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Toxic Chemicals Found in Doctors and Nurses

New Biomonitoring Study Detects Four Chemicals from EPA's Recently-Announced Top Priority List

WASHINGTON, Oct. 8 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Physicians for Social Responsibility (PSR), American Nurses Association (ANA) and Health Care Without Harm (HCWH) released "Hazardous Chemicals In Health Care," the first investigation of chemicals found in bodies of health care professionals.

Today's announcement was made on a national teleconference with Kristen Welker-Hood, ScD, MSN, RN, Director of Environment and Health Programs, Physicians for Social Responsibility, report co-author and principal investigator, Rebecca M. Patton, MSN, RN, CNOR, president of the American Nurses Association, Bobbi Chase-Wilding, report co-author and Organizing Director of Clean New York, and study participants.

  • 20 study participants had toxic chemicals associated with health care in their bodies
  • Each had at least 24 individual chemicals present
  • Four chemicals are on recently released EPA list of priority chemicals
  • All participants had bisphenol A, phthalates, PBDEs and PFCs, associated with chronic illness such as cancer and endocrine malfunction
  • Twelve doctors and eight nurses, two in each of 10 states - Alaska, California, Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, New York, Oregon, and Washington - were tested

"Nurses and doctors volunteered for this study because they believe it is their responsibility to better understand how chemicals impact human health," explained Kristen Welker-Hood, ScD, MSN, RN.

This report offers preliminary indicators of what may impact the broader health care community. 62 distinct chemicals were tested: bisphenol A, mercury, perflourinated compounds, phthalates, polybrominated dipheynl ethers, and triclosan. They're used in products, from baby bottles, hand sanitizers, and medical gauges, to industrial paints, IV bags and tubes and stain-resistant clothing.

Dr. Sean Palfrey, professor of pediatrics and public health at Boston University School of Medicine, and medical director of Boston's Lead Poisoning Prevention Program says, "I was tested for chemicals that have been associated with certain diseases whose incidences are on the rise. If we as physicians are to understand our patients' health problems - from cancer to neurological harm to reproductive dysfunctions - we need to take a look at chemical exposure in our bodies."

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PSR, ANA and HCWH have joined the Safer Chemicals, Healthy Families campaign to reform the Toxic Substance Control Act (TSCA). For information on Chemicals Policy

SOURCE Physicians For Social Responsibility

SOURCE Physicians For Social Responsibility
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