Discovering the Pollution Within Our Bodies

David Ewing Duncan

David Ewing Duncan writes that the drinking water in his college dorm could have contained traces of the PCBs pouring into the Hudson River far upstream. Photo: Peter Essick/National Geographic hide caption

itoggle caption Photo: Peter Essick/National Geographic

We live in a world full of toxins. Science writer David Ewing Duncan set out to find out just how polluted his own body was — and where the chemicals came from. He writes about the results in the October issue of National Geographic.

Duncan had 14 vials of his blood examined for traces of hundreds of chemicals found all around us — in our homes, offices and neighborhoods.

"I was tested for 320 different chemicals," he tells Lynn Neary. "This is everything from DDT to PCBs to plasticizers and flame retardants — all kinds of chemicals that are out there."



Please keep your community civil. All comments must follow the Community rules and terms of use, and will be moderated prior to posting. NPR reserves the right to use the comments we receive, in whole or in part, and to use the commenter's name and location, in any medium. See also the Terms of Use, Privacy Policy and Community FAQ.