Dorian Breuer, 35, is a community organizer living in Chicago’s Pilsen neighborhood, where he has fought to clean up the neighborhood’s industrial polluters. He has run for the Illinois State Senate. He commutes by bicycle to his new job, where he provides technical support for a Chicago nonprofit. In September 2007, he married his fiance, Morgan. We found four phthalates and seven PBDEs in Dorian, as well as bisphenol A in his urine.
"This project has highlighted for me the pervasiveness of industrial chemical exposure in the modern world. How can the chemical makers oppose basic safety screening for chemicals? It seems like the same situation as the big-three automakers opposing seatbelts."
Anonymous woman, We found four phthalates and seven PBDEs in this participant, as well as bisphenol A in her blood and urine and the second-highest level of the phthalate DEHP. The sum of her metabolites for DEHP was nearly twice the 95th percentile in the CDC’s third biomonitoring study.
At her request, this participant was not quoted.
Stephanie Felten, 27, served for eight years in the U.S. Navy , including five years aboard a ship overseas. A California native, she moved to Aurora Illinois, with her husband Chad in 2005. Now a full time student at North Central College and stay at home mother, Stephanie’s interest in toxics stemmed from possible environmental exposures to her son, Derek, which led her to found the advocacy group Illinois MOMs (Making our Milk Safe). We found all five phthalates and eight PDBEs in Stephanie, as well as bisphenol A in her urine.
"People have a trust that products manufactured and sold in the United States are safe. This report proves otherwise. Manufacturers need to be held to a standard of using alternatives that are proven safe. The practice of using chemicals until they are found to harm human health is violating basic human rights. The project results are particularly troubling to me as a nursing mother."
Mattie Hunter, 53, has been a Democratic State Senator from Chicago since 2003 and has sponsored successful bills to reduce toxic mercury in products and fund breast cancer research. Her interest in toxics stems, in part, from high lead-contamination levels discovered in her district. She is also a certified alcohol and drug counselor. We found four phthalates and seven PBDEs in Mattie, as well as bisphenol A in her urine. Mattie had the project’s highest levels of diethyl phthalate, above the CDC’s 75th percentile.
"I was surprised to learn these chemicals were in my body, but in some ways, I’m surprised it wasn’t worse given some of the polluted places I’ve lived. It is not okay for industrial chemicals to be in people’s bodies. This kind of pollution shouldn’t be allowed."
Elaine Nekritz, 49, , is the third term Democratic state representative of tree-lined Northbrook, where she lives, and five other suburbs Northwest of Chicago. Among her legislative priorities—healthcare, education, and local flooding and transportation issues--are implementing a state biomonitoring program and phasing out dangerous toxics. She is an avid cyclist and lives with her husband, Barry. We found four phthalates and seven PBDEs in Elaine, as well as bisphenol A in her blood and urine.
“Biomonitoring projects such as this one are critical to establishing the need for a comprehensive chemicals policy in the United States. While it is disturbing to know the level of these unwanted chemicals in my body, I believe it is important to have this information and use it to demand change.”