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ACC Concerned Over Reporting of Biomonitoring Results
Date:10/23/2007

ARLINGTON, Va., Oct. 23 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Last evening CNN and the Discovery Channel aired the documentary, Planet in Peril. The documentary touched on many environmental and resource issues around the globe. The American Chemistry Council (ACC) supports efforts like this that look holistically at our planet and explore the challenges we face as a society. As part of the documentary, biomonitoring, the measurement of environmental chemicals in human tissues and body fluids was highlighted as Anderson Cooper had his blood tested for the presence of chemicals. Surprising to no one they found chemicals, both naturally occurring and man made. The fact is our bodies are chemistry in action. Everything we eat, breath, drink, or touch is made of chemicals. Chemicals are used in life-saving medicines, to clean drinking water, in bulletproof vests to protect our soldiers and law enforcement, in airbags, bicycle helmets, and in so many other products that keep individuals and families healthy and safe.

One concern about this segment was its focus on the mere presence of particular chemicals as opposed to whether those chemicals are present at levels that cause harm to human health. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), "Just because people have an environmental chemical in their blood or urine does not mean that the chemical causes disease." In fact, many chemicals, such as those in medicines, actually do just the opposite.

Also of concern to ACC and thousands of medical doctors and research scientists around the globe is the responsible communication of biomonitoring results, not only to the individual but also to the larger community. It's important to realize that the levels in humans reported in biomonitoring studies are very, very small, typically in parts-per-million, billion or even trillion. (Note: a part-per-billion is equivalent to one drop of water in an Olympic-sized swimming pool!) Biomonitoring data do not
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SOURCE American Chemistry Council
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