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Discovering the Pollution Within Our Bodies

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Discovering the Pollution Within Our Bodies

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Discovering the Pollution Within Our Bodies

Discovering the Pollution Within Our Bodies

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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

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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."