The World Health Organization (WHO) is the public health arm of the United Nations. According to its website, they “provide leadership on global health matters, shaping the health research agenda, setting norms and standards, articulating evidence-based policy options, providing technical support to countries and monitoring and assessing health trends.” In other words: they are a big deal. So when they warn that chemicals we all use could be having disastrous effects on our health, we should probably weigh the evidence they offer.
Beware of Chemicals in Everyday Products
Though the WHO is far from sincere and as helpful as it should be, the organization released an insightful report that links chemicals we all use, touch, and breathe with hormone disrupting effects.
According to the report, The State of the Science of Endocrine Disrupting Chemicals, endocrine disruptors (EDCs) can occur naturally, but those synthetic varieties are the ones that we should be most worried about. The agency says these chemicals, like bisphenol-A and phthalates, which are found in numerous everyday products, could lead to:
- Undescended testicles in boys
- Thyroid cancer
- Breast cancer
- Prostate cancer
- Nervous system effects on young children
Even more frightening than the effects of these substances is how pervasive they are.
The WHO says these EDCs are found in pesticides, plastics, personal care products, cosmetics, electronics, and even in our food. And we know BPA is found in plastics, food can linings, and on receipts.
The WHO is calling for greater research into EDCs (like BPA and parabens) and their possible alternatives.
“Investing in new testing methods and research can enhance understanding of the costs of exposure to EDCs, and assist in reducing risks, maximizing benefits and spotlighting more intelligent options and alternatives that reflect a transition to a green economy,” said UN Under Secretary-General and UNEP Executive Director Achim Steiner.
The fact that these chemicals are in our products should really come as no surprise. The natural health world has been crying out for attention to be paid to the numerous studies that have linked these chemicals to endocrine disruption for years. The issue, however, is that there is big money behind their use. After all, there has to be some reason the FDA ignored the numerous studies linking BPA to negative health effects, and refusing to ban the substance.
“We urgently need more research to obtain a fuller picture of the health and environment impacts of endocrine disruptors,” said WHO’s Director for Public Health and Environment Dr Maria Neira. “The latest science shows that communities across the globe are being exposed to EDCs, and their associated risks. WHO will work with partners to establish research priorities to investigate links to EDCs and human health impacts in order to mitigate the risks. We all have a responsibility to protect future generations.”