Gupta: Chemicals around us – we must know more
October 26th, 2010
06:33 AM ET

Gupta: Chemicals around us – we must know more

By Dr. Sanjay Gupta
CNN Chief Medical Correspondent

This morning, I will be testifying before the U.S. Senate Committee on Environment & Public Works. When I received the call to do this, truthfully, I was a little nervous. The topic is “Risks of toxic chemicals to children’s health,” something I have been interested in for a long time, and moreso after having three kids of my own. In fact, for the last year, I investigated the interplay between toxic chemicals and human health for a pair of documentaries on CNN.

I learned more than a series of text books could’ve taught me. I spent time with citizens in Mossville, Louisiana, arguably one of the most toxic cities in America. For countless hours, I spoke to government officials and private sector expert scientists both on and off camera. And, I looked carefully at the research about the toxics we live with everyday. The most eye-opening part was how much we don’t know.

While I am not a toxicologist or chemist by training, as a neurosurgeon, I have spent most of my life learning and trying to perfect the scientific method. Here is what I can tell you: In science, we expect absolute proof.  What’s the old adage? In God we trust; everyone else bring data.  But, the reality is, we don’t always have that proof. And, it is the area of potential impact of toxics on human health where the conventional scientific method is thoroughly challenged.

As things stand now: Out of the roughly 80,000 chemicals in commerce, only around 200 have been tested, and only five have been restricted. I guess I always assumed watchdog groups and the government had evaluated and signed off on the safety of the chemicals we encounter in our lives. It’s not to say that all chemicals are bad. Again, it is how much we don’t know.

Senate panel examining how chemicals in daily life affect kids' health

Make no mistake, learning things too late can be wildly dangerous. In the 1940s, the pesticide DDT was declared harmless to humans and animals. Advertisements showed housewives cheerfully spraying it all around the house, on the couches, even spraying the dog. Today, DDT is banned in this country. We sometimes find out chemicals we thought were harmless are not safe at all.

Lead is another example. Over the last 50 years, the acceptable levels of lead in the human body have been lowered every decade. Now, we know no amount of lead is safe. So many adults exposed to lead as children who suffered a whole range of damage to the brain and nervous system wish they would’ve known then' what they know now.

Experts all over the country told me a similar thing. In the United States, chemicals are innocent until proven guilty. And, the only way they are proven guilty is by health effects turning up in people who have been exposed, often years later. In some ways, that makes us all guinea pigs.

And, in case you are curious: What I am describing isn’t the same all over the world. The European Union has adopted a different standard to evaluate chemicals. It is more of a precautionary approach, and goes by the acronym REACH. Simply, the burden of showing a chemical is safe has shifted from the regulator to the producer. As a result citizens there know more about the air they breathe, the food they eat and the water they drink. People in the industry also told me this precautionary stance has not affected companies' bottom lines. Besides the cost saving in waste disposal, experts seemed confident the precautionary principle would spark innovation, create fewer hazardous chemicals and allow companies to remain as profitable as ever.

This blog is already too long, and I have to go find a suitable tie to wear, and yet – I didn’t even write about what inspired me to show up before the Senate today in the first place. I have three daughters now, and the world in which they will live will be different than the one in which I grew up. How exactly it will be different is up to us.

soundoff (1,008 Responses)
  1. Allen N Wollscheidt

    You will NOT find much support among the American business community for taking a humane, rational approach to the evaluation of chemicals or any OTHER agent or practice introduced to the unsuspecting public.

    After all, WHAT on earth could be MORE IMPORTANT than PROFIT ? ? Health and lives ? ? Don't be ridiculous ! !

    October 26, 2010 at 07:22 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Business

      Business is business, and business must grow, regardless of crummies in tummies, you know!

      October 26, 2010 at 08:15 | Report abuse |
    • Mike

      Yeah, because no one benefits from the chemical industry but the industry itself. Forget the electricity you use, and the common items you consume without even knowing where they came from. Everything from the home you live in to the toothpaste you use to brush your teeth is in some way using a chemical.

      October 26, 2010 at 08:29 | Report abuse |
    • Walter

      @ Mike
      That's the point, in that we come in contact with so many chemicals on the daily basis, yet we don't know what affect they all have on the human body. Ever wonder why cancer is on the rise? Could it be continuous exposure to chemicals on the daily basis, chemicals that we aren't aware of as being carcinogens?

      October 26, 2010 at 10:08 | Report abuse |
    • chedar

      Unless and until a number of the families the relates to CEOs in america strike with debilitating illness like cancer.], They won't give a damn.

      October 26, 2010 at 10:29 | Report abuse |
    • IceT

      Jobs ... ? We're all at fault for these things not being brought to light quickly & easily. The evil companies that provide our jobs will be attacked if they cut jobs due to doing the right thing. We can't have it both ways & need to stop blaming evil companies for all problems.

      October 26, 2010 at 10:36 | Report abuse |
    • Murphy

      Well, thats great, Mike! Just great.....so just because there may be a benefit to a chemical....screw the cancer that could follow. You are what is wrong with the country. I am no believer in ridding the world of all chemicals but for crying out loud....Let's at least find out what they do to us.

      October 26, 2010 at 10:38 | Report abuse |
    • D

      Sadly what I've come to realize is it's not always about profit. I live in a red state, in a small community where many of the people here drink from wells. You would be amazed watching these people change their oil (dump all of it on the ground), store broken piles of car batteries, the list goes on and on...and when I ask them, do they not see those things making it's way into their water..the response I get is 'it ain't gonna hurt you". And they always manage to turn it into 'liberal nonsense'. The mentality is the main issue here, just because one person is clueless, doesn't give them the right to harm others with their stupidity.

      October 26, 2010 at 10:40 | Report abuse |
    • Leonard Vautour

      Arriving home on Sunday at noon I walk to the raspberry batch about 200 ft from the cottage and what i thought was a log liying in the grass moved and scared hell out of me. It was a RABBIT DYING. It was in the last hour of its life. It laid there trying to get up but the best it could do was cross its fore legs and hind legs. Couldn't raise its head. When i seen he was dead I bagged it and froze it. This rabbit I beleive was poisoned in some manner. They may be spraying the christmas trees up the road while they are trimming them.

      October 26, 2010 at 10:41 | Report abuse |
    • Leonard Vautour

      Heres the Irony....Conservative Premiers Alward's first job in Switzerland at the Frankophonie World Summit is to promote the Liberals Cranberry and Blueberry Operations in New Brunswick ,Canadafor the USA CO-OPs Ocean Spray Bussiness. Now will Switzerland be told how much and what types of insecticides and pesticides are sprayed on that food source when we New Brunswickers do not know ourselves....

      October 26, 2010 at 10:46 | Report abuse |
    • marksu

      If we start dropping off big containers of these chemicals in front of the private schools of the children of these executives, things are more apt to change. Or perhaps we should spread this crud all over the lawns of the executives' precious Mc Mansions?

      October 26, 2010 at 10:57 | Report abuse |
    • Mike

      good idea Murphy. Lets go back to the stone age and all live like Cavemen. I can shoot deer with my bow and arrow that took me 3 years to make and you can cook it over a fire that probably also causes cancer.

