhigh Lead-based paint in older homes, household dust, vinyl products, tap water
Methylmercuryhigh Dietary sources, particularly seafood

Test results by chemical family (see each chemical)

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.

  • cumulative level found: found, but not quantified

found in 9 of 9 people, but not quantified


Total Volatile and semivolatile organic compounds (VOCs and SVOCs)


4 of 6 found — see each chemical

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

  • cumulative level found: found, but not quantified

found in 9 of 9 people, but not quantified


Total Phthalates

polychlorinated biphenyls (pcbs)

24.2-34 of 77 found — see each chemical

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

  • cumulative level found: 240 ng/g (lipid weight) in blood serum
  • High vs 35 tested in EWG/Commonweal studies (89th %ile)
  • High vs 4,821 tested in CDC biomonitoring [1] (77th %ile) (comparison based on congeners tested by CDC)
2.95ng/g (lipid weight) in blood serum600

Total Polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs)

organochlorine pesticides (ocs)

3 of 23 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.

  • cumulative level found: 3.08 ng/g (lipid weight) in blood serum
  • Moderate vs 27 tested in EWG/Commonweal studies (34th %ile)
  • Low vs 4,821 tested in CDC biomonitoring [1] (12th %ile) (comparison based on congeners tested by CDC)
0.615ng/g (lipid weight) in blood serum2830

Total Organochlorine Pesticides (OCs)

chlorinated dioxins & furans

13 of 17 found — see each chemical

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

  • cumulative level found: 1400 pg/g (lipid weight) in blood serum
  • High vs 34 tested in EWG/Commonweal studies (98th %ile)
  • High vs 4,821 tested in CDC biomonitoring [1] (92nd %ile) (comparison based on congeners tested by CDC)
5pg/g (lipid weight) in blood serum1860

Total Chlorinated dioxins & furans


2 of 5 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: 3 ug/dL (wet weight) in whole blood
  • High vs 71 tested in EWG/Commonweal studies (82nd %ile)
  • High vs 8,373 tested in CDC biomonitoring [1] (86th %ile) (comparison based on congeners tested by CDC)
0.222ug/dL (wet weight) in whole blood4.7

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

  • level found: 4 ug/L (wet weight) in whole blood
  • Moderate vs 88 tested in EWG/Commonweal studies (66th %ile)
  • High vs 8,373 tested in CDC biomonitoring [1] (96th %ile) (comparison based on congeners tested by CDC)
ug/L (wet weight) in whole blood25.9

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.

  • cumulative level found: 30 ppb in urine
  • Moderate vs 9 tested in EWG/Commonweal studies (67th %ile)
4ppb in urine70.4

Total Organophosphate Pesticide metabolites (OPs)

Chemicals not found in Bill Moyers

127 chemicals

4-tert-Octylphenol, 2,3,7,8-TCDF (tetrafuran), 1,2,3,7,8-PeCDF (pentafuran), 2,3,7,8-TCDD (tetradioxin), 1,2,3,7,8,9-HxCDF (hexafuran), Chromium, Arsenic (inorganic only), Cadmium, 4,4'-DDD, Aldrin, alpha-Endosulphan, beta-Endosulphan, alpha-Chlordane, Dieldrin, Endosulphan Sulphate, Endrin, Endrin Ketone, alpha-BHC, Heptachlor, Heptachlor Epoxide, Endrin aldehyde, Hexachlorobenzene, gamma-BHC (Lindane), beta-BHC, delta-BHC, gamma-Chlordane, Mirex, Pentachlorophenol, Diethylphosphorodithidate (DEDTP), Dimethylphosphorodithidate (DMDTP), Diethylphosphate (DEP), Diethylphosphorothidate (DEPT), Malathion Dicarboxylic Acid, Malathion Mono-Carboxylic Acid, Chlorpyrifos metabolite (3,5,6-TCP), Butyl benzyl phthalate, Di-n-octyl phthalate, PCB-101, PCB-84, PCB-166, PCB-82, PCB-195, PCB-200, PCB-207, PCB-42, PCB-185, PCB-86, PCB-97, PCB-119, PCB-91, PCB-189, PCB-205, PCB-158, PCB-114, PCB-123, PCB-120, PCB-77, PCB-126, PCB-169, PCB-79, PCB-80, PCB-37, PCB-81, PCB-110, PCB-151, PCB-149, PCB-168, PCB-18, PCB-47, PCB-44, PCB-49, PCB-70, PCB-87, PCB-64, PCB-60, PCB-141, PCB-179, PCB-174, PCB-191, PCB-92, Methyl ester 9,12-Hexadecadienoic acid, 9-Hexadecenoic acid, bis(1-methylpropyl) ester Hexanedioic acid, n-Tetradecanoic acid, Oleic acid, 1-Tetradecanol, 2-Decanol, 5-Methyl-2-heptanol, 7-methyl-7-Heptadecanol, (Z)-9,17-Octadecadienal, tetradecanal, 2,2,3,3-Tetramethylhexane, 2,4,6-trimethyl-Decane, 2,5,6-trimethyl-Decane, 3-bromo-Decane, 6-ethyl-2-methyl-Decane, 2,6-dimethyl Heptadecane, Hexacosane, n-Docosane, n-Octacosane, (1,1-dimethylbutyl) Oxirane, 3-bromo-3-methyl Pentane, Tetratetracontane, 5-propyl-Tridecane, 1,E-11,Z-13-Hexadecatriene, 17-Pentatriacontene, 3,7,11,15-tetramethyl-2-Hexadecene, (E)-3-Octadecene, o-(phenylmethyl)-Hydroxylamine, (3-octylundecyl)-Benzene, 2,4-bis(1,1-dimethylethyl)-6-methyl-Phenol, 3-isopentyl Sydnone, 2-propenylidene-Cyclobutene, 2-hydroxy-Cyclopentadecanone, 1-ethyl-1-methyl-Cyclopentane, 1-methyl-2-propyl-Cyclopentane, Ethylcyclohexane, Didodecyl 3,3-thiodipropionate, 2-ethylhexyl glycidyl ether, 2-Nonanone, dihydro-5-(1-methylethyl)-3(2H)-Furanone, 4,6-dimethyl-5-Hepten-2-one, alpha-Toluenesulfonyl chloride, Cetylpyridinium chloride monohydrate, Mono(2-ethylhexyl) adipate, Ethyl Benzene, ortho-Xylene


[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