What's in you?

A small sampling of the numerous chemical substances found in our bodies


Marco Visscher | November 2005 issue

• Alkylphenols. Emulsifier added to pesticides and solvents. Notorious for disrupting hormone balance. When fish were exposed to these substances, sex changes resulted; in mice the male genitals were affected as well as the quality of sperm. Found in products such as: cleaning products, cosmetics, paint, textiles, leather, apples, butter, sports shoes.

• Bisphenol A. Ingredient in certain plastics and cans. Solvent in printing ink used for paper and cardboard. Protects against mould. Can severely disrupt the hormone and immune systems. Has been linked to brain deformities and behavioural problems. Found in products such as: plastic, nail polish, CDs, car tires, baby bottles and soft drink bottles.

• Flame retardants containing bromides. Prevents products from quickly catching fire. Can have disruptive effect on hormones and reproduction and is suspected of harming the brain development of unborn children. Found in products such as: food, plastics, electronics, vacuum cleaners, furniture, car seat covers and textiles.

• Phthalates. Softeners. Make plastic supple and bendable. Can lead to liver and kidney damage; possibly carcinogenic. Can disrupt hormone system and affect reproduction. Has been associated with early puberty among girls, asthma and eczema. Found in products such as: toys, carpeting, vinyl wallpaper, autos, rain gear, electricity cables, cosmetics, perfume, paint, ink. (In 2004 the European Union banned the use of several notorious phthalates in toys and children’s products.)

• Organotin compounds. Protect against mould, heat and air. Can affect the immune system and development, and disrupt the hormone system. Has been linked to infertility, learning and behaviour problems and increased aggression. Found in products such as: plastic, T-shirts, sports shoes, beach balls, diapers. (Some of these organotin compounds, such as DDT, have already been banned.)

• Synthetic musks. Replace natural aromas. Can disrupt the hormone system and affect reproduction. Some musks can be carcinogenic. Found in products such as: soap, cleaning products, cosmetics.

This list was compiled thanks to Greenpeace, which conducted blood tests in scores of people in the Netherlands in 2004. For more information on the study, visit the Greenpeace website www.greenpeace.org.

Solution News Source

What's in you?

A small sampling of the numerous chemical substances found in our bodies


Marco Visscher | November 2005 issue

• Alkylphenols. Emulsifier added to pesticides and solvents. Notorious for disrupting hormone balance. When fish were exposed to these substances, sex changes resulted; in mice the male genitals were affected as well as the quality of sperm. Found in products such as: cleaning products, cosmetics, paint, textiles, leather, apples, butter, sports shoes.

• Bisphenol A. Ingredient in certain plastics and cans. Solvent in printing ink used for paper and cardboard. Protects against mould. Can severely disrupt the hormone and immune systems. Has been linked to brain deformities and behavioural problems. Found in products such as: plastic, nail polish, CDs, car tires, baby bottles and soft drink bottles.

• Flame retardants containing bromides. Prevents products from quickly catching fire. Can have disruptive effect on hormones and reproduction and is suspected of harming the brain development of unborn children. Found in products such as: food, plastics, electronics, vacuum cleaners, furniture, car seat covers and textiles.

• Phthalates. Softeners. Make plastic supple and bendable. Can lead to liver and kidney damage; possibly carcinogenic. Can disrupt hormone system and affect reproduction. Has been associated with early puberty among girls, asthma and eczema. Found in products such as: toys, carpeting, vinyl wallpaper, autos, rain gear, electricity cables, cosmetics, perfume, paint, ink. (In 2004 the European Union banned the use of several notorious phthalates in toys and children’s products.)

• Organotin compounds. Protect against mould, heat and air. Can affect the immune system and development, and disrupt the hormone system. Has been linked to infertility, learning and behaviour problems and increased aggression. Found in products such as: plastic, T-shirts, sports shoes, beach balls, diapers. (Some of these organotin compounds, such as DDT, have already been banned.)

• Synthetic musks. Replace natural aromas. Can disrupt the hormone system and affect reproduction. Some musks can be carcinogenic. Found in products such as: soap, cleaning products, cosmetics.

This list was compiled thanks to Greenpeace, which conducted blood tests in scores of people in the Netherlands in 2004. For more information on the study, visit the Greenpeace website www.greenpeace.org.

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