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Blood samples to detect danger chemicals.

Blood samples were taken from 10 volunteers in Birmingham yesterday as part of a nationwide campaign calling for the banning and reduction of dangerous man-made chemicals.

Environmental campaigners from Worldwide Fund for Nature (WWF) were in Chamberlain Square to test the blood of WWF volunteers from around the city for more than 70 chemicals which may be contaminating their bodies. The 40-millilitre samples are to be sent off to Lancaster University to be analysed for chemicals from three main groups -polybrominated diphenyl ethers used in flame-retardant, and the now-banned polychlorinated biphenyl industrial chemicals and organo-chlorine pesticides.

The European Commission is issuing a draft legislation document to EU governments in September suggesting the phasing-out of both hormone-disrupting chemicals which can cause gender alteration, behavioural problems and birth defects, and VPVBs -very persistent bio-cumulative chemicals that build up in the blood and stay there, possibly causing cancers and neurological diseases in later life.

Many of the chemicals, such as organochlorine pesticide DDT, have already been banned, but tests show accumulated amounts of the banned chemicals in people who were born since the bans came into force. WWF campaigners are lobbying MPs and MEPs to push for legislation that will outlaw hazardous man-made chemicals and insist on safer alternatives.

WWF Midlands supporter development officer Viv Coles said there had been outrage in the past when chemicals affected man and wildlife.


Medic David Portman looks over some of the samples.; Picture, NEIL PUGH
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Publication:The Birmingham Post (England)
Date:Jul 9, 2003
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