100 percent of people carry at least 1 type of pesticide

Jan 04, 2008

A study carried out by researchers from the Department of Radiology and Physical Medicine of the University of Granada, in collaboration with the Andalusian School of Public Health (Escuela Andaluza de Salud Pública), found that 100% of Spaniards analyzed had at least one kind of persistent organic compound (POC´s), substances internationally classified as potentially harmful to one’s health, in their bodies. These substances enter the body trough food, water or even air. All of them tend to accumulate in human adipose tissue and easily enter into the organism through the aforementioned mediums.

The study, conceived by Juan Pedro Arrebola Moreno and directed by professors Piedad Martín Olmedo, Nicolás Olea Serrano and Mariana F. Fernández Cabrera, measured the contamination levels of some persistent organic compounds (POC’s) in a sample of the adult population from two areas, an urban one (Granada capital city) and a semi-rural one (Motril), and intended to find the determining factors associated with such levels: diet, lifestyle, activities or residence.

A total of 387 adults, from both sexes, were volunteers for surgeries in hospitals taking part in the study (Santa Ana de Motril and San Cecilio de Granada Hospitals). Once the volunteers had given consent, a sample of their human adipose tissue (fat) was taken during surgery and they answered a questionnaire about their place of residence, lifestyle, eating habits and activities throughout their life.

Analysis of 6 POC´s

The researchers analyzed the samples and measured 6 different POC concentration levels: DDE, a principal metabolite in DDT (a pesticide used in Spain until the 80´s); hexachlorobenzene, a compound used as fungicide and currently released by industrial processes; PCB’s: compounds related to industrial processes; and Hexaclorociclohexano, used as an insecticide and currently used in scabies and pediculosis treatment.

The study carried out by the University of Granada concluded that 100% of subjects analyzed had DDE in their bodies, a substance banned in Spain, and other very frequent components such as PCB-153 (present in 92% of people), HCB (91%), PCB-180 (90%), PCB-138 (86%9) and HCH (84%).

Juan Pedro Arrebola Moreno explains that higher levels of toxic substances were detected in women compared to men and in older volunteers compared to younger people, “possibly due to the great persistence of these substances in the environment, which results in their biomagnification in the food chain and in their bioaccumulation over time”. The scientist added that there is another theory known as “Efecto Cohorte” (Cohort effect) that explains the high quantities of these substances in older people. According to this theory, those born in periods of higher contamination suffered the consequences more than those born with the current bans on such pesticides.

The impact of diet

This study indicates that diet is an important factor in POC concentration, as the ingestion of some aliments, particularly those of animal origin and high fat content, triggers a greater presence of these toxic substances in the human organism.

Juan Pedro Arrebola Moreno states, “There are few studies in Spain measuring POC levels in wide samples of the population, which means that some compound levels in the general population are unknown”. Consequently, this study will improve the knowledge of such levels, and will identify those groups at higher risk of exposure, which is the first step for subsequent follow-up studies determining the cause-effect relations.

Source: Universidad de Granada

Explore further: AMA examines economic impact of physicians

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Recommended for you

AMA examines economic impact of physicians

15 hours ago

(HealthDay)—Physicians who mainly engage in patient care contribute a total of $1.6 trillion in economic output, according to the American Medical Association (AMA)'s Economic Impact Study.

Less-schooled whites lose longevity, study finds

15 hours ago

Barbara Gentry slowly shifts her heavy frame out of a chair and uses a walker to move the dozen feet to a chair not far from the pool table at the Buford Senior Center. Her hair is white and a cough sometimes interrupts her ...

How to keep your fitness goals on track

16 hours ago

(HealthDay)—The New Year's resolutions many made to get fit have stalled by now. And one expert thinks that's because many people set their goals too high.

Suddenly health insurance is not for sale

Apr 18, 2014

(HealthDay)— Darlene Tucker, an independent insurance broker in Scotts Hill, Tenn., says health insurers in her area aren't selling policies year-round anymore.

User comments : 2

Adjust slider to filter visible comments by rank

Display comments: newest first

5 / 5 (1) Jan 05, 2008
The finding of banned pesticides in 100% of the people tested in Spain is interesting, but highly predictable. Similar results would be obtained anywhere in the world.

Canadian Inuit were tested and found to be ingesting eight times the tolerable daily (TDI) of chlordane and four times the TDI of toxaphene, pesticides that were bnned in North America for a quarter century. Large trout from Lake Superior, the largest and most remote of the Great Lakes, have toxaphene levels ten times that needed to qualify as hazardous waste.

International researchers have found that these pesticides are still used in megaton per year quantities in developing countries and transport through the air to circle the globe. Other research has correlated cancer and diabetes with blood levels of these pesticides. It is past time to truly ban these chemicals use in the whole planet.

The issue is complex, but action is needed. To learn more, see my blog at coldclearanddeadly.com.
not rated yet Jan 24, 2008
Well stated.
It boggles my mind why people just accept that a 50% chance of getting cancer in their lifetime is ok. This is an outrage. We know that we are exposed to carcinogens at home and work, yet the average Joe could not give a hoot.
My theory is simple, "out of sight out of mind". What I can't see can't hurt me. This is why only informed individuals can visualize the toxins slipping between their acid pairs in their DNA chain and causing replication mutations. It is an invisible life threat.
Isn't it the same as if the polluters walked up to people, loaded a 3 bullets in a 6 shooter revolver and spin it, then fire it at their bodies? Imagine this happening to the global population. The invisible killer of polutants are palletable to us, but mass shootings are not.

Pesticides are only part of the picture. There are radioactive elements in all of our bones from the nuclear tests. Some of these radio-elements do not exist anywhere else in the Universe except here on our home planet.

Humans are basically dogs and poop in their own playground and food supply. Isn't it time to get smart and at least contain it.

Organic food is not the answer as the entire global natural environment is contaminated.
We need to set up synthetic environments, where we have control over raw materials e.g. filtered air/water/nutrients.
I suppose we could drink glacial melt water to get ancient pure water. Food and nutrients growth would be expensive.

More news stories

Atom probe assisted dating of oldest piece of earth

(Phys.org) —It's a scientific axiom: big claims require extra-solid evidence. So there were skeptics in 2001 when University of Wisconsin-Madison geoscience professor John Valley dated an ancient crystal ...

ISEE-3 comes to visit Earth

(Phys.org) —It launched in 1978. It was the first satellite to study the constant flow of solar wind streaming toward Earth from a stable orbit point between our planet and the sun known as the Lagrangian ...