A recent investigative report by NBC Dateline producer Andrea Canning has revealed some shocking new details about the pervasive nature of chemicals in both everyday consumer products and the general food supply. As relayed by ElephantJournal.com, using conventional cleaning and sanitary products and eating standard food items significantly increases levels of bisphenol-A (BPA), phthalates, and triclosan, not to mention hundreds or even thousands of other chemical additives, inside the body.
As little as five years ago, most Americans were likely unaware of the existence of BPA, phthalates, or triclosan, let alone have any understanding of their pervasive use, even though these three chemicals are widely used in hand soaps, canned foods, cash register receipts, plastic containers, and many other products we are exposed to on a daily basis. But awareness is growing, especially as elevated levels of these “deadly three” have been detected in at least 90 percent of the population.
This fact came as a surprise to Canning, who decided to test her own urine, as well as the urine of her daughters, as part of a segment on chemical exposure and persistence. Canning began her investigation by taking baseline urine samples that reflected her everyday eating and living habits. She then cut out all the things that admittedly or may potentially contain the “deadly three,” and took new samples. Following this, Canning went back to her original lifestyle and took another set of samples.
Upon analysis, it was determined that, from the start, Canning and her family had high levels of BPA, phthalates, and triclosan in their bodies. According to ElephantJournal.com, Canning’s six-month-old baby had levels of triclosan 10 times higher than the national average, while her toddler had triclosan levels 100 times higher. Canning also observed that when she went off the chemical-containing products, her levels of all three chemicals dropped dramatically, only to return to high levels once she began using her former chemical-containing products.
“We see where bisphenol over and over again in mouse and rats causes anxiety, and what I’m talking about are things like ADHD (attention deficit hyperactivity disorder),” says Dr. Emilie Rissman, a widely-published professor of biochemistry and molecular genetics at the University of Virginia. Research conducted by Dr. Rissman and others has linked hormone disruptors like BPA to causing a range of health problems such as childhood obesity, autism, and infertility.
“I’m just reporting the data,” she adds. “It’s in peer-reviewed journals, I can replicate it, and those are the criteria for scientists.”
Food cans, thermal receipts, antibacterial soaps among the worst chemical culprits
When Canning stuck to a diet of microwaved, canned foods, diet sodas, and other processed, chemical-laden items, as well as continued to use her typical cosmetic and cleaning products, her chemical levels skyrocketed. But when she cut these products out and instead ate only fresh, organic foods, and avoided her normal makeup and cleansing products, Canning tested very low for chemicals, illustrating the importance of avoiding major sources of chemical exposure whenever possible.
And just what are these major sources? Thermal receipt paper, canned food items, plastic containers and bags, and even paper money are among the most common sources of BPA, while phthalates can be found in plastic bags, cosmetics, lotions, and car interiors. Triclosan, which is still not properly regulated by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) after more than 25 years, is commonly found in antibacterial soaps and cleaning products.
For the full NBC Dateline segment on hormone disruptors, visit the links below.
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