Dallas Goldtooth, 24, is Mdewakanton Dakota and Di?e from the Lower Sioux Indian Community in Morton, Minnesota. He received his B.A. from the University of California, Berkeley studying Ethnic Studies and Education. He currently works for Dakota Wi?o?an, a Dakota Language Immersion non-profit organization. He is a cultural teacher and community health organizer for the Dakota Indian communities of Minnesota. We found four phthalates and nine PBDEs in Dallas, as well as bisphenol A in his urine.
"To find that these chemicals are in the human body, even at low levels is both surprising and disturbing. We don't fully understand the effects of these chemicals, but no good can come from having flame-retardants in your body. "
Sara Grochowski, 31, , recently relocated to Minneapolis after living in Amsterdam for three years. She is currently redefining her life as a stay-at-home mother while continuing to teach yoga, write, get involved in the community, and simply enjoy the myriad of life changes. With her family, she is also an active reader and researcher of all information to enable her to make choices and livea healthy and sustainable lifestyle. We found four phthalates and seven PBDEs in Sara’s body, and bisphenol A in her urine.
"The U.S. is a society that feels it's appropriate to sell first and test later and given our history with other substances such as lead paint, asbestos, and pesticides one would think corporations would learn. Considering what is in my body, I feel a sense of duty to inform others as much as possible, protect my own child from possible contaminants and always research before using/buying."
Shelley Madore, 45,is a Minnesota state legislator serving the suburban areas of Apple Valley and Burnsville, where she has a long history of community activism with the City of Apple Valley and with Early Childhood Family Education and Special Education programs. She has been a powerful advocate for children with developmental disabilities through her service with Arc and the Autism Society of Minnesota. She has authored several bills addressing services for people with disabilities, as well as a bill to require preference for mercury free vaccines. Shelley is the mother of two children. We found four phthalates and seven PBDEs in Shelley, as well as bisphenol A in her blood and urine. Shelley had the highest levels of two kinds of flame-retardants. Her BDE 153 levels were significantly higher than is generally found.
“With my results showing a high level of one of the flame retardants, I wonder where I was exposed and whether my children are still being exposed. These PBDE flame- retardants are developmental toxins and I have two children with neurological disabilities – could there be a connection? With rising numbers of children with developmental and neurological problems, we simply shouldn’t continue to allow chemicals that are toxic to the brain to be used in products.”
Gretchen Musicant, BS, MPH, 55, is the Minneapolis Health Commissioner, and oversees the Department of Health and Family Support. She was Minneapolis Director for Public Health Initiatives, is past Vice President of Community Health for the MN Hospital Association and was a Government Affairs Specialist for the MN Nurses Association. She chaired the Universal Coverage Committee of the MN Health Care Commission, The Social Conditions and Health Action Team of the MN Department of Health, and the Healthier MN Community Clinic Fund. Gretchen has a 24-year-old son. We found four phthalates and seven PBDEs in her body, as well as bisphenol A in her urine.
"Participating in this project brought home the reality of chemical contamination of human beings and made it very personal for me. These chemicals are in me and probably in all of us. We know some of the health impacts of the chemicals that were measured in this project. We clearly need to learn more about the extent of our collective exposure and the impact it is having on the public's health."
Christopher Williams, MD, 44, is a father of an 11-year-old son and an avid athlete. He is a pediatrician practicing in Minneapolis and received his medical degree from the University of Minnesota Medical School. He serves on the board of directors of Environmental Justice Advocates of Minnesota. We found seven PBDEs in Chris. He did not provide a urine sample, therefore we have no data on Chris’s phthalate or bisphenol A levels in urine.
"Becoming aware of chemicals in my own body made me think about the thousands of chemicals in the products that we use every day and that make our lives better. But these chemicals have to go somewhere. We should be taking that into account when we make these products."