Consumers Who Avoid Product with Specific Chemicals Can Reduce Risk of Cancer

A study shows that consumers who avoid products containing specific endocrine disruptors can reduce the risk of cancer, reproductive disorders, and thyroid disease.

To assess the influence of different types of products on people’s exposures, Dodson the researchers collected urine samples from 726 participants across the United States who signed up to join the Institute’s crowdsourced biomonitoring project. Participants mailed in their samples and researchers analyzed the samples for 10 common endocrine disruptors.

“That’s why expert scientific panels and medical societies recommend that people take steps to limit their exposures to these chemicals,” says lead author, Dr. Robin Dodson, an environmental exposure scientist at Silent Spring via a press release. “And, with the current pandemic, we see how diseases associated with environmental chemicals also make people more vulnerable to COVID-19–yet another reason to reduce exposures in the population.”

According to the results, the researchers observed that people who avoided products with parabens, triclosan, BPA, and fragrances were twice as likely to be in the group with the lowest body burden for all chemicals combined. They also found that avoiding certain products and reading ingredient labels was most effective at reducing exposures to parabens, triclosan, and benzophenone-3. They noted that, in contrast, people who tried to avoid products containing BPA had levels similar to those who did not avoid the chemical, which suggests there are other sources of BPA that consumers may not be aware of.

Dr. Dodson added: “This study not only helped us gain a better understanding of how product choices influence people’s exposures to endocrine disruptors, but it also provided us with an opportunity to educate consumers and empower them to make healthier choices.”