Chemicals in Our Children

February 17, 2009
Category: Uncategorized

In 2001, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) released the National Report on Human Exposure to Environmental Chemicals, which unveiled the first available benchmarks for a few of the thousands of chemicals to which we are all exposed. The report is based on blood/urine samples taken in twelve US locations from about 3,800 volunteers, none of whom reported unusual toxic exposures. The results for exposure to twenty-seven potentially toxic substances give the first hard data on the body burden of these contaminants in people.

They do not provide any information on potential health risks, but a new electronic database may offer us some insight. The Endocrine Disruption Exchange (TEDX), created by scientist Theo Colborn, PhD, has gathered the latest science on some of the most controversial chemicals in use today. Dr. Colborn was credited in the 1990s with discovering that environmental chemicals mimic and can alter hormones. The database, “Critical Windows of Development,” has compiled information from hundreds of studies, providing strong evidence that chemicals may harm human fetuses. Currently, the website displays information for bisphenol A (BPA), dioxin, and phthalates; information on PCBs, PBDEs, DDT and other chemicals are forthcoming. According to Carol Kwiatkowski, director of TEDX, the database “pairs normal human development in the womb with laboratory research showing where and when low dose exposure to BPA, phthalates, and dioxin has effects.”

The presence of BPA in water, baby bottles, and dental sealants has been a topic in previous issues of Pulse of Health Freedom. On February 6, AAHF petitioned the FDA asking them to take into account the use of BPA in dentistry, especially children’s dentistry. BPA is currently used in tooth sealants, bonding agents (for braces), and fillings, and the FDA has ignored this in estimating the total exposure of Americans to the chemical.

In our press release, AAHF Executive Director Gretchen DuBeau was quoted as saying, “BPA is a known toxic substance. With safer alternatives on the market, parents need to be aware that BPA-free dental applications are available for their children.” Although the FDA’s BPA Task Force is reviewing additional research studies to determine what level of exposure to BPA creates a health risk, a public release date for any new findings by the FDA has not yet been set.
In related news, a New York federal judge has ruled that all children’s products containing phthalates will be banned from sale beginning February 10, 2009, regardless of their date of manufacture. It was a legal victory for consumer advocates, who had sued the Consumer Product Safety Commission over its opinion that products made before that date could be sold indefinitely.

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