Have You Read “How Chemicals Affect Us” by Nick Kristof?
Nick Kristof of the New York Times has been one of the most influential voices in the media when it comes to the dangers of endocrine disruptors. Last week he wrote again about the the science fiction that we are living with these chemicals.
The article is a great reminder of why we make such a big fuss around the presence of endocrine disruptors, and why we always advise people to avoid fragrance in their products. (Fragrances notoriously contain phthalates, part of this nasty club.)
Are you very aware of these chemicals in your day-to-day? Do you avoid them at all costs? I still eat many things out of a can (notably sardines) and am at a loss as to how to stop. Is is too much to ask that these chemicals just be banned, once and for all?
This month also happens to be Pregnancy Awareness Month, founded by author and lifestyle expert Anna Getty and producer Alisa Donner. Have you heard of this? It was created in 2008 with the intention of building a support community for mothers and expecting families, and to help educate them around health and wellness.
We should all know about endocrine disruptors, but fetuses are particularly vulnerable. I’ve pasted a few highlights from Kristof’s piece below in case you missed it, or if you’ve capped out on your New York Times articles for the month:
Endocrine disruptors are everywhere. They’re in thermal receipts that come out of gas pumps and A.T.M.’s. They’re in canned foods, cosmetics, plastics and food packaging. Test your blood or urine, and you’ll surely find them there, as well as in human breast milk and in cord blood of newborn babies.
Scientists have long known the tiniest variations in hormone levels influence fetal development. For example, a female twin is very slightly masculinized if the other twin is a male, because she is exposed to some of his hormones.
Now experts worry that endocrine disruptors have similar effects, acting as hormones and swamping the delicate balance for fetuses in particular. The latest initiative by scholars is a landmark 78-page analysis to be published next month in Endocrine Reviews, the leading publication in the field.
“For several well-studied endocrine disruptors, I think it is fair to say that we have enough data to conclude that these chemicals are not safe for human populations,” said Laura Vandenberg, a Tufts University developmental biologist who was the lead writer for the panel.
Need we say more?