Common Products May Contain Endocrine-Disrupting Chemicals

(HealthDay News) – Many common products, including sunscreen and fragranced products, contain multiple endocrine-disrupting compounds (EDCs) or asthma-related chemicals, which are often not listed on the label.

Robin E. Dodson, ScD, of the Silent Spring Institute in Newton, MA, and associates analyzed 213 commercial products representing 50 product types, including cosmetics, personal care products, cleaners, sunscreens, and vinyl products, to quantify ECDs and asthma-related chemicals and to see whether they could be identified from the labels. The products included 42 composited samples of high market-share products. In addition, 43 alternative products were tested, which were identified using criteria that were expected to minimize target compounds.

The researchers detected 55 compounds identified as EDCs or asthma-related substances. Vinyl products were found to represent a source of bis-2-ethylhexyl phthalate (DEHP) as they contained more than 10% DEHP. The highest concentrations and numbers of detects were in sunscreens and in fragranced products, including perfume, air fresheners, and drier sheets. Some products contained less-studied phthalates, and did not contain well-known EDC phthalates. Many of the chemicals that were detected were not listed on the products’ labels.

“Common products contain complex mixtures of EDCs and asthma-related compounds,” the authors write. “It appears that consumers can avoid some target chemicals – synthetic fragrances, bisphenol A, and regulated active ingredients – using purchasing criteria. More complete labeling would enable consumers to avoid the rest.”

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