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Study finds high levels of pollutants in Calif. family

Douglas Fischer of Alameda Newspaper Group spent nine months investigating chemical pollutants in a family that "lives at one end of the consumer-chemicals spectrum — they eat organic, avoid common household cleaners and pesticides, don't have wall-to-wall carpets or large new appliances." The paper consulted a commercial research ethics board, responsible for protecting study participants' rights and well-being, and had scientists analyze hair, blood and urine samples. They tested the family's 20-month old boy and found high concentrations of flame retardants, "at concentrations higher than measured almost anywhere in the world for someone not handling the stuff for a living." The series includes information on how the series was done, an index of chemicals commonly found in the body, a virtual tour of the common household fridge and what chemical pollutants reside in common food items, and tips on how to reduce the intake of chemicals.

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