      October 26, 2010 at 11:03 | Report abuse |
    • Mike

      Companies already spend alot of money to research the effects of a chemical on humans. Google the MSDS for any chemical. Here is one for Sodium Fluoride, the stuff they put in toothpaste so your teeth don't decay:


      October 26, 2010 at 11:08 | Report abuse |
    • Julie Labrouste

      Business will eventually make Soylent Green out of us all unless the people “explain it to them”; people are more important than them, but they’ll never listen; we could all live just fine together if they weren’t so obscenely greedy. They bark about jobs, and money, and the market, and how business is always far more important than the entire freaking universe. They blame people; if we are not buying enough of their garbage they say we’re harming the economy and if we’re buying too much, then they hypocritically blame us for making this all worse. They blame the government for restricting them; yeah, from murdering/eating us, which they’d do the second they think they can get away with it. Only “business people” know anything about everything; everybody else is an idiot or ignorant. There is nothing more arrogant than a corporate executive, minion, drone, wannabe, including doctors, lawyers, generals, etc. To them, we are the all singing all dancing, “human resources” of the world. King Louis XVI had that kind of arrogance until the people finally, “explained it to him”.

      In the world I see – you're stalking elk through the damp canyon forests around the ruins of Rockefeller Center. You will wear leather clothes that last you the rest of your life. You will climb the wrist thick kudzu vines that wrap the Sears Tower. You will see tiny figures pounding corn and laying strips of venison on the empty car pool lane of an abandoned superhighway.

      October 26, 2010 at 11:14 | Report abuse |
    • P.

      walter, actually cancer rates (both the rate of incidence and mortality) have fallen over the last 20 years in the United States. i don't mean to say i disagree with your point, but use facts.

      October 26, 2010 at 12:40 | Report abuse |
    • IceT

      To Mike ...
      you've got it right! It's very easy to be simple minded and blame the evil corporation rather than do a little research and know what you're talking about. Companies don't profit from dead consumers and these consumers include corp. execs & their families. Of course all should be done to keep everyone safe but overall the chemical industry (and others) have made modern life exponentially better for all of us.

      October 26, 2010 at 14:47 | Report abuse |
    • Improve Concentration

      Not sure i want to know more
      focusing techniques

      October 30, 2010 at 14:46 | Report abuse |
  2. Andrea Purdon

    As a Neurosurgeon you are more than qualified, especially since many chemicals have neurotoxic properties. Thank you for representing the American Public, our children and our children's children.

    October 26, 2010 at 07:27 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Taylor

      I know you are probably in love with the doctor, but what happens when this quack wants you to start drinking natural silver water and it changes your molecules to silver ions and your skin turns grey.

      October 26, 2010 at 08:01 | Report abuse |
    • notmyrealname

      Do let us all know when you believe, in your crazy little brain, such an event is going to occur.

      October 26, 2010 at 10:13 | Report abuse |
    • Sara

      @ Taylor, you are an idiot. He IS a doctor, NOT a quack. He is speaking the truth and you are speaking what is known a bull sh..., people like you are transparent and have no credibility.

      October 26, 2010 at 10:37 | Report abuse |
    • Michelle

      Taylor – silver is toxic when consumed, and Dr. Gupta is probably well aware of this. There are plenty of actual quack-doctors out there, but Dr. Gupta is not one of them.

      If anything, his greatest flaw is that he's forced to dumb-down his blogs and interviews for CNN because most Americans are too stupid and uneducated to comprehend real medical discussions.

      October 26, 2010 at 11:05 | Report abuse |
  3. bobby

    You didn't mention the poison in our flu shots, like formaldehyde, mercury and MSG. MSG? I guess that's to make the flu shot taste better. MSG has been implicated in neo-natal autism and is an excitotoxin like aspertame, but the FDA does not classify these as chemicals and allows them in our food even if they fail safety tests.

    October 26, 2010 at 07:30 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Lioness

      I recently searched the Supermarkets high-and-low for some chewing gum that did not contain Aspartame. They ALL contained it. Checked my local health food store– no gum. The only choice is to buy off the Internet. Crazy!

      October 26, 2010 at 07:54 | Report abuse |
    • AGeek

      Ok, you're a moron. You do realize MSG is a naturally occurring glutamate, right? One of many, in fact. It's been in East Indian food (which included seaweed extract – containing, you guessed it, MSG) for centuries. It was finally isolated in the early 1900s and able to be produced on its own as a wheat fermentation byproduct. It's not some man-made concoction from the '60s, nor is it any more harmful than standard table (or sea) salt – which is very harmful in high quantities. Get a clue. Education & knowledge is power. Otherwise you just sound like a raving loon.

      October 26, 2010 at 08:09 | Report abuse |
    • MedStudent

      ignorant post is ignorant.

      cite one scientific peer reviewed article that was not retracted for fraud demonstrating even one of the things you said.

      October 26, 2010 at 09:05 | Report abuse |
    • MedStudent

      also there is no mercury floating around in vaccines. mercurol is CONJUGATED mercury. Do you know what conjugated means?

      Maybe you should go learn some actual science so you don't look like such a fool. Splenda is chlorinated sugar. If you drink chlorine you would die. Chlorine conjugated to a sugar IS NOT METABOLIZED. Mercury conjugated in mercurol is NOT METABOLIZED THE SAME WAY AS MERCURY

      Also formaldehyde is not dangerous in those doses. Every medical student and doctor in the country has been exposed to high volumes of formaldehyde in anatomy labs. We have it all over our skin and breathe it in for often 2 months straight. one little dose is absolutely nothing.

      stop fear mongering and post a cited peer reviewed article proving your claims or admit you are a liar, there is no danger.

      if one of your children dies of a preventable vaccinatable disease I hope CPS comes after you.

      October 26, 2010 at 09:09 | Report abuse |
    • Max

      Seems like a certain Medical Student's brain is CONJUGATED.

      October 26, 2010 at 10:53 | Report abuse |
    • Hugh

      The National Autism Association has solid scientific evidence of a link between Thimerosal (mercury) used in vaccines and autism. Yet, time and again, we see articles negating this evidence — evidence gathered from the CDC. As we all know, the U.S. government is owned and operated by corporations who profit from suppressing the damaging truth. The independent study from the nonprofit group hence is far more credible. This table is very convincing: http://www.nationalautismassociation.org/thimerosal.php

      October 26, 2010 at 10:53 | Report abuse |
    • Lara

      MedStudent, interesting thing about that: I was premed until I discovered that I was unable to successfully complete any of my lab courses. The reason: exposure to those very chemicals, and others used in bio labs, triggered violent illness in me. I have unusually high sensitivities to chemicals and they trigger blinding migraines, respiratory illness, balance problems, and a host of similar symptoms in me. So an environment in which such chemicals are around on a "daily basis" would, within a few days, kill me. So much for practicing medicine for me!

