06 Nov 2017

CHEMICAL EXPOSURE LINKED TO RISING DIABETES, OBESITY RISK, INFERTILITY AND CANCER RISK

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CHEMICAL EXPOSURE LINKED TO RISING DIABETES, OBESITY RISK, INFERTILITY AND CANCER RISK

Emerging evidence ties endocrine-disrupting chemical (EDC) exposure to two of the biggest public health threats facing society – diabetes and obesity, according to the executive summary of an upcoming Scientific Statement issued by the Endocrine Society.

EDCs contribute to health problems by mimicking, blocking or otherwise interfering with the body’s natural hormones.

By hijacking the body’s chemical messengers, EDCs can alter the way cells develop and grow.

Known EDCs include bisphenol A (BPA) found in food can linings and cash register receipts, phthalates found in plastics, including plastic containers, drink bottles, and baby’s bottles, cans, cosmetics, flame retardants and pesticides. The chemicals are so common that nearly every person on Earth has been exposed to one or more.

Animal studies found that some EDCs directly target beta and alpha cells in the pancreas, fat cells, and liver cells. This can lead to insulin resistance and an overabundance of the hormone insulin in the body — risk factors for Type 2 diabetes.

Mounting evidence also indicates EDC exposure is connected to infertility, hormone-related cancers, neurological issues and other disorders.

The threat is particularly great when unborn children are exposed to EDCs. Animal studies found that exposure to even tiny amounts of EDCs during the prenatal period can trigger obesity later in life.

The Scientific Statement also examines evidence linking EDCs to reproductive health problems, hormone-related cancers such as breast and ovarian cancer, prostate conditions, thyroid disorders and neurodevelopmental issues.

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