Are the chemicals found in daily use products the new tobacco? That’s the claim being made today in a New York Times article. The relationship between the two is being qualified by the fact that chemicals and tobacco are harmful and in both cases, Government agencies have been ultra-slow to respond to the issues. The core focus is on endocrine disrupters, which have long been linked to reproductive issues, are now being linked to a host of other cancers and epidemics.
The Gynecology Federation’s focus on the endocrine disrupters, chemicals that imitate sex hormones and often confuse the body, endocrine disrupters are found in pesticides, plastics, shampoos and cosmetics, cash register receipts, food can linings, flame retardants and countless other products.
“Exposure to toxic chemicals during pregnancy and lactation is ubiquitous, ” the organization cautioned, adding that virtually every pregnant woman in America has at least 43 different chemical contaminants in her body. It cited a National Cancer institute report finding that “to a disturbing extent babies are born ‘pre-polluted.'”
The National Cancer institute report can be found here. Here is their list.
Environmental Exposures Related to Modern Lifestyles Conveniences of modern life—automobile and airplane travel, dry cleaning, potable tap water, electricity, and cellular communications, to name a few—have made daily life easier for virtually all Americans. Some of these conveniences, however, have come at a considerable price to the environment and human health, and the true health impact of others is unconfirmed. For example, mobile source air emissions (e.g., from cars, trucks, other passenger vehicles, ships), especially diesel particulate pollution, are responsible for approximately 30 percent of cancer resulting from air pollution. Disinfection of public water supplies has dramatically reduced the incidence of waterborne illnesses and related mortality in the United States, but research indicates that long-term exposure to disinfection by-products such as trihalomethanes may increase cancer risk. Chemicals used for household pest control can become a component of carpet dust, posing a risk to children when they play on the floor.
The Endocrine society is now increasing their warnings to include diabetes and obesity.
Emerging evidence ties endocrine-disrupting chemical exposure to two of the biggest public health threats facing society – diabetes and obesity, according to the executive summary of an upcoming Scientific Statement issued today by the Endocrine Society. (source)
They also include other hormone-related cancers such as breast and ovarian cancer, prostate conditions, thyroid disorders and neurodevelopmental issues.
When are we going to learn that toxins are a serious dilemma which needs to be sorted out? To be honest, just saying the word “toxins” causes many people to think that pseudoscience is at it’s core. But the fact is, reality is setting in and now studies are revealing the true dangers which do exist. Our babies are being born ‘pre-polluted,’ this needs to be a serious wake up call to our society. To be honest, I hate receiving receipts and in any scenario where possible, I just tell them I don’t need one (I mean I don’t need to return or write off groceries in most cases). Any place that allows me the option for email receipts I also opt for. We need to take action and reduce our exposure to these toxins. New chemicals are constantly being placed in our lives, we need more transparency and education over the matters to exist.
Be very careful about what cleaning agents you use in your household. In addition, as mentioned before, there is no reason to always take receipts, just ask the register person to throw it away if you don’t need it. If you don’t have to be around car exhaust, don’t be. Pay attention to your exposure levels and reduce them wherever and whenever you can.