      The thing is, my sensitivity is unusually heightened, and my reactions are extreme, but they do point out another problem because I'm like the old proverbial canary in the mineshaft. What I react to quickly, many other people react to slowly, in the long term, and only after the toxins have built up more. There have been situations where I've had to leave an area after reacting badly to something, and fifteen minutes to half an hour later, other people began reacting badly too and might not even have known why if I hadn't identified the problem before leaving.

      So in addition to free-floating chemicals causing obvious problems for people like me and keeping us out of certain environments, there are a lot of other people who are getting sick and have no idea why because their symptoms are mild enough, or slow enough to appear, that they can't connect the cause to the effect. And there's virtually no research on what the CUMULATIVE effects of these exposures might be. And yet a lot of the health problems normally associated with incidents of extreme chemical exposure are on the rise among people who, as far as they know, have never experienced such an event.

      October 26, 2010 at 11:04 | Report abuse |
    • Michelle

      Lara, by your logic, peanuts are a deadly toxin because SOME people have violent reactions to peanuts. If you get sick because of exposure to peanuts, then clearly everyone who eats peanut butter is a ticking time bomb, and eventually, all the toxic peanut chemicals they're eating will eventually catch up with them.

      Grow up. You have a chemical sensitivity, known as an ALLERGY. (If you'd completed immunology, you'd understand this.) Not everyone shares your allergies. I'm allergic to perfumes, spider bites, and sulfa antibiotics. Not everyone shares those allergies. Same thing with the chemicals.

      Hazardous chemicals are rated by their toxic doses... and small quantities of formaldehyde are nothing.

      October 26, 2010 at 11:16 | Report abuse |
    • oh my

      the link between vaxes and autism have been debunked for a long time now. but extremists like you will never allow yourselves to be rational. pity.

      October 26, 2010 at 11:17 | Report abuse |
    • Ted

      The National Autism Association does *not* have any sort of solid evidence that vaccines cause autism. This information is not only out of date, but largely based on a study by an individual who has since been indicted on counts of fraud, with the study having been pulled from the peer-reviewed literature. Voluminous studies have, in fact, shown no causal link between vaccines and autism. http://www.csicop.org/si/show/more_studies_reject_vaccine-autism_link/

      October 26, 2010 at 11:18 | Report abuse |
    • Valerie

      MedStudent, you would think someone in med school would be a little more compassionate towards the rest of us, but instead you are constantly bullying people acting like you know so much more than they do. The truth is you choose to believe in your medical establishment. There is only so much information to be gained from medicine and science, only so much that is observable to a human. You really have no idea what the long term effects are of formaldehyde on the cells in a human being, no matter the amount. You may be versed in your establishment's science, but you seem to know nothing of nutrition or how a body functions without chemicals. In the future, when and if you become a doctor, you will never be able to prescribe health, because you are not taught what it is, you are only taught medicine, and what pharmaceuticals to give to people. You can shout from the hills every time for someone to give you a peer reviewed study, but that will accomplish just about nothing, as all of these peers also believe in the establishment, and all of those medical journals and studies in them are paid for by the industries they promote. I'm sure you'll find some way to put me down, rather than to correct/inform, but that is your right to be a miserable human being. I just hope you're never my doctor.

      October 26, 2010 at 13:28 | Report abuse |
    • Jason

      1. The scientific consensus is that there is no convincing evidence linking thimerisol to autism.
      2. Thimerosal has been eliminated from routine children's vaccinations, purely as a precautionary measure.
      3. Despite this, autism rates are still on the rise.
      There are *many* potential places we should be focused on the safety and testing of chemicals we are exposed to, so let's not waste any more time fear-mongering on claims without merit.

      October 28, 2010 at 14:55 | Report abuse |
    • Improve Concentration

      Thats exactly why MSG is there – flavor enhancing

      techniques to improve concentration

      October 30, 2010 at 14:47 | Report abuse |
  4. Ann

    Sick people are a huge business. The chemical and pharmaceutical companies make money polluting our environment. They make more money when people get sick and they pollute again trying to make people better.

    It is a huge business and people are sacrificed for the “almighty” dollar. Instead of "Stand up to Cancer"...why don't we actualy prevent most cancers by breaking this cycle? That would rational!

    Oh yeah...there's no money in healthy people!

    October 26, 2010 at 07:38 | Report abuse | Reply
    • CitizenJP

      You are absolutely right about that! If people truly followed a healthy life style with yoga, meditation, good wholesome food, adequate sleep, and not worship the greed god, then I have no doubt, almost 90% of the health care workers will be put out of business. Almost all pharmaceutical companies will close shop. These guys are outright criminals slowly killing America. Just right running to fulfill one desire gives rise to ten more, similarly, these pharmaceutical thugs, trying to solve one problem creating ten more for us to stay in business.

      October 26, 2010 at 09:00 | Report abuse |
    • pat carr

      very well said Ann. I'm so tired of the "walks", "stand up" and other nonsense regarding cancer. best to prevent it rather than having another dramatic event about it.

      October 26, 2010 at 10:43 | Report abuse |
    • HealthNut

      i completely agree with you Ann! the only reason why Pharmacutical comnpanies are in business is becuase they create chemicals to KEEP YOU SICK!! if they really found the cure for everything, then they would be OUT OF BUSINESS. so of course they are going to continue to pump and promote chemicals in people. and havent you noticed all the side-affects people get from one medication that forces them to take another to combat those side effects... and not to mention the monetary settlements for those who actually get cancer from taking a drug. one little known fact to live by: if you cant read it and understand what you are consuming, DO NOT EAT IT. same goes for shampoo, toothpaste etc.. grow your own food, cook with olive oil, take organic vitamins, excersize and get good sleep. (my grandparents are in their late 70's and neither one are on ANY medications. when they go to the denstist, the doc's are amazed that they are not on any medications. they just take their vitamins and minerals)

      October 26, 2010 at 10:51 | Report abuse |
  5. nina

    I believe that Ann and Bobby have said it all ! and yes we need to stand up to the corporations that are poisoning us and the future generation for their own profit.

    October 26, 2010 at 07:46 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Improve Concentration

      Would love to see that

      how to Improve Concentration

      October 30, 2010 at 14:48 | Report abuse |
  6. Ayo, A

    I was once listening to a program, an interview of Micheal Pollan, I was startled at the things I heard, as a scientist myself, curiosity got the better of me and I started digging up facts, not just swallow what I heard. was I flustered the more I dug, we ingest a lot of things and there are so many products on the shelf out there, containing all this untested ingredients and chemical additives that are clearly not allowed in other places, "far away" Europe for example. why can't the same stance be adopted here, burden of proof on the manufacturer.......oh I know why, lobbysts and profits !!!!..................I think there are some lessons waiting to be learned here. Hopefully we do not learn them a little late. How careful can one be in personal consumption in this environment ? Will the popiulation get help ? Time will tell.

    October 26, 2010 at 07:50 | Report abuse | Reply
  7. Taylor

    Not to be insensitive to anyone here, but we don't have to save everyone. Darwin's theory of survial of the fittest, why can't people just let the population figure it out for themselves and die if they must, there is already a surplus population.

