Scientists: All residents of France have traces of heavy metals in their bodies
According to a study by the French public health organization Public Health France (PHF), all residents of France have traces of heavy and harmful metals such as arsenic, chromium or copper in the body. Scientists predict that the concentration of these substances in the human body will become more and more dangerous.
The Esteban study (monitoring of the state of the environment, bio-surveillance, physical activity and human nutrition), conducted by the PHF, revealed the presence of harmful elements in the body of the French, including children. Arsenic, cadmium, mercury, chromium, nickel – the entire list of heavy metals is 27 units, and it causes concern, states the French TV channel LCI. At the same time, the concentration of heavy metals in the body of the French is constantly increasing, reaching levels often exceeding those observed in other European countries and in North America.
The work of Esteban researchers, carried out for almost two years, has allowed for the first time to study at the country level the degree of exposure to a wide range of harmful metals in children other than adults. The contamination appears to be universal, the researchers noted, as these results affect “all adults and children involved” in France (97 to 100 percent of heavy metals were found in the body, depending on the substance). Most of the metals identified can lead to chronic disease, immunodeficiency and even cancer.
Of even greater concern to scientists is the fact that levels of contamination by metals in the body are rising, with the exception of nickel and mercury. The concentration of arsenic, cadmium and chromium in French adults has increased since the previous study in 2006-2007. Worse, these numbers exceed the guidelines set by the health authorities. This is especially true for arsenic, mercury and lead. The problem of cadmium is even more important, as nearly 50 percent of the adult population in France exceeds the levels recommended by the National Health Security Agency (ANSES). Cadmium has been classified as carcinogenic to humans since 2012 by the International Agency for Research on Cancer and toxic to reproduction under European regulations and should not be taken lightly. According to scientists, it has a toxic effect on the kidneys, skeleton, respiratory tract
Although present in a natural state, public health in France is primarily concerned with its presence in agricultural products. Cadmium is one of the main components of phosphate rocks, which are actively used for the production of phosphate fertilizers, one of the main consumers of which remains France. “Please note that for children in France, the main source of cadmium ingestion is the consumption of cereals for breakfast,” the scientists warned. More broadly, food – and especially fish and seafood – “affects the concentration of arsenic, cadmium, chromium and mercury.” Health authorities also warn of the dangers of smoking, even passive smoking.