Bill Moyers' Test Results
Trade Secrets

As part of the research for TRADE SECRETS, Bill Moyers volunteered to participate in a pilot study of pollutant loads in the human body sponsored by the Mount Sinai School of Medicine.

84 chemicals were detected in Moyers’ blood and urine samples. Most of these substances could not have been present in the human body sixty years ago, when Moyers was a child. According to the study's lead doctor, Michael McCally, the compounds are products of the chemical revolution - five decades of intensive (and continuing) chemical use.

Because of the prohibitive costs of the highly specialized laboratory tests, testing for chemical body burdens is out of the question for most people unless they are participants in a study. In the Mount Sinai work, the battery of tests for each individual cost more than $6000.

Currently, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is engaged in a similar – but much larger – project to develop a National Exposure Report Card that will measure chemical residues in thousands of people in a range of demographic groups, including young children.

The 2000 Report Card measured 27 toxic substances that may cause cancer, birth defects, respiratory, cardiac, and other diseases. A future Report Card will increase the number of toxic substances measured to 100.

CDC National Exposure Report Card

The Mount Sinai study tested for five heavy metals, 22 organochlorine pesticides, a suite of organophosphate pesticide metabolites, several organic solvents, 17 dioxins and furans, 73 types of PCBs, and six types of phthalates. In addition to the chemicals they were looking for, analysts identified 78 semivolatile organic compounds in study group blood samples. The semivolatile chemicals showed up during an analysis by a machine called a mass spectrometer which can identify certain chemicals by the peaks they register on a graph. For many of these semivolatiles, publicly available health effects data are scarce, and exact sources of exposure are unknown.

Bill Moyers
The results indicated that Moyers had evidence of 84 chemicals in his blood and urine.
Summary of Bill Moyers' Test Results PrintEmail to a friend