Main pageCNN live broadcast on August 7, 2010/special toxic children
20: 00 ETTHIS is a report card in a hurry.
This copy may not be in final form and may be updated.
Unidentified women: our children enter the world with more than 200 chemicals.
Before they were bornpolluted.
What is the effect of this toxic mixture on the health of our children? Dr.
Sanjay Gupta survey.
CNN's toxic childhood begins now. (Start Video)
Life is much more enjoyable today.
Yes, it's good to live today. DR.
Sanjay Gupta, CNN's chief medical correspondent (voice-over)
This is 1947 of any town in the United States.
There is no doubt that you have heard of Deloitte, death advance, atomic bomb.
In short, the most famous miracle in the modern world. GUPTA (on camera)
I'm here to see the latest amazing products.
Unidentified male: This is the minority concentrated death. GUPTA (voice-over): Hmm.
It sounds dangerous.
Unidentified male: Well, this new insect vandal contains a lot of DDT.
Not just a little.
It's even higher than what the government says.
But there's nothing to worry about, right?
After all, they say it's safe.
Unidentified male: It's right. it's absolutely harmless to people and animals.
You can use it anywhere in your home.
Unidentified male: perfect for getting rid of those unwelcome family guests.
Gupta: It's even safe around the children. (On camera)
: A new generation of pesticides-
Liquid, powder, spray-everywhere. Look.
We all know what this is about.
The promise of security is totally untrue.
Good evening. I'm Dr. Sanjay Gupta.
The film clip is a commercial advertisement for version 1947.
It was actually shown in department stores trying to sell new pest killer DDT.
They were so naive about the danger at the time, but you know what?
There is evidence that we began to repeat the same pattern, using chemicals that we were told today to be safe, only to find that they were not safe.
So tonight, in a Toxic Childhood, we will ask questions.
How do common chemicals affect the health of our children and what can we do to minimize the risk of our children?
As a journalist, a doctor, and above all as a father of three children, I believe it's time to give some real answers.
So we start tonight with the latest science, which reveals all kinds of chemicals that are now entering their bodies before our children are born. (Start Video)GUPTA (voice-over)
: In this womb shrouded in darkness and warmth, the life of the baby begins.
This is a sacred space, original, insulated.
A safe haven for more than nine months. (On camera)
: Imagine that a baby is hidden in the womb and is not affected by all attacks on the body.
You said it wasn't that fast? DR.
Fredrika Pereira, professor at the School of Public Health at Columbia post: not very fast.
The placenta does its job as well as possible, but it is not a perfect barrier.
Many chemicals do pass through the placenta relatively easily. GUPTA (voice-over): Chemicals? In here?
Babies born every day are not one, not two, but hundreds of toxic substances.
In a study conducted by the Environmental Working Group of non-profit environmental advocacy organizations, an average of 232 chemicals were measured in cord blood of 10 infants born at the end of last year.
There is no scientific evidence of a definitive causal relationship between these mixed toxins carried by our children at birth and specific health problems.
But many pediatricians believe that it is precisely what we do not know that makes this problem so disturbing. DR.
Philip Landrigan of Mount Sinai Children's Environmental Health Center: in this country, 80% of the common chemicals used on a daily basis, we hardly know if they can damage the child's brain, immune system, reproductive system, other developing organs. It's a --
We made a mess of ourselves.
Cord: the list of chemicals measured in Cord blood is--well, long.
Computer, TV, mattress, PBDEs in furniture, flame retardant.
BPA in food cans, bottle caps, hard plastic.
Waterproof materials for manufacturing non-stick products, food packaging, carpets, furniture.
O-benzene Ester was found in various products of children's toys and cosmetics.
But how did they get here from here?
The answer is probably in this backpack.
I started investigating two years ago.
Unidentified woman: all the air you breathe will be filtered through this device. All right.
Let's adjust it.
PERERA: It's not a perfect model for moms, but it's a good indication of what's in the air that women breathe, and what might be transferred to the fetus. GUPTA: Dr.
Fredrika Pereira conducted a 12-year landmark study at the Children's Environmental Health Center at Columbia University.
Hundreds of pregnant women follow them on the streets of these cities.
Measure their exposure to toxic substances.
Vehicle emissions. Pesticides. Second-hand smoke.
Everyone is wearing a backpack with a tube like a lung in it that sucks in the air they breathe.
The findings of the researchers were shocking.
PERERA: When we analyzed the air samples, I was surprised to find that 100% of the air samples had at least one pesticide and the detectable level of the air pollutants we were interested in, each
Gupta: 100% of people have pesticides.