    October 26, 2010 at 07:54 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Lioness

      Why shouldn't we help as many people as possible live long, healthy lives? I think you must not have children or nieces or nephews whom you love, to make such a statement. "Survival of the fittest" means people suffer needlessly. Why should anyone suffer an agonizing death, when it could be prevented? Would you really shrug at a parent whose child was dying from a curable disease, or who had been poisoned by a corporation, and say, "Too bad. Survival of the fittest!" That is a cold-hearted and without conscience.

      October 26, 2010 at 08:00 | Report abuse |
    • Taylor

      to lioness i have 4 newphews and one of them has lymphomia, so yes i know you think I'm cold hearted, but its true, if people had stronger flipping immune systems, they would survive

      October 26, 2010 at 08:03 | Report abuse |
    • Taylor

      i have four nephews that I love with all my heart, and I'm Roman Catholic but I still believe people die because its the circle of life

      October 26, 2010 at 08:05 | Report abuse |
    • Lioness

      So you do not think his parents should be getting medical treatment for him and trying to save his life, or? If you get cancer someday, will you refuse all treatment? Yes, there is a circle of life, but if medical treatments can save you, and you can go on to have a great future, I would argue it wasn't your time. If it's "your time," the treatment wouldn't work, so we might as well try.

      October 26, 2010 at 08:16 | Report abuse |
    • Taylor

      I would refuse treatment, and im age 14 just letting you know. If I were to become one of todays congressmen i would ban any form of prescription medication because you just contridicted yourself. You said you would take treatment, would this include radiation or chemo therapy, which is a chemical form of treatment

      October 26, 2010 at 08:19 | Report abuse |
    • Lioness

      I may or may not go through treatment but probably would. I don't think I contradicted myself. I am against unnecessary chemicals but would accept them and proceed with caution in the case of medical treatments (such as vaccines and chemotherapy.) I believe in trying to treat and cure disease as long as the cure is not worse than the disease.

      October 26, 2010 at 08:24 | Report abuse |
    • Andy

      I think what you are talking about is natural selection. I have yet to see where synthetic chemical production is part of the natural selection.

      October 26, 2010 at 09:00 | Report abuse |
    • Sara

      Taylor, my god you sound stupid. Perhaps because we have the corrupt FDA stating toxic chemicals i our food are "safe" when in fact they are NOT safe. Not to mention the lack of independent studies done on these toxic chemicals, their is science for you. You can't trust EVERYTHING in science. YOU MUST know WHO is doing the research. If it is the company selling the product, guess what the scientific studies that everyone wants to claim are so flawless are fudged. ALL FDA studies should be done by independent researchers to be trusted, otherwise your trusted FDA is bullsh..

      October 26, 2010 at 10:42 | Report abuse |
    • Jman

      Taylor. What you say IS insensitive. If your parents, friends, pet, or yourself got sick should the Hospital turn around and say you are "Not Worth Saving". What you say should apply to everyone else, well you are one of those "everyone else". Are you so cold hearted in denying your loved ones a chance to be saved?

      October 26, 2010 at 11:15 | Report abuse |
  8. Ruby

    Yes, flu shots and other childhood vaccines, beginning with the Hep B at birth. Some four dozen vaccines given to children in their first few years of life. FILLED WITH TOXINS.

    What environment is closer than our own bodies? It is shameful that our government and health officials endorse pumping our kids full of dangerous, toxic vaccines under the guise of "preventive health."

    October 26, 2010 at 07:57 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Lioness

      Yes, there is junk in vaccines, but the diseases they prevent are terrible. I don't doubt the existence of horrible vaccine reactions, but they are rare.

      Did you read the article about the baby who died from whooping cough? He was too young to be vaccinated, but maybe he never would have been exposed if someone somewhere on the chain of whoever spread it to him had been. I'm not blaming anyone, because our healthcare providers are not in the habit of suggesting boosters for that virus, though.

      I will vaccinate my children, but perhaps ask that the schedule be altered.

      Some countries have a horrendous problem with Hepatitis B. One reason is many people in those countries are not vaccinated. It is the most easily spread blood-borne virus. So it's good to vaccinate the population early,
      but maybe someone can explain the rationale behind giving Hep. B vaccines to newborns.

      October 26, 2010 at 08:11 | Report abuse |
    • MedStudent

      cite one peer reviewed article demonstrating vaccines are dangerous or submit to the fact that you are a lying fear mongering fool

      October 26, 2010 at 09:11 | Report abuse |
    • Michelle

      I hope you never have kids, because they'll probably suffer and die from polio, mumps, measles, rubella, whooping cough, or other horrible diseases.

      October 26, 2010 at 11:19 | Report abuse |
    • Ruby

      You are assuming vaccines work and are responsible for the decline of diseases. Check out Neil Z. Miller's books for graphs that illustrate disease rates went BEFORE vaccines were introduced.

      FYI–I do have children. Four, ages 11-20. None have died from any diseases. I only partially vaccinated my first two until my oldest son had an MMR reaction and became severely asthmatic and allergic. So, I was pro-vaccine at one time.

      And there have been more than one baby who has died from whooping cough, but what is the state of health of those babies? Did they have their immune systems compromised by getting Hep B vaccines at birth? Were they breastfed, preemies, any health problems at all?

      Check out vaccine package inserts if you don't believe there are dangers from vaccines. They all list many adverse events that have been scientifically documented–straight from the pharmaceutical companies' mouths. Every single vaccine carries the risk of serious side effects, including death. Ask your doctor to deny that. NONE ARE GUARANTEED TO WORK.

      Prove they work. Show us one study that measures the effectiveness of vaccines. It's never been done. They test one vaccine against another but never, never has there been a study proving they work when exposed to disease. Not one.

      October 26, 2010 at 13:19 | Report abuse |
  9. Amanda

    Where I live there are extremely high cases of birth defects, cancers and other ailments such as asthma, ephasema and other cronic troubles. My doctor has been trying for decades to bring up an awareness between the ailments and the insane amounts of pesticides, herbacides and other such chemicals company dump on the ground every year on the hundreds of acres of blueberry barrens around here.

    If there is a patch big enough to rake, a company has bought it. A patch about a 1/2 acre big was recently bought about 1000 feet from my house and is regularly laced with chemicals. No wonder why every spraying season I have to regularly rush 2 of my children to the hospital for asthma attacks, I have migranes (which by the way dissappeared when we were stationed in CA for 6 years even with all the smog and pollution there, to return when we returned home).

    Many, many babies here are born with heart defects and baby girls are born with cycts the size of baseballs on thier ovaries. Many young and old women alike have reproductive issues such as cysts, fibroid tumors and endometriosis. I don't even WANT to know what's in my well water!

    BUT, companies say there has been no proven link to all the crap they spray and all the ailments around here. As soon as we find suitable work, we are leaving. It's gorgeous and all my family is here but I will not risk my kids health!

    October 26, 2010 at 08:05 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Lioness

      Amanda, your story is sad. I hope you and your family (and all of the other families!) are able to move away quickly and return to good health.

      October 26, 2010 at 08:20 | Report abuse |
    • Amanda

      Thank you! My husband retired from the Navy a year and a half ago (at age 37) and we have 4 young daughters. We had a home back here that was well within our means to pay for so it seemed logical to move back here. After about 3 months we all started having problems (and I was due with our little surprise) and it's been downhill from there.

