Endocrine Disrupting Chemicals. (EDCs) In Our Lives. Presented by the Labour Environmental Alliance Society (LEAS). With the assistance of Reach for Unbleached!. The endocrine system is a network of glands that release many different hormones, sometimes in very tiny amounts.
In Our Lives
Presented by the Labour Environmental Alliance Society (LEAS)
With the assistance of Reach for Unbleached!
The endocrine system is a network of glands that release many different hormones, sometimes in very tiny amounts
Homones control growth, sexual and mental development, and many other functions
Or, generically, Endocrine Disrupting Chemicals (EDCs)
But it wasn’t until the 1990s that
scientists began to understand. . .
“Many compounds introduced into the environment by human activity are capable of disrupting the endocrine system of animals, including fish, wildlife, and humans. The consequences of such disruption
can be profound. . .” - From the consensus statement of the inter-disciplinary scientists who met at Wingspread Conference in July 1991.
In the Salish Sea of Georgia Strait and Puget Sound, orcas are some of the most contaminated animals in the world, with EDCs from urban discharge from Vancouver and Seattle, from industrial waste, and from oil. Their PCB (polychlorinated biphenyl) levels would be high enough to cause death in other mammals.
“If even as little as 15% more of world PCB stocks gets into the oceans, the extinction of marine mammals would be inevitable… The consequence of failing to control PCB releases to oceans will be the extinction of marine mammals and the chemical fouling of ocean fisheries, rendering them unsuitable for use by humans.”- Professor Joseph Cummins, University of Western Ontario
If you eat “high on the food chain”- lots of meat, fish,or dairy products - you and your children are exposed to Endocrine Disrupting Chemicals
fish are particularly sensitive accumulators of EDCs
If you live near an industrial site, an autoshop, or a highway, you are exposed to EDCs.
If you use cosmetics, cleaning products, or plastic in your daily life, you are exposed to EDCs.
Every month, the results of new research explain more of the puzzle of how EDCs affect fish, plants and animals,including humans.
“Every pregnant woman in the world has endocrine disruptors in her body that are transferred to the fetus.
“She also has measurable concentrations of endocrine disruptors in her milk that are transferred to the infant.”
Erice, Italy November 1995
which regulate almost every biological process:
A particular signal blocked during early pregnancy can affect both children and adults
For example, children of mothers who ate low doses of PCBs in fish from Lake Michigan show effects 11 years later
EXAMPLE: Tributyltin (TBT)
Used as an anti-foulant for boats, and now banned for all small boats. Still legal on large boats and used on clothing to inhibit fungal growth. Most female snails in British Columbia harbours have imposex, including penises, because of TBT.
Health Canada warned in January 2002 that DEHP plasticizer in PVC medical devices like bags and tubing may harm developing babies, infants and young boys due to possible effects on male reproductive tract development
DES, diethylibestrol, given to mothers to prevent morning sickness, caused genital cancers in their children 20 years later.
EXAMPLE: Nonylphenol (NP)
Added to pesticides and detergents as a “surfactant” to make the chemical work better in water, NP is one of the agents suspected of changing the sex of fish in rivers around the world.
A by-product of the burning of fossil fuels such as oil and gas, benzo(a)pyrene is one of the polyaromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) suspected of causing liver cancer in English Sole in Burrard Inlet.
In other words,Endocrine Disrupting Chemicals are everywhere
People are organizing, and governments are paying attention, to change this.
Right now EDCs are in our food, in the water, in the air.
In a mother’s milk,
and in the womb.
EDCs occur over a lifetime
the EDCs are in our food and water at very low levels.
Hormones operate at these same low levels – parts per billion or trillion.
For example, Glad produces an additive free plastic wrap.
Reach for Unbleached! lowers the price and increases access to recycled chlorine free paper, harnessing market forces to encourage clean production