Leading Expert Says Thousands Of Different Chemicals Are Harming Your Body, Brain, Behavior and Sex

Investigative Reporter Gregory Ciola Interviews New York Times Best Selling Author Doris J. Rapp, M.D. Whose Book, “Our Toxic World – A Wake Up Call,” Has Frightening Implications About The Damaging Effects Chemicals Are Having On Us All.

(interview republished from 2006)

Doris J. Rapp, M.D. is one of the world’s foremost authorities on the damaging effects chemicals are having on our health.  She is a true American hero for the bold stance she’s taken at a time when a great health crisis is crippling this nation.  In 1962, Rachel Carson sent shock waves around the world with her book Silent Spring.  Carson’s astute warnings made over four decades ago have not been heeded by governments nor the large international corporations responsible for polluting our environment.  Subsequently, millions of people are now suffering with untold health problems as a consequence.

Every day we’re all exposed to toxic chemicals coming from a wide variety of sources such as our air, water, food, toothpastes, deodorants, shampoos, cosmetics, household cleaners, vaccines, pharmaceutical drugs, carpets, paints, plastics, industrial solvents, insulation, pesticides, herbicides, fertilizers, gasoline, petroleum by-products, etc. Plants, animals, and humans are all being impacted negatively by this toxic overload and we can no longer turn a blind eye and ignore the damaging effects these chemicals are having on the whole planet.  The assault is so pervasive that it’s very difficult to even determine where the chemical overload is coming from that’s causing many of our health problems.

In this eye-opening interview Dr. Rapp’s points out a number of serious chemical concerns such as:

  • Unborn babies floating nine months in chemicals (DDT and PCBs) in the uterus. Their bowel movements and mother’s breast milk contain the same dangerous pesticides.
  • In the past 30-40 years there has been a 30% to 40% increase in undescended testicles, deformed penises and changes in sexuality. Boys become feminized from dioxin and PCBs.
  • Girls can have early puberty from plastics, and PCBs can masculinize females.
  • In children, over 20 studies show pesticides used inside and outside homes and schools, on lawns or playgrounds, can cause leukemia, brain tumors, and lymphomas.
  • Women now have more birth-damaged or learning-disabled babies, miscarriages, stillborns, infertility and endometriosis than ever before.
  • In men, the higher the chemical levels in their bodies, the smaller the genitals. Up to 85% of males can be ineligible sperm donors.

Despite the fact that we’re facing overwhelming odds, Dr. Rapp offers us a ray of hope by showing us how to navigate around these treacherous problems.  She shows us what needs to be done to keep our family and ourselves from being damaged and what we can do to recover if we’ve been damaged by the untold number of chemicals we come into contact with every day.

Doris, it’s truly an honor to speak with you. Why don’t you begin by giving our readers a little background on yourself and tell us how you got into this field.

I’m a Board certified pediatrician, allergist and environmental medical specialist.  I have practiced allergy just like any other pediatric allergist for about twenty-five years.  One day I went to a meeting where they said, “You’re missing food and chemical sensitivities.”  In an effort to prove them wrong, I went to several offices and checked it out and found out that they knew things that I didn’t know and that there was a different way of diagnosing and treating than I had been taught when I was trained.

To make a long story short, I started to use these newer methods of skin testing and treatment and was absolutely astounded because it was sort of like putting a mouse in a cheese factory.  For the first time I could absolutely document cause and effect relationships.  If you said dust caused asthma, I could put a drop of dust in your arm, not tell you what I had put in your arm, and produce your asthma.  And once more, I could eliminate your asthma within eight minutes if I gave you one drop of the right dilution of dust – dust allergy extract.

I found I could produce hyperactivity with three drops of food coloring under the tongue and I could eliminate the hyperactivity within eight minutes by giving them the right dilution of that same red dye solution. I could produce headaches within eight minutes of putting a drop of whatever caused the problem, if it was a mold or pollen, and within eight minutes I could eliminate that problem if I gave them the right dilution of whatever it was that caused the problem.

