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Are chemicals in our food and environment killing us?

RMIT University health sciences Professor Marc Cohen says it's possible.

Professor Cohen said the widespread use and dependence on industrial chemicals had contaminated the entire biosphere, including our own bodies.

An environmental chemical biomonitoring study by the US Center for Disease Control examined 212 chemicals.

The analysis found chemicals including polybrominated diphenyl ethers, or PBDEs, and Bisphenol A (BPA), commonly used in plastic products like water bottles, in nearly all participants tested.

"This study also confirmed previous reports suggesting that children bear the brunt of the toxic burden, with children found to be more toxic than adolescents, who are in turn more toxic than adults," Professor Cohen said.

"Children are not just little adults. They have higher food, fluid and air intake per kilogram of body weight and a higher metabolic rate and higher absorption of toxins than adults, as well as having immature detoxification and immune systems, developing organ systems and a longer latency period in which to develop chronic disease."