Common Chemicals Boost Disease Risk

Scientists tie brief early exposure to laundry list of ailments
By Colleen Barry,  Newser Staff
Posted May 25, 2007 10:46 AM CDT
Common Chemicals Boost Disease Risk

Beginning in the womb, exposure to common substances increases the likelihood of numerous health problems—including cancer, ADD, Parkinson's and obesity—years and even generations later, international environmental scientists say. Two hundred prominent experts yesterday took the unusual step of calling for intervention by governments, even those that have downplayed the risks posed by chemicals in food, air, and water.

"This says 'Wake up!'" one scientist told USA Today. The researchers' call is a rebuke to business groups and governments that dismiss a building body of research about the substances. They're present in everything from pesticides to plastics, but 80% of them have never been tested to determine their effect of fetal development, which can be significant and long-lasting. (More health stories.)

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