Well, this was a whole new world of medicine and I still don’t understand why more doctors aren’t interested in this kind of medicine because there’s no doubt that you can turn on and off symptoms and if someone has five or ten medical complaints, you can skin test them individually with the items that you think are causing the problem and you can produce and eliminate the symptom. Then you can treat the patient by telling them to avoid the things that caused the problems or you can treat them with the right dilution of the same substance that caused the problem and they can get into the dust or the mold or the pollen or even the food and not have symptoms.  Now, it’s not 100%, but it’s certainly effective.

I have video taped every patient who has come into my office for over twenty-five years.  I showed them before they were tested, what happened to them when we put a drop of something in their arm, and what happened eight minutes after I gave them the right dilution.  So, I repeatedly showed cause and effect relationships and how they definitely could be produced and eliminated by using drops of allergy extract or a whiff of perfume or a glass of milk, whatever we thought caused the trouble.  I could give them the exact item or I could give them a solution of it.

You’re saying you could treat someone in eight minutes but how permanent or lasting are these treatments?

It doesn’t last forever.  Some people needed treatment three times, some people needed treatment every day under their tongue, other people needed an injection once a week, but eventually they needed treatment much less often.  Maybe once or twice a week under their tongue, or once a month by injection, it just depended.  Different items required different periods of time for treatment, but generally, you could mix all the dust, mold, foods, pollens and even some of the chemicals all in the same solution and treat them with everything all at once.

What do you think the percentage is of the population that’s affected by chemical sensitivity?

It’s much higher than most people realize. At least 65% or two thirds of children who have hyperactivity have food and chemical sensitivities.  It may be higher.  And that’s just food sensitivities that you can clear up with diet.  If you also look into dust, molds and chemicals, you will probably get a higher percentage.  In general, if patients would go on a one-week diet that’s recommended in my books and if they would get an air purifier, most children, not 100%, but at least 80%, would be at least 80% better within one week.  And that’s a very, very small amount of money, comparatively speaking, to get the air purifier and the diet changes don’t cost much more at all.

Are the chemicals from the water or the food or the air more serious?  Which source is the worst and seems to be the most damaging to the body?

They can all be bad.  It doesn’t matter where your contact is, they’re bad.  In other words, the same chemical can be in the water, it can be in the food that you eat, it can be in the air that you’re breathing from the factory, it can be in your home, in your school, in your workplace, it can be in your basement, it can be in your garage, it can be in your carpet, it can be in your mattress, it can be in your personal products you use on the body.

These chemicals are all over and some are worse in certain areas than others, but in general, these chemicals damage the immune system and that means that you have more infections than normal, number one.  Number two, it means that you tend to have more allergies than normal because the allergies are increasing in amount and lastly, the end stage may be cancer.  Thirdly, it can affect the brain and the nervous system and I think this is one reason why we have more children with learning disabilities now than ever before because of trace metals such as mercury and things of that sort in vaccines.  It’s causing an increase in autism.  Hyperactivity, behavior and learning problems definitely are related in many children, as well as regular allergies, food or chemical sensitivities.  The fourth thing that is affected is the endocrine system.  Many of these chemicals damage the body in such a way that you develop thyroid disease and diabetes and this has been shown in many types of animals as well as humans.  And the last thing it damages is the reproductive system and it causes problems with fertility.

Many types of chemicals can cause sexual problems in the development of the sexual organs, in sexual preferences, in fertility, in the sperm counts, things of that sort.  And there’s not one or two, but hundreds and hundreds of studies showing that animals, and I am talking about all types of animals: fish, birds, alligators, deer, panthers, cows, mice, rats, chickens, pigs, polar bears, etc., all of these animals are having changes in their immune system, in their endocrine system, in their brains, their nervous system, in their ability to learn and in their sexual activity that have not been evidenced to the degree that they are now and we’re eating these animals.

