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The 75 Toxic Chemicals in Our Blood

In November 2005, an 11-year-old schoolgirl called Mollie Clements was invited to speak at the European parliament in Strasbourg. Mollie had just taken part in a research programme that revealed she had 75 manmade chemicals in her blood and she asked the politicians to do something to make the environment cleaner and healthier. Incredibly, just a few hours after Mollie’s speech, the European parliament did what she asked, banning some toxins and forcing companies to do more tests on the chemicals they use.


  1. Answer the questions and discuss:

Are you surprised that an 11-year-old would have 75 man-made chemicals in her blood?

Where do you think those chemicals came from?


  1. Read the article and say if your guesses were right.
  2. Give the meaning to the following: WWF, a battery of tests, scores of, PVC, jolly, up and down, contaminated, hazardous, rigorous, banned, actually, toxins, in the course of, a wake-up call.

They are an ordinary hard-working British family with three happy children and a jolly granny.

Lined up outside their Devon home, the Clements are typical of a million other mums, dads, teenagers, kids and pensioners up and down the country. But behind their smiles lies a shocking reality.

Each member of the family has been contaminated with more than 25 hazardous, man-made chemicals which could be slowly destroying their health.

And the rest of us are likely to have similar levels of chemicals in our blood.

Mum Sara, dad Ian, their children Louis, Amy and Mollie and grandmother Patricia Humphries all took part in a WWF study of seven families to find out how polluted our bodies are.

It is the first time that three generations of the same family have been subjected to such a rigorous battery of tests for a total of 104 man-made chemicals.

It was thought that grandparents – having been exposed to chemicals that are now banned and with many more years of exposure behind them – might have been more contaminated than the younger generations.

But the children were actually found to have 75 different chemicals in their blood compared to the 56 in their grandparents’ blood.

Many of the chemicals are used in the manufacture of furniture, TVs, non-stick pans, carpets and clothing.

Experts believe the children may have inherited older toxins from their mother’s blood in pregnancy or through breast milk, as well as being bombarded by scores of newer chemicals in the course of their daily lives.

Many are so new that scientists have no idea how they will react with older chemicals already in the body- and we don’t know what the long term effect on health will be.

This is a wake-up call to the UK government and the European Union to stop repeating the mistakes of the past and ensure these chemicals are banned and replaced with safer alternatives,” says Justin Woolford, WWF Chemicals and Health campaign director.


4. Choose the best answer and prove your choice:

The survey showed that….(a) all the Clements family have at least 25 chemicals in their blood; (b) Mollie’s grandmother has 75 chemicals in her blood; (c) children have fewer chemicals in their blood than older people.

The WWF study…..(a) tested nine different families; (b) tested Mollie’s great grandparents; (c) tested for 104 man-made chemicals.

Scientists….. (a) understand the long-term effects of these chemicals; (b) expected children to have fewer chemicals than their grandparents; (c) have no idea how chemicals are passed from one generation to the next.

You can reduce the harmful chemicals in your blood by…. (a) dry cleaning all your clothes; (b) eating more dairy food; (c) ventilating the rooms you live and work in.


5. Discuss the ways to reduce the toxins in your blood:

Eat more organic food.

Cut your intake of dairy products and red meat.

Don’t use pesticides in the garden.

Avoid dry cleaning.

Choose natural fibres for soft furnishings, wood floors or tiles.

Ventilate your home and office well.

Don’t let children chew soft plastic toys.

Avoid PVC flooring.

Avoid anything treated with non-stick chemicals.

Use natural soaps and cleaning products.


  1. Discuss the following:

Should we ban all man-made chemicals from household products and food?

Are you worried by the findings of the WWF report, or do you think it is all scaremongering, a fuss about nothing?

Do people worry too much about such reports?

Should we all just live for today and take life as it comes?


Date: 2015-01-12; view: 3046

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