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Dec. 10 - US: EWG Lab Tests Find BPA, Perchlorate in Newborn Umbilical Cords

Posted Date: 
Thursday, December 10, 2009

From Environmental Protection:

Laboratory tests commissioned by Environmental Working Group (EWG) and Rachel's Network have detected bisphenol A (BPA) for the first time in the umbilical cord blood of U.S. Newborns. The tests identified the plastics chemical in 9 of 10 cord blood samples from babies of African American, Asian and Hispanic descent. The findings provide evidence that U.S. infants are contaminated with BPA beginning in the womb.

Additional tests conducted by five laboratories in the United States, Canada and Europe found up to 232 toxic chemicals in the 10 cord blood samples. Besides BPA, substances detected for the first time in U.S. newborns included a toxic flame retardant chemical called tetrabromobisphenol A (TBBPA) that permeates computer circuit boards, synthetic fragrances (Galaxolide and Tonalide) used in common cosmetics and detergents, and perfluorobutanoic acid (PFBA, or C4), a member of the notorious Teflon chemical family used to make non-stick and grease-, stain- and water-resistant coatings for cookware, textiles, food packaging and other consumer products.

The Environmental Working Group says that the failed Toxic Substances Control Act is primarily to blame for the widespread contamination in umbilical cord blood. The 1976 act does not require manufacturers to prove through scientific tests that chemicals are safe for humans and the environment before going on the market. There are currently more than 80,000 chemicals in consumer goods, with little or no safety information about their impact on human health.

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