Generations X - summary | WWF
Generations X - summary

Posted on 06 October 2005

Results of WWF's European Family Biomonitoring Survey
Since 2003, WWF has carried out several biomonitoring surveys to raise awareness of the extent of chemical pollution in Europe.

They are intended to stimulate discussion over the need to bring unregulated hazardous chemicals under control in order to protect wildlife and people.

In total, WWF has analysed the blood of around 350 people,
including Members of the European Parliament, EU ministers, scientists, celebrities, and families throughout Europe.

In all cases, the results have shown that people are contaminated with a cocktail of persistent, bio-accumulative and toxic man-made chemicals.

• Out of the 107 chemicals looked for, 73 were found in the blood of the participants. The highest number was detected in the grandmother's generation (63), but the younger generation had more chemicals in their bodies (59) than their mothers (49).

• The median numbers of chemicals in the different generations are 32 for grandmothers, 29 for mothers and 24 for children.

• Each person (grandmother, mother and child) was contaminated with a cocktail of at least 18 man-made chemicals, many found in everyday consumer goods. Some of the chemicals found, like PCBs and DDT, have been banned for decades in the EU but continue to contaminate new generations.

• With only 2 exceptions, chemicals of all the main groups were found in the blood of every person, including children as young as 12.

• The grandmothers were more contaminated with older, banned chemicals such as organochlorine pesticides and PCBs. “Newer” chemicals such as the brominated flame retardants, perfluorinated chemicals and artificial musks were found more frequently and at higher levels in the younger generations.