As the father of a 3-month old, this really pisses me off:
Laboratory tests paid for by the nonprofit Environmental Working Group and Rachel's Network found 232 chemicals and pollutants in the umbilical cords of the 10 babies tested in five states between December 2007 and June 2008.
It was the 11th time the working group has conducted laboratory tests of human blood for chemicals in household and industrial products. Overall, the working group, which focuses on environmental health issues, found 414 chemicals and pollutants in 186 people of all ages and races, including Caucasians.
The latest study was the first time newborns of minority mothers were exclusively tested.
Products used in flame retardants, rocket fuels, on frying pans and in computer circuit boards were found in the infants in addition to lead, mercury and known carcinogens, according to the study.
What are the impacts of these chemicals on people? For one, if it seems like you're having more trouble shedding pounds these days, some of these toxins can make you fat!
Emerging evidence suggests that environmental toxins, specifically endocrine-disrupting chemicals, may play a role in making people fat. Such chemicals contain agents that can mimic, enhance or inhibit the function of hormones produced by the body, including those that stimulate the creation and duplication of fat cells.
Two chemicals prevalent in commercial plastics, bisphenol A and nonylphenol, have been definitively linked to obesity owing to their estrogenic properties, as discussed in an exhaustive review of the literature that appeared in Molecular Endocrinology.
Fortunately, Congress is moving to ban the chemical, Bisphenol A from beverage containers. It's a start...
And many companies are moving to reduce their toxic chemical footprint...
Read Grist's coverage of these stories>>
Read National Geographic's classic article about chemical build-up in people>>
Read Newsweek's coverage of this subject>>
Read about how these chemicals can make you fat>>