For years, researchers have linked various chemicals found in daily-use products to diseases, including cancer. Now, a research team from New York University's Grossman School of Medicine found another set of chemicals found in non-stick cookware, waterproof clothing, and can linings that cause infertility, diabetes, and impaired brain development.
The study published in the journals Endocrinology and the Lancet reviewed hundreds of research papers. They found several endocrine disruptors that lead to obesity, to endometriosis – a painful and abnormal growth of tissue on the outside of the womb – and to polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), which causes infertility. The toxins that cause these health issues include perfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS). Not only women's fertility but also men's fertility is affected by these chemicals.
Chemicals Found in Non-Stick Cookware Cause Diseases
"[The] review identifies numerous new studies that link brain-related health concerns, such as IQ loss and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), to flame retardants and chemicals found in certain pesticides," a statement from the researchers read.
The team cautioned that most of the studies they reviewed were carried on animals. However, they said some papers included studies done on humans. "Our review of American and European policies argues that current regulations meant to reduce exposure to this class of chemicals are falling short," Linda Kahn, one of the lead authors said in a press release.
"While further research is needed to more firmly establish cause and effect, urgent action is needed now because the public is already paying the costs through serious and long-lasting health problems."
Leonardo Trasande, the senior author of the study, said stricter controls to cut down exposure to cancer-causing substances is required. He also said that there is a need to establish an international program that identifies the dangers of these chemicals so that they can be regulated before distribution to the public. The team also said their findings strengthen the proof for other chemicals that are known to cause health risks.