Wealthy people have more pesticides in their bodies because they play golf and the poor carry a higher number of toxic chemicals from air pollution

The wealthy have higher levels of pesticides in their bodies –because they play golf.

They also have more mercury in their systems because they eat a lot of seafood.

That’s according to a leading scientist who briefed MPs yesterday on toxic chemicals in everyday products.

The poor have more toxic chemicals from air pollution and from living nearer to landfill sites, it was claimed.

Michael Depledge, Professor of Environmental and Human Health of Exeter University Medical School, said the rich and poor suffer very different effects of pollution – and their bodies were polluted by very different chemicals.

He said his study helped scientists ‘get a handle’ on the different mixtures of chemicals different groups in society face.

The professor told MPs on the Environmental Audit Committee that he expected ‘huge resistance from the chemical industry to his concerns.

In recent years, golf courses have faced tougher legislation to reduce pesticide use in the UK. One pesticide, chlorpyrifos, used to kill leatherjackets has been banned, as has carbendazim, a fungicide which is used to kill earthworms that produce casts.

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