A national report by the Centers for Disease Control finds lower levels of pesticides in the blood of Americans. C-D-C Director Doctor Julie Gerberding says the study found very low levels of certain harmful pesticides once widely used in cotton and corn. Over time she says the chemicals have decayed and been eliminated from our environment, so people are no longer at risk from exposure to them. Gerberding says the report – the third of its kind – is the most comprehensive so far. Eleanor Rogan is a professor at the Eppley Institute for Research in Cancer and Allied Diseases at the University of Nebraska Medical Center in Omaha. She says the data will be helpful to researchers studying the effects of products like pesticides and herbicides:Doctor Rogan says it’ll be useful both for health professionals and for people diong agricultural research. Doctor Rogan says the report doesn’t mean everyone’s safe from the effects of chemicals, as farm workers in particular may have higher exposure rates. One thing about the report Rogan says jumps out is the migrant farm workers who seem to be exposed to some of the agri-chemicals at higher levels than the rest of the population. She says it isn’t a surprise, but it is clearly documented in the CDC report. Officials tested 2-thousand people across the country during 2001 and 2002 for environmental chemicals. Some of the 148 chemicals tested are considered toxic, while others are still in the early stages of being studied for their health effects. The report examined common insecticides, including five that had never before been measured in the United States. The CDC’s Gerberding says several chemicals used in insect repellents showed up frequently, but more research will be needed to determine if they are harmful.
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