A new study by the Silent Spring Institute and published in Environmental Health Perspectives finds that many consumer products have at least one chemical linked to hormone changes (endocrine disruption) or asthma. Few of these chemicals show up on product labels, making it hard for consumers to avoid them if they are concerned about health impacts that haven't prompted U.S. regulators to restrict their use. And even products marketed as alternatives to conventional products, in many cases, contained suspect chemicals, too.
The institute calls its study the largest investigation of its kind.
Some products that contained high concentrations of chemicals of concern include vinyl products like shower curtains and pillow protectors; products with fragrance, like dryer sheets; and sunscreens, including some marketed for children and babies. (See these baby and kid sunscreens that are both affordable and rated highly by the Environmental Working Group.)
For consumers who want to limit their exposure to suspect chemicals in the study, the institute recommended that they use fewer products, especially:
The institute also called on lawmakers and regulators to do a better job testing and removing from commerce chemicals that show potential health effects. U.S. chemical laws have been criticized for years by advocates who say harmful chemicals are too common.
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