A new survey from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention or CDC, is the first of its kind to identify toxin exposure in a wider U.S. population, following research that focused on young children and women in their childbearing years. The survey analyzed blood, serum and urine samples from 2,500 people as a part of the CDC's National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, which is released every two years. Chemicals identified during the study included mercury, perchlorate, bisphenol A (BPA) lead, and acrylamide.

One of the most noteworthy findings of the study is that mercury exposure in the United States increases with age, then starts tapering off when people turn 50. People are often exposed to mercury through contaminated seafood, and a recent U.S. EPA survey found that almost half of U.S. freshwater fish carry mercury in excess of federal safe levels for human consumption.

The study also found perchlorate (a component of rocket fuel), BPA, lead, and acrylamide (a toxic component formed when foods are cooked at high temperatures) in the majority of participants.

Sen. Frank Lautenberg (D-N.J.), said he plans to introduce legislation to reform the Toxic Substance Control Act in response to these findings. Lautenberg said in a press release that he would like the new legislation to require the EPA to determine whether chemicals meet new safety standards based on scientific risk assessment and that chemical companies provide enough data to make that determination. Lautenberg also wants the EPA to prioritize taking action on chemicals that present the greatest health risk.

Photo: iprole