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Report Reveals Deadly Chemicals Found in Every Household

Update Date: Feb 20, 2013 10:11 AM EST

Home cleaners and everyday items prove to be more of a threat to adults and children than ever before. Due to a study done by the World Health Organization (WHO) and the United Nations Environment Program (UNEP), common household items, such as credit cards, sunglasses, and tin cans, carry synthetic chemicals that are extremely hazardous to our health and can cause certain life ending diseases. These man-made chemicals were linked to causing cancers, diabetes, asthma, infertility, and birth defects, and the report suggests banning some of these products globally as a precautionary step. 

Research was done over the course of two years and the study, The State of the Science of Endocrine Disrupting Chemicals is considered to be the most inclusive report   so far surrounding the effects of household items on the human body. The study found a relationship between children's toys, deodorants, and PVC flooring and diseases, such as breast cancer, prostrate cancer, and Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD). The plastics found in toys and some household items contain phthalates that are connected to cases of childhood leukemia, infant deformities, asthma, infertility, and breast cancer. These chemicals appear to affect human hormones that would naturally promote and help maintain healthy growth.

There was also evidence that these chemicals have similar effects on animals, causing thyroid problems which are linked to possible brain damage, impaired intelligence, and attention disorders. These threats are considered to be global and the report recommends many of these items be banned permanently until newer and safer substitutions can be created. The report also stresses that these findings are only the beginning of what can be a very large list of harmful items to the body. 

But for the meanwhile, Dr. Maria Neira, the director for public health and environment for WHO, stresses that "we all have a responsibility to protect future generations." More research will need to be done to determine just how deadly these items are and how they will be replaced with safer items.

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