Dangerous Chemicals in Our Homes

Warning Labels Needed!

“Danger! This product may cause irreversible damage to the brain and hormonal systems of the user.”  Although that should be on the label of many products we use daily, we don’t see warnings on plastic bottles, metal food cans, detergents, cosmetics, furniture or produce which contain many toxic chemicals.

Obesity, Diabetes, and Heart Disease

Recent news has highlighted the increased incidence of childhood obesity and Diabetes II globally. Therefore, in 2014, top scientists and doctors convened in Parma, Italy to analyze the relationship between these conditions and certain environmental chemicals known as Endocrine-Disrupting Chemicals (EDCs). They agreed that EDCs can increase the chances of developing a variety of metabolic disruptions and other non-communicable diseases.

An article published by Reuters Health in October 2016 summarized the startling results of a study of U.S. participants in the National Health and Nutrition Survey (NHANES). It received little notice although researchers estimated costs of health care and lost earnings due to the effects of damaging EDCs at more than $340 billion a year.

“Autism, attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder, obesity, diabetes, heart and vascular disorders, and endometriosis are among the diseases linked to exposure to endocrine disruptors and included in the cost analysis,” author Lisa Rapaport states.

An Alphabet Soup of Chemicals

Despite recognizing the potential harm of these substances, they are all around us.

Bisphenol A (BPA) is used in food packaging and Polyvinyl chloride (PVC) is a substance added to plastic to increase flexibility. Polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs) are flame retardants used on furniture and organophosphates are pesticides.  All are known endocrine disruptors since they interfere with the hormonal systems of the body.   

These chemicals are dangerous to fetuses and young children who play on floors and carpets and whose developing systems are more vulnerable to chemical damage.  Babies and toddlers put their hands in their mouths, potentially ingesting toxic substances.

Now That We Know- What Do We Do?

  •         Eat organic food, especially avoid the “Dirty Dozen.”
  •         Limit canned food consumption.
  •         Avoid plastic containers with 3,6 or 7 in the recycling symbol.
  •         Switch to “all natural” or ‘fragrance-free” cosmetics and cleaning products.
  •         Replace your non-stick pots and pans with stainless steel, enameled or cast-iron cookware
  •         Consider joining consumer watchdog or consumer education groups.

If you want to learn more:

http://www.niehs.nih.gov/health/topics/agents/endocrine/

http://www.who.int/ceh/risks/cehemerging2/en/

http://www.nytimes.com/2011/04/18/business/global/18iht-rbog-plastic-18.html

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