We are exposed to the same chemicals in our water.  What is making us think that it isn’t going to adversely affect us, affect the human bodies.  And there are studies, again, not as many as there are in animals, but there are many studies showing, for example, that an organic farmer has a higher sperm count than a farmer that uses pesticides.  The farmers who use pesticides have more depression and more suicide.  They have more lymphomas or cancer, and they definitely have decreased fertility.  They have increased number of children who have birth defects and birth abnormalities.

If you check the fish in Lake Erie, for example, they have so much thyroid disease that sometimes the thyroids look like they are going to burst.  The dogs and cats now have thyroid disease and diabetes is very common now in dogs and it’s more prevalent in humans. There’s more evidence that these chemicals can affect the endocrine system and there is just no doubt that we are all exposed to too many chemicals in every place: air, food, water, homes, schools, work places, and all our personal cosmetics.  In the personal cosmetics area there are no restrictions. You can have a perfume with 500 different ingredients and 200 of them can be very toxic and you don’t even know about it because it’s a trade secret what’s in it, so you don’t have any idea what could be causing problems.

You know that for the West Nile Virus (Encephalitis), the mosquito problem…they have been spraying Malathion all over.  Well, what do you think Malathion does?  They sprayed New York City with Malathion.  They’ve sprayed the whole East Coast with Malathion.  They’ve sprayed in Japan with Malathion and Florida and California and there is no doubt that Malathion can cause cancer in laboratory animals.  They say there is suggestive evidence in humans but there is no doubt that the farmers that use the chemicals such as Malathion have more lymphomas.  These chemicals also damage the genes; they cause genetic damage in life and in humans in the blood cells, which means that you’ll have more birth defective children or birth defective animals.  Malathion causes the sperm count to go down in animals and it causes abnormal chromosomes.  Could this be a problem in humans?  It is a problem in humans! The sperm count in humans in1932 was about 125 million per milliliter.  By 1970 it was 100 million per milliliter.  By 1990 it was 50 million per milliliter and they now think by 2005 it will be about 35 million per milliliter.  Now, does that frighten you?  It frightens me because it means that males are not as fertile as they used to be and there can be problems because of that and I should think that the men would be very concerned about that.  If the sperm count goes under 25 million it will be very difficult to reproduce.

There’s one report that 85% of males who go into a sperm bank to donate actually cannot leave their samples.  They’re not wanted because the sperm counts are too low and there are predictions by scientists from different countries saying in 70 years men will be sterile.  Well, we really can’t wait any longer to realize that we’ve got to start to protect the males. Another big aspect of this is the fact that the males are in special jeopardy because many of these chemicals have an estrogenic or feminizing effect which is altering the formation of the male genitalia, their sexual preferences and their sperm counts and there seems to be little doubts about this in animals and man.  And I’m not talking about one study, but many studies.

Well, I think the whole human race should be concerned if those rates are occurring around the world because that would lead to the death of our species if it keeps declining the way you’re talking about.

Right!  The species is in grave danger in my mind.  This is going to be a major, major, major problem and we have to go ahead and start to say, “What’s going on?  We can’t allow this to continue anymore than what it is at the present time.”  We just cannot allow it because the human race is in great jeopardy. There’s no other way of talking about it.  Incidentally, I want to go back to Malathion for a minute.  They’ve also done studies in birds that show that the thyroid in the birds is disrupted and they are genetically damaged and they can’t reproduce as much as normal when they are exposed to this chemical.

How can someone identify where the source of their allergy or chemical exposure is coming from?

How can you tell that you’ve been hurt, what hurt you, and what can you do that might protect you?  Well, let’s just take common sense here.  You’re fine until a certain date.  The first question I would ask you is what happened the day before, week before, two weeks before?  What were you exposed to within an hour or five, ten, twenty hours before you got sick?  Did you put in a new synthetic carpet?  Did you buy a new synthetic mattress?  Did you buy a new car that smells of chemicals?  Did you have a gasoline or oil spill in your house and use something to clean it up? Did you get caught in a lawn spray when they were spraying the lawns with chemicals? Were they spraying in a farm area for the crops or something of that sort?

