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Body of Evidence: A Study of Pollution in Maine People

Project Sponsor:
Alliance for a Clean and Healthy Maine

Organizational Sponsors:
Environmental Health Strategy Center
Physicians for Social Responsibility, Maine Chapter
Natural Resources Council of Maine

Report Writers & Editors:
Catherine Schmitt
Mike Belliveau, Environmental Health Strategy Center
Rick Donahue, MD, Physicians for Social Responsibility
Amanda Sears, Environmental Health Strategy Center

Project Manager:
Steve Taylor, Environmental Health Strategy Center

Principal Investigators:
Rick Donahue, MD, Visiting Scientist,
Harvard School of Public Health
Vincent Markowski, PhD, Assistant Professor
University of Southern Maine

Research Assistants:
Melissa Boyd, Physicians for Social Responsibility
Matt Prindiville, Natural Resources Council of Maine
Sharon Tisher, University of Maine

Layout & Design:
Jessica Renner, Studio Hatch

Website Design:
Will Sugg, Planet Maine

Study Participants (with occupation and Maine residence):
Regina Creeley - Special Education Teacher - Hudson
Paulette Dingley - Health & Safety Instructor - Auburn
Dana Dow - State Senator - Waldoboro
Amy Graham - Children’s Author - Farmington
Bettie Kettell - Nurse - Durham
Russell Libby - Executive Director of MOFGA and Organic Farmer - Mount Vernon
Hannah Pingree - State Representative - North Haven
Lauralee Raymond - Lobbyist - Hallowell
Violet Raymond - Community Organizer - Winthrop
Elise Roux - High School Student - Windham
Charlie Schmidt - Science Writer - South Portland
Eric Stirling - Sporting Camp Owner - TA R12 WELS
Denyse Wilson - Writing Instructor - Bangor

Alliance for a Clean and Healthy Maine, Steering Committee:
Environmental Health Strategy Center, Learning Disabilities Association of Maine, Maine Labor Group on Health, Maine Organic Farmers and Gardeners Association, Maine People’s Resource Center, Maine Public Health Association, Natural Resources Council of Maine, Physicians for Social Responsibility - Maine Chapter, and Toxics Action Center Campaigns

This study of the pollution in Maine people was funded through grants awarded by the John Merck Fund and the Beldon Fund to member organizations of the Alliance for a Clean and Healthy Maine. We greatly appreciate the support of these funders as well as Bingham Program, Betterment Fund, New York Community Trust, Marisla Foundation and Johnson Family Foundation for their commitment to improving environmental health and promoting safer alternatives to toxic chemicals.

We are indebted to the Institutional Review Board and the Office of Research Compliance at the University of Southern Maine for their review and approval of all study protocols and procedures.

We are deeply thankful for the support and hard work of the Principal Investigators, Richard Donahue, MD and Vincent Markowski, PhD, without whom this study would not have been possible. Dr. Donahue, a family physician who practiced in Maine for ten years, is currently a Visiting Scientist at Harvard School of Public Health and a contractor to the Maine Chapter of Physicians for Social Responsibility. Dr. Markowski is Assistant Professor of Psychopharmacology at the Center for Integrated and Applied Toxicology at the University of Southern Maine.

We appreciate the advice, support and assistance provided by Sharyle Patton, Commonweal; Erika Schreder, Washington Toxics Coalition; and Jane Houlihan, Environmental Working Group.

Thank you to Environmental Working Group who inspired and supported this project through its pioneering studies and methods for raising public awareness of our chemical body burden. Special thanks to Washington Toxics Coalition for its communications and research support and to Commonweal’s Biomonitoring Resource Center for information resources.

Our biggest thanks go to the more than 20 Mainers who volunteered for this study and especially for the 13 who participated in the sampling and analysis. They donated several vials of blood, a lock of hair and a urine sample. They also consented to sharing their results with the public so as to advance our knowledge of the chemical pollutants in Maine people. You are environmental health heroes!

The conclusions and recommendations in this report are those of the authors and sponsoring organizations and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of the project funders, University of Southern Maine, principal investigators, advisors, or participants. The authors and sponsors accept all responsibility for any errors or omissions in this work.

This study was sponsored by the Alliance for a Clean and Healthy Maine, a diverse coalition of Maine-based organizations committed to protecting human health from toxic chemical exposure. Forty-five organizations have endorsed the Alliance, representing health-affected children, workers, doctors, public health professionals, environmentalists, and impacted communities.

Visit the Alliance for a Clean and Healthy Maine at or contact us at 207-772-2181, One Pleasant Street, Fourth Floor, Portland, Maine 04101.


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