      My husband has been looking for work but has yet to land even an interview citing our distance or the fact he's overqualified for the position. Wich is sad because as long as we can pay the bills and feed the kids we dont care if he's making "what he's worth" And too bad the Navy has an up or out policy or we'd still be in. Only 6% of his feild made E7. E6 is only allowed 20 years of service.

      My hope is that one day people will take responsibility for thier action and do what is right for everyone not just their pocket. Even thier kids are at risk even if they do not use the products themselves. The water and air, or the food grown in lands contaminated that they and thier families eat... Doesn't take rocket science to see that they are killing themselves as well. Poisons and diseases don't take bribes!

      October 26, 2010 at 08:29 | Report abuse |
    • CitizenJP

      Corporate greed and our own greed and ambition will ultimately be responsible for our own demise. The pesticide industry can be put out of business if we did not look for the perfect looking blue berry and were willing to pay a little extra for the organically grown ones. We in America need to have a make over of our life style.

      October 26, 2010 at 09:07 | Report abuse |
  10. Thetailisphail

    Can explain the reason why obesity is a common problem in America. We consume everything that the food industry gives to us and you wonder why most patient's blood pressures are high and their blood sugar is abnormal. Don't get me started on diet drinks and low-fat snacks. =<

    October 26, 2010 at 08:07 | Report abuse | Reply
  11. Anne

    Let's not forgot the over-use of prescription drugs to treat the illnesses we suffer from due to chemical over-exposure. Also throw in the developing food intolerances that bodies can't handle after their digestive tract has been stripped of good enzymes and you have a society suffering from new autoimmune illnesses that perpetuate because of the greedy medical community and pharmaceutical companies. It's time we the people wake up and take control of our own health instead of trusting doctors who refer to their businesses as "practices". We can't trust our government (FDA) to protect our health so we must be our own advocates and protectors.

    October 26, 2010 at 08:07 | Report abuse | Reply
    • DN

      Yes Anne, but it takes expertise such as Dr. Gupta's and equipment to run the labs and people to help out etc. Also it is necessary to know exactly what is going into each product. The government is in the position to know and provide all these things. We have to find a way to make government work for us instead of for big business. Regulators should not be able to "retire" into lucrative positions at the firms they were supposed to be regulating.

      October 26, 2010 at 09:00 | Report abuse |
    • MedStudent

      you are a MESS. a jumbled MESS . you just mushed completely unrelated things together and drew a false conclusion

      Let's not forgot the over-use of prescription drugs to treat the illnesses we suffer from
      – ok

      due to chemical over-exposure – WHAT are you talking about...specifically what prescription drug and what chemical.

      Also throw in the developing food intolerances- like what? Milk? Lactose intolerance is not on the rise it's always been high people naturally stop producing the enzyme after childhood. Are you referring to peanuts? Blame the parents for that. food allergies are due to an overcharged TH2 response (as opposed to TH1) because parents don't expose their kids to enough possible allergens and pathogens when they are young. Food allergies are a white middle and upper class and suburban problem. It doesn't exist in such high rates in most countries. the reason is we keep environments so sterile that kids aren't exposed to pathogens when they are young, their bodies then slide to a TH2 response for many things and you end up with seasonal and food allergies in high frequency.

      that bodies can't handle after their digestive tract has been stripped of good enzymes
      – due to what....chemo? no cancer is worth it. Celiac? that's a natural disease

      and you have a society suffering from new autoimmune illnesses that perpetuate because of the greedy medical community and pharmaceutical companies.
      – no. I don't think you understand what autoimmune diseases are. They are your own body reacting to an infection by making antibodies that happen to react with your own bodies antigens. Has nothing to do with the medical community. if you believe otherwise cite a peer reviewed journal article proving so.

      It's time we the people wake up and take control of our own health instead of trusting doctors who refer to their businesses as "practices". We can't trust our government (FDA) to protect our health so we must be our own advocates and protectors.
      what are you supposed to refer to a business as?

      you are looney.

      October 26, 2010 at 09:17 | Report abuse |
    • Michelle

      Wow, Anne, you're about as bright as a broken light bulb.

      I was raised "all natural," out in the woods. I grew up on natural food, seldom ate at McDonald's. My family didn't have health insurance, and I almost never went to the doctor. I didn't take prescription medications for anything except a couple of sinus infections in my teens. We treated colds and flu with orange juice, hot tea, and a warm blanket. I did exceptionally well, was very athletic, and graduated at the top of my class.

      And now, at the age of 30, I'm developing early rheumatoid arthritis and lupus.

      Sure, there are tons of problems with too many chemicals in the food and the environment... but don't blame vaccinations (WHICH SAVE LIVES) for problems that are caused by OTHER things. Your ignorance is astounding.

      October 26, 2010 at 11:29 | Report abuse |
  12. Bradley

    As a PhD chemist, what we should be focusing on is management of chemicals from cradle to grave. Our waste management needs serious overhaul for global sustainability. We need chemicals to support our economy and in many cases, our survival is dependent on chemicals. Controlling how chemicals are used and disposed of will be crucial to maintaining the quality of our environment and conservation of our resources.

    October 26, 2010 at 08:26 | Report abuse | Reply
    • MedStudent


      October 26, 2010 at 09:17 | Report abuse |
  13. Any.P

    I agree with you. It's not serious in my country but i'm so worried. Can i speak more?

    October 26, 2010 at 08:27 | Report abuse | Reply
  14. jeff

    As a board certified toxicologist with a PhD in toxicology and over 20 years in practice, i cant wait till the Senate asks me to testify about neurosurgery. I once knew a person who had brain surgery, so that makes me qualified, right? That reminds me of the other famous toxicologist who testified to congress to help get Alar off the market. I dont remember seeing her at any of the toxicology conferences but i know she was an expert because she spoke to congress about it. Her name was Meryl Streep. This all makes perfect sense.

    October 26, 2010 at 08:27 | Report abuse | Reply
  15. Handy Info

    Gupta is and always has been a puppet. All he is going to do is sit there and say that we dont know what a lot of these chemicals will do meanwhile the politicans will mumble then call all their buddies that own the chemical corporations and let them know to hire independent research people to flood the general public with a bunch of flawed data (but the general public will not know the data is flawed because we wont have access to it and until someone else does a study we have no way to refute their study). The short of it is nothing will be done. We have all been made ignorant to this, to not care, its just like cigarettes everyone knows their bad but how many people actually give them up before its too late. If you knew the teflon pans you cook with are killing you and exposing you to carcinogens would you buy other cookware that is more expensive (probably not) and this is true of teflon. How about the BPA its still in a majority of products, companies that have failed to do anything about eliminating BPA from their products are Coca Cola, Walmart and several other big name corporations http://www.usatoday.com/yourlife/food/safety/2010-10-21-bpa-cans_N.htm Have any of you stopped shopping at walmart ? everyone knows overeating is bad have all of you stopped overeating ? My point is this will fall on deaf ears like does everything else in this country. Some people will care but the majority choose to be and want to be ignore because we have been conditioned into the ideal and lifestyle on convenience. We dont want to be bothered with anything that takes time because we never have any. How many people still make dinner every night that doesnt come out of box, can or frozen ? I don't know of anyone that really grows their own produce (the grocery store produce is a coke , loaded with chemicals imported from who knows where, and genetically modified to be bigger, cheaper, and faster, resulting in poor nutrients, taste and quality.

