The Viva Vine: vol #5, no #3: November / December 1996
skull & crossbones

PCBs: Just One More Reason

WHY CAN'T JOHNNY READ? THE ANSWER SEEMS MIGHTY FISHY

Eleven-year-olds, with only slightly higher than normal pre-natal exposure levels of PCBs, have higher than expected rates of "low normal" I.Q. scores, poor reading comprehension, memory problems and difficulty paying attention, study shows, so says The New York Times, 9/14/96, p. A-14.

Where did these 11-year-olds get PCBs (described as "a kind of industrial pollutant...once widely used in the manufacture of electrical equipment and in paper recycling") in their systems? According to the Times article, Fish. From Lake Michigan, mostly, eaten by their mothers during pregnancy.

According to the article, the authors of the study wrote, "women who eat no fish may accumulate these compounds from other food sources, [as well], including dairy products such as cheese and butter and fatty meats, particularly beef and pork." These foods contain PCBs by way of contaminated animal feeds that got that way through soil leaching.


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