Is modern life poisoning me? I took the tests to find out | US news | The Guardian


 Emily Holden shops at Whole Foods in Washington DC, on 23 February, wearing a silicone band to measure chemicals from the surrounding environment. Photograph: Evelyn Hockstein/The Guardian

Sitting on a plastic chair in a small office, I’m wearing medical scrubs rolled up to my knees and I have an X-ray machine strapped to my shin.

The machine is scanning my bones for lead as an expert monitors readings streaming on to a screen.

Earlier that day, after arriving at a Mount Sinai facility in New York City, I dropped off a urine sample that will be studied for 81 chemicals in lab tests far more advanced than at a regular doctor visit.

A couple of weeks earlier, I spent five days wearing a silicone wristband designed to measure dangerous chemicals in my environment. I wore it while I cleaned my apartment, applied cosmetics and commuted to work.

All this testing came during a six-month journey to try to answer what sounds like a very simple question: how toxic am I?

As an environment reporter for the Guardian in Washington DC, I had noticed a growing number of experts expressing concerns about how Americans are exposed to potentially toxic chemicals just by living our everyday lives.

But how concerned should individuals be? How worried should I be?

 

Source: Is modern life poisoning me? I took the tests to find out | US news | The Guardian

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