American citizens are unfortunate guinea pigs in a terrifying science experiment due to decades of laissez faire regulation of chemicals in consumer products. NYU researchers calculated the staggering cost of just 15 of the many disorders known to be associated with endocrine-disrupting chemical exposure. Inadequate consumer safety regulations resulted in the widespread application of chemicals now proven to be harmful and literally 100% of us have levels of these chemicals in our systems. These chemicals are widespread in our furniture and house-dust, our water, leached from plastic can liners and containers into foods, applied directly as pesticides on grains and produce, accumulated in the animal foods we eat, to hair/nail/skin and cleaning products. The study notes “Illness associated with exposure to endocrine-disrupting chemicals (EDCs) reportedly cost the U.S. economy over $340 billion annually.” That’s over 2% of our GDP, not to mention the pain and suffering endured by those impacted.
Disorders associated with endocrine disrupting chemicals cataloged in the study included intellectual disability, ADHD, autism, obesity, diabetes, testicular disorders including cancer and male infertility, early cardiovascular disorders, gynecologic issues and birth defects. We also know thyroid disorders, autoimmune disorders and food allergy, and neurodegenerative disorders, are also linked to many of these chemicals.
Short of adequate safety regulations, unlikely to be forthcoming from the incoming administration, consumers can take many actions to protect themselves and their loved ones:
1) Eat organic, especially for the “dirty dozen” fruits and vegetables most likely to be contaminated
2) Store food and water in glass whenever possible
3) Never cook food in plastics and avoid foods or liquids stored in plastic or cans lined with plastic
4) Drink filtered water instead of bottled water
5) Ventilate your home regularly and avoid furnishings with PDBE flame-retardants
6) Avoid non-stick cookware unless it is PFOA/PTFE-free
7) Avoid farm-raised fish (high levels of pesticides & dioxin) and large fish (mercury concentrates up the food chain)
8) Eat mostly plants and limit animal products to organic, free range/grassfed, and wild caught
9) Regularly undergo a medical detoxification process such as our 3-Day cleanse or metagenics ultraclear program.
10) Follow and support groups like Environmental Working Group and Consumer Reports that study, educate and advocate for healthy consumer protections.