The pollutants that scientists are testing eventually enter the uterus from the mother.
Now, it would be one thing if these chemicals were harmless.
But studies of animals and humans suggest that they may not be.
These chemicals affect the development of the brain.
Gupta: all of this forces us to check the safety of safe haven.
Molly Jones gray, midwife: I hope it all goes well and sends the message.
Gupta: Molly Jones gray is very concerned about maintaining this safe haven.
Do you feel good?
She is a midwife and a lawyer.
Gray: mothers should be like this. when I am like this, I can make a lot of choices to ensure a healthy pregnancy.
We can eat prenatal vitamins, we can eat a healthy diet, we can avoid cigarettes and alcohol, we can exercise.
But if we can make all the choices, we have no choice in that choice.
We cannot protect our babies from the powerful effects of toxic chemicals on their developing bodies.
I usually say, don't put anything on the baby's skin that you won't eat.
If you don't recognize any of the ingredients, if you don't recognize the pronunciation of them, it might not be a good idea to wear her skin.
Gray knows a lot about pregnancy.
Many things about babies
There's a lot more about abortion.
Gray: It's really hard to lose early pregnancy.
Morley's husband, zakory Gray: to take it away from you, it puts you in a state of emotion that you can't really describe.
You want to know why. You know?
Is that what I did?
Gray: for us, this leads to a huge search, do we have any different approaches?
Is there anything else we can do better?
Molly and her husband did everything they could think.
They eat organic food.
They avoided fish with mercury.
When she finally became pregnant with her son Parkes, she had a blood test and found that the mercury content was high.
This is a heavy metal that can cause brain damage.
Fortunately, Parkston is very good.
Gray: I don't know. My son is in contact with mercury.
It is a heavy burden because I feel it is our job as parents to protect them, take care of them, nurture them and keep them from harm.
GUPTA: 12 years of backpack research, the results are sobering.
PERERA: 15% of children have at least one development problem.
We have seen the relationship between air pollutants and chromosome abnormalities.
This is a dangerous sign that there are changes that may increase the risk of cancer later on. GUPTA (on camera)
None of these sounds very good.
No, it doesn't sound very good. GUPTA (voice-over)
Could it be a chemical?
Now, we just don't know. (END VIDEOTAPE)
Gupta: The doctor is with me now. Ed Clark.
He is Utah University pediatric department.
He is also the chief researcher of the National Children's Research.
They followed 100,000 children from the womb until the age of 21.
Find some answers about the health impact of the environment.
Including the risks of all these chemicals.
Welcome to the show. DR.
Ed Clark, chairman of pediatrics at the University of Utah: Thank you.
Nice to be here.
You heard it just now.
More than 200 chemicals were found in cord blood.
You know, I have three children.
I mean, should I panic?
I mean, most people are shocked to hear the news.
But how big is this problem?
Clark: this is really a problem.
This is the first verification of the amount of chemicals our children are exposed (INAUDIBLE)
It's not surprising.
Our environment is changing.
This is a measure of it.
Gupta: You know, it's interesting, we talked a lot about all kinds of things that happen to our children, the rise in asthma rates, and the rise in some neurological diseases.
Obesity is a topic that people often talk about.
Do you think this may have something to do with the environment?
Obesity, for example.
What about that?
Clark: our kids are getting fat, not as simple as video games and fast food.
There are some more fundamental things.
Some of these things may be driven by chemicals that mimic early signals that determine the distribution of fat in our bodies.
GUPTA: Do we --
Do we know this?
Or are we guessing and assuming here?
What do we know for sure?
Clark: It's really a hypothesis at this point.
But it's clear that obesity and asthma and other epidemics that really affect the health of our children have reasons we haven't identified yet.
Gupta: I mean, it might be wrong if we assume it.
I mean, we're going to do all this research.
You're directing--you know, 21-year study.
In the end, it might come back and say, you know, the sky is falling and these chemicals are actually good.
Clark: It's possible.
But the reality is that children who are currently in primary school are the first generation in the history of the country to face less health risks than their parents.
We have to ask these questions.
I would be happy if these chemicals did not affect it.
But some things are changing the health of our children.
We must find out what it is.
Do you think it's an environmental problem?
Clark: combined with our genes, I believe this is the environment.
Obviously, our environment has changed dramatically over the past 60 years.
You say there is a canal of love in every community.
A toxic website that many people have heard.
Is there such a community in every community?
Clark: Not only is there in every community, each of us has a canal of love in the backyard, under the kitchen sink, in the garden shed.
