Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Are Common Chemicals Making Us Fat? - June 30th, 2012
A RECENT study questioned the use of some everyday chemicals. So should we be worried? Fiona Baker presents both sides of the debate.

Yet another report has linked some everyday chemicals with increases in cancers, diabetes, obesity, falling male fertility and a number of neurological problems in both humans and animals.

In May, the European Environment Agency (EEA) released a review which made a direct connection between endocrine-disrupting chemicals (EDCs) and health problems. EDCs are chemicals that interfere with the body's endocrine system, which regulates the hormones needed for all biological processes.

EDCs exist in both natural and synthetic forms. Some are used in medications such as the birth control pill, while EDCs such as bisphenol A (BPA) and phthalates are used in food packaging and plastic containers, and others are used in agricultural pesticides, lubricants and solvents.

"Scientific research gathered over the past few decades shows us that endocrine disruption is a real problem, with serious effects on wildlife and possibly people," EEA executive director Jacqueline McGlade says. "It would be prudent to take a precautionary approach to many of these chemicals until their effects are more fully understood."

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