Personal Care Chemicals
PCBs. VOCs. Pthalates. Bisphenol A (BPA). The list of industrial chemicals on the minds of consumers is crowded with confusing new acronyms as growing scientific data show a link between chemical exposure and a range of behavioural, reproductive and immunological problems.
For parents wanting to make healthy choices for their kids, it can be a struggle, even for the most eco-savvy, to strike the right balance between a kind of paranoid parenting, where dangers are seen lurking in every plastic toy and non-organic mattress, and blithe acceptance that the benefits of living in our convenience-driven industrial world comes at a cost.
"Stunned by the findings"
Ken Cook is the energetic and persuasive co-founder of Environmental Working Group (EWG) in Washington, D.C., a research organization and public health lobbying powerhouse. Cook has been travelling the country since 2005 presenting the findings of EWG's "10 Americans" study, which tested the umbilical cord blood of 10 babies born in U.S. hospitals from a random sample supplied by the Red Cross on the same day in 2004.
287 chemicals found
The research was the most comprehensive testing ever conducted on human umbilical cord blood. It found 287 industrial chemicals in the samples, nearly half of which are known carcinogens. Also detected were dozens of widely used brominated flame retardants (PBDEs) and their toxic by-products, and numerous pesticides, including DDT and others, which were banned more than 30 years ago.