Our chemicals can seriously interfere with development.
Gupta: Thank you very much.
You are advancing science, so hopefully you will come back and join us, maybe when some results come back.
Clark: very happy.
When we come back, the worst.
A couple blamed the death of their daughter on toxic chemicals.
It's a lesson, they say, and no parent should miss it. (
Gupta: You know, in the year of CNN's investigation of toxic chemicals, almost everyone we talked to said, you see, they could be safe.
It won't hurt you a little bit.
Or we just don't know.
But I mean, it's not good enough, after all, they used to say the same thing when lead silently poisoned children.
The man who finally changed this wrong idea, Phil landreagan(Start Video)GUPTA (voice-over)
: As a young researcher at the Center for Disease Control and Prevention in 1970, PhD
Philip Landrigan traveled to El Paso to investigate possible lead poisoning in children at the smelter.
Extract lead from the ore and discharge a large amount of lead dust into the air. DR.
Philip Landrigan from Mount Sinai Center for Children's Environmental Health: I am the leader of both
The people who went to El Paso to investigate the situation, the CDC team.
We found an epidemic.
Gupta: Bulleye when they draw the results on the map.
LANDRIGAN: The main finding is that 60% of children in recent circles have elevated blood lead levels.
The next lap is 25%, and the third lap is 10%.
So this is indeed the bull market distribution of lead poisoning in El Paso, with the epicenter at the smelter.
Gupta: What is surprising is not that the closest child to the smelter is sick, but what happens to the child further away.
LANDRIGAN: low levels of exposure still lead to a series of impairments in intelligence loss, behavioral disruption, brain and nervous system.
Land: Landrigan's research has helped to ban the use of lead paint and lead gasoline.
The federal government now says there is no lead at a safe level.
Any exposure can cause damage to the brain or the central nervous system.
People think it's OK to have a little lead. (END VIDEOTAPE)
Gupta: Now we all know that lead is dangerous, but there is a problem.
What's the next clue?
Jim and Nancy Dudda have always made it their mission to answer this question.
For them, it all started after a devastating tragedy. year-
The old daughter, Colette, was diagnosed with a rare kidney cancer.
9 months of active treatment does not save their only child.
She died before her 5 th birthday.
Thank you for joining us.
Daughter Nancy Chuda died of rare cancer: Thank you, Sanjay.
Daughter Jim Duda died of rare cancer: Thank you.
Thank you for sharing your story.
I have three daughters, and when I hear your story, I--
In this case, you can't help but think of your own children.
Everyone wants their children to do their best.
Make sure they are taking care of them.
I know, obviously, it will still affect you emotionally after all these years.
Are you over?
Do you know what happened to Colette? J.
Well, I think--
We have doubts that there have been tests since we started our organization.
We knew from the beginning that this was not genetic. -
We have tests and everything so we know it must have been something else that caused it all-
You know, because it's not in any of our families, backgrounds, history, or anything.
Gupta: It's not hereditary.
Nancy, you did all the tests. What --
What you really want is the environment? N.
Well, the environment is really a trigger.
After Colette passed, we had these genetic tests, which seemed obvious to us, and if it wasn't something of a gene, what could it be in the environment?
A year later, in 1995, a Brazilian study, the American Journal of Epidemiology, published a study linking wildlife tumors to pesticide exposure. -
Gupta: this is the type of cancer she has. N.
Shuda: nonGenetic form.
It says that on the maternal side, if the exposure occurs in the 48 months of the fourth year, if the pesticide crosses the placenta, if there is some exposure, this may lead to the development of Wilms tumors.
This study inspires our curiosity, not only about Colette, but also about all children, as well as the fact that so many children are exposed to environmental contaminants and what are these connections?
At the time of 94 to 95, we did not know what we knew today.
What do we know now?
I mean, you know, because I 've been looking into it for a year. N. CHUDA: Right.
Gupta: The answer I 've been hearing is that it's safe in small doses, or don't worry, or we just don't know.
What do we know? J.
I think when we started doing this, we found out-
Like a lottery ticket.
In a few seconds, only one carcinogenic substance is needed to start the mutation.
So the bottom line is, you have to lower your odds, you know?
You have to reduce exposure.
The more exposure you can reduce, the more likely you are to have cancer. N.
CHUDA: There is also a problem, Sanjay, in terms of testing, the model we are using is 155-pound man --male.
This is absurd.
If we are talking about the unique vulnerability of children and the cumulative number of chemicals they consume in the process of development and justice-
It doesn't make sense that these chemicals are affecting their growth.
