Please read Nicholas Kristof’s recent NYT editorial, “How Chemicals Affect Us”. We’ve all been hearing about BPA and other so-called “endocrine disruptors” for years, and his article summarizes some of the latest concerns. In case you never quite really knew what the issue was: many of the everyday chemicals in our immediate surroundings–that comprise food packaging, ATM and other receipts, makeup, etc.—disrupt our delicate hormonal balance. The balance is fragile enough to begin with, but constant daily contact with these chemicals wreaks havoc.
Doctors and scientists have begun to notice very disturbing trends as a result. Aside from freaky sexual deformities in the animal world, among humans: increasing numbers of boys born with misplaced urethras, and suspected links to “higher rates of breast cancer, infertility, low sperm counts, genital deformities, early menstruation and even diabetes and obesity.” Kristof talks about the latest push from experts to fix our broken safety system in this country. These chemicals should be considered guilty until proven innocent. Meantime, take your cue from one of the experts he quotes, who has stopped buying canned food (though some organic brands have stopped lining their cans with BPA, so check), microwaving in plastic, using pesticides in the home, or handling receipts whenever avoidable. It’s sad that we have to waste energy being so vigilant about such mundane matters as handling gas pump receipts, but lamenting this new reality won’t change it.