NEW plastics UPDATE: Top human health dangers EXPOSED by an international panel of experts
(NaturalHealth365) Think your exposure to plastic in your day-to-day life isn’t amounting to much? A new report by a panel of international experts – including scientists, physicians, and academicians from the field of endocrinology – suggests that the typical American consumer should expect much more from their elected officials when it comes to setting standards for product safety.
Incredibly, even being around common household materials may increase a person’s health risk, according to the report from the Endocrine Society. Is it finally time for policies to change regarding the widespread use of plastics in our manufacturing processes?
Nearly 150 chemicals harmful to human health are used regularly in everyday products, says panel of endocrine experts (plus other findings from NEW report)
The Endocrine Society’s breaking report states that nearly 150 chemicals in use today within the manufacturing industry are considered endocrine-disrupting chemicals, or EDCs. This is, the expert organization points out, a conservative estimate.
EDCs earned their notorious name because of the way they interact and interfere with a human’s hormone system. Cumulative exposure to EDCs have been definitively linked to an increased risk of health problems including diabetes, reproductive problems, cancer, and impaired neurological development and growth in children and unborn children.
The Endocrine Society’s report, published on December 10, 2020, goes on to discuss decades of evidence revealing direct “cause and effect” relationships between toxic chemicals in plastics and hormonal health risk. They also point out these other key findings:
- Manufacturing chemicals or chemical groups known to harm human health are used for everything from colorants to solvents to flame retardants (such as those used on upholstered furniture and carpets).
- Potentially harmful exposure to these toxic plastic materials can occur at any point during the “life span” of the products – from manufacturing to consumer use to recycling and disposal.
- Best available data suggests that virtually all humans have evidence of EDCs in their bodies, suggesting that the problem of plastic is effectively universal.
- Even biodegradable plastics, which are often touted as better for the planet than conventional plastics, contain many similar chemical ingredients that pose endocrine-disrupting effects!
One of the study’s co-authors, Pauliina Damdimopoulou, Ph.D, said in a press release that current evidence suggests “EDCs can cause DNA modifications that have repercussions across multiple generations,” highlighting the widespread impact of these chemicals on human wellness.
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“Many of the plastics we use every day at home and work are exposing us to a harmful cocktail of endocrine-disrupting chemicals,” says lead author, Jodi Flaws, Ph.D. “Definitive action is needed on a global level to protect human health and our environment from these threats.”
These are some of the top most harmful chemicals, according to Endocrine Society (and what you can do to avoid exposure)
Along with the release of their report, the Endocrine Society compiled a list of seven of the most harmful chemicals found in plastics and products containing these plastics. These compounds include:
- Perfluorinated compounds (PFAs)
- Brominated flame retardants (BFRs)
- UV stabilizers
- Heavy metals, including lead and cadmium
For the conscious consumer trying to protect your family from these agents, what can you do? Here are a few top tips from EDC Free Europe, a coalition of public interest groups:
- Read your labels and avoid all chemicals associated with hormone disruption.
- Eat pesticide-free food (read: “certified organic”) whenever possible.
- Avoid unnecessary exposure to garden and indoor chemicals (e.g., air fresheners, bug repellents, etc.)
- Keep your home circulated with as fresh air as possible and vacuum and dust regularly to eliminate chemicals indoors.
- Reduce your reliance onf personal and cosmetic products that contain EDCs – especially before and during pregnancy.
To be clear: this is not a message of doom and gloom. The fact is, there are many things we can do to reduce the risk of exposure to unwanted chemicals. And, there’s no better time to get started than right now!
Sources for this article include: