Monday, November 16, 2009

Of Men and Boys, Chemicals Never Looked So Guilty

There are two new studies that have just come out that shower guilt all over two types of chemicals that wreck havoc on the bodies of boys and men. I wrote about these two chemicals in my book The Mom's Guide to Growing Your Family Green: Saving the Earth Begins at Home (St. Martin's Press). They are:
Environmental Working Group has reported on the hormone-altering effects of BPA for some time. But on their website, they are now reporting yet another piece of evidence that supports the fact that BPA causes sexual disfunction in males who are regularly exposed to the chemical. See the story here. Here is also a link that talks more about BPA in a previous post of mine.

Now, in a very surprising study being reported on by the BBC in Europe, the University of Rochester is releasing a study that shows that phthalates alter the brains of baby boys, causing them to engage in more feminine behavior. This is because they disrupt hormones. Phthalates are found in MANY places -- plastics (especially PVC), personal care and household products, glues, paints, and beauty products. Essentially, we have been surrounded by phthalates for a very long time. In my book, I talk about detailed ways to avoid them, including some product recommendations. There is also some info on Environmental Working Groups website.

If you are concerned with knowing what is in the products you buy and banning some particularly egregious chemicals from the marketplace (such as BPA and phthalates) due to them having detrimental effects on your children and your family, then write your state and federal officials at At the very least, if these chemicals are not banned, we should be warned through proper labeling. Your voice counts!

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