Blog Update!
For those of you not following me on Facebook, as of the Summer of 2019 I've moved to Central WA, to a tiny mountain town of less than 1,000 people.

I will be covering my exploits here in the Cascades, as I try to further reduce my impact on the environment. With the same attitude, just at a higher altitude!

Monday, October 11, 2010

Body burden toxin testing

Today wraps up the initial round of body burden toxin testing that I'm doing as part of the research / project for the book I'm writing that will be published next year by New Society Publishers.

Last week I did the blood tests for the testing panels for chlorinated pesticides, PCBs, volatile solvents and toxic metals. I also did the fabulous 24 hour urine collection for testing toxic elements. Today I'm sending in the urine test for the phthalates and parabens test panel. I also got our drinking water tested for a whole host of contaminants including bacteria as well as our paint tested for lead.

I thought the 24 hour urine collection was a pain, but the phthalates and parabens test just about reduced me to tears since you restrict the amount of fluids you can drink for 24 hours before doing the "sample". Ten bucks says I get a migraine today for dehydration and exposure to scented "natural" lotion and other, allegedly, natural products.

I should be getting the test results back over the next few weeks and I'm curious to see how I stack up to the average person's body burden. Next step after that... see how much I can reduce my load by eliminating exposure. And a few other nutty things.

Stay tuned!


Aimee said...

wow what a project! I didn't even know you COULD do that. Bet it's expensive. When I was breastfeeding, I was intensely curious about what the toxin load of my breast milk was - but I had no idea where to go for testing and ended up thinking I'd rather not know, since I would breastfeed regardless.

Brad K. said...


You have my prayer and wishes that the suspected migraine passes you by.

Best of everything.

The 4 Bushel Farmgal said...

About seven years ago I happened to stumble on EWG's site about the body burden. The levels of chemicals and pesticides in the participants were surprising, since their exposure to the tested carcinogens was slim, due to occupation and lifestyle. My understanding on the testing was that it showed we can only control a small percentage of the carcinogens in our lives (and that there's a lot of bad stuff out there.) Since you have been careful about exposures for quite some time, I'll be very interested in hearing your levels. Good luck, and I'm keeping my fingers crossed for good results!

Anonymous said...

If the testing is both expensive and time consuming, how "normal" is the test group? Wouldn't it have to be people who have a real need to know because of illness or fear of having had some serious exposures? It would seem that you would be an unlikely candidate if you were otherwise healthy. Hope all's well

Adrienne said...

To the previous commenter- the information comes from scientific studies, not from random people who have themselves tested. There's a good list of references here:

Crunchy- sending no migraine thoughts! That would be a nightmare for me, too.

Amy Manning said...

Sounds fascinating. I know it is a pain but I will enjoy reading it, so thanks! :-)

Crunchy Chicken said...

Aimee - I had the same thoughts when I was breastfeeding a while back, but I think testing breastmilk is even a more specialized thing and you would need to find a research group for that.

Brad - No migraines yet! Although I think my kidneys are floating now with all the water I've had this morning.

Anonymous - Adrienne is correct, the results are from research studies done by the CDC and by certain states. These tests are generally not used as diagnostic tools for illness. The volunteers do not pay for the testing and are probably paid for their time. You'd have to follow the link she provided for more information on sampling and how people are selected.

Amy - It's really not that hard, I was just really thirsty when I wrote this post!

Jen said...

I can't wait for your book. I have serious "allergies" to a lot of chemicals. It's just been in the last couple of years that I realized that just because it says "Natural" or "Unscented" doesn't mean it is good for you, or doesn't contain a lot of nasty chemicals.

Reading ingredient lists sucks and trying to decipher them is even worse, but not as bad as the consequences of using the product.

Our government and the organizations that are supposed to protect us are not doing their jobs. Hopefully books like yours will help to bring this problem into the mainstream media and public knowledge.

Anonymous said...

I work for the government and I think that we do pretty good for what we are funded at... and you can't protect people from everything.

Anonymous said...

Crunchy, don't be shy... this smells like troll from a mile away. Just delete the sucker!!!

Crunchy Chicken said...

Anonymous - Well, if it's a real person, they probably feel that's the case. They don't say what branch of government they work for. Hell, I work for the government and there are many who would claim that, given the funding available, they do pretty good work. Is it enough? Nope.

If it is a troll, then I find their comment amusing. No, you can't protect people from everything, but it might be nice to start protecting people from some things. Anything?

Anonymous said...

Crunchy, Govt worker here, I also think it would be great if the government could do more, but I just don't think it's realistic at this point. Some things we don't have the capabilities to test for to even know how it will harm people. I already mentioned funding. I don't feel the government is maliciously trying to neglect people, I feel that there is truly only so much you can do with what you have. If you still think I'm a troll, delete, delete away...

multicouture said...

Where are you getting this testing done? I want to do it!