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Stay Away From the Water!

You've probably seen a great deal on my Web site about the importance of drinking pure water and avoiding tap water at all costs due to such goodies as chlorine, aluminum and fluoride.

Now comes word that concentrations of a new toxic chemical -- a flame retardant banned by many European countries -- have been found in Lake Michigan. According to researchers, polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs) have been spotted in sediment hundreds of feet down in Lake Michigan which have added to concerns over previous findings that these chemicals were showing up in supermarket foods and women's breast milk.

The three-year study found PBDEs of up to one part per billion in the lake sediment - the equivalent of one drop of water in a 10,000 gallon swimming pool. By dating the samples, scientists discovered concentrations were INCREASING, and that they mirror levels of PBDEs and other flame retardants used since the 1970s.

How the PBDEs and other chemicals get into Lake Michigan is not entirely clear, but the air appears the mostly likely mode of travel. PBDEs are added to plastics used in computers, televisions, furniture and carpets. Some computer makers stopped using PBDEs in 2002, but a flame retardant related to PBDEs is still used in some circuit boards.

Just because you don't live near Lake Michigan doesn't mean you'll sidestep any risks to your health either. According to one scientist, the Great Lakes has become a toxic link in the world's food chain for bioconcentrating contaminants.

Yahoo News November 24, 2004

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