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Toxic Products Surround Us

Yesterday, I wrote about the Environmental Protection Agency's hands-off policies when it comes to regulating the use of dangerous chemicals -- like perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA) -- found in household products many of you use daily. Along those same lines, I urge you to review a feature published earlier this week in USA Today that tackles the same subject from the view of science.

Although many of the chemicals cited in the story -- bisphenol A, PFOA and phthalates -- have been widely used for more the four decades, studies have only emerged during the past 5-7 years due to retooled testing methods sensitive enough to measure extremely low amounts of these toxic additives in our bodies and environment.

Before then, however, discoveries like these were indeed surprising and unsettling...

Take, for example, a scientist in a Cleveland lab studying chromosomal abnormalities in the fetus who discovered one day that the mice she was examining had developed severe problems inexplicably. It took several months for her to find the key to the problem: A harsh alkaline detergent used by a temp employee to clean cages instead of floors.

Learn more about how to avoid the toxins described in this must-read USA Today piece, and many more common ones, in an article I wrote recently along with links to comprehensive studies posted on my Web site.

USA Today August 2, 2005

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