18 Toxic Chemicals Linked to Health Concerns

The Greatest Impact on People

We don't always see it, but our environment affects public health. Most people assume that health outcomes mainly result from individual choices, and although genetics plays a role, many external things can influence how healthy we are. The connections between our environment and public health are difficult to imagine. For example, if you live in a city with polluted water, it may be dangerous to eat the fish you catch. Reducing chemical and other environmental exposures in air, water, soil, and food is crucial to protect people and providing communities with healthier environments. Environmental health consists of preventing and controlling diseases related to the interaction between people and their environment. Unlike diet and exercise, many environmental health facts can't be managed individually. Combatting the risk, they pose often takes laws, policies, and programs. It takes a comprehensive and coordinated effort to protect the health and safety of communities throughout Florida.

Protecting Our Children

Children are often the hardest hit by the consequences of poor environmental exposure. For their size, they breathe more air and eat more food than adults, making them more vulnerable to environmental health hazards. Even low levels of toxic exposure can affect children's physical and mental development.

Investing in Our Communities

Communities are often unaware of the threat of chemical exposure. Providing basic needs to the public, such as safe drinking water, clean air, lead poisoning prevention, and more is essential to public health. Investing in dedicated resources will create an effective system that proactively protects Florida communities and helps everyone attain good health.

Need for Action

Tracking environmental exposures in communities across Florida is important to finding potential links with disease outcomes. Our homes should be free of exposures that negatively impact the health of our families. We should all have access to safe and clean public spaces. This requires the participation of federal, state, and local governments.

18 Toxic Chemicals Linked to Health Concerns

Asbestos: A toxic substance that can cause cancer. Asbestos exposure can occur by breathing contaminated air or drinking contaminated water. Inhaling asbestos can lead to chronic lung disease and is known to cause at least four types of cancer: lung, mesothelioma, laryngeal, and ovarian. Other cancers linked to asbestos exposure include colorectal, throat, esophageal, and kidney, as well as gallbladder cancers. Asbestos continues to be used in building supplies such as asbestos-cement shingles, asphalt roofing shingles and coatings, pipeline wrap, vinyl-asbestos floor tile, asbestos cement pipe, asbestos clothing; and automotive products such as automatic transmission components.

Bisphenol A (BPA): A very common chemical found in plastics, food and beverage can linings, and other consumer products. BPA is a chemical that may interfere with thyroid hormone, puberty, infertility, abnormal chromosomes, and increased susceptibility to breast and prostate cancer.

Formaldehyde: A volatile organic chemical (VOC) and long-term exposure can lead to leukemia and other cancers of the respiratory tract. Formaldehyde is found in a wide range of consumer products, including; antiseptics, medicines, cosmetics, nail polish, dishwashing liquids, fabrics and fabric softeners, carpet cleaners, wallpaper, glues and adhesives, and in building materials such as composite wood products, furniture, cabinets, countertops, insulation, and paneling.

[Heavy Metals] Arsenic: Some health effects can include breathing problems, death if exposed to high levels, decreased intelligence, lung and skin cancer, nausea, diarrhea, and peripheral nervous system problems. It can be found in the soil from smelters and some pesticides, treated wood, paints, metals, soaps, drinking water in some locations, and seafood can contain arsenic.

[Heavy Metals] Lead: Some health effects can include behavioral problems, anemia, kidney damage, learning difficulties, miscarriage, and reduced IQ. Lead can be found in art supplies, specialty paints, hair dyes, and drinking water when lead leaches out of pipes.

[Heavy Metals] Mercury: Some health effects can include brain damage, digestive problems, kidney damage, and lack of coordination. Mercury is emitted by coal-burning power plants, oil refineries, medical waste disposal facilities, dental offices, cremation facilities, and fish may contain it if mercury gets into the water.

Hexane: A solvent widely used as an industrial cleaner & degreaser that's easily inhaled or absorbed through the skin. Short-term exposures can cause headaches, dizziness, confusion, nausea, clumsiness, and drowsiness. Common household products like spray adhesives, contact cement, arts, and craft paints contain hexane.

Hexavalent Chromium: A pollutant that can contaminate soil, water supplies, and hazardous waste sites. Exposure to hexavalent chromium can cause blood disorders, male reproductive harm, shortening of breath, cough, wheezing, non-cancerous lesions​

Methylene Chloride: A solvent used in paint strippers. Has been linked to cancer, cognitive impairment, and asphyxiation.

N-Methylpyrrolidone (NMP): A solvent used in paint strippers linked to developmental impacts, including miscarriages.

PCBs and DDT: A human-made chemical that was banned in 1972. It was first produced in the late 1920s to cool fluids for agricultural and commercial use. Even though it was banned, vegetables, meat, fish, and dairy products contain DDT. Studies suggest that PCBs are toxic to the immune system, reproductive organs, and thyroid.

Perfluorinated Compounds: Chemicals created to repel water from clothing, carpeting, furniture, and food packaging. The two most commonly found contaminants are PFOA and PFOS. Health concerns include increased risk of various cancers, liver and kidney damage, and reproductive problems.

Persistent, Bioaccumulative, and Toxic Chemicals (PBTs): Health effects can include cancer, neurological toxicity, reproductive toxicity, developmental toxicity, or immune system damage.

Phthalates: Hormone-disrupting chemicals that interfere with testosterone activity and male reproduction. Phthalates are used as adhesives, dyes or inks, and solvents in products such as air fresheners, detergents, fragrances, and nail polish.

Toxic Flame Retardants (PBDEs): Three common mixtures of these chemicals - pentagon, octave, and deca. It can be found in house dust and indoor air, migrate out of products like electronics and furniture and wind up in house dust. Also have been found n fish, meat, eggs, fruits, vegetable, and infant formula. Potential health effects: altered neurobehavioral, thyroid, liver, and impaired immune system.

Toxic Flame Retardants (TDCP and TCEP): Found in strollers, nursing pillows, couch, and chairs. Suspected to cause cancer and neurological and reproductive harm. Traces of TDCP have been detected in sewer effluence, river water, drinking water, sediment, and fish throughout the world. Health effects can include cancer of the liver, kidney, and testis.

Trichloroethylene (TCE): A volatile organic compound used in consumer products such as adhesives, lubricants, and pepper spray. EPA classifies TCE as carcinogenic to humans by all routes of exposure. Potential to induce neurotoxicity, immunotoxicity, developmental toxicity, liver toxicity, kidney toxicity, and endocrine effects. TCE is present in drinking water, surface water, ambient air, groundwater, and soil.

Vinyl Chloride: Found in pipes, wire and cable coatings, packaging materials, upholstery for automobiles and furniture, wall and floor coverings, flooring, backing for carpet, housewares, medical devices, and children's toys. Major manufacturers have agreed to phase out the use of PVC in their products. Exposure to contaminated air and drinking contaminated water can lead to liver, brain, and some blood cancers.

Fight for Zero

Our team brings passion and drive to take on environmental health challenges. Our mission is to inform, educate, share resources, and inspire action to protect natural resources.

Post a Comment

Previous Post Next Post

Contact Form