It is illogical for the regulatory system to support 155 of the regulatory systempound male.
I mean, in this country, children are less constitutional than our chemicals.
What we would like to see is that we would like to see legal support for those who are more vulnerable, such as children, pregnant women and the elderly.
This is what we do with "healthy children, Healthy World.
"We are educating our parents what they can do.
Gupta: Thank you very much for sharing your story.
I know it's hard to share, but you really turn it into a job in your life. Appreciate it. J.
Thank you very much. N.
Chen Da: Thank you.
Gupta: You know, like tragic stories like Colette Duda, science is far from being solved.
Next, we will listen to people who think that if we look at the environment, we may look at the wrong place. We'll explain. Stay with us. (
Gupta: There are more than 80,000 known chemicals currently used by the US industry.
Think about it.
In fact, let me give you a better range of questions.
It's like there's a chemical in every seat of the Georgia Dome.
How many people do you think have been tested for safety?
Just about 200.
This is a way of thinking.
Like a small part here.
In a minute, we will hear what the EPA director thinks about all this.
But with me now.
Elizabeth Whelan, non-
The government, non-profit American Committee on Science and Health.
She believes that most of the attention to environmental toxins is actually unfounded.
Also here is Ken Cook, director of the Environment Working Group, a non-profit research and lobbying group.
He said the government's regulation of chemicals is far from enough.
Thank you both for joining us.
Ken cook, chair of the Environment Working Group: Thank you for inviting me.
It's interesting, you know. Dr.
Whelan, I started with you. You say --
You said you wanted to clarify some misconceptions about the relationship between environmental toxins and children's health.
What are these misconceptions?
Do you believe they are harmful?
Elizabeth Whelan, chair of the American Committee on Science and Health: First of all, there is a big gap between people's perception of chemicals and health and scientific reality.
You know, we are surrounded by chemicals from nature.
Everything is chemical.
We must accept this.
I am not aware of the health consequences of an unborn child, child or adult suffering from exposure to trace chemicals.
I think it's all distracting.
We want parents to worry about real threats to their children, such as wearing safety belts, installing smoke detectors, and getting vaccinations. You know --
Instead, they are concerned that you know if they can use plastic bottles or microwave ovens or if the shower curtain is dangerous.
This has become ridiculous.
I think we have to introduce more scientific knowledge into the dialogue.
Gupta: What do you think, Ken?
I mean, this is part of the work that your organization is doing and is trying to bring some science to that end.
Cook: Well, I mean, I think the problem with the doctor is
Whelan's argument is that scientists do not agree with each other.
We have a National Toxicology Program dedicated to studying the levels of carcinogens found in our daily lives.
While it's not all professional, we also have health risks.
The Environmental Protection Agency regulates hundreds of pesticides.
Again, these occur at very low doses, and again, when they feel that there is a risk in particular for children, they have taken action.
So in my opinion, the real problem here is not what we have to say.
When we say that parents should care about environmental pollution, I don't think we are telling them ---
GUPTA: Right. COOK: --
Children should take off their seat belts or stop wearing helmets when they ride bicycles or start smoking.
Whelan: this is a problem. -
This is a priority.
This has disrupted our priority.
We're talking about government agencies, say, all the National Cancer Research records say they know that the health conditions associated with approved pesticide regulatory use are poor.
They already talked.
Food and Drug Administration issued a statement-
Very clear statement-
In January, regarding the chemical BPA used in plastic, it was used in canned liners to prevent foodborne illness.
Everyone is worried.
Gupta: Well, Doctor. -
Whelan: The FDA has said that it is safe. GUPTA: Dr.
Whelan, I mean, the reality is, though, as you know, we're talking specifically about 80,000 chemicals here. And --
200 of them have been tested. So the point --
I think the point that a lot of people care about is not that we think they are dangerous, but that we don't know if they are safe or not.
You don't know.
We have made these mistakes before.
I mean, we used to think that leading is OK.
Now we know that it's not only bad, it's causing big problems.
The question is how you can prove something safe.
This is impossible.
It's like proving a negative.
You took something. -
Similarly, chemicals like BPA, which have been around for 50 years, have been tested around the world and everyone says it is safe, however, in the eyes of many people who are concerned about chemicals, it still does not have a safe name.
Cook: Well, it doesn't have a security name entirely from the United States yet. S. government.
The Food and Drug Administration is still checking the double phenol.
This is a common ingredient in canned liner and other environmental exposure sources.
The Environmental Protection Agency has listed BPA as one of its chemicals of concern.
So this is not the case.
