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Everyday chemicals cost us billions

Posted by Kathy Attar, MPH on October 25, 2016

A study published in The Lancet Diabetes and Endocrinology journal highlights the billions of dollars hormone-disrupting chemicals take away from the U.S. economy yearly. A similar study carried out in Europe found about $217 billion in annual costs due to exposure to these hazardous chemicals. The disease costs of hormone disruptors were much higher in the U.S. than in Europe, driven mainly by the intellectual disability and loss of IQ points caused by polybrominated diphenyl ethers exposure in the U.S.

The study estimated costs by looking at exposures, then projecting 15 health conditions linked to the chemicals and the related health costs and lost wages.

Exposure to hormone-disrupting chemicals varies greatly between the U.S. and Europe because of differences in chemical policy. For example, the U.S. public has greater exposure to flame-retardant chemicals, due in part to more stringent fire-safety rules.

Endocrine disruptors impact how human hormones function and have been linked to a variety of health problems such as impaired brain development, lower IQ, behavior problems, infertility, birth defects, and obesity.

As part of PSR's train-the-trainer project we have developed a new hand-out for the public on concrete ways to reduce exposure to harmful chemicals like hormone disruptors in your home and community. Learn some easy tips here.

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