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The Potentially Harmful Chemicals in Your Home Right Now

The evidence about the health effects of so-called endocrine disrupters is growing. The chemicals interfere with the human endocrine system — hormones produced by glands that control your metabolism, growth, sexual functions, sleep, metabolism and even whether you are happy or depressed.

Endocrine disrupters ooze out of canned foods, plastic bottles, drugs, dioxins in the water supply, detergents, cosmetics and pesticides, among many other common goods people contact every day.

A study presented at the Endocrine Society’s annual meeting in San Diego two weeks ago made the case that limiting exposure to the disrupters could save hundreds of billions of dollars in health care costs.

The study’s authors said that consumers can sharply limit their exposure to the chemicals, which include PCBs, BPA, dioxins, perfluoroalkyl compounds (stain repellants in carpets, water repellant in fabrics, insecticides), phthalates (in food wraps, cosmetics, shampoos), solvents and polybrominated diphenyls (in flame retardants and plastics).

Simple strategies include never putting anything plastic into your microwave oven, never eating or drinking anything that comes in an aluminum can, eating organic foods to avoid pesticides, avoiding food in plastic containers by only buying canned foods that come in glass, not eating foods from cans lined with BPA and opening up the windows in your house every few days to clear out the chemicals that escape from carpets, paints, appliances, plastics and furniture finishes.

A scientific steering committee lead by Leonardo Trasande, an associate professor at the New York University School of Medicine, determined that diseases such as autism, obesity, attention deficit disorder and infertility may be linked to the disrupters.

To a bright future,

Stephen Petranek
for Seven Figure Publishing

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Stephen Petranek

Stephen Petranek’s career of over 40 years in the publishing world is marked by numerous prizes and awards for excellent writing on science, nature, technology, politics, economics and more. He has been editor-in-chief of the Miami Herald’s prestigious Sunday magazine, Tropic, and has covered a wide range of topics for Time Inc.’s Life magazine. His...

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