Chemical threat to human health
Public opinion polling indicates increasing concern about the threat posed by chemicals to human health. The origins of the chemical threat span from power plants and chemical plants to food and indoor furnishings.
Children at greatest risk
In April 2002, the BBC reported that, according to the report "Children's Health And Environment: A Review Of Evidence" issued jointly by the World Health Organization (WHO) and the European Environment Agency (EEA), "Children are especially vulnerable to pollution for several reasons: 
- long-term consequences of early exposure
- their unique susceptibility to specific chemicals
- exposure to substances in objects they handle, like soil and toys, particularly because of their typical 'hand-to-mouth' behaviour
- the fact that they breathe, drink and eat more than adults relative to their body weight, and so absorb relatively more toxins
- the fact that children cannot choose what risks to accept.
Domingo Jimenez-Beltran, then EEA's executive director, said: "Children are at risk of exposure to more than 15,000 synthetic chemicals, almost all developed in the last 50 years. ... They are also threatened by a variety of physical agents such as polluted indoor and outdoor air, road traffic, contaminated food and water, unsafe buildings, contaminants in toys, radiation, and environmental tobacco smoke."
Related SourceWatch Resources
- Alar and apples
- Biohazard response
- Bush/Republican Initiatives
- chemical industry
- Chemical Industry APPG
- climate change
- Environment 2004
- environmental protection
- European Science and Environment Forum
- global warming
- health care
- healthcare industry
- Healthy Forests Initiative
- industry-funded organizations
- Mad Cow USA
- MTBE / MTBE contamination
- National Organic Program Regulations
- Project BioShield
- Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome
- Smoking as a civic duty
- Super Size Me (movie 2004)
- The cell phone industry suppressing scientific research on health effects
- The Chemical Industry Institute of Toxicology
- Toronto SARS crisis
- Toronto smog crisis
- Trashing organic foods
- Walkerton water crisis
- BirthDefects.org website.
- Earthhope Action Network website.
- EarthRights International website.
- Environmental Media Services website.
- Environment News Service website.
- Environmental News Network website.
- Environmental Public Health Tracking Program, National Center for Environmental Health, Centers for Disease Control website.
- Farmed Animal website.
- Fox River Watch website. All articles "relate to water use and quality, and the paper industry."
- Friends of the Earth Scotland website.
- Garden State EnviroNet (NJ) website.
- Indigenous Environmental Network website.
- Junk Science.com website. Links to current news.
- One with the Earth website.
- Pesticide Action Network (UK) website.
- Puget Sound Green Pages.
- Nuclear Information and Resource Service website.
- PureFood.com website.
- Refinery Reform Campaign website.
- Risk World website. Accessed May 17, 2005: "2005 news releases."
- Science Daily website. Links to current news.
- Scorecard.org, the pollution information website.
- Truth Force! website. Links to current news.
- World Wildlife Federation (UK) website: "Chemicals and Health."
Articles & Commentary
- Barry Commoner, "The Political History of Dioxin," Keynote Address at the Second Citizens Conference on Dioxin, St. Louis, Missouri, July 30, 1994.
- "Turning Point For The Chemical Industry," Rachel's Environment and Health News, August 31, 1994.
- Barbara Rutherford, "The synthetic chemical threat - endocrine disruptors," Pesticides News No. 31, March 1996, pages 6-7: "Endocrine disruption is a subtle effect of many synthetic chemicals which can lead to immune, behavioural and reproductive changes with apocalyptic risks for individuals, populations and wildlife species. These agents are widely disseminated, and Barbara Rutherford calls for their urgent identification and control as matters for international concern."
- Jane Kay, "Chemical threat to state's water wells. Gasoline additive MTBE leaking into drinking water supply called possible health risk," SF Gate, August 10, 1997.
- "EPA to Study Chemical Threat to Drinking Water," Reuters, November 3, 1998.
- "The History of Water Pollution in Lake Michigan," unknown AT core.com, March 7, 1999.
