UN and WHO say hormone-disrupting chemicals are a ‘global threat’

“Frankly, for BPA, the science is done. Flame retardants, phthalates … the science is done,” Zoeller said. “We have more than enough information on these chemicals to make the reasonable decision to ban, or at least take steps to    limit exposure.”

Phthalates are found in fragrances, laundry and other personal care and cleaning products, soft plastics, (PVC) and even in time released medications!!!

Exposures to these chemicals are currently very difficult to avoid, and require diligent personal effort and significant financial investments. But even that is not enough to avoid exposure.


Brian Bienkowski from Environmental Health News writes:

An international team of experts reported today that evidence linking hormone-mimicking chemicals to human health problems has grown stronger over the past decade, becoming a “global threat” that should be addressed. The report is a joint effort by the World Health Organization and the United Nations Environment Programme to give policymakers the latest information on chemicals that seem to mess with the hormones of people and wildlife. Much has changed since 2002, when the organizations released a report that called the evidence “weak.” The panel of 16 scientists from 10 nations found that endocrine-related diseases and disorders are on the rise. There is now “emerging evidence for adverse reproductive outcomes” and “mounting evidence” for effects on thyroids, brains and metabolism, the report summary says.”

From the press release:

“Chemical products are increasingly part of modern life and support many national economies, but the unsound management of chemicals challenges the achievement of key development goals, and sustainable development for all,” said UN Under Secretary-General and UNEP Executive Director Achim Steiner.

From the report itself:

Many endocrine-related diseases and disorders are
on the rise.
◦ Large proportions (up to 40%) of young men in
some countries have low semen quality, which
reduces their ability to father children.
◦ The incidence of genital malformations, such as
non-descending testes (cryptorchidisms) and penile
malformations (hypospadias), in baby boys has
increased over time or levelled off at unfavourably
high rates.
◦ The incidence of adverse pregnancy outcomes,
such as preterm birth and low birth weight, has
increased in many countries.
Neurobehavioural disorders associated with thyroid
disruption affect a high proportion of children
in some countries and have increased over past
◦ Global rates of endocrine-related cancers (breast,
endometrial, ovarian, prostate, testicular and
thyroid) have been increasing over the past 40–50
◦ There is a trend towards earlier onset of breast
development in young girls in all countries where
this has been studied. This is a risk factor for breast
◦ The prevalence of obesity and type 2 diabetes has
dramatically increased worldwide over the last 40
years. WHO estimates that 1.5 billion adults worldwide
are overweight or obese and that the number
with type 2 diabetes increased from 153 million to
347 million between 1980 and 2008.

“An important focus should be on reducing exposures by a variety of mechanisms. Government actions to reduce exposures, while limited, have proven to be effective in specific cases (e.g. bans and restrictions on lead, chlorpyrifos, tributyltin, PCBs and some other POPs). This has contributed to decreases in the frequency of disorders in humans and wildlife.”

The report can be found here

State of the science of endocrine disrupting chemicals – 2012

2 responses to “UN and WHO say hormone-disrupting chemicals are a ‘global threat’

  1. HI Linda! Thanks for all your recent posts! I found an agency http://www.ecojustice.ca & they have an office in Ottawa on Copernicus street….
    I phoned them today & asked for help with continual chemical bombardment in the apt. bldg. where I’m living…also phoned Paula Fletcher’s office for help.. also will try Human Rights Legal Clinic..CERA was somewhat helpful but told me if I were offered another apt. in this bldg. I would have to get sick again (last time two months) to make another complaint…(I did not get this reasoning at all!!!). Laws need to be changed…David Boyd is working on changing Canada’s Constitution to include “healthy environments”.. that way Bill C-38 would never have passed…& everyone suffering would have a better chance at a healthy life!!!

    • So many costs due to the lack of addressing these toxic chemicals…
      So difficult to avoid them even when they disable us…
      So challenging to do anything about them..
      But do we must – not only for our own health, but future generations are at risk!
      When people with MCS/ES advocate for our own needs, when we have them met, everyone around us benefits!

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