TAG | phthalate
A recent study published in the journal Environmental Health Perspectives and based on the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) investigated the exposure of pregnant women to 163 chemicals, revealing, “ubiquitous exposure to multiple chemicals during a sensitive period of development.” The study found that pregnant women were even exposed to chemicals banned decades ago, and some of the chemicals analyzed were found in 99 – 100 percent of the women.
Health effects were not assessed in this study, but many of the chemicals found are known to have detrimental consequences on health. In another case study of one woman with particularly high levels of bisphenol A (BPA) during her 27th week of pregnancy, the infant experienced neurobehavioral abnormalities at his one-month study visit. Researchers of this study were able to trace her abnormally high BPA exposure to the high consumption of canned foods, heating of plastic food containers, and use of plastic cups. The week of her highest recorded BPA level, she consumed canned ravioli each day. It is known that acidic foods can bring out more BPA from can lining, and canned tomato foods have been found to be higher in BPA.
BPA and phthalate exposure can be reduced by purchasing fresh unpackaged foods and avoiding plastic food packaging, storage containers and utensils. In one study, again published in Environmental Health Perspectives, consuming fresh foods prepared and consumed without the use of plastic was associated with a 66 percent reduction in the amount of BPA in urine.
We can’t eliminate all toxins, but there are small things we can do try to reduce them. Replace your plastic Tupperware with glass containers. Don’t use plastic wrap and try to prepare as much food as you can from fresh, unpackaged foods. And never heat food or drink in plastic. Do what you can and know that you are at least doing something. Spread the word—pass this information on.
It’s something that none of us ever wants to hear: that every day our bodies encounter scores of dangerous toxins that can contribute to one of the deadliest diseases in history. According to the American Cancer Society, cancer is the second-leading cause of death in the United States, and an alarming new report from the President’s Cancer Panel brings to light the shocking truth about the impact of environmental pollution on cancer rates in the United States.
The report, entitled Reducing Environmental Cancer Risk: What We Can Do Now, outlines the sources and types of environmental contaminants and their significant impact on our overall health—emphasizing in particular the risk to pregnant mothers and infants. The PCP urges government officials to take a stronger position on regulating harmful chemicals and provides a comprehensive list of recommendations to help reduce our exposure to environmental contaminants. That list includes:
- Choosing organically grown foods to reduce exposure to pesticides and chemical fertilizers
- Eating free-range meats to reduce exposure to antibiotics, growth hormones and toxic runoff from livestock feed lots
- Buying environmentally-friendly home/garden products to reduce exposure to hazardous toxins
- Avoiding hard plastic bottles/containers made with endocrine-disrupting chemicals such as BPA
- Reducing exposure to occupational chemicals by removing shoes before entering the home
- Filtering home tap or well water to reduce exposure to numerous known/suspected carcinogens
- Storing and carrying water in stainless steel, glass or BPA- and/or phthalate-free containers
- Microwaving food in ceramic or glass instead of plastic containers
Still, this isn’t new news to natural health experts, who for decades have warned of the dangers of toxic exposure and advocated for stronger government regulations. The reality, however, is that of the more than 80,000 chemicals currently being used in the U.S. (with over 1,000 new chemicals introduced each year), only a few hundred have actually been tested for safety. Not only that, but according to the PCP report many known or suspected carcinogens are not regulated at all.
Says natural health and detox expert Brenda Watson, “I can’t stress enough how important it is that the danger of toxin exposure is finally receiving the attention it should. My hope now is that more people will take responsibility for their health—and the health of our planet—by taking steps to reduce toxins in their daily lives.”
For more information about environmental toxins, their impact on your health, and how you can take steps to reduce your daily exposure, visit Brenda Watson’s Detox Strategy website.