- Steven Milloy, "No chemical threat found; Panel doesn't find hormone link," JunkScience.com, August 6, 1999: "A panel of scientists convened by the National Research Council found no persuasive evidence that chemicals in the environment are disrupting hormonal processes in humans or wildlife. ... But the panel, funded in part by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, recommended research continue into so-called 'hormonally active agents,' including pesticides, PCBs and chemicals in plastics."
- Andrew Breslin, "Chemicals Requiring Investigation and Action," Statement delivered on behalf on Neal Barnard, M.D. and Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine, on Wednesday September 22, 1999 at the Children's Health Testing Program Stakeholders Involvement Meeting. Re EPA's "Voluntary Children's Chemical Evaluation Program (VCCEP)."
- Jennifer Bogo, "The Chemical Threat to Kids," E Magazine, October 3, 2001.
- Elizabeth Bluemink, "Choccolocco's chemical woes: Contamination in creek remains a threat to fish, wildlife," Anniston Star (Alabama), December 16, 2001.
- Alex Kirby, "Children face environmental risks," BBC, April 15, 2002: A warning issued jointly from WHO and the EEA said that European children had "to cope with health risks they should not be expected to tolerate" and that, in Europe, hazards were "increasing in the places where children live, learn and play. ... And whatever the risks to children themselves, they are likely to be the most sensitive indicators for entire populations."
- Cat Lazoroff, "Wildlife Studies Suggest Chemical Threat To Humans," ENS, August 13, 2002.
- Robert McClure, Lisa Stiffler and Lise Olsen, "Area's defining waterway is a cesspool of pollution," Seattle Post-Intelligencer, November 18, 2002. Re Puget Sound.
- "Kodak's pollution practices," photo.net, 2003.
- "New Study Details Widespread Chemical Threats to Texas School Children. Two Thirds of Hazardous Pollution from Texas Refineries and Chemical Plants is Released within 2 Miles of Schools in Eight Counties. Unequal Protection: Most Students At-Risk are Hispanic and African-American," RefineryReform.org, March 4, 2003.
- John Nielsen, "EPA Decision on Perchlorate Criticized," NPR, July 16, 2003.
- Dave Richardson, "Chemical threat: Time bombs in our back yard," Times Herald-Record (New York), August 3, 2003.
- Jon Hamilton, "Chemical Primer: What is Perchlorate?," NPR, March 12, 2004.
- Carrie Kahn, "California Moves to Regulate Perchlorate," NPR, March 12, 2004.
- Jon Hamilton, "Getting to the Bottom of Perchlorate. Health Consequences of Contaminated Water Unclear in Calif.," NPR, May 24, 2004.
- Jon Hamilton, "Report Assesses Risks of Perchlorate in Drinking Water," NPR, January 10, 2005.
- Jon Hamilton, "Panel: Perchlorate Levels in Drinking Water OK," NPR, January 11, 2005.
- "The tip of the iceberg: Chemical contamination in the Arctic," World Wildlife Federation DETOX Campaign, February 17, 2005.
- Dean Edell, "Study Links Heart Damage With Air Pollution," San Francisco ABC7, March 19, 2005: "You already know air pollution is bad for your health, but a new study shows it may be damaging you in ways that you don't realize."
- Harris Interactive, "Majority of U.S. Adults Think Chemicals and Pollutants are More of a Threat Now Than They Were 10 Years Ago: Three in five adults have taken one or more steps to reduce their exposure to chemicals and pollutants", Media Release, April 26, 2005.
- Harris Interactive, "Wall Street Journal Online / Harris Interactive Health-Care Poll", Volume 4, Issue 8, April 26, 2005. (Pdf).
- Michelle Roberts, "Why puberty now begins at seven," BBC, May 15, 2005.
- Jan Hollingsworth, "Birth Defects Puzzle Officials," Tampa Bay Online, May 16, 2005: "According to the National Research Council, half of all pregnancies end in a birth defect, the loss of the baby or a chronic health problem, such as childhood cancer, severe asthma or autoimmune disorders. ... 'Many of these things we are beginning to suspect have a prenatal origin,' said Betty Mekdeci, executive director of Birth Defect Research for Children. ... 'Even if there is a genetic predisposition, that doesn't mean it wasn't triggered by something in that prenatal environment.'"