Dateline NBC, on Sunday March 24th, aired a segment titled “Hormone Disruptors”, where correspondent Andrea Canning embarked on a study of foods and personal care products in her home, to better understand her detectable exposure levels to the chemicals BPA, triclosan and phthalates – known as hormone disruptors. Not only did Andrea have herself tested for detectable levels of these chemicals in her body via urine tests, but she also had her three young children tested as well.
There isn’t much on TV that I care to watch anymore, as I would much rather spend my free time reading books that teach me something of real value, but pure coincidence had me watching Dateline’s show about synthetic hormone disrupting chemicals with Andrea Canning, and I’m glad I did.
In Part 1 of the segment shown HERE, Dr. Emily Rissman of the University of Virginia discussed her studies of how BPA (Bisphenol A) can affect the health of mice, connecting exposures to ADHD. “Research has found an association between some hormone disruptors and a range of potential problems including childhood obesity, autism and infertility.”
Environment Canada’s Rick Smith and Bruce Laurie, authors of “Slow Death by Rubber Duck”, went through Andrea’s home and found BPA, triclosan and phthalates in the products she and her family uses, including plastic toys her young children played with. Andrea tests her urine levels and finds she has detectable levels of BPA, triclosan and phthalates in her body. When she avoids products that contain hormone disruptors (makeup/cosmetics, perfumes, soaps, toothpastes, canned foods, plastics, etc), her levels of these chemicals drop to almost zero.
The next day, she purposely used personal care products and consumed foods that contain hormone disruptors, and her levels of these chemicals spiked, proving to herself that over a 24-hour period the human body has the ability to rid itself of at least some of the toxic chemicals our bodies are subjected to.
BPA, phthalates and triclosan are found in many consumer products in our homes and workplaces. BPA is still in some food packaging, phthalates are still in PVC and fragrances, and triclosan is still in a host of anti-bacterial products. These chemicals have links to a slew of health problems such as hormone-disruption, fertility problems, asthma and cancer.
In Part 2 shown HERE, Andrea receives the results of urine tests performed on her daughters to measure the levels of hormone disruptors in their systems. All three children have measurable levels of BPA, triclosan and phthalates in their urine.
The levels of triclosan were the most startling. Her youngest daughter, under 1 yr old, had triclosan levels almost 10x higher than the national mean and in her 2 year old daughter, triclosan levels were almost 100x higher than the national mean.
Industry vigorously defends its use of BPA and phthalates, while experts on either side of the debate on hormone disruptors agree that triclosan should be avoided. Of course, chemical industry has a “dog in the hunt”, as any decline in purchases of products with harmful chemicals in them harms their bottom line.
At the end of the segment, Andrea Canning says she has learned that she needs to read labels carefully and shop smarter to avoid unnecessary chemical exposures for her family.
Reducing Toxic Chemical Exposure in the Body
Having spent the last few years researching and reading books about the many chemicals we’re exposed to through our food-buying choices, personal care products that we smear all over our bodies, and the many chemical cleaning products used in our homes, many people are making changes to greatly reduce their exposures to these harmful chemicals.
Consumers can no longer take for granted that organizations like the FDA, EPA etc are doing their jobs to protect the public. They’re not. Industry is protecting themselves and their bottom line. Money and Power.
People take for granted that cosmetics and personal care products are safe to use because they have supposedly been tested. We would like to believe the soap, shampoo, toothpaste, deodorant, perfumes and lipsticks that we use everyday are harmless and that we can enjoy them without concern for our health. But there are more than 10,000 cosmetic and personal care products on the market today in the United States and very few have ever been assessed for their safety.
Have you ever heard the saying, “Don’t put it on your skin if you wouldn’t put it in your mouth?”
What if consumers, including you, were to pay very close attention to reading labels and making wise choices to no longer buy or use products that contain harmful chemicals? What if consumers were to stop buying and using chemical-laden home cleaning products, opting instead to use natural or homemade cleaning supplies that have no chemicals in their homes? If you can smell it, you’re inhaling it.
What if consumers were to carefully consider the types of cookware they’re using to cook their foods in, to reduce the cumulative chemical exposure found in various types of cookware that is getting into their foods? After a great deal of time researching and reading, I have very good reasons for getting rid of any Teflon cookware and skillets, and purchasing very good quality Cast Iron Cookware that will last a lifetime and then some.
What if makeup-wearing women were to stop buying and using makeup and perfumes with harmful chemicals in them, that are readily absorbed through the skin and into the bloodstream, opting instead to go without makeup at all or choose healthier options? What about “Mineral Makeup”, or homemade makeup? Less is more, right?
Your skin is the largest organ of your body. Anything you put on your skin is readily absorbed by the body. The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) does not regulate these products since they are not foods. When you ingest toxic substances, they are processed through the liver and have a chance of being eliminated from the body, but not all chemical toxins are excreted totally from the body, but actually accumulate in the body over a lifetime and are the cause of cancer and many other debilitating diseases.
Take the time necessary to educate yourself before using cosmetics, sunscreens, shampoos, soaps, body lotions, toothpastes, deodorants or antiperspirants, or any other substances on your body. If not for yourself, then for your children.