But you made it very clear. -Dr. Gupta.
You know, there was a time when the tobacco industry said smoking was not a problem.
In fact, they denied it until the time when science said no such thing.
So I think Dr.
Whelan, she has the support of many people in the industry.
I think it's a reassuring thing for some chemical companies to put forward her point of view, but the final conclusion is actually what chemical companies are talking about now.
Whelan: I have to jump. -
What they're saying is--
I have to jump in here. COOK: --
We think we need reform.
Gupta: Okay. Dr.
Whelan, go ahead.
I have to jump in here.
We don't have much money from these chemical companies.
In fact, we represent ourselves as an independent group representing consumers.
Analogy with the tobacco industry is absolutely intolerable.
Since we were in our 50 s, we have epidemiology evidence that smoking causes lung cancer and other diseases, which the industry does deny.
This is a very irresponsible thing.
What we're talking about here is the absolute distance from the tobacco industry.
There is no evidence that these chemicals have any adverse effects on health.
I think we have to go back to natural chemicals again and say, why don't we worry about them?
You mentioned that we can find chemicals in the blood of the fetus, embryo or mother.
Gupta: cord blood.
Well, you know, we can find--
We can find anything in today's analytical technology.
So you can find that it has nothing to do with causing poor health.
Gupta: go ahead.
Cook: Well, I think--
I think this is actually a fair statement.
My training is chemistry.
I don't think anyone should think it's a health risk just because you find a mixture of chemicals or individual chemicals in someone's blood.
But I don't know who made this request.
What we are saying is that if you find chemicals in cord blood, we should have a very strict way to determine if they are safe or not.
I think, I still feel, like a father, that we don't know the answers to these things.
Of these 80,000 chemicals, only 200 have been tested.
It's really hard for me to make this clear to my mind.
We will bring you both back.
Chef: Thank you.
Gupta: of course, stay tuned.
In this country, environmental chemicals are innocent before they are proved guilty.
This is the way to think about problems. (
Start Video Editing)SEN.
Frank in Labor businessD)
New Jersey: when I see that EPA has little or no control over the types of chemicals introduced in our national products ---(
End of video clip)
Gupta: this is not the case in Europe.
When it comes to our safety, why is there such an amazing difference?
Answer after rest. (
Don lemon, cnn anchor: I'm Don Lemon live from CNN world headquarters in Atlanta.
Take a look at your headlines this hour.
Elena Kagan has been sworn in as Justice of the Supreme Court.
Kagan is the second time President Obama has been appointed to the high court.
She became 112 justice and the fourth woman to serve in the Supreme Court.
Former President Fidel Castro spoke today at the Cuban National Assembly for the first time in four years.
He spoke against nuclear war and urged President Obama not to shoot the first shot in the confrontation.
Castro turns 84 next Friday.
Police in Maryland have accused a couple of murdering two children and two adults outside Washington, D. C. C.
Police say the crime scene is horrible. Forty-three-year-old --a 43-year-
An 18-year-old manyear-
An old woman in Texas has been charged in the apparently drug-related murder.
Police say the victims and suspects were involved in the sale of marijuana.
I'm Don Lemon. come back at 10: 00. m.
Our special report, Toxic America, continues. (
We are back in a toxic childhood.
As we learned tonight, no one can assure parents that the chemicals present in our children are quite safe because the tests have not been completed.
But now, a new security standard is taking shape in Europe.
Our leaders in Washington are following this issue very closely, as are the Morin families in Memphis. (Start Video)GUPTA (voice-over)
: June 3, 2004.
The world of Mullins has collapsed.
That day, their 3-year-
Until then, good health-
Diagnosed with cancer. Leukemia.
Terry Morin, Elizabeth's mother: I have been told that this is not an attack.
So the only other idea I can believe is that it has to be something that goes into the environment of her blood.
Thierry morin, Isabelle's father: everything around us, really, what we use at home is--
It contains chemicals that are not necessarily tested.
Gupta: We can't be sure if Isabel's cancer is caused by chemicals.
The science of causation is not yet available.
But there are many red flags.
Richard Dennison holds a PhD in molecular biochemistry from Yale University.
He is part of the Environmental Protection Fund, which, by the way, helped ban the chemicals we started using this hour. DDT.
Richard dennison from the Environmental Protection Fund: We know that a lot of diseases are on the rise, especially in children, and some types of cancer and childhood leukemia are on the rise.
We have enough indirect evidence to take a more cautious approach to the way we expose people to chemicals.
