Recent studies claim that endocrine-disrupting chemicals are linked to costs of billions in Human Health Care. Such chemicals, scientists say, are responsible for a series of diseases like male reproductive disorders, reduced intelligence, obesity, diabetes, cardiovascular diseases, premature death.
The studies link chemicals in pesticides, plastics and flame retardants to billions spent in Health Care. The authors of the study, a New York University team estimate that nearly 166 billion dollars are spent because of the exposure to hormone-disrupting chemicals. They say these are unexaggerated numbers.
In spite of the study`s results, experts say that the Ney York University team presented an informed speculation, nothing more. They ask for more research on the matter. So does the European Commission.
The endocrine-disrupting chemicals, or EDCs, are very much alike physically to the hormones that control our bodies` activity. They can disrupt the function of our hormones.
The authors of the study also linked them to some types of cancer. They claim that limiting our exposure to the EDCs would be very beneficial.
This is a discussed subject in the European Union. For example, the bisphenol A, or BPA, has been banned in the production of baby bottles and toys.
However, the European Commission isn`t convinced with the link between endocrine-disrupting chemicals and health. They have asked for more research and more elaborated studies on the matter.
The authors of the study acknowledge that there isn`t enough information and research, but still they suggest that in the European states, the cost was 173 billion dollars a year. This amount of money means 1.2 of Europe`s gross domestic product.
They argue that the biggest impact on economy was due to pesticides (132 billion dollars). Then came the chemicals in plastic (28.7 billion dollars) and thirdly, the flame retardants (9.9 billion dollars).
“These results suggest that regulating endocrine disrupting chemicals could produce substantial economic benefit that would be less than the cost of implementing safer alternatives and produce net economic benefits. Clearly we need further research, but there is a greater than 99% probability that these chemicals contribute to disease.”,
said Dr. Leonardo Trasande, who is a pediatrician at the University of New York.
Losing IQ points represents another main problem regarded by the studies. It was reported that roughly 13 million IQ points have been lost in Europe and nearly 60.000 cases of intellectual disabilities could be linked to endocrine-disrupting chemicals.
Image Source: National Geographic