The Reverend Dr. Jim Antal, 57, serves the Massachusetts Conference of the United Church of Christ as Minister and President. Jim has led churches of all sizes in Massachusetts and Ohio. He also led the Fellowship of Reconciliation and founded a national high school peace organization. He was a chaplain and/or teacher at Northfield Mount Hermon School, Andover, Yale and Yale Divinity School. The Alban Institute published Jim’s book on the search process and all of his life he has contributed to interfaith, ecumenical and peace and justice activities. An avid cyclist, you may see him on the road with his “God is Still Speaking” jersey. Jim and his wife, Cindy, live in Framingham, Massachusetts and have two sons. We found four phthalates and eight PBDEs, including quantifiable levels of deca-BDE, in Jim, as well as bisphenol A in his urine. Jim had the highest level of DEHP – more than twice as much as the participant with the second highest level – and nearly four times the CDC’s 95th percentile.
“I expected that because I'm a vegetarian and have a healthy lifestyle that the levels in my body would be lower. Now that I see my results, I'm wondering if the water bottle on my bike, or other things I thought were safe, are actually causing harm.”
Iris Chen, 28, works for a non-profit agency in Quincy, primarily with youth from ages 6 – 16. We found four phthalates and eight PBDEs in Iris’ body, as well as bisphenol A in her urine.
“I work with school age children, therefore I am very concerned that the products we use aren’t safe enough for children. In order to protect the children and our health, the government should set regulations to replace toxic chemicals with safer alternatives.”
Jerry Fishbein, 47, , is a Vice President of 1199SEIU, United Healthcare Workers East, a regional labor union made up of 270,000 health care workers in New York, Massachusetts, Maryland and D.C. - part of the Service Employees International Union. As an officer in the Massachusetts Division of 1199 he is involved with union organizing and negotiations. Jerry lives in Dartmouth, Massachusetts in the southeastern part of the state and enjoys kayaking, hiking, and growing heirloomtomatoes. He is married and has two children ages 14 and 7. We found four phthalates and seven PBDEs in Jerry, as well as bisphenol A in his blood and urine.
"I guess I'm not surprised that toxins found in everyday products have found their way into my body. Lots of people seem to assume it’s happening, they just aren't aware to what extent. With this kind of research and data I'm hopeful that we can raise awareness of the fact that current policies and or "restrictions" really aren't good enough. These so called "protections" leave us (all of us) with poisons inside."
Keeana Serene Saxon, 30, of Roslindale, MA is an attorney admitted in both Connecticut and Massachusetts. Currently seeking an attorney position in Massachusetts, she also has experience on Beacon Hill as she worked for a state senator. Satisfying her interest in performing arts, she is certified to teach music. Though born in Washington D.C., she was raised in Newton, MA, coming to live in Roslindale at the age of 17 years. We found four phthalates and seven PBDEs in Keeana, as well as bisphenol A in her blood and urine. She had the highest levels of bisphenol A in her blood – more than twice as much as any other participant.
“I’m dismayed that I have any toxins in my body. I just didn’t grow up thinking that anything was wrong with my environment or with the products I used. Now that I armed with knowledge of my body is carrying, I am acutely more aware of the air I breathe and the products I touch.”
Ellen Story, 66, is a Democratic State Representative for Amherst and Granby Massachusetts. Ellen was the first woman to represent this district, and has been in the legislature since April 1992.She grew up in Texas, and has lived in both the Netherlands and in CapeTown South Africa, where she picketed for integration and started her career in politics. Ellen enjoyed camping in the Rocky Mountains with her family while growing up, and now lives in Amherst, Massachusetts. She serves on the Joint Committee on Economic Development and Emerging Technologies and is Vice-Chairperson of the Joint Committee on Tourism, Arts and Cultural Development. We found four phthalates and eight PBDEs in Ellen’s body, as well as bisphenol A in both her blood and urine.
"I was surprised that I showed elevated levels, since I am not exposed to some sources that most people are (for example, I don't have a television), and I consider myself very healthy.I guess this test shows that these chemical pollutants are impossible to avoid."