Sharyle Patton of Commonweal, a non-profit health and environmental research group in California, told stories of people responding to their own biomonitoring results. A total of 103 hazardous chemicals showed up in lab results conducted on her body.
“I won the PCB and dioxin contests,” she said, talking about similar tests done on a group of colleagues, including the journalist Bill Moyers. “I grew up in little village high in Rockies in Colorado, away from industrial facilities, away from freeways. We raised our own cattle and vegetables. These chemicals in my body are calling cards, but they have no return address. I was outraged.”
“You get a sense that web of life is also a web of contamination,” she said, adding that you can’t just “shop your way out of the problem” by using only green cleaning and beauty products. Industrial practices must also change. It’s the additive impact of hazardous chemicals that leads to eventual illness, not any one exposure, Patton says.