Press Room


The Issue:  80,000 new chemicals have been put into the environment since the 1970’s.  Only about a dozen of these have been studied in long-term human trials.  Mercury contamination is of such concern that 43 state governments have issued guidelines for safe fish consumption. The rates of asthma, allergies, autism and ADHD have risen dramatically. The evidence of toxicity is overwhelming, yet most of us don’t know how to protect ourselves.

The Story:  On any given day, people are exposed to an array of toxic substances, from industrial pollutants in the air, to pesticide residues in foods and numerous untested chemicals in body and cleaning products. The sheernumber of toxic substances present in the environment is alarming. Coal-fired power plants produce mercury laden emissions, which have polluted our oceans and rivers, and consequently our fish supply.  Mercury is the second most neurotoxic element know to man after uranium and has been associated with neurological diseases such as Parkinson’s and with developmental delays and learning disorders in children.

Chemicals in plastics, hair dyes, and spermicides are known to cause breast cancer and hormone-related diseases.  It is thought that these chemicals, along with dixons produced in the bleaching of paper and PCBs, have in part lead to the sperm count in men going down by 50% between 1950 and 1990.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture has reported a steady decline in the mineral content of whole foods - broccoli has been found to be 50% less rich in calcium, watercress is down 88% in iron, and spinach has lost 45% of its Vitamin C- all since 1975 ( It is thought that our soil has been depleted of vital minerals due to aggressive conventional farming practices and the use of pesticides and artificial fertilizers.

There are several important preventive actions we should be taking to reduce our exposure.  Among them:  Don’t heat your food in plastic containers – use glass; use natural household cleaning and body care products; choose organic food as much as you can; filter your water; avoid eating large fish like tuna and swordfish; do not use pesticides on your houseplants or lawn; avoid dry-cleaning – use greener methods.

Background/For More Info:  In a study led by Mount Sinai School of Medicine in New York, in collaboration with the Environmental Working Group and Commonweal, researchers at two major laboratories found an average of 91 industrial compounds, pollutants, and other chemicals in the blood and urine of nine volunteers, with a total of 167 chemicals found in the group. Like most of us, the people tested did not work with chemicals on the job and did not live near an industrial facility. Of the 167 chemicals found, 76 cause cancer in humans or animals, 94 are toxic to the brain and nervous system, and 79 cause birth defects or abnormal development. (
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Story Elements:  Dr. Amy Kustra, True North family medicine physician who is very knowledgeable in this area, is available, as are several of her patients who have been adversely affected by environmental toxins.

Contact:  Chris Bicknell Marden, Director of Development, 781-6719,




(207) 781-4488

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