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The Top 20
A Present for Life
Hazardous Chemicals in Umbilical Cord Blood

By Greenpeace and The World Wildlife Fund

A Present for Life - hazardous chemicals in umbilical cord blood, by Greenpeace and the World Wildlife Fund "Hazardous chemicals that are used in everyday house- hold products end up in the bodies of unborn children via the mother. This study, conducted for Greenpeace and WWF-UK by TNO, analysed blood samples donated by a number of women and confirmed that hazardous chemicals are un wittingly passed from mother to child. Previous studies had already reported the presence of hazardous chemicals in human blood and tissues and the ability of some chemicals to pass the placenta. This study further confirms that known of suspected hazardous chemicals from 8 chemical groups are commonly present in umbilical cord blood. These findings underscore the urgent need to provide mechanisms to replace such substances with safer alternatives.

...Chemicals identified in these samples are used in countless products that we use every day, including computers, toys, perfuem, t-shirts and shoes. There are more than 100,000 different chemicals currently available for commercial use. The major problem is that we know virtually nothing about their potentially adverse affects because of the way production, marketing and the use of chemicals is regulated in Europe. For the minority for which data about their hazards and use are publicly available, some are known to present significent problems for the environment and/or human health.

Particularly worrying are the hormone-disrupting chemicals, which may cause most damage during vulnerable stages of developement, that is during the periods of rapid cell division, such as in early life and particularly when in the womb. A small disurbance in early development can have serious consequences in later life. PCB's and dioxins have already illustrated the potential for long-term, irreversible consequences of exposure to hazardous chemicals. However, the chemical industry continues to produce various chemicals with comparable properties."  (Quoted from page 6)

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