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8 November 2005 | Printer friendly

WWF biomonitoring: Chemicals in blood samples show that a strong REACH is necessary

Since spring 2005, WWF Europe has been carrying a biomonitoring study, with the support of EEN and Eurocoop. It investigated the type and levels of chemical contamination in three generations of 13 families (child, mother and grandmother). The families were taken from 12 European countries (Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Italy, Latvia, Poland, Sweden and Luxemburg).
The chemicals analyzed were 107 persistant, bioaccumulative and/or endocrine disrupting chemicals. Some of them (DDT and PCBs) have been banned for years but could still be found mostly in grandmothers’ blood samples. The other “newer” products can be found in our everyday consumer products (carpets, clothes, non-stick cooking pans, computers, baby bottles...).


- Out of the 107 chemicals looked for, 73 were found in the blood of the participants. The highest number was detected in the grandmother’s generation (63), but the younger generation had more chemicals in their bodies (59) than their mothers (49).

- The median numbers of chemicals in the different generations are 32 for grandmothers, 29 for mothers and 24 for children.

- Each person (grandmother, mother and child) was contaminated with a cocktail of at least 18 man-made chemicals, many found in everyday consumer goods. Some of the chemicals found, like PCBs and DDT, have been banned for decades in the EU but continue to contaminate new generations.

- With only 2 exceptions, chemicals of all the main groups were found in the blood of every person, including children as young as 12.

- The grandmothers were more contaminated with older, banned chemicals such as organochlorine pesticides and PCBs. “Newer” chemicals such as the brominated flame retardants, perfluorinated chemicals and artificial musks were found more frequently and at higher levels in the younger generations."

Quoted from WWF’s Detox campaign website

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