Friday, May 11, 2012

Chemicals in household items, cosmetics 'causing cancer'

LONDON: Common chemicals found in household products, cosmetics and even medicines may be causing cancers, fertility problems and other illnesses including diabetes and obesity,a study by Europe's environmental watchdog has warned.

In its study, the European Environment Agency (EEA) has claimed that endocrine disrupting chemicals (EDCs) present in household products and cosmetics could be harmful to humans.

The study is based on a review of scientific studies literature commissioned by agency over the past 15 years.

"Scientific research gathered over the last few decades shows us that endocrine disruption is a real problem, with serious effects on wildlife, and possibly people," 'The Daily Telegraph' quoted Jacqueline McGlade, EEA Executive Director.

"It would be prudent to take a precautionary approach to many of these chemicals until their effects are more fully understood," she said, adding that the real problem was not a single chemical but the "cocktail effect" of many of them.

The agency warned that five classes of chemicals needed more scrutiny.

These included phthalates, which are often found in pesticides bisphenol A and other PCBs, which are used to make plastics parabens that are increasingly found in sunscreen and chemicals used in contraceptive pills.

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