Endocrine Disruptors in Products: Thanks to Silent Spring Institute!


Special thanks to Lia Delaney, our science researcher, for her explanation of endocrine disruptors earlier this week. Now that we have a basic understanding, we would like to share the results of what may be the largest study that has actually analyzed products themselves to see whether they contain a range of chemicals associated with these hormonal effects.

For a little background…two weeks ago, Gabrielle and I went to the Beyond Pesticides conference at Yale University and were delighted to hear and meet Julia Brody, the Executive Director of Silent Spring Institute. Since our inception, Protect Our Breasts has shared the critically important research contributions of this organization. Even our little launch video mentioned their work.

When we told Dr. Brody of our initiative to share with young women information about everyday products that contribute to breast cancer, she was genuinely enthusiastic and encouraged us to communicate the results of their recent study published online March 8th in the peer-reviewed journal, Environmental Health Perspectives.

The investigators tested products for the presence of endocrine disruptors that raise concerns for breast cancer, growth, and reproduction, as well as chemicals associated with asthma. They found the highest concentrations in vinyl products, such as shower curtains and pillow protectors, and fragranced products, such as dryer sheets, and sunscreens. The study tested 50 different categories of products. Tests for 66 specific chemicals detected 55 of them. Sunscreens are a particular concern and Protect Our Breasts will be sharing about them in a couple of weeks.

The study included both conventional products as well as “alternative” products marketed as containing safer ingredients than their conventional counterparts. The potentially harmful chemicals showed up in all 42 conventional product samples tested and in 32 out of 43 alternative products.

Eleven alternative products had no detectable targets. The chemicals identified in the products included parabens, phthalates, bisphenol A (BPA), antimicrobials, cyclosiloxanes, glycol ethers, and fragrances. Information of many of these chemicals may be found in our blog posts shared over the past several months.

Silent Spring Institute provides links to the article itself, a fact sheet, a highlight video, a chart of all product names and those with “no detectable target chemicals.” Please visit their site at http://www.silentspring.org/our-research/research-updates/consumer-products-contain-potentially-harmful-chemicals-not-listed-lab

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