Producer/Host: Amy Browne
Engineer: John Greenman
Today we’re doing a sort of “where are they now” show with some of the 13 Mainers –from all across the state and different walks of life– who volunteered back in 2006 to have themselves tested for the presence of 71 chemicals in their bodies. As we reported in 2007 when the results were published in the “Body of Evidence” report, toxic industrial chemicals were found in every person tested.
The group behind the project was the Alliance for a Clean and Healthy Maine, which included the Environmental Health Strategy Center, the Learning Disabilities Association of Maine, the Maine Labor Group on Health, the Maine Organic Farmers and Gardeners Association, the Maine People’s Resource Center, the Maine Public Health Association, the Natural Resources Council of Maine, and Physicians for Social Responsibility/Maine Chapter. All project protocols were approved by the University of Southern Maine Office of Research Compliance and Institutional Review Board. Doctors Vincent Markowski and Richard Donahue, the project’s Principal Investigators, provided oversight of the study methodology, data collection, laboratory testing, and data analyses.
46 different toxic chemicals were found in the bodies of the 13 Mainers. The average body burden was 36 toxic chemicals detected in the blood, urine and hair of each participant.
Emma Halas-O’Connor, Environmental Health Campaign Manager, Environmental Health Strategy Center/ Prevent Harm
Hannah Pingree, former State Representative and study participant. After learning that PBDE flame retardants were being found in breast milk, she sponsored a bill that successfully phased out two of them back in 2004. In 2008 she was a sponsor of Maine’s “Kid-Safe Products Act”. In 2012 she testified at a hearing before the U.S. Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works, advocating for updating and strengthening the federal 1976 Toxic Substances Control Act. In 2013 she was featured in the HBO documentary “Toxic Hot Seat”.
Steve Taylor, Project Manager for the Body of Evidence Report
Regina Creeley, study participant