    Someday I hope that the human race will wake up and realize their is more to life then profits, jobs, convenience.. but it is hard to do when you are born into a world of indentured slavery since you will always have to work to pay taxes and you cannot own land without taxes. Even if you don't want any benefit from the government you still have to pay.

    October 26, 2010 at 08:36 | Report abuse | Reply
  16. CitizenJP

    I am quite surprised that the Congress did not find a more qualified person to represent the toxicological effects. However, I like Dr. Gupta's attitude about it. Here are a few tips about effect of chemicals:
    1. Any chemical concentrations we are exposing our bodies to that our bodies did not evolve from over time is likely to have an impact on our body.
    2. All chemicals are toxic depending on the dosage. Minimizing your exposure to chemicals is the only defense you can count on but it is tough.
    3. The corporate greed is poisoning America at a faster pace than the regulators can keep up. I wonder if the Congress is representing the majority of people or it is representing the few greedy industrialists.

    October 26, 2010 at 08:51 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Bob

      FDA protects itself!

      October 26, 2010 at 09:07 | Report abuse |
  17. PeopleOverProfit

    It's absolutely insane the amount of toxins allowed in our environment and food supply. It is criminal behavior but allowed by industry, politicians and those that somehow rationalize that it's okay. The FDA does not protect us. Period.

    October 26, 2010 at 09:00 | Report abuse | Reply
  18. Bob

    They should also look into the chemicals they put into our food and drinking water! That they can do something about!!.. fluoride is a poison.. Why would you injest a poison ( even at low levels) to protect your teeth? Does it really protect your teeth?/. If so isn't fluoride in tooth paste enough?? Why is that Gov't cares so much about my teeth.. If they did they would ban junk food!!! Ban junk food in schools.. Ban holloween.. Maybe they will start putting Anti-depressants in our OJ, cause there is an epidemic of depressed Americans.. How about lithium in our water to fight the rise in Bi-Polar?? etc.. etc...

    October 26, 2010 at 09:06 | Report abuse | Reply
  19. J

    Blog not too long, too short. That we even have to debate this is insane. The arrogance of those who think we can make nature better than nature is staggering. The creators of these substances are puppets, the promoters are immoral hucksters, and the rest of us are guinea pigs. Oh look! Another new synthetic pharmaceutical fake cure for industrial civilization acquired manufactured ailment is on TV! Sorry, got to stop and call my doctor and get some! I’ll think I’ll take some birth control to cure my acne! Too bad the side effects are degenerative bone loss, cancer and who knows what else. Wake up people. It's time to stop layering more fixes onto a broken system. I cured my acne and allergies whey I stopped eating crap and started eating real food. Stop taking unnecessary medicine. Stop purchasing synthetic toxins. Stop buying manufactured pseudo-food from a box and start buying real food. Buy organic and support a new way. You think I'm a crazed enviro-maniac? It scares me that I feel like a centrist / realist and all common sense has been lost.

    October 26, 2010 at 09:06 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Bob

      Not much to add! We are our own worst enemies! We are the only species on earth that will poison another for money!!

      October 26, 2010 at 09:46 | Report abuse |
    • Steve

      Basically, you have no idea what oyu are talking about and probably no scientific background what-so-ever

      October 26, 2010 at 11:42 | Report abuse |
  20. P. Stupik

    Anyone who usest DDT as al dangerous cehimical is not qualified to testify in this area. The banning of DDT has caused incalculable human suffering.

    October 26, 2010 at 09:14 | Report abuse | Reply
  21. Sathibaba

    This is a good cause and do not hesitate to defend it. Minorities concentrated in metro cities are paying the price with those highly toxic chemicals. African American children are the most affected among all in the nation with so many chemically foods on store shelves in their cities. African American children are going wild in their schools and their teachers are paying the price of those chemicals. Obesity, ADT, Bipolar disorder and cardiovascular diseases are killing African American children and no one cares. Surveys after surveys keep telling us that they are obeses because they do not eat the proper foods. Each food item sold in African American communities and in the Indian American reservations contain 6 to seven killing chemicals whereas in white communities that same food contains one or less chemical. This is economic segregation after all and the economic burden is shifted to the most vulnerable ones. Be brave Gupta, talk and be careful after your hearing, for money and greed can get you off the hook. They have chemical diseases to silence you like flesh eating disease, ebola and other contagious ones just to name a few. Be careful with even your own doctor, for today's date they take an hypocratic oath to kill, enrich and not to cure. We are all the guinea pigs of those 400 U.S. billionaires. Be brave and talk. Good luck Gupta and we are supporting in this fight for the good cause!

    October 26, 2010 at 09:16 | Report abuse | Reply
    • dom625

      This is without a doubt one of the most ridiculous posts that I have read in a long time. Where do I begin in a response?

      First of all, even though you mention it last, I'll refute this first. Ebola, flesh-eating disease, and "others" that you mention are NOT caused by chemicals. They are caused by viruses and bacteria that are NATURALLY occurring in the environment. The regulation of chemicals will not affect these diseases at all!

      Secondly, how in the world do you figure that the same food would have more or less chemicals just because it's sold in different areas? Have you actually seen a food product from the inner city with an ingredient list that is different than the exact same food product sold elsewhere? Um, no. The reason that African-American and Indian-American children are obese and have health problems is because they do not exercise or look after their own health. They spend too much time watching TV and texting on their phones–and I know this because I teach them and talk to them. Books are considered a waste of time; exercise is a waste of time; even sleeping at night is a waste of time. These problems do not originate from chemicals, but from society. And until we fix society, we cannot fix these problems. Maybe Gupta should be working on that instead.

      October 26, 2010 at 11:11 | Report abuse |
  22. MedStudent

    The real problems:

    Airborne Factory Made Pollutants

    these are large disease contributors, they need to be managed better

    October 26, 2010 at 09:19 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Bob

      Don't forget cars and pollution/obesity.. We are driving ourselves sick!

      October 26, 2010 at 09:48 | Report abuse |
    • Steve

      Med student, I have seen you rposts here and I have been with you up to this point. The pesticides industry is regulated almost to the same extent as teh pharm industry, in some instances even more. Many of the same assays used to establish tox limits, carcinogenicity, etc for pharma are used in screening of pesticides. More info can be found at http://www.ppp.purdue.edu/PPP_pubs.html

      As for fertilizers...most are simply inorganic compounds...nitrates, phosphates, etc that are naturally occurring...not only in the environment but in fact in our bodies...so not sure whats going on there.
      And yes, again, I agree with you, any pollutants and/or chemicals should be investigated and regulated accordingly. This assures the safety of produts while beinging the maximum benefit to out populace.