Gupta: these exposures should be regulated by the administration of Toxic Substances Act. TSCA. The 34-year-
The old law gives EPA the power to track and control all new and existing chemicals.
Denison: We have a fairly deep hole that we can dig out because we have a system that basically assumes that almost all the chemicals in the market are safe.
Gupta: as we speak in Europe, this assumption is that chemicals are innocent until proven guilty.
Manufacturers are now rushing to the deadline for the submission of chemicals to the government on December --
Approved laboratories will decide whether they are safe enough to remain on the market.
The new EU law is called REACH.
Registration, assessment, authorization and Restriction of Chemicals.
For the first time, the responsibility for safety proof is handed over to the manufacturer.
That's why this multi-million-dollar lab outside London, as well as labs like it in all 27 countries in the EU, is now testing thousands of chemicals.
Joe hennon of the European Commission: it's not about banning chemicals, it's about identifying those potentially dangerous things and replacing or eliminating them where possible.
This has already happened.
In Europe, you can't find nail polish containing dibutin.
Suspected hormone disruptors are prohibited there.
But the products are still here.
Or petroleum distillates, which may be carcinogenic, are still found in some mascara, perfumes, and lipsticks. (On camera)
But if you're like me, you might want to know why what's happening in Europe hasn't happened in the US either.
I can tell you that, to a large extent, this is because some decisions are being made in the building behind me.
The stage is now in the United States. S.
Fight for the big fight for toxic chemicals(Voice-over)
Senator Frank Lautenberg, he's 86 years old.
Time environmental protection, 11-year-old grandfather, who had just struggled with lymphoma, proposed a bill to reform TSCA.
For the sake of his future, even your grandson, he said. SEN.
Frank in Labor businessD)
New Jersey: I see that EPA has little or no control over the types of chemicals introduced in our national products.
Gupta: Lautenberg wrote a law banning smoking on a plane.
His safety Chemicals Act of 2010 will give EPA more regulatory power, which, like Europe, will allow companies to provide evidence of chemical safety in the first place. (On camera)
What is TSCA achievement?
Lawtenberg: not much. Not much.
Because the system is broken
In order for EPA to have to go out and study and say, OK, now let's take a look at the baby bottle and let's take a look at the spray and let's--
Let's take a look at the interior trim cleaner and try to be fair, what's not good for you is the wrong way. That was --
It's too late. GUPTA (voice-over)
Just last month, the House held a hearing on a similar bill.
More legislation was put forward by Lautenberg.
Better safety testing of the dispersing agent is required.
These are chemicals used to disperse the Gulf oil spill.
The industry agrees.
The administration of toxic substances act needs to be updated.
But public health is safe. (On camera)
: The chemicals we breathe, the ones we just drank, are not safe to eat earlier today?
Michael Wall, US chemical Commission: No.
Gupta: You say that with confidence.
WALLS: I said that with confidence.
I think the Toxic Substances Control Act has proven to be very effective in protecting health and the environment. GUPTA (voice-over)
Their biggest concern?
The bill could kill innovation.
Wall: What we don't want to happen is to turn to a system where the barriers to bringing new products to market are so high that they can't be met.
We hope that our industry will maintain a competitive advantage and innovate continuously.
As for the Molin family, we know where we are. T.
MORIN: our government should do better to make it easier for parents to go out and buy products and know that they are safe for their children.
Gupta: After 1/2 years of chemotherapy, Isabel, now 9, has no cancer.
Today the Morin people buy green products.
The refrigerator is full of organic food.
But Terry says she will never completely get rid of the worry that her family is exposed to so many chemicals every day. (END VIDEOTAPE)
Gupta: Well, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has a lot of responsibility, and the agency says its mission is to protect human health from toxic chemicals and pollution.
From Venice with me, Luis Anna is the director of the EPA, Lisa Jackson.
Thank you very much for joining us.
Lisa Jackson, EPA director: Thank you, Sanjay.
Thank you for inviting me.
Gupta: The Senate is currently working on legislation to try to test chemicals before they go public.
A principle of prevention.
Can you do it?
How likely is this happening?
Well, you know, Senator Loudenberg and his safety chemicals act, he's a good friend and he's been involved in the toxic chemicals issue.
He personally told me to lose his father and always knew and believed that it had something to do with exposure.
I think this is what we have to do.
Of course, this will require resources, and the ideal thing to do is to turn the industry to the point where they start thinking about formulas in different ways.
They said, you know, we know that people don't want to buy toxic chemicals, and we know that they want to minimize exposure and let's find ways to give people what they want.
Gupta: Something is happening.
