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PRI's Environmental News Magazine

Health Update

Air Date: Week of March 23, 2001

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Transcript

TOOMEY: The Centers for Disease Control has released its first-ever national report card on our exposure to pollutants. CDC scientists analyzed blood and urine samples from 3,800 people considered representative of the U.S. population. Levels of 27 chemicals were measured, and the good news first. It appears blood levels of a marker for nicotine have dropped 75 percent in the past decade in non-smokers. Researchers also found children's lead levels continue an overall decline, although some children are still exposed to dangerously high lead levels. But ten percent of women of childbearing age have mercury levels close to amounts that might cause fetal damage. And two types of phthalates, which are toxic chemicals used in things such as soaps, shampoo, and nail polish, were found in much higher levels than expected. That's this week's health update. I'm Diane Toomey.

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