      October 26, 2010 at 11:51 | Report abuse |
    • singnbob

      hey i left a rather screwy remark a minute ago applied to you and saw additional posts by you that make some sense i apologize it appears you are trying to sort this issue thru.. and do you know that you are in a profession that lives an average of 57 years..it's not a testimony to a well thought out career path..though people in Doctors without borderss and many folks in general have aspirations that i can't know about. if we want to live together int this world there needs to be a lot more listening and that is something we are not good at.. our ego postions define us in mnan ways but they are based on illusion and this takes time to understand.. most never do.. so do the best you can given your desires and learn when you can about some other ways to deal with this environment we have created.. i am over 60 never been sick nor to a doctor, eat what i raise and drink the best water i can get ahold of and still i will die someday of some malady and that's totally ok with me...i don't wish anyone a hard time but many seem to attract that in their lives.. if you can assist god bless..

      October 26, 2010 at 13:19 | Report abuse |
  23. Lenny

    No, Sanjay, in science we do not expect absolute truth. We expect to have our questions answered to beyond reasonable doubt to produce testable theories. As for "chemicals innocent until proven guilty" that also falls within a purview of scientific method.

    October 26, 2010 at 09:38 | Report abuse | Reply
  24. FerryDust

    You should come to Charlotte, North Carolina and take a deep breath. Then rush to the hospital because you have just inhaled every toxic chemical known to man. People in South Charlotte can barely open their windows. If it's not the toxic fumes from Duke Energy's coal burning power plants than it's all the factories around Westinghouse Boulevard spewing their toxic chemicals–mostly during the night so they won't get caught. And the State of North Carolina simply bends over!

    October 26, 2010 at 09:48 | Report abuse | Reply
  25. Papa_K

    Here in Texas Bush and Perry destroyed the State EPA during Bush's term as Governor. Perry has kept the State EPA at the same level of invisibility. recently the states oil refineries were given a go ahead after extensive study (tax payer dollars) to filter out harmful chemicles which Perry felt were just fine to release into the environment. He called the Feds EPA Obamas nosing into states business. However when you have a Governor who is more concerned with his own bottom line than the health of it's citizens you have to have someone step in.

    October 26, 2010 at 09:51 | Report abuse | Reply
  26. PeopleOverProfit

    Congress allows it to happen. And in this current economic climate they will argue that to stop putting chemical poisons in everything will cost American jobs and we can't have that. American capitalism will sell the last tree, the last drop of clean water and destroy the last person for sake of a buck.

    October 26, 2010 at 09:54 | Report abuse | Reply
  27. TRH

    Nothing is done in this country unless there will be a profit. We need a Socialist country like much of Europe.

    October 26, 2010 at 09:57 | Report abuse | Reply
  28. wtfreally

    Money is everything in this country and this country is not run by its citizens! The corporations have performed a flawless, silent coup of America. If the discussion doesn't generate profit, then the discussion is ended by corporations either through direct bribes to officials, or direct bribes to many officials through "lobbyists". This is not your grand dads America anymore.

    October 26, 2010 at 10:07 | Report abuse | Reply
  29. Linda Thoms

    Being a Swede and know from 11 years of living in this country, have I known the lack of info the common have gotten. There is none given! I'm pretty sure Dr Gupta is opening a lot of doors by doing what many should have done, but is being payed to shut his/her mouth. Everybody has a price tag, it is obvious Dr Gupta has chosen to not be bought. He is now speaking up, and I, Linda Thoms, will stand behind every word he says. To note, is that I'm not a supporter at all when it comes to vaccinations due to the dangerous chemicals added to them, and I am pretty sure he will get to know the hazards of those additives as well. You go Dr Gupta.

    October 26, 2010 at 10:11 | Report abuse | Reply
    • annie

      I agree with you Linda! We wait too long before taking action on so many things...we dont use enough preventative measures either. At least he is doing something for the welfare of us all...something America excelled at in the past, ordinary people making differences..to everyone:you all can make a difference> We need good leaders to empower themselves, bring back morals and accountability, respect and entrepeneurship. Chemicals are causing problems in our environment, and if we can improve in this area it will aleviated a lot of health care costs. Its been proven many of them cause cancer and more.

      October 26, 2010 at 11:41 | Report abuse |
  30. JS

    You should require data about God too and quit believing in fairy tales. The whole world is run by scam artists and corrupt leaders and the morons who follow them.

    October 26, 2010 at 10:28 | Report abuse | Reply
  31. mario

    I am sure any chemicals around us are safe...companies are always on the brink of being investigated the the marxist EPA and the liberal tree hugger terrorists...they just want to control our live that much more...Get rid of these real terrorists!

    October 26, 2010 at 10:33 | Report abuse | Reply
  32. stoppoppingpills

    one od my siblings is a gifted chemist in his forties and, after contemplating on the situation with chemicals around us, he decided to pack up and go into the mountains and live there for the rest of his life.

    October 26, 2010 at 10:33 | Report abuse | Reply
  33. Paul Rever's Horse

    I am really over Gupta being an expert on everything in the world.

    For all you glazed over reborns.

    Diedotimous 6:9,17. "And the burning bush said, "Inhaleth my fumes and twisteth your brain. And it was holy."

    October 26, 2010 at 10:34 | Report abuse | Reply
  34. Alex

    LOL at all the armchair scientists that think they know best. Leave the science to the scientists and go back to your crayons.

    October 26, 2010 at 10:36 | Report abuse | Reply
  35. Gupta

    It seems sad that the senate is listening to "Dr." Gupta. Of course CNN would cover this abomination

    October 26, 2010 at 10:37 | Report abuse | Reply
  36. Bobby

    Dr Gupta,

    There are two sides to every study. You fail to recognize the MILLIONS of lives that were saved by the "horrible chemical" DDT when it was used to kill malaria and other disease spreading mosquitos. In Sri Lanka the number of malaria cases went from 3 million per year to 64 after its use. We have to look at the balance between what benefits a particular chemical offer us as a civilization with the potential risks. ALL chemicals are toxic at some level or to some extent, we just have to use reason to determine if we can accept the casualties in exchange for the benefits. Unfortunately if a new chemical came out that somehow was able to save 10 million lives per year, but also caused the death of 100,000... chances are the public would demand its prohibition. This is because people tend to only see the negative, but never see the balance.

    It is good, no, it is necessary that we investigate the toxicity of the chemicals we are exposed to. But the end goal should be to decide if the risks outweigh the benefits, not to go on a witch hunt looking for toxic chemicals. If that is what you want, I suggest you look under your kitchen sink.

    October 26, 2010 at 10:40 | Report abuse | Reply
  37. Pete

    Erin Brokovitch, anyone?

    October 26, 2010 at 10:42 | Report abuse | Reply
  38. Poopta

    Hey Gupta.............shut up. You're a bore.

    October 26, 2010 at 10:42 | Report abuse | Reply
  39. F-U Cieje

    Since when did common sense become newsworthy?

    October 26, 2010 at 10:52 | Report abuse | Reply
  40. Christophermark

    Our government (US) and corporate America (Large Companies) have and will continue to try and hide the fact that these chemicals they produce are killing us (cancer). They keep these secrets for two reasons: 1. Greed, 2. the lawsuits from this problem being exposed would bankrupt these companies, and perhaps our government as a whole.

