Monday, May 26, 2008

How Chemical Exposures Affect Health

More than 70,000 synthetic or naturally occurring chemicals are in modern commercial use. Only a very small percentage of these have been examined to adequately determine levels of toxicity to humans - especially for cases of multiple exposure. However, even minimal exposure can be significant on a biological level.

Substances that are cause for concern include the following:
  • Industrial chemicals including solvents (toulene, benzene, perchloroethylene, and tri-chloroethylene
  • Metals (lead, mercury, cadmium)
  • Pesticides
  • Endocrine disruptors (dioxins, PCBs, some pesticides, alkylphenols, phthalates)
Places where exposure can occur:

Cleaning products
Paints and varnishes
Hobby materials
Building materials
Home office products
Pet care products
Contaminated water (ingestion, skin absorption, inhalation)
Indoor air

Agriculture and food preparation (pesticides)
Health care
Dry cleaning
Auto repair industries (solvents)
Jewelry making (metals)

Hazardous waste sites (landfills, military bases)
Waste incinerators
Industrial emissions
Dry cleaners
Gas stations
Farms and greenhouses

Exposure to these chemicals can lead to infertility, cause miscarriages, cause birth defects, hormone disruption, and/or chromose damage.

For information about lead poisoning, call LeadLine at 1-800-368-5060. To learn more about companies and consumers that support poison-free living and products, become a part of the Coming Clean Campaign and visit the Organic Consumers web site. This organization is working to rid the marketplace of personal care products which are mislabeled as natural and organic but contain dangerous chemicals.

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