Saturday, August 06, 2005

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Women and Greenpeace Test for Toxins

San Francisco Bay Area women are taking environmental health into their own hands. With the help of Greenpeace and the Sierra Club, thousands of women will give hair samples to test for mercury and other toxic exposure. Women have more body fat than men, so their bodies can store more toxins. And this exposure to toxins is important not just for women themselves but also for fetuses and breast-feeding children.

Potentially toxic chemicals pervade our environment. They come to us in our food and in the personal-care products we use. Toxens of special concern to women include industrial pollutants such as mercury, but also common ingredients in body-care products that many women use.

A lot of the ingredients in personal-care products - soap, shampoo, hair dyes, nail polish, perfumes, etc. - are know and probable carcinogens, reproductive toxins or mutagens. Similiarly, most of the mercury coursing through our veins is a legally permitted pollutant from coal-fired power plants. It is released into the air when coal is burned, then enters the food chain.

Greenpeace mercury-testing results show that one in five women of child-bearing age tested above the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's limits. One in six pregnancies are coming to completion at risk for elevated levels of mercury, according to Greenpeace. That's more than 600,000 children born a year with elevated risk.

Please join us in supporting Greenpeace's efforts in controlling environmental toxins as well as its other programs to protect our environment.


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