New Study Says Nearly All Women Contain Harmful Chemicals (and what we can do about it)
01.18.11 New Study Says Nearly All Women Contain Harmful Chemicals (and what we can do about it)
Uplifting, I know, but important to hear about. A new study was released last week about the amount of potentially dangerous chemicals found in women's bodies. According to the Washington Post article,
"Many chemicals (such as PCBs, organochlorine pesticides, PFCs, phenols, PBDE flame retardants, phthalates, polycyclic 14 aromatic hydrocarbons and perchlorate) that are associated with adverse health effects were found in 99 percent to 100 percent of pregnant women, and nearly all women carried multiple contaminants. Some of the contaminants studied, such as mercury, bisphenol-A, heavy metals and hormone disruptors, can cross the placenta and thus affect the fetus. Many of the chemicals remain in current use, though others have been banned."
I told you this was uplifting. Yet, this study is another important piece of evidence to point to the drastic need for reform of the outdated Toxic Substances Control Act. As much as we all want to, we can't shop or diet our way out of these exposures. We've got to work together so harmful chemicals are banned, more regulated, and in the very least labeled on products.
The lead author of the study goes on to give some advice about what pregnant women can do (and there are additional resources in the article linked above):
"Here are a few [examples]: removing dust, washing hands before meals, choosing organic foods that are less likely to have pesticide residues, choos[ing] personal care products that have less toxic ingredients. On our Web site [see link, above] we link to resources on the Web to help consumers sort through the many choices out there."
I know from my own participation in a body burden study that her first recommendation is crucial (to remove dust). I am not a neat freak at all, and have barely used a vacuum in my adult life. After I learned my results, however, my track record has improved (although not as much as it should have). Seems that the flame retardant Deca, lurks in household dust, and I have lots of it in my body. For pregnant women, using a vacuum that has a Hepa filter weekly is a good idea-- especially behind the TV, refrigerator, and under the bed, all places where toxic dust gathers.