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Diabetes, obesity and developmental problems all caused by chemical corporations' toxic products

Endocrine-disrupting chemicals

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(NaturalNews) Evidence continues to link endocrine disrupting chemicals (EDCs) to a wide range of illnesses, most notably obesity and diabetes, according to a scientific statement recently issued by the Endocrine Society.

The new statement is a followup to the society's 2009 report, which highlighted the existing research on the health threats of EDCs.

"The evidence is more definitive than ever before - EDCs disrupt hormones in a manner that harms human health," said Andrea C. Gore of the University of Texas at Austin, who chaired the task force that drafted the statement.

"Hundreds of studies are pointing to the same conclusion, whether they are long-term epidemiological studies in human, basic research in animals and cells, or research into groups of people with known occupational exposure to specific chemicals."

Hormone-changing chemicals destroying health globally

EDCs are chemicals that mimic, block or otherwise interfere with the body's hormones. This disruption of the body's internal communications system can change the growth and development of cells, producing a wide variety of health problems. Developing infants are at particularly high risk of lifelong health problems from EDC exposure.

Among the most well known EDCs are bisphenol A (BPA), which is found in food and beverage cans and paper receipts; phthalates, used in cosmetics and plastics (including in medical devices); flame retardants; and pesticides. Studies have shown that the chemicals are so widespread that nearly everyone on the planet carries traces of at least one EDC in their body.

Prior studies have strongly linked EDCs to infertility, neurological problems, hormone-related cancers and other health problems. According to a recent study in the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism, EDC exposure costs the European Union 157 billion ($209 billion) per year in healthcare costs and lost earnings.

Evidence stronger than ever

While previous studies had already linked EDCs to both obesity and diabetes, the Endocrine Society's new statement reviews newer, stronger research findings. The statement notes that animal studies have shown that even tiny amounts of prenatal EDC exposure can cause obesity later in life. Some EDCs have also been shown to directly damage alpha and beta cells in the pancreas, liver cells and fat cells, causing insulin resistance and type 2 diabetes. Human epidemiological studies have also shown strong connections between EDC exposure and both conditions.

An estimate 29 million Americans now suffer from diabetes, and 35 percent of the adult population is classified as obese, the statement notes.

New studies have also strengthened the evidence linking EDCs to hormone-related cancers (such as of the breast and ovaries), reproductive problems, thyroid disorders, prostate problems and neurodevelopmental disorders.

"It is clear we need to take action to minimize further exposure," Gore said. "With more chemicals being introduced into the marketplace all the time, better safety testing is needed to identify new EDCs and ensure they are kept out of household goods."

Global problem; urgent action needed

The statement calls for a number of measures designed to reduce the risk posed by EDCs, including additional research into the causative connection between EDCs and various health problems; regulations to require that, before chemicals are permitted for use, they be tested even at very low concentrations for endocrine-disrupting activity; the creation of new products to test for and eliminate EDCs; and education for policymakers and the public on ways to keep EDCs out of food and the environment, and to reduce unborn children's exposure.

The statement also calls for the international community to recognize the global nature of the EDC problem.

"Exposure to endocrine-disrupting chemicals during early development can have long-lasting, even permanent consequences," said society member Jean-Pierre Bourguignon of the University of Liege, Belgium. "The science is clear and it's time for policymakers to take this wealth of evidence into account as they develop legislation."

Eliminating these chemicals from your environment may help protect you from weight gain and diabetes. Click here to find out more effective ways to lose weight and maintain a healthy body.



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