I think this is where I was most surprised.
In Europe, for example, the products they produce do not have a large amount of these chemicals that people worry about.
Jackson: The country has led the world in the sense of environmental pollution and harm, including Western Europe, for many years and decades.
We are a little behind in this regard.
Especially in the field of products and toxic chemicals, we are a little behind.
I am proud that this administration, the Obama administration, gathered around the whole government earlier last year to say that we want to see a series of principles in the legislation.
The president understands that this is one of the environmental problems of our lives and realizes that his government can have a huge impact here.
Gupta: There are too many chemicals.
It takes a lot of time to test all these chemicals.
I think this is one of the biggest limiting steps here.
Jackson: That's right.
Gupta: Do you think you have the ability to do the job?
Jackson: Well, I don't think the EPA has enough resources to do the job right now because it needs to change.
I mean, what we're talking about is that the current law is 60,000-
Plus the chemicals at the time of the current law.
There are free passes for all of them.
Now we want to go back and reopen the book and put everything back on the table and say, hey, maybe some of these 60,000 people, we're actually up to 80,000 now.
Perhaps some of them also need to be regulated in different ways.
You will have to give priority. We can't --
We can't just decide not to import or introduce chemicals.
Our other principle is that we need to make industries that want to use these chemicals and bring them to market, paying for the work that the government needs to ensure the safety of these chemicals.
I think we found that we learned every day in the Gulf that regulations are important and that the work of regulators has to be looked at, but that's to protect people.
Of course there is no difference in chemicals.
Administrator Jackson, thank you very much for joining us from Venice, Luis Anna.
I know it's hard for you today.
Keep healthy and in good condition.
Gupta: Now, even if our government has changed the way it is, it is only one aspect of the cancer war.
We are talking about cheap toys from all over the world that are easy to spot and they are full of dangers as far as we know.
A war of grandmothers-that's next. (
We are back in a toxic childhood.
You know, for 40 years, Judy Blaman has been trying to eradicate products that are dangerous for children.
Initially, it was a personal, somewhat local mission to simply protect her own five boys and girls in her 1970 s.
But according to her knowledge, it is an international struggle. (Start Video)GUPTA (voice-over)
: In the basement of Judy Blaman's house in the suburbs of Rochester, New York--
Citizen crusader of JUDY braiman: that's it. GUPTA: --
She called the room--
Blaman: room of terror.
Gupta: The horror room.
A treasure house of dangerous toys.
This is one of the biggest recalls.
A small arm fell off.
It's just a small part.
Gupta: The dangers of suffocation and the sharp edges used to be the focus of this citizen crusader.
The child's shoes set her on a new path.
Brieman: mom called me and said the one-year-old had red paint coming off his mouth.
Gupta: that's 1990. she knows the harm of lead. based paint.
BRAIMAN: I contacted the company to ask if they tested if the product contained any heavy metals or--
Lead in particular, they say, oh, we 've tested it and it's very safe.
This is an edible pigment.
So we took it to the lab and they found lead.
There is also a memory.
For the nine-year-old grandmother, this is a re-focused task.
Hidden dangers to children are found from toxic substances.
Three years ago, Judy learned of another hidden threat. Cadmium.
A heavy metal has emerged in Chinese-made children's jewelry, which the government believes is almost as dangerous as lead.
We found nearly 100% of cadmium in the curse.
I have never seen such a thing before.
She bought jewelry that she thought the children would like.
I have been watching.
Every place I go is looking.
I'm just getting close now.
She has become a regular visitor to the Rochester lab.
Unidentified Woman: What do you want to test?
We will be the charm of Angels. BRAIMAN: OK.
Cadmium, lead and zinc.
Gupta: The head of the lab said that to his surprise, they found an increase in CD content in the products she brought about the first quarter.
Bruce Hogger, a fan environmental services company: in some cases, the content of cadmium is as high as 80-90%.
So, you know, it's almost a pure metal in some cases.
Inez tenenbaum, chairman of the consumer goods safety committee: this is a very dangerous product.
Gupta: eneznham Baum is the chairman of the federal government's consumer product safety committee.
As she said, the CD in children's jewelry has not become a common problem for the agency in the past with lead in children's jewelry and toys.
But she told us that there is a real risk of exposure to the metal.
TENENBAUM: high levels of cadmium can cause a lot of problems for children.
There were kidney failure, lung problems, and multiple p problems in children.
This is why we are very serious about removing cadmium from children's jewelry.
Gupta: The agency has issued several recalls, including one triggered by the Judy Brahman test.