    Something must be done... but how and when? We are dammed if we do and dammed if we don’t!

    October 26, 2010 at 10:53 | Report abuse | Reply
  41. RichP, easton, pa

    Here in Pa we are going full bore on shale drilling, first byproduct that has showed up, flammable water at your sink from your well but the oil companies insist it's a: not their fault and b: not dangerous, just don't drop a lit butt down the toilet while taking a dump or you might end up in the attic or flash baked chestnuts. Nobody is responsible for anything in this country any more from leaders to poor disadvantaged school bullies.
    The courts need to be able to go after CEO's and Corporate board members for fines and penalties otherwise they just get passed on to the consumer in the form of higher prices.

    October 26, 2010 at 10:53 | Report abuse | Reply
  42. Chas

    Only 200 chemicals have been tested? This is an outright falsehood.

    And bash DDT. Hundreds of thousands of people have died from maleria since the ban on DDT. Needless deaths.

    October 26, 2010 at 10:54 | Report abuse | Reply
  43. Adrian

    I appreciate this blog. What especially frustrates me is the UNNECESSARY emissions. One example that's getting more and more exposure as not only hazardous to human health but totally avoidable, is the emission of volatile anesthetic gases from Hospital OR's. Apparently patients only use <5% of what they are administered, with the rest (95%+!!!) vented unabated into the environment for all of us to breathe continuously, every day, at GWP potentials up to ~4000x CO2. Filters now exist to capture these emissions- I can't remember the company's name so I won't bother- but it's solutions like these that will plant a cleaner future for our children.

    I think the company has the technology to recycle the gases, as well, which excites the HECK out of me (imagine the impact around the world) and lends itself to sustainability... a goal to which we should all be striving these days. Hopefully more of these solutions become available over the coming years.

    October 26, 2010 at 10:54 | Report abuse | Reply
  44. Kenneth Close

    Absolute proof is a misnomer Dr.: If all was done in the name of absolutes there would be no moving forward. The first heart transplant would not have occurred : I have lived through an age being older than you where getting anything approved for the shelf took years: People complained especially when it came to medicine. After pressure from the public the process was sped up: Now we are at present day, we don't know how the chemicals we put in our body work in co-ordination with our body. Science has known this as have our law makers for years. No one is held accountable. Case in point I was in a restroom where was a sign that said "DWI-DWU available through X Insurance so who really are we as a country. Remember the debacle the British had with the drug that produced malformed babies 30 or so years in the past.

    October 26, 2010 at 10:58 | Report abuse | Reply
  45. Batman

    Stories like this often reminded of that pitch Jack Nicholson's character the Joker made in the original Batman movie "New and Improved Joker Products!"

    October 26, 2010 at 11:04 | Report abuse | Reply
  46. Padmanabham

    One's gain is other's pain. The problem all the time is who should gain.

    October 26, 2010 at 11:05 | Report abuse | Reply
  47. Bobby

    What a good fraction of you do not realize is that just about EVERY chemical you use on a daily basis is toxic to you to some extent. Your shaving cream, your toothpaste, the insecticide on your food, the plasticizers in the plastic parts in your cars interior.... the complete modern way of life is only possible because of these chemicals. The chemical industries would LOVE if they could figure out a way to make these chemicals non-toxic, they don't want people dying, they don't want bad publicity, and they don't want law suits. If not from a humanitarian perspective from a economic perspective all of those result in loss of income. You can have the option of living in mud huts and riding horses every day and growing your own food in your backyard... but I notice NONE of you choose that life. You all choose to use the chemicals, enjoy all the benefits while complaining about the drawbacks. It's like a person stuffing a double cheeseburger down their throat while at the same time complaining that McDonalds is responsible for them being fat. You choose what to use and what not to use. Make the choice to stop using all chemicals and then you can stand on your high horse and talk about the evil corperations. Those corperations only exist because you purchase their goods.

    As far as what is cancer causing and what is not, as Dr. Gupta said, very few chemicals have ever been PROVEN to cause cancer because human bodies all respond differently to similar toxins. So it is very hard to make those correlations, and they require studies over many many many years with tons of clinical trials. How do we do that? I bet a large fraction of the people on here will complain that there is not enough cancer testing, but also are against using animals for medical research. There is no other option. And cancer is a slow process, so for difinitive results, it could take 40 years.

    think about the implications of what you say before you say it.

    October 26, 2010 at 11:06 | Report abuse | Reply
  48. CSnord

    Chemicals? That is the best he can come up with to testify about to Congress? Chemicals are unimportant. We need to teach people how to eat right. Reduce obesity rates. Rebuild a good work ethic in young people. Teach responsible procreation. Get people off of welfare. Reverse the culture of victimization we've created. Fix our energy policy. Teach children to read and write and do math. Do all of that and THEN maybe chemicals might be worth tackling. Dealing with it now is like worrying about a hangnail on a gunshot victim.

    October 26, 2010 at 11:10 | Report abuse | Reply
    • lisa

      All that you say is true but without a doubt there are many chemicals which are a problem for us, so at least he is trying to do something about it. When you have children you are more in tune with your responsibilities of what environment youre raising them in. Would you stand them in a field of beans while its being sprayed with pesticides? No, but we eat them, which is a concern to many as well as its been proven that many chemicals we have been exposed to in life are retained and show up in our blood work, some of which can affect our immune systems and change our genetic mutations. I applaud him for trying to make a difference instead of sitting home wondering or complaining...all of us should be more active via actions and be preventative instead of being so slow to react for change...

      October 26, 2010 at 11:31 | Report abuse |
  49. Concerened Citizen

    Take a look at the federal government website from the National Institutes of Health – ToxMap: http://toxmap.nlm.nih.gov/toxmap/main/index.jsp this website combines the Toxic Release Inventory of EPA's toxic chemical reports by geographic location. You can search on the NIH ToxMap based on where you live(d). There are other interesting data sources that you can add to the map like health data (cancer rates, other health-related statistics, demographic data from Census, etc.) It does not take you too long to see some associations of health-related diseases to large amounts of toxic chemical releases.

    October 26, 2010 at 11:17 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Bobby

      Actually, I DONT see any trends other than where there are less people there are a smaller number of people with health issues. Note... not a smaller FRACTION, a smaller number. Take a look at midland Michigan, where the headquarters of the second largest chemical company in the world resides along with a gigantic chemical plant.... see a increased concentration there? Nope. Same goes with Freeport Texas where two of the biggest chemical plants in the US are side by side (DOW and BASF). Unusually large concentration there? Nope.

      October 26, 2010 at 11:29 | Report abuse |
  50. Tanya

    Treat your food as a medicine, take it selectively and in very small quantities.

    October 26, 2010 at 11:21 | Report abuse | Reply
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Get a behind-the-scenes look at the latest stories from CNN Chief Medical Correspondent, Dr. Sanjay Gupta, Senior Medical Correspondent Elizabeth Cohen and the CNN Medical Unit producers. They'll share news and views on health and medical trends - info that will help you take better care of yourself and the people you love.