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Posted Thu May 21 2009: from Chemistry World:
Chemical pollution gets personal
In their book Slow death by rubber duck, the pair detail a weekend testing spree incorporating regular blood and urine sampling. Indoors for 12-hour shifts, they used typical amounts of personal care products and a plug-in air freshener, in a room with stain-repellent furnishings and carpets. 'We set only one ironclad rule: our efforts had to mimic real life,' says Smith. Of six different phthalates in the testing regime, rocketing levels of monoethyl phthalate (MEP) -- which the body metabolises from diethyl phthalate (DEP) the most common phthalate in cosmetics and personal care products -- were most stark. Levels in urine went from 64 to 1410ng/ml. According to the European Commission's Scientific Committee for Cosmetic Products (SCCP), traces of up to 100 ppm total or per substance pose no risk to health, although traces of banned phthalates are sometimes present due to other possible uses, such as in packaging. Phthalates are plasticising chemicals, linked to abnormal reproductive development.... Levels of bisphenol A -- an endocrine disruptor linked to breast and prostate cancer -- increased 7.5 times after eating canned foods from a microwavable, polycarbonate plastic container.
[Read more stories about: phthalates, bisphenol A, toxic buildup, plastic problems]

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