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Researchers from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have concluded that BPA and seven other toxins are building up within the bodies of U.S. children according to blood and urine studies.
The research comes from the CDC's National Center for Environmental Health. The researchers utilized data from Children's National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey results of children who were between three and eleven years old during 2001 and 2002.
The research found that the blood of over 60% of these children contained significant levels of bisphenol A (BPA) and its metabolites, as well as seven other toxins referred to as phenols. These toxins include benzophenone-3, triclosan, 2,4-dichlorophenol, 2,5- dichlorophenol, and three parabens.
Benzophenone-3 is also referred to as oxybenzone, and it is a common ingredient in many sunscreens. This is because oxybenzone will absorb UV rays, preventing the skin from UV exposure (which, by the way, produces the all-important vitamin D).
Research from the Environmental Working Group has found that oxybenzone will also become absorbed into the skin, and may mutate DNA creating photosensitivity. Sunscreen producers argued against this notion, criticizing the EWG, but a 2008 study by the CDC confirmed that oxybenzone was found in 97% of urine samples in the 2003-2004 National Healthy and Nutrition Examination Survey.
Triclosan is a common ingredient in many antibacterial soaps, mouthwashes, underarm deodorants and toothpastes. Though banned in Europe in plastic, it is also a common ingredient in many food plastics. Triclosan is typically produced from 2,4-dichlorophenol (chlorinated phenol), so it is classified as a phenol. Byproducts of triclosan, as it is broken down in the body and on the skin, include dioxin and chlorophenols.
A 2011 study from the University of Michigan found that triclosan is associated with reduced immunity and higher levels of allergies.
Besides its toxicity, triclosan has also been shown to produce superbugs, as bacteria can become resistant to it over time.
Dichlorophenols are used in many herbicides and pesticides, and are known toxins. Besides their toxicity, 2,5-DCP has been found to be associated with obesity among children, according to research by Georgia's Mercer University School of Medicine.
Parabens are ingredients in many skin lotions and they will readily become absorbed into the body. They are endocrine disruptors because they will attach to estrogen receptors. They have also been associated with breast cancer.
While one might assume only children using these chemicals are exposed, recent research has determined that many of these – including acyclovir, benzophenone-3, benzylparaben, carbamazepine, ethylparaben, fluconazole, fluoxetine, methylparaben, metronidazole, propylparaben, and ranitidine – are flowing into our waterways through municipal waste treatment facilities.
And because waste treatment plants cannot eliminate these in waste water streams, they are also flowing into our bathing and drinking water supplies as well.
- Ye X, Zhou X, Wong LY, Calafat AM. Concentrations of Bisphenol A and Seven Other Phenols in Pooled Sera from 3-11 Year Old Children: 2001-2002 National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey. Environ Sci Technol. 2012 Oct 26.
- Clayton EM, Todd M, Dowd JB, Aiello AE. The impact of bisphenol A and triclosan on immune parameters in the U.S. population, NHANES 2003-2006. Environ Health Perspect. 2011 Mar;119(3):390-6.
- Yu K, Li B, Zhang T. Direct rapid analysis of multiple PPCPs in municipal wastewater using ultrahigh performance liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry without SPE pre-concentration. Anal Chim Acta. 2012 Aug 13;738:59-68. doi: 10.1016/j.aca.2012.05.057.
- Twum C, Wei Y. The association between urinary concentrations of dichlorophenol pesticides and obesity in children. Rev Environ Health. 2011;26(3):215-9.
- Crinnion WJ. Toxic effects of the easily avoidable phthalates and parabens. Altern Med Rev. 2010 Sep;15(3):190-6.