Hazardous Chemicals

Hazardous Chemicals in Health Care Professionals

PSR-HazardChemicalsInHealthCare250x250Physicians for Social Responsibility, along with JustGreen Partner Clean New York, SAFER States partners in nine other states, Health Care Without Harm, American Nurses Association and the Safer Chemicals, Healthy Families campaign, released a new biomonitoring report, Hazardous Chemicals in Health Care: A Snapshot of Chemicals in Doctors and Nurses.

20 doctors and nurses from ten states donated blood and urine samples which were tested for six categories of chemicals (62 individual chemicals in all) and the results were disturbing – though sadly, not surprising. Each of the 20 participants had at least five of the chemical categories, and at least 24 individual chemicals. All participants had the same four categories and the same 18 individual chemicals in their bodies.

New York participants weighed in with their thoughts on their results and the project:

Cathey Falvo, MD, of New York City, said: “Despite knowing the extent of chemical contamination, it is unnerving knowing I am as contaminated as the tests showed.”

Barbara Crane, CCRN, of Smithtown, said: “Since my results were documented I have come to realize that just being a citizen of a developed country exposes me to unimagined chemical intruders. I guess I always believed that our health would be protected by government or environmental policy and practice. I have since come to realize that nothing is further from the truth.”

The report calls for reform of the federal Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA), the primary law that governs the use of chemicals in the U.S. Only five chemicals have been removed from commerce under TSCA since its enactment in the late 1970s, and no chemicals have been banned since EPA was unable to ban asbestos in 1989.

Read the details about PSR’s report here.

Visit the Safer Chemicals, Healthy Families campaign to learn more about efforts to reform TSCA.