Chemicals That Are Making Us Sick
The following articles are just a few of the concerns with chemical pollution and how it can affect the body. We must be aware that if something is pre-packaged, canned, bagged or in a carton there is the high potential of chemical toxicity. For more information on how you can identify and prevent chemical toxicity get a copy of our new E-Book: Chemical Soup: Your Health Under Siege
Two Thirds of Canned Foods Found to Have Low Levels of Potent Carcinogen
A new survey by a food watchdog group in the UK has shown that trace amounts of an estrogen-mimicking compound known as bisphenol A (BPA) can be found in many canned foods.
BPA is a chemical component of resins used to coat some cans. The group tested 62 samples from canned goods sold in UK supermarkets and found that low levels of BPA could be found in 40.
BPA was detected at up to 0.07 milligrams per kilogram (mg/kg) in 37 samples and at 0.35 to 0.42 mg/kg in three further cans.
The supposed "safe" limit for BPA is 3 mg/kg, according to the Food Standards Agency.
What constitutes a safe level of BPA consumption is controversial. Some scientists have found that BPA produces effects in animals at very low doses.
Research in animals has shown that BPA enlarges the size of the prostate gland in mice, advances the onset of puberty in females and reduces fertility in rats.
It is not known why BPA migrates into certain foods and not others, though it seems that the risk of seepage is higher when BPA is used as a linking agent between the can and the food rather than just in the lining of the can.
Why Plastics Can Make You Sick
A controversy regarding the safety of low-dose effects of bisphenol A (BPA), a chemical used to make hard, clear plastics such as those found in baby bottles, food-storage containers and the lining of soda cans, has reached the forefront in America.
Each year, over 6 billion tons of BPA are used to make polycarbonate plastics. Chemical bonds that BPA forms in plastic can unravel when heated, washed or exposed to acidic foods, prompting the chemical to contaminate foods. And while the plastic industry fails to see the need for alarm regarding the health impact of this chemical, researchers with no ties to the industry beg to differ.
Your body is extremely sensitive to sex hormones, and miniscule amounts can induce profound changes. Therefore, since BPA imitates the sex hormone estradiol, scientists are afraid even low levels of BPA could have a negative impact. Moreover, there is evidence (among mice and rats) low doses of BPA can cause:
- Early puberty
- Increased fat formation
- Abnormal sexual behavior
- Disrupted reproductive cycles
- Structural damage to the brain
Of the 115 published studies researchers reviewed on the low-dose effects of BPA, 94 of them reported harmful effects on mice and rats; 21 did not.
Coincidentally, none of the 11 studies funded by chemical companies found harmful effects caused by BPA, which the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has reported is detected in 95 percent of all patients tested. On the other hand, more than 90 percent of the studies conducted by scientists not associated with the chemical industry [text in blue] discovered negative consequences.
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USA Today April 14, 2005
Ever Wondered Where That New Car Smell Comes From?
The unmistakable smell of a new car -- a mix of fresh plastic, paint, and upholstery – may be linked to a toxic cocktail of harmful chemicals, prompting Japanese automakers to attempt to tone down the smell. Their push to reduce cabin concentrations of the fumes could spur similar action by U.S. and European rivals.
The new-car smell comes largely from chemicals known as volatile organic compounds, or VOCs. These leach from glues, paints, vinyls and plastics in the passenger compartment. They have been known to cause headaches, sore throats, nausea, and drowsiness, and prolonged exposure to high concentrations can lead to cancer.
Sitting in a new car can subject riders to toxic emissions several times above the safety limits. The problem tends to dissipate after about six months.
Matching Guidelines for Homes
Earlier this year, Japanese automakers agreed to cut cabin levels of 13 of the compounds, including possible cancer-causing agents such as styrene and formaldehyde, to match guidelines for air quality in homes. This marks the first time automakers have adopted government guidelines on the matter.
U.S. Has No Regulations for Most VOCs
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency sets no guidelines for volatile organic compounds in non-industrial settings. Formaldehyde, however, one of the potentially cancer-causing substances present in new cars, is regulated by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration. USA Today September 26, 2005