According to a report that has been published by the European Environment Agency(EEA), health problems such as cancer, infertility and obesity could all be linked to certain chemicals in household products and cosmetics.
The EEA has said products containing 'endocrine disrupting chemicals', otherwise known as EDCs, should be avoided, or at least treated with caution.
However, it stopped short of suggesting a ban on certain products, saying more research needs to be done to be able to better understand the effect they can have on human health.
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"Scientific research gathered over the last few decades shows us that endocrine disruption is a real problem, with serious effects on wildlife, and possibly people,” commented Jacqueline McGlade, the EEA’s executive director.
She added: “It would be prudent to take a precautionary approach to many of these chemicals until their effects are more fully understood.”
Specifically, she asked for five different types of chemicals to be investigated further.
These include phthalates, which are most commonly used in pesticides, bisphenol A and PCBs which are used to manufacture plastics, and parabens, which are often used in cosmetics and sunscreens.
ECDs are also present in contraceptive medication, such as the Pill, and more research into these has also been requested.
However, according to McGlade, it is not just one chemical that contributes to health problems such as cancer, infertility and obesity.
She believes it is more of a “cocktail effect”, when humans are exposed to many different chemicals at one time.
The European Environment Agency’s report, which was launched yesterday at Brunel University in the UK, has reviewed the findings of 15 years worth of research into the effect of such chemicals.
The 'Weybridge +15' report has been titled ‘The impacts of endocrine disrupters on wildlife, people and their environments.’
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