The first thing to do is think about when you could have been exposed to the chemicals?  Then the second thing you have to do is after you have a suspect you need to check your urine, your blood, your fat, your semen, your breast milk, your uterine fluid and find out how many chemicals are in there.

How would you go about doing something like that, Doris?

This is in Chapter 13 of my book, Is This Your Child’s World?, or it’s in Chapter 3 of my other book, Our Toxic World – A Wakeup Call.  It tells you where to send the samples and how to figure out what chemicals are in your blood and your urine and from analyzing which chemicals are there, they can tell you possibly, this chemical is found in dry cleaning fluid, this chemical is mainly found in mothballs, this chemical is found in carpets, this chemical is found in gasoline.  In other words, they can give you some insight from the types of chemicals that are found.  For example, let me just digress for a minute and tell you about Israel, you need to hear something positive.

In Israel the women were very smart.  They realized that the incidence of cancer was going up year after year in Israel, just like it was in the rest of the world.  And so they said this must be coming from someplace and they figured out that it was related to the chemicals that they were using in the barns and around the cows and the milk and that sort of thing in relation to farming.  And so they went to the decision makers in Israel and they said, “We want these chemicals stopped and banned in this country.”  And the government officials said, “That’s nonsense.”  And they didn’t believe them.

But, fortunately, these women were very emphatic about it and so, what they did is, they went back again and they said, “We definitely want these chemicals taken off the market.”  They finally talked them into taking the chemicals off the market. What do you think happened?  Ten years later the only place in the world where the amount of cancer of the breast was going down was in – you guessed it – Israel. And it was going down significantly in that country.  In all the other countries it was continuing to go up at a regular pace.  And, in young women in particular, it went down very dramatically.  Something like 36% in the younger women, so it was very impressive to me that these women really, really did something.

This study was done in the 60s.  In the 60s they found out that organochlorides caused cancer of the breast in rats and later on they found out that if you have cancer of the breast you have to have four times more chemicals such as DDT in your breast fat than other people.  This study was conducted mainly around the 60s and 70s and when the government stopped the use of DDT, Benzene, Hexachloride and Lindane, 10 years later in 1986, the breast cancer rate had dropped 8% in Israel and rose 20% in other countries and the drop was 34% in the younger women.  So, these are really impressive statistics and yet the study is rarely quoted.  In other words, the emphasis in medicine is not on let’s get rid of the cause or figure out what the cause is; our emphasis is on the wrong end.

Unfortunately they want to just medicate the problem with pharmaceutical drugs and not discover the source of the problem.  That’s the sad pathetic state of Western/allopathic medicine.

That’s right! The emphasis is on treatment with a drug that’s covered by your insurance and it doesn’t seem to matter whether the drug helps or not.  They will pay for medicine that doesn’t help but won’t pay for medical treatment that does help even though it’s less expensive.  And some place along the line somebody has to ask, “Why is it happening?”  Now if you look at something like endometriosis.  Are you familiar with that?


Well this, for the audience and your readers, means that the lining of the uterus is shed at times other than when you have your menstrual period and, when you have your menstrual period, the pain that’s associated with it is absolutely excruciating and many times they remove the uterus of women because they have this pain.

In 1934 there were only 21 cases in the world.  Presently there are over five million cases just in the United States.  So you must ask why?  Why has it increased so remarkably?  And the answer, I think, is in a study that was done in Germany that showed that if you fed monkeys dioxin, what did they develop but endometriosis.

Women who work in factories that produce PCBs or dioxin have more breast cancer and women are being exposed to dioxin all the time and I believe that there is a cause and effect relationship there although there are still arguments about it. But, these are the kinds of things that I think we have to start to pay attention to. We have to pay attention to who is getting what illness where and when.  And try to say, “Why is it happening?”

