Chemicals Effects on Health
Information compiled by
Richard Pressinger, M.Ed., Tampa, FL 
Wayne Sinclair, MD, Allergy, Asthma & Immunology
Research on health disorders resulting from petroleum based chemicals used in consumer products, pesticides and job environments are available from the links below. Petroleum based chemicals are being found to cause accelerated aging to the brain, defense systems including the blood brain barrier and immune system as well as altering critical hormones necessary for teenage neurological and behavioral development. Illnesses identified in the medical research include adult and child cancers, numerous neurological disorders, immune system weakening, autoimmune disorders, asthma, allergies, infertility, miscarriage, and child behavior disorders including learning disabilities, mental retardation, hyperactivity ADHD (attention deficit disorders) as well as altering hormones essential for maintaining healthy bodily processes. Petroleum based chemicals are believed to cause these problems by a variety of routes including - impairing proper DNA (Gene) expression, weakening DNA Repair, accelerating gene loss, degeneration of the body's detoxification defenses (liver and kidneys) as well as gradual weakening of the brain's primary defense (the Blood Brain Barrier). Of significant concern, while petroleum based chemicals are required by the U.S. Government (EPA) to be tested for a variety of health effects, they are not required to be tested for subtle neurological damage (memory, personality, behavior etc), damage to the developing brain during pregnancy, detailed immune system effects, autoimmunity and effects upon the brain's primary defense - the blood brain barrier.  Also, the new toxicology field of endocrine disruptor chemicals is of extreme importance since many common chemicals and pesticides are now being found to alter normal hormone levels in the blood controlling development and aging. The majority of information at CHEM-TOX has been attained from research from the University of Florida and University of South Florida Medical Libraries.  Every attempt has been made to provide information clearly and accurately - The medical/scientific journal name and date, along with the university and scientists involved in the research are listed with each article.  We hope this information provides a base for changes in public health policy in public buildings, schools, residential settings (ie. condominiums), and help with guiding future city and state laws.  All research cited can be acquired in its original form from public libraries using the "Inner Library Loan Program" and can often be acquired immediately from univerisity medical libraries (ie. Shands Library at University of Florida in Gainesville).


Diabetes Rates Doubling Every 15-20 Years
Diabetes has gone from 1% in 1960 to over 14% today. See the research from Harvard, Princeton, UCLA and other research centers showing how chemicals in common consumer products from pesticides to fragrances to disinfectants are responsible.

Pesticides in Homes & Lawns Show Serious Health Risks
Common pesticides used in homes and lawns are now being shown in medical research to accelerate aging of the immune and nervous system resulting in serious health problems years after exposure.  Companies which use these chemicals include TruGreen - ChemLawn - Orkin and others.   Of significant concern, agriculture and consumer use pesticides are not currently required to be tested for subtle neurological effects (i.e. memory, depression, behavior) - child learning disorders - pregnancy developmental studies and immune system effects (i.e. lower white blood counts - increased infection rates and autoimmunity).  New research summaries have been added showing how pesticides are now being found to mimic natural hormones in the body (i.e. testosterone, progesterone, estradiol), thereby, damaging hormone controlled processes of brain development in children and normal aging in adults.

Farming Pesticides health Effects Living Near Agriculture Increases Health Problems
We summarize 25 years on medical research on health effects for families living within 1 mile of agriculture growing areas. Findings include increased rates of autism, child cancer, autoimmune disorders, Parkinson's and many other health problems. Journal articles summarized.

Learning Disabilities - A.D.D on the Rise - Pregnancy Warnings
learning disabilities and chemical exposureA large number of research studies provide strong evidence as to why we are seeing more and more children with learning and behavior disorders over the past 30 years.  Their conclusions are straight forward - exposure of the developing child to even small levels petroleum based chemicals commonly used today result in learning, neurological and behavior disorders evident throughout life.  This information is a result of a 1997 Graduate Research Project from University of South Florida investigating environmental and chemical causes of Learning Disabilities.

Car Exhaust Linked to Various Health Disorders
Car Exhaust Health EffectsGlobal Warming and carbon dioxide emissions are typically thought of as the driving force behind moving away from gasoline powered vehicles. While these are certainly important issues, another overlooked reason that should be ending the use of gasoline powered gars is the increasingly identified health problems linked to gasoline exhaust emissions. Gasoline contains many highly toxic chemicals including benzene, xylene, toluene and other compounds. When these chemicals are burned in the combustion engine process, they form new chemical compounds including dioxin and a group of chemicals called polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAH for short). Not only do people today spend more hours driving on major roadways, but they also choose to live closer to major highways as well. This health section summarizes a number of studies finding increased rates of cancer, autism, ADHD and lower IQ as consequences of gasoline exhaust exposure. The true cost of operating gasoline powered vehicles are therefore grossly underestimated as the actual cost should take into account the increased medical expenses for treating and taking care of individuals and children harmed by these chemical compounds. Converting vehicles to natural gas is an easy way to quickly avoid the health issues associated with gasoline vehicle exhaust.

