Ohio Network for the Chemically Injured, February 27, 2007


[Rachel's introduction: Would you like to know if you have unacceptable levels of heavy metals (such as lead, mercury, arsenic, chromium) in your home, your school playground or your garden? For $20.00 per sample, you can find out.]

By Toni Temple

Would you like to know if there are unacceptable levels of heavy metals (e.g., lead, mercury, arsenic, chromium) in your home or other environment?

If so, you can have soil, wood, or other samples screened for all 26 heavy metals at a cost of only $20.00 per sample by participating in an educational research project. Participants will be required to fill out a questionnaire and will be given information about how the data will be used.

The Environmental Quality Institute of the University of North Carolina Ashville (a NELAC certified testing laboratory), Thermo NITON Analyzers, LLC (manufacturers of x-ray fluorescence technology), and the Ohio Network for the Chemically Injured (a not-for-profit organization dedicated to education, advocacy and support for the chemically injured), have joined together to create an educational research program in which low cost testing of heavy metals will be provided to the general public.

Excesses in exposure to some heavy metals have been proven to cause health problems. Others can be dangerous to health at any level. For example:

Arsenic -- symptoms from exposure may include sore throat, irritated lungs, vomiting, abnormal heart rhythm, redness and swelling of skin, "pins and needles" sensation in hands and feet. May cause skin, lung, bladder, liver, kidney, or prostate cancer, and can also injure pregnant women or their unborn babies.

Copper -- high-level exposure can cause irritation of nose and throat, nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea. Can cause anemia, damage to liver and kidneys, and death.

Lead -- can affect almost every organ and system in the body. Can cause severe stomachache, muscle weakness, miscarriage, anemia, high blood pressure, and damage to brain, kidneys, and nervous system

Mercury -- symptoms of exposure may include nausea, skin rashes, eye irritation and high blood pressure. May damage the lungs, brain, kidneys, and developing fetus.

Zinc -- high concentrations can cause stomach cramps, nausea, and vomiting, anemia, and can decrease the levels of good cholesterol. Inhalation of zinc as dust or fumes can cause metal fume fever. Skin exposure can cause skin irritation.

What types of samples can I have analyzed?

Soil, wood, and plastic (including PVC), jewelry, toys, vinyl lunch boxes or metal objects. You may send extracted teeth (for lead; crowns may contain heavy metals) only if you furnish a prepaid shipping container with your sample so that we can return it to you. You must also provide a prepaid shipping container for any other item you wish to have returned to you.

How long will testing take?

You should receive your sampling kit(s) approximately a week after your order is received. Your results will be mailed to you within one to two weeks after the laboratory receives your sample(s). You will also receive additional information to help you determine what your results mean and further information about the toxicity of the heavy metals.

Who is eligible to participate?

Anyone is eligible but everyone must fill out the questionnaire. Your identity will not be revealed. Please inform your family, neighbors, physician, school, employer, lawyer, and others about the project, as they may know of others who would benefit from this screening. A copy of the order form is on our website www.ohionetwork.org under the Detect and Protect tab.

Why should I test?

Prevention is key in avoiding many health problems. Protect your family by reducing or eliminating unnecessary exposures.

What should I test?

** Soil on playgrounds or other play areas

** Soil to determine safe placement of vegetable gardens

** Soil near treated wood fences and decks

** Soil samples before site selection for wells, ponds, and other man- made bodies of water

** Soil samples prior to residential or business property purchases

** Soil samples near wells and reservoirs

** Existing treated wood from decks, picnic tables, building materials

** New wood before building or remodeling

** Samples of plastic materials before building or remodeling

** any other object you would like to have tested for heavy metals


If you would like to participate, please complete the Order Form below and mail it to the Ohio Network for the Chemically Injured along with your check or money order. Do not mail any samples with your order. Environmental Quality Institute (EQI) will mail you the appropriate test kit(s) and provide you with instructions on how to collect soil samples. You will ship your samples directly to them.



Please print! Only checks or money orders accepted.

Enclosed is payment of $20 for each sample submitted. Each sample will be screened for 26 heavy metals. If you wish to have your sample returned, please provide a prepaid shipping container.

Please make checks payable to the Ohio Network for the Chemically Injured (ONFCI) and mail to P.O. Box 29290, Parma, OH 44129. For further information, visit our website at www.ohionetwork.org or phone (440) 845-1888.

Indicate number of:

() soil samples () wood samples () other samples -

Enclosed is payment for total number of ______ samples @ $20.00 each =


Contact: Toni Temple, (440) 845-1888