Speaker: Muhannad Malas
Writers: Esha & Sheena Jain
Toxins are present in a variety of consumer products such as cosmetics, food packaging, household furniture, cleaning products etc. Over 84 000 toxins are used in products throughout North America, however only a small fraction are assessed and reported. Studies have shown that at the time of birth, neonates have already been exposed to approximately 55-121 toxic compounds that are linked to cancer and other health conditions.
Many of these toxins are classified as Endocrine Disrupting Chemicals, which are known to mimic the effects of hormones. Some examples include:
Bisphenol A (BPA) – used in: food cans, plastic reusable bottles & cash register receipts
o BPA mimics estrogen, which can be detrimental to breastfeeding mothers and their children and has been linked to breast cancer.
Flame Retardants – used in: Furniture (i.e. couches, office chairs, mattresses) & nail polish
o Flame retardants can impact fetal brain development and has been linked to ADHD
Phthalates & Parabens – used in: Nail polish perfume/fragrance, makeup, personal care products & vinyl floors
o Parabens mimic estrogen making them toxic to the reproductive system.
There are specific stages throughout development, in which one is most susceptible to toxin exposure. This can have a cumulative effect and increase their chances of developing various health conditions in the future. These include:
o Since fetuses are small with low weight, any amount of chemical exposure can have an effect on them. Although as a general rule effects are independent of a dose to weight ratio. The effect varies based on individual susceptibility and genetic makeup. Continue reading »