Common Household Items Contain Dangerous Chemicals
“While holed up in a condo, they exposed themselves to seven common chemicals that researchers have linked to disease and defects,” Krista Jahnke writes for the Detroit Free Press.
Their book, “Slow Death by Rubber Duck: The Secret Dangers of Everyday Things,” chronicles their experiments and reveals that over time, exposure to even small amounts of hormone-altering chemicals is dangerous.
“This notion that there’s such a thing as a safe level just simply doesn’t exist for endocrine-disrupting chemicals,” Lourie told the Detroit Free Press. “There is no safe level. Zero is safe, everything above zero is less safe.”
Before and after using each product, they measured chemical levels in their urine and blood. In almost every case, after only two days of exposure, the levels went up. BPA went up seven and a half times, phthalates increased 22 times and triclosan levels went up 2,900 times.
Toys are also an area for concern. Smith and Lourie, and a group from the Michigan Ecology Center, visited the Detroit Free Press to test a variety of toys. They found cadmium, lead and brominated-flame retardant, calling to mind the 2008 scare over hazardous toys imported from China.
Still, Foss concedes that the book is an “important and timely antidote” to the consumer fear generated by lobbyists. She cites the example of the Canadian Plastics Industry Association, which made headlines for a study showing that reusable shopping bags, as opposed to plastic bags, may expose people to “dangerous bacteria.”
“Information that so baldly wants to scare consumers … is an everyday toxin too,” Foss writes.