“Polluted” Politicians?

Canadian politicians are worried. News reports say that several politicians had recently given some of their blood to the greens, who examined it for “toxic chemicals.” The greens report that these lawmakers’ bodies are “polluted” with all kinds of synthetic chemicals. Among the problem chemicals they identified is bisphenol A.

So What? These studies are simply political ploys used by environmental activists to inspire fear and thereby bolster their calls for more regulation. For example, there is no evidence that bisphenol A presents any problems at all.

The human body has always been full of all kinds of chemicals from the environment in minute amounts. Even cavemen had chemicals in their bodies — just different ones, such as the byproducts of using open fires for heat and cooking. That doesn’t mean these substances have any health impacts. In fact, the Centers for Disease Control noted in its report on this same topic: “Just because people have an environmental chemical their blood or urine does not mean that the chemical causes disease. The toxicity of a chemical is related to its dose or concentration in addition to a person’s susceptibility.”

High exposures to certain things can be a problem. For example, lead poisoning can result when children in poor housing consume chipped lead paint. Fortunately, CDC reports the good news that such cases are growing rare as lead exposure has declined substantially in the United States. But the greens don’t want to emphasize that because good news doesn’t help their bottom line.