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Regina Creeley, 54, lives in Hudson. She is married with two grown children. Regina began working as a classroom assistant when she was 14 years old. Now a special education instructor, Regina says she has noticed a dramatic increase in the number of students in her school with special needs.

Regina had the highest total arsenic level of all study participants, which was probably due to her recent meal of shellfish, which contain a non-toxic form of arsenic. She had the lowest mercury level.

Paulette Dingley, 48, has spent much of her life working to provide home care for adults with disabilities. She now works with the American Red Cross as a health and safety instructor. She lives in Auburn.

Paulette had the highest level of two types of phthalates. She was one of three participants who had bisphenol A chemicals in their bodies at levels several times higher than the national average.

  Dana Dow, 56, is a Republican state senator who represents his hometown of Waldoboro and 20 other towns in midcoast Maine. He is serving his second legislative term and sits on the Marine Resources and Labor committees. Married with four children, Dana also owns a furniture store.

Dana had the highest levels, and most different types, of perfluorinated chemicals (PFCs), the Teflon chemicals. Senator Dow’s levels were more than twice the national average level for PFOA and several other PFCs.

  Amy Graham, 35, works out of her home in Farmington and splits her time between writing children's books and being a homemaker. She and her husband have two young daughters, Phoebe and Sylvie. Amy works to make the safest choices for her family. She breastfed both of her daughters, makes her own non-toxic cleaners, and includes many organic fruits and vegetables in her family's diet.

Amy had the second-highest level of one of the PBDEs which is a breakdown product of Deca, the toxic fire retardant, but the rest of her results were low to medium compared to the other participants.

  Bettie Kettell, 60, is a nurse who lives in Durham. Bettie worked with her hospital's administration to implement pollution prevention goals to eliminate the use of unnecessary chemicals.

Bettie had the highest total level of PBDE flame retardants compared to the other Maine participants and was third highest in the PFCs. Of the 71 chemicals that were tested in this study, 41 were detected in Bettie, a tie for the most chemicals found.

  Russell Libby, 50, is an organic farmer and executive director of MOFGA, the Maine Organic Farmers and Gardeners Association. He became involved with MOFGA after the first Common Ground Fair in 1977, where he saw a connection between local, organic food and a strong Maine economy. Russell lives on his farm in Mount Vernon.

Russell was tied for the most chemicals detected (41 of the 71 that were tested). He also had the greatest number of PBDEs detected (27 of 46) and higher levels of individual PBDEs.

  Hannah Pingree, 30, is serving her third term in the Maine Legislature, and first as House Majority Leader, representing her hometown of North Haven and ten other islands and coastal towns. After learning that PBDE flame retardants were being found in breast milk, Hannah sponsored a bill that successfully phased out two hazardous flame retardants in 2004.

Hannah had the second highest level of total phthalates and second highest level of mercury in the Maine study group. Her mercury levels were above the safety standard for protection of a developing fetus from subtle but permanent brain damage.

  Lauralee Raymond, 28, grew up in Aroostook County and attended Bates College. She currently lives in Winthrop, but lived in Hallowell at the time of our study. She works as a lobbyist. Lauralee and her mother Vi both participated in the Body of Evidence study.

When she received her results, Lauralee was struck by the fact that many of her chemical levels were higher than her mother's. She expected the opposite, since her mother is older and has had more time to build up her levels of contaminants. Lauralee had higher levels of mercury, arsenic, and each of the PBDE flame retardants than her mother.

  Vi Raymond, 51, moved to Winthrop after spending 40 years in Fort Kent. Married with five grown children, including fellow participant Lauralee, Vi has long advocated for safer workplaces in her jobs with PACE, the paperworker's union, and the AFL-CIO.

Vi had the highest phthalates total, and the highest level of BADGE-4OH, one of the bisphenol A chemicals tested. Her bisphenol A levels were several times the national average

  Elise Roux, 18, is a senior at Cheverus High School in Portland. She lives in Windham. A soccer goalie and cancer survivor, Elise is active in Kids Against Toxins, a Portland area group of students working to reduce pollution and eliminate unnecessary uses of toxic chemicals.

Elise had the highest level of bisphenol A, which was about ten times the national average, and the second-highest level of the related compound BADGE-4OH.
  Charlie Schmidt, 42, is an award-winning freelance science writer from South Portland. Charlie has a master’s degree in public health, and also has worked as a toxicologist.

Charlie brings a professional appreciation to the growing interest in the human chemical body burden, and the challenging implications for public health.

  Eric Stirling, 32, owns and operates a sporting camp on First West Branch Pond, near the Appalachian Trail in the unorganized territory TA-R12. Except for his four years of college at Bates, Eric spent almost his entire life at the camp, which has been in his family for four generations.

Eric had the highest level of mercury found among the study participants, and his total arsenic amount was above the normal exposure level.

  Denyse Wilson, 39, is a writing instructor. She is married with two children, Cecil (six years old) and Francine (four years). While renovating their 85-year-old home in downtown Bangor, Denyse and her family were exposed to lead dust from old paint. Since then, her family's lead levels have decreased, and Denyse has spoken out to improve education about lead poisoning prevention.

Denyse had the highest inorganic arsenic and arsenic(III) levels of all study participants, and the total arsenic measured was higher than normal exposure.


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