Over the past 30 years, toxic chemicals, like Teflon, plastics, and formaldehyde have increasingly invaded our homes. We used to think these substances were harmless, but a rising tide of evidence has turned the spotlight on chemical exposures as a possible poison to our children’s developing brains.
One group of substances of particular concern is a ubiquitous family of hormone twisting compounds, known as endocrine disrupting chemicals (EDCs). These substances are the focus of intense scrutiny because: 1) they’re found in every home in America 2) they’re increasingly linked to human disease 3) our exposure to them has risen in parallel with the surge in autism diagnoses and 4) they may theoretically affect the developing fetal brain.
In recent years, research has mounted against a virtual police lineup of EDCs, like BPA (in food cans, hard plastic water bottles), phthlates (in soft plastics, cosmetics) and fire retardants (in sofas, computers, flame-resistant clothing). Multiple animal and human studies have linked EDC exposure (during or after fetal development) with a host of hormone-related disorders, like low sperm count, cancer (breast, ovarian, prostate, testicular), congenital malformation of the genitals and even obesity.
Harvey Karp | AlterNet