“I heat the milk from a ruminant mammal and then pour it into a fake breast made out of plastic. I then use this plastic device to feed my offspring. I am a human.”
Some of the known sources of known harmful chemicals are:
- Household insecticides
- Processed food
- Processed food packaging
- Cleaning products
- Personal hygiene products
Now, researchers have found 42 “mystery chemicals” of unknown origin in pregnant women and their newborns.
If 2020 didn’t make people paranoid enough when it comes to their health, a new report on the chemicals seeping into the human body may take the cake. Researchers from the University of California-San Francisco have uncovered over 100 different foreign chemicals inside of people. Even more unnerving, 55 of these substances have never been discovered in humans before.
“These chemicals have probably been in people for quite some time, but our technology is now helping us to identify more of them,” says Tracey J. Woodruff, PhD, a professor of obstetrics, gynecology and reproductive sciences at UCSF, in a university release.
Researchers say many of these chemicals come from common consumer products and industrial materials. However, the team calls 42 of these substances “mystery chemicals” whose sources are unknown at this time.
Study authors made the discovery through an examination of pregnant women and their babies. The findings reveal these chemicals are not only in the blood of the expecting mothers, but also in their newborns. This suggests that many chemicals can travel through the mother’s placenta before birth.
“It is alarming that we keep seeing certain chemicals travel from pregnant women to their children, which means these chemicals can be with us for generations,” Woodruff adds.
The study finds the chemicals making their way into people are coming from all sorts of common everyday items. Forty are an ingredient in plasticizers, 28 are found in cosmetics, and 25 come from consumer products. Another 29 chemicals are ingredients in pharmaceuticals and 23 reside in common pesticides.
The analysis also discovered three chemicals which are common in flame retardants. Previous studies have discovered that similar chemicals easily break away from electronic devices over time and contaminate their users. Other compounds discovered by the study are used in making carpeting, upholstery, and other appliances.
Among the 55 chemicals which scientists have never reported finding in humans before, one is a pesticide, two are PFASs, and 10 are plasticizer ingredients. Scientists had little to no information at all on 37 of these potentially harmful substances.
“It’s very concerning that we are unable to identify the uses or sources of so many of these chemicals,” Woodruff says. “EPA must do a better job of requiring the chemical industry to standardize its reporting of chemical compounds and uses. And they need to use their authority to ensure that we have adequate information to evaluate potential health harms and remove chemicals from the market that pose a risk.”
What are the effects that these mystery chemicals have on the human body?
Very few people appear to care.
They’re focused on changing the weather.