Using data from the U.S. National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, the team analysed possible links between a person’s socioeconomic status and the prevalence of chemicals in their body.
They found that people across the poverty spectrum were accumulating chemicals in their bodies but, importantly, that it was the type of toxicant that was dependent upon economic status.
Dr Tyrrell and the team were not expecting their findings to contradict the conventional thinking that lower socioeconomic status will lead to a greater prevalence of harmful elements in the body:
“We’ve found that as people become better off, changes in their lifestyle alter the types of chemicals in their bodies, rather than reducing the overall amount. This realisation has a profound impact on the way we treat chemical build ups, suggesting we should move to dealing with groups based on lifestyle, rather than earnings.”
By comparing the results from 6 separate populations, the researchers have been able to show strong associations between 18 different chemicals and poverty ratings.
Individuals with higher incomes had larger amounts of several toxicants, including urinary mercury, arsenic, caesium and thallium, with diet likely to play a key role in their accumulation.
- Chemicals in Our Bodies Can Predict How Rich or Poor We Are (motherboard.vice.com)
- The chemical composition of socioeconomic stratification (eugenewei.com)
- Blood Samples can Tell If You Are Rich or Poor: Study (natureworldnews.com)