Health Risks from PesticidesNew research on the dangers of the mosquito control pesticides DIBROM (Naled) and the pyrethroid pesticide PERMETHRIN are reported from six medical journals.  Health risks found include genetic damage - cancer potential - neurotoxic dangers to unborn children - and harm to marine life.  Researchers also find pesticide applications appear to be dramatically increasing the incidence of encephalitis carrying mosquitoes.  Theories regarding this include immune system damage to wildlife and genetic damage to the mosquitoes inherent defenses.

Malathion Health EffectsPesticide Malathion Health Effects
Malathion is a medfly and mosquito control pesticide which has been shown to have serious health effects upon humans.    Observed effects  include weakening of the immune system (thereby resulting in increased colds, flu and infections), birth defects, genetic damage, accelerated aging of certain body organs, increased neurological damage to the elderly and serious harm to wildlife.  This report shows how the public is being misled by this very dangerous pesticide.

Antibacterial Chemicals Provide No Benefit (Coming Soon)
The chemcial Tricloran is used in many anti-bacterial soaps, toothpastes, mouthwashes, etc. While companies that manufacture antibacterial products have successfully marketed these products, new research shows they actually provide no benefit when compared to basic hand soap washing. 

Child Vaccination Health Problems
While the medical community touts vaccinations as being important for child health, the research shows this is not necessarily the case and the risks may in fact be far greater than the benefits. While mercury is no longer used, it has been replaced with the highly neurotoxic coumpound "aluminum-sulfate."

Banned LetterRejected for Publication
When quality articles and letters are submitted to newspapers, journals or scientific magazines for publication, yet rejected for no apparent reason, attention needs to be brought to this problem.  As corporate industry gains more influence over mainstream media from magazines to newspapers, there is a gradual silencing of voices from scientists and "thinkers" who do not agree with their desired point of view.

Child Cancer & Relationship to Modern Chemicals
Evidence demonstrating how chemical exposures occurring in and around the home can greatly increase the risk of brain cancer, neuroblastoma & leukemia.   Also "NEW" research on immune system defects found in cancer children which can determine if "remission" is likely to occur.
Bed mattresses found to emit toxic chemicals
Today's modern beds are now constructed from a wide range of petrochemical products such as vinyl and polyurethane foam.  The latest research shows the petroleum chemicals used to make these materials are being emitted into the breathing zone of the sleeping child.  Since the chemicals found are known carcinogens and respiratory irritants - parents of children with cancer or asthma should be particularly concerned.

Immune Systems Under Attack -
Research on how the human immune system is damaged or weakened by exposure to pesticides, plastics and a variety of chemicals in common consumer products.  Strong evidence for explaining the observed increases in immune related disorders from viral/bacterial infections to child cancers.

Neuroblastoma Research
Case histories - pesticides and immune system damage.  
Chlordane Termite Pesticide Problems
Important health information for people living in homes built before 1988.  Evidence suggests an epidemic of health problems caused by daily breathing of this low dose pesticide.
Infertility - Miscarriage Research Studies
Hundreds of hours of work went into this project locating and summarizing research showing how infertility problems are being linked to many chemicals in the environment.

Gallstones - Evidence for an Environmentally Induced Illness
Environmental Causes of GallstonesGallstone formation is a painful disease that occurs when the bile (going from the liver to the gallbladder) becomes super-saturated with cholesterol.  This page describes dietary factors found to worsen this condition and discusses evidence that improper liver function is unable to emulsify the bile, thereby encouraging gall stone formation.

How Loss of Genes/DNA Causes AgingHow the Human Body Ages
Understanding how chemicals and pesticides contribute to accelerating the aging process of various body systems requires understanding of how and why the aging process actually occurs.  Research from the Department of Biology, University of California explains how our yearly one-half to 1% loss of "Genes" within our DNA is the culprit.

Chemical Illness Report Page
Petroleum based chemicals can cause serious health problems over time.  Research shows this can occur from exposure in the workplace - home and also from many consumer products.  Because of the time delay in exposure and symptom onset, as well as complexity of processes involved (individual liver enzyme detoxification efficiency - gradual attrition to neurological defenses, etc.), these illnesses are often overlooked, diagnosed incorrectly - or denied (by physicians representing the chemical or insurance industry). If you or someone you know has developed health problems from chemical exposure please let us know by clicking this link.  Anyone to input their information and have it immediately posted to this web site.   Also, please report any circumstances of illegal or unsafe chemical use or disposal.

TOXNET WEB SITE - This toxicology site from the National Library of Medicine has an excellent database of health effects and hazards occurring from petroleum chemical exposure.  After going to this site, type in at least two search terms - one with the chemical and the other with a related health term (i.e. neurotoxic - immune - liver - kidneys - cancer - etc.).