Hazardous hormone-disrupting chemicals commonly found in plastic bottles, metal food cans, detergents, toys and even cosmetics could be costing the US as much as $340 billion in healthcare.
A damning report by the New York Langone Medical Center found that constant low-level exposure to these chemicals could be linked to more than 15 different medical conditions, some deadly.
According to researchers the chemicals are found to slowly build up inside the body after being ingested through direct contact with everyday items such as water bottles, toys or flame retardant furniture.
The research, which looks at the US specifically, took almost three years to complete and found that routine exposure to endocrine-disrupting chemicals could be responsible for increased rates of neurological and behavioural disorders, male infertility, birth defects, obesity, diabetes and even some cancers.
Leonardo Trasande, MD, MPP, an associate professor at NYU Langone said: “Our research adds to the growing evidence on the tremendous economic as well as human health costs of endocrine-disrupting chemicals,”
The team reviewed blood and urine samples from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Study which annually surveys 5,000 volunteers from the US.
Advanced computer models were then used to project the disease totals connected to chemical exposure and then in turn estimate the health costs and lost income for each disease.
Trasande points out that PSB-like chemicals are considerably more prevalent in the US than in Europe where strict regulations have seen many of the endocrine-disrupting chemicals have been banned.