At the same time, the consumer goods safety commission has stepped up inspections of ports, monitoring goods from China with Customs and Border Patrol officials.
Inspectors now use special tools to measure heavy metals and use their authority to send back goods containing cadmium jewelry.
In January, the Chinese government banned the use of cadmium in jewelry.
Judy Blaman was encouraged by the United StatesS.
The government is taking action.
But she said it was not enough.
The bracelet should be recalled.
She also found cadmium in her jewelry.
BRAIMAN: very frustrating.
But I keep going because, you know, we have a very small win, and I hope they may bring a bigger one. (END VIDEOTAPE)
Gupta: What can you do now to make your home healthier when we come back. Stay with us. (
Gupta: You know, in the last hour we 've heard a lot about the potential dangers of the chemicals we 've all come into contact.
Chemicals that are particularly harmful to children.
I would like to talk about some solutions and methods to reduce our exposure.
I think the best way is to travel through the family.
Obviously the first stop you walk into the house is the foyer.
If you take off your shoes at the front door, you will reduce tracking of potentially harmful chemicals throughout your home.
Now this can be workplace chemicals, garden pesticides, lawn fertilizers, urbacide (ph).
Getting these toxic chemicals out of the House is especially important for families with babies and toddlers.
They spent a lot of time on the floor.
The next stop for many people, including me, is often the kitchen.
One thing that often comes up when talking about the kitchen is talking about water specifically.
The water in the US is clean now, but you can increase the level of protection by using something as simple as a carbon filter.
Pitchers like this have a carbon filter inside to help remove lead, chlorine and bacteria.
Now, it doesn't need what you have installed.
It can be so simple, but the gold standard is actually something called a reverse osmosis system.
Not so cheap.
It usually costs several hundred dollars to install one.
When you're in the kitchen, you're obviously talking about food. Meat and dairy.
Now you can focus on these two areas.
You should look for products that do not contain antibiotics and growth hormones.
By the way, this is the advice of the President's Cancer team.
Now there is a big problem in the products we produce is pesticides.
No one is willing to come into contact with pesticides.
You 've been listening for an entire hour.
But it's also expensive to buy organic food.
One solution is to simply clean and peel off.
Fruits and vegetables. you use them to make them.
But like this Apple, just wash it.
But you can also choose organic produce for some fruits and vegetables with the highest pesticide content.
They include peaches, apples, bell peppers, celery, peaches and strawberries.
Now, don't worry about remembering all this.
We will have a handy online guide on CNN.
Now you can print it out and put it in the fridge.
Whenever you cook, it is a convenient thing for you.
You may have heard of all potential health problems with non-stick cookware.
This is something that many people think.
You have this non-stick cooker, and it also has a chemical called PFOA, P -. F-O-A.
This is listed as a worrying chemical that starts to appear in our blood.
Some simple solutions?
You can use a cast iron pan.
You can also simply use a stainless steel pan like this.
How about the way you store your food?
A lot of people are thinking about this.
Many people have a drawer that looks like this.
They make leftovers with it and you want to put all the extra food in it.
Now, if you're concerned about BPA in plastic because you 've heard of these animal studies linking it to a range of issues like cancer, sexual dysfunction, and heart disease, check the recycling label at the bottom.
If there is a number 7, unless specifically marked as "BPA-free.
"One way to simply use less plastic now is to use stainless steel.
Like water bottles like this.
You can also store your leftovers in glass containers like this glass container, as well as fruit or glass containers like this one.
The other thing I want to say is really fast.
It was dust from the kitchen to the living room.
Many people talk about indoor air pollution.
Maybe you don't know something.
Indoor air pollution is two to five times that of outdoor air pollution.
It's not necessarily true that you go in and think you're safer.
This is a huge concern for parents, as children spend most of their time indoors these days.
Furniture, carpets, curtains.
Many of these products have a taste.
You may have smelled it.
What you smell may be formaldehyde or other volatile organic compounds.
These diseases are associated with asthma, damage to the kidneys and the central nervous system, and sometimes with cancer.
So open the window.
Adequate ventilation is allowed.
There are other things you may not know.
It just gets the plants of a house.
Just a home factory can remove up to 90% of our toxic chemicals in the air.
You know, Toxic America is really a problem for all of us, so you should also visit our website.
Your neighbors, stories across the country, and most importantly, what you can do today.
The interaction between toxic substances, the environment and your health is something we will be forced to deal with for the rest of our lives.
We learn new things every day.
You can expect CNN to bring it to you. I'm Dr. Sanjay Gupta.
Thanks for watching.