We've been told that our chances of getting this disease or that illness are based on genetics or environment. But it may also have something to do with our bank accounts. And I'm not talking about being able to afford better health care! How rich or how poor we are may be a factor leading to whether we end up suffering from Alzheimer's or infertility. That's because, according to University of Exeter researchers who used data from the U.S. National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, rich and poor people have different toxins in their bodies.
For instance, compared to poorer people, the wealthy had higher levels of mercury, arsenic, caesium and thallium, all of which tend to accumulate in fish and shellfish. Thus, people who can afford to eat lots of pricey sushi, lobsters, and shrimp are at higher risk. The rich also had higher levels of benzophenone-3, AKA oxybenzone, which some experts say may actually encourage skin cancer. Grrreat!
Maybe because they're slathering it on while on fancy vacays? (Although I'd argue that a lot of people are starting to realize that old school zinc's where it's at.)
As for the poor? They're apparently smoking more, so they have higher levels of lead and cadmium. Poor people in America also had higher levels of hormone and fertility-disrupting Bisphenol-A (BPA), because it's often used in plastic food containers and cans. Ugh.
While I'm sure there's SOME merit to learning what your wealth says about your toxic burden, overall, this seems pretty silly, amirite? How does it really help to know this? Ultimately, we're all human and we're all being POISONED by our environment! No one -- rich or poor -- should have to worry that the "healthy" fish they're eating is actually poisoning them with neurotoxic mercury. No one -- rich or poor -- should have to be concerned about BPA in their lunch. And yet, we're ALL being exposed to these things right and left.
No one is helped by knowing that being rich or poor will raise their risk of carrying around this or that toxin. No one toxin is better or worse than another. In the end, all of these man-made pollutants are horrible and, geeze, now whether you're rich or poor, I guess you have a reason to be depressed.
How do you feel about this study?