Once you figure out that your urine is contaminated or your blood or your feces or your semen is contaminated, you can do something about it.  Incidentally, the fellows that were in Viet Nam, twenty years later their semen still contains Agent Orange – dioxin – that was found in Agent Orange.  I think that this is very scary that that chemical is in the sperm and combines with the egg so that the unborn infant is immediately exposed to something that damages the immune system, the reproductive system, the endocrine system and the brain and the nervous system.  This is scary.  The baby then marinates, or floats, in the uterus for nine months and is saturated inside and outside with these same chemicals.  Then they find that the baby is born and the first bowel movement contains these substances because the baby is truly, literally, saturated in them.  Then the baby is breast-fed and what do you think is in the breast milk?  Exactly the same thing!  This means that the baby is already exposed to far, far too many chemicals.  Then the baby is covered with a diaper and many of the disposable diapers contain estrogenic mimicking substances that could feminize the males.  And then we take plastic bottles with milk that might be genetically engineered and we put it in a microwave that takes the nutrients and totally alters the milk, but it addition, it puts chemicals from the plastic into the milk that can cause precocious puberty, particularly in the girls, so they develop breasts at 6 and 8 years of age. What are we doing?

That’s exactly what I’d like to know.  What’s the government doing?  We have an EPA that’s supposed to prevent a lot of these things, yet things that you are talking about are showing that it’s progressively getting worse and worse. 

Well, they’ve had to cut down the number of scientists that are working at the EPA. They’ve cut down because funding has been cut.  Why has funding being cut?  There is a whole chapter in my book about that.  I talk about the fact that I think sometimes the EPA really wants to do the right thing but they aren’t able to because of political pressure or pressure from chemical companies that’s put on them and they’re not able to do the job that they’re supposed to. I think they have to be totally isolated from political pressures and those with vested interests because they cannot do their job.

If the government wants to find out if something is safe, they don’t do their own studies which is the only way it really can be done more impartially, in a non-biased way.  What they do is they ask the chemical company to give them a report on how safe the product is.   Well, many things aren’t checked at all.  For example, there are something like 80-85,000 chemicals on the market.  Less than 10% have been checked for safety.  Almost none have been checked for safety in children.

There are just great big gaps in what is going on.  And, at one point, the EPA announced that they would not hold chemical companies responsible if they would release any data that showed that products that they had that they said were alright were not alright, or studies that showed that products were not as good as they had indicated.  And they had 10,000 reports in a very short period of time where the information was not valid that they were given and they released it because they were told they would not be penalized in any way for not having given reliable information.  Well, that tells you right there that they aren’t to be trusted.

It’s very frustrating to see what’s happening. I believe there’s a hidden agenda behind what’s going on because you’re seeing more and more chemicals instead of less and less.  And we’re seeing more and more health problems.  The sperm counts are going down. Reproductive problems are now commonplace.

Actually, it really is getting very bad.  There is no doubt about it and you can find these chemicals in the bowel movement, in the blood, urine, as I have said, everything.  You should not have chemicals in your blood.  And they’ve found that everybody has got roughly a hundred chemicals in their blood right now.  You shouldn’t have any.

These are the chemicals that I have said damage the immune system, reproductive system, endocrine system, and brain and nervous system.  Are we totally crazy?  In schools, why would you use a pesticide that you know, by history, damages the brain and the nervous system and causes cancer?  And yet that’s being done.  Why would you allow kids to have candy bars?  Why would you allow junk food and soda pop machines in schools when you know the dyes in food coloring cause hyperactivity, behavioral and learning problems in children, and interferes with their ability to concentrate? Come on! You know, I don’t understand what’s wrong.  And I can’t say who’s responsible because it seems to be too pervasive.  It’s all over.  In other words, it’s not just one thing that’s being affected, but everything that’s being affected at once. If I set out to do away with the whole world, I couldn’t do a better job than what is going on right now.  Whether it is orchestrated or not orchestrated, whatever is happening, it’s absolutely terrible.  Cancer of the brain in children is up 25% in the last 25 years.

