Catherine Delahunty

WHO study highlights dangerous chemicals

by Catherine Delahunty

Chemicals are the building blocks of life but synthetic chemicals in numerous combinations can be incredibly dangerous.

A new study by the WHO has alarming news that over 800 chemicals are known or suspected to be EDCs (endocrine disrupting chemicals). Our endocrine system is our hormone system, which means that ECDs are capable of interfering with hormone receptors. As you can imagine, messing with the hormone system can have negative consequences. The WHO report links ECDs to increasing rates of cancer and other health problems such as infertility and asthma.

Scarily, ECDs are often in common household products such as hair products, some skin care products, dry cleaning, and cleaning products. The frightening truth is emerging around chemicals like Triclosan which can be found in some deodorants and anti-bacterial soaps and has serious risks to the food chain. When we wash products with Triclosan down the sink, can enter our chlorinated sewage systems and this leads to the creation of harmful dioxins.

Often product labelling can help people avoid these harmful chemicals but first you have to know what they are. Given that there are hundreds of them, sometimes with complex formula and brand names, this is a difficult task. Even more worrisome is the fact that some 145,000 chemicals are yet to be tested for their hormone disrupting properties.

The Green Party would suggest that people do their best to buy genuinely safe eco products when they can afford them. We suggest that every household checks out what cleaning and personal care products you are regularly buying and keep a sharp eye out for greenwashing and false marketing. For a start avoid any product containing Triclosan, Bisphenol A or Cyclomethicone.

A green approach to chemistry is needed and the Government need to change the way they assess hazardous chemicals based on the serious issues in this WHO report.

Published in Environment & Resource Management by Catherine Delahunty on Tue, February 26th, 2013   

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