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Medical News & Perspectives
April 11, 2001

CDC Unveils First Report on Toxins in People

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JAMA. 2001;285(14):1827-1828. doi:10.1001/jama.285.14.1827

Washington—In a report widely expected to launch a spate of environmental health research, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has released data on 27 toxins found in a cross-section of residents of the United States. The report is the first of what the agency says will be ongoing annual snapshots of the toxic load Americans carry.

While three of the chemicals—the metals lead and cadmium and the nicotine by-product cotinine—had previously been measured in large population-based studies, the new report marks the first such tracking of 24 other chemicals, including mercury and other heavy metals. Also included are the breakdown products of common pesticides and newer varieties of plastics called phthalates.