Even the dogs that are exposed to lawn sprays get more lymphomas.  Well, what makes you think it doesn’t cause lymphomas in humans and in your child who’s playing on the lawn?  If you wash your dog with a flea soap one time, or use a flea collar when you are pregnant, your baby…your child, by the time they are five years old, are four to six times more apt to develop a brain tumor or lymphoma.  Should we be concerned?  I think we ought to be scared silly.  A male can be exposed to one pesticide in the first three months of pregnancy that can cause a 70% chance of a stillborn.  Well, come on, how many women aren’t exposed to a pesticide the first three months of pregnancy?  The amazing thing is that the birth rate is continuing at the rate that it is.  There is so much evidence all over.

If you were to list maybe ten of the most common chemicals that you are finding problems with – say aspartame, MSG or mercury – what are the worst or is the problem just pervasive across the board?

It’s pretty pervasive across the board.  The PCBs are pretty bad. These are industrial insulators and lubricants and they can cause cancer and problems with the brain.  The dioxins are found in the production of PCBs and used for bleaching and incineration and those appear to cause cancer in man and hormonal problems.  There are products called furans that are used in plastic and, as I mentioned, these can affect the sexuality, particularly of girls.  They are also found in industrial bleaching and incineration.  They definitely damage the endocrine system.

Then you have all these toxic metals such as mercury causing, I think, autism and things of that sort, and lead which causes developmental and brain problems. Then you have the organic chlorides such as DDT and chlordane.  These are still present in most people’s blood and it’s because it was stockpiled and then used.  The soil is still contaminated with some of these – the organic phosphates, the Malathion and the chlorpyrifos and these chemicals damage the nervous system.  I talked about Malathion already. There’s a lot of evidence that these chemicals are making males more feminine and making the females more masculine.  There are major problems.  Then we’ve got all the solvents that are causing trouble like zylene in gasoline and benzene.  It’s just all over the place and a lot has to be done, but I think the only thing we can do is help educate people so they know what they can do to prevent toxic exposures in themselves.

You’ve written an excellent book to help us out: Our Toxic World.  Why don’t you tell our readers what they can learn and gather from your book.

I haven’t got time to tell you everything that you can do but, basically, in Chapter 3 I tell you very carefully how you can make the diagnosis and then what you can do about it that’s practical and sensible.  How can you avoid these chemicals?  How can you stop the chemicals going into your body and get rid of the chemicals that are already there?  And you have to start to think about these terms by drinking pure water, eating pure food, not getting near chemicals, not using chemicals in your home, in your clothing, avoid chemicals like the plague, and then get detoxed in various ways by exercising, drinking lots of fluids, keeping your bowels moving, getting colonics, taking nutrients.  All these things will help.

Get a sauna that makes you sweat and you get rid of some of the chemicals.  And you can use herbal preparations and homeopathic preparations, but you simply have to protect yourself and your nest, your loved ones.  No one is going to do it for you.  You’ve got to take charge yourself or you don’t stand, in my mind, a fighting chance.  My book has everything I’ve discussed here and much more.

Alright! Thank you very much for your time. Keep up the excellent work.


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Author: Gregory Ciola

Gregory Ciola began his publishing career in the year 2000 when he released a ground breaking book on the dangers of genetic engineering. The book’s title was, “GMOs – Beware of the Coming Food Apocalypse!”. Gregory Ciola was one of the first biotech whistle blowers in the natural food industry to alert the public to what was happening to a majority of our foods. Ciola also began publishing a hard-hitting national newsletter in 2001 called “CRUSADOR” that was renamed in 2015 to “The Investigator’s Report”. He is best known for his in-depth interviews with well known book authors and leading health experts.

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