Lancet Publishes Paper on the Affects of Endocrine-Disrupting Chemicals

A new peer-reviewed study conducted by academic journal Lancet Diabetes & Endocrinology studied the affect particular endocrine-disrupting chemicals interfere with the function hormones.

There have been concerns about the safety of particular widely used chemicals and whether or not there is adequate regulation and sufficient testing prior to the exposure of these synthetics. Especially chemicals such as bisphenol A (BPA) and polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs) which are being scrutinised for mimicking the body’s natural sex steroid hormone and afftecing the endocrine system.

Comprised of a collection of glands, the endocrine system secretes hormones directly into the bloodstream, which then regulates metabolism, growth and development, tissue function, and reproduction amongst other things. 

Lead investigator and associate professor at NYU Langone, Dr. Leonardo Trasande and his team of colleagues “reviewed the levels of endocrine-disrupting chemicals in blood and urine samples provided by volunteers participating in the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey”.[1]

After collecting this data, Trasande and his colleagues used advanced computer models to estimate the total cases of disease that would result from exposure to the levels of endocrine-disrupting chemicals they observed. The researchers also calculated the consequences of disease caused by chemicals: lost income, in addition to health care bills.

The report concluded that, annually, it costs the United States $340 billion. Yearly exposure to highly toxic fire-resisting PBDE chemicals and pesticides accounted for nearly two-thirds of this total endocrine-disrupting chemical disease burden, said Trasande.

The Lancet report comes in light of the US Senate passing the Toxic Substances Control Act in addition to the FDA banning commonly used abrasive antibacterial soaps.

 According to Professor Trasande, this new analysis is intended “to facilitate a transparent dialogue about the real and substantial tradeoffs for human health that we make by failing to act to protect against the chemicals of greatest concern”.[2]

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[2] Ibid.