UCSF Program on Reproductive Health and the Environment, 2017
The University of California San Francisco (UCSF) Program on Reproductive Health and the Environment (PRHE)’s mission is to create a healthier environment for human reproduction and development through advancing scientific inquiry, clinical care and health policies that prevent exposures to harmful chemicals in our environment.
PRHE is housed within the Department of Obstetrics, Gynecology and Reproductive Sciences, in the UCSF School of Medicine, one of the nation’s most prestigious medical schools. The Department is renowned for promoting cutting-edge reproductive science research, extending the frontiers of multidisciplinary women’s health care and professional education, advocating for women’s health at local, state and national levels, and engaging community involvement.
1. Find the right sunscreen Many sunscreens contain hormone-disrupting chemicals that are bad for us and for aquatic life. Look for ones with non-nanoized titanium dioxide or zinc oxide, and avoid ones with 3-(4-methylbenzylidene)-camphor (4-MBC); octinoxate/octyl- methoxycinnamate (OMC); homosalate (HMS); and oxybenzone.
2. Find safe ways to fight germs These days it seems like everything claims to be antibacterial—soaps, toothpaste, clothing, bedding, band-aids, toys, cutting boards—you name it. Chances are, these products contain triclosan, an antimicrobial agent that is suspected of interfering with the hormone systems of humans and wildlife. There’s no evidence that triclosan is more effective than soap and water, so trade in the toxics for some good, old- fashioned elbow grease.
3. Go chemical-free in your garden Chemical pesticides are designed to kill pests and weeds, so it’s no surprise that they aren’t good for humans either. And their residue can hang around for years, allowing for ongoing exposure. Ask your garden store about non-toxic alternatives, or look for organic pest- management tips such as DIY recipes that rely on everyday items like vinegar and dish soap.
1. When it comes to personal care products, simple is best Decrease your exposure to toxic chemicals in cosmetics by using fewer products and choosing those with simpler ingredients. And avoid fragrance—that single ingredient can contain dozens of chemicals.
2. Don’t be fooled by empty “organic” and “natural” claims on beauty care products Because the cosmetics industry is largely unregulated, these claims may have no meaning. Read labels for specific information on a product’s ingredients.
3. Avoid these problematic ingredients • ingredients with “PEG” and “eth” in the name (potential 1,4-dioxane contamination) • butylated hydroxyanisole (BHA) and butylated hydroxytoluene (BHT) • diethanolamine (DEA) and triethanolamine (TEA) (possible nitrosamine contamination) • formaldehyde • quaternium • DMDM hydantoin • imidazolidinyl urea • fragrance • hydroquinone • nonylphenol • parabens • petrolatum • phthalates (DBP & DEP) • synthetic musks • toluene • triclosan and triclocarban
1. Eat organic and kick the can When possible, choose organic foods and hormone-free meat and dairy. Buying products grown organically reduces pesticide use, which is good for families, farmworkers and the environment. And avoid canned foods until companies replace toxic BPA-based can linings with safe alternatives.
2. Take it easy on the plastic When choosing kitchenware and water bottles, go old-school with stainless steel and glass. And never microwave in plastic—even “microwave-safe” plastic can leach chemicals into your food when heated.
3. Choose cleaning products that show you what they’re made of Companies are not required to disclose ingredients of cleaners and detergents, so look for products made by companies that disclose ingredients, or make your own with things like baking soda and vinegar. For recipes check out Vassar College’s Environmental Risks and Breast Cancer Program.
4. Stick with oil for pans that don’t stick, and use elbow grease to remove stains Although there’s no denying they make our life easier, non-stick pans and stain-resistant materials can contain toxic polyfluorinated chemicals. Choose stainless steel or cast iron pots and pans, and consider skipping the stain-resistant clothes and carpets
The clearest evidence that a synthetic estrogen can increase risk for cancer decades later comes from the tragic experience with diethylstilbestrol (DES). Between 1938 and 1971, doctors prescribed DES for millions of pregnant women to prevent miscarriages. The drug was contraindicated in pregnancy use when daughters of women who took the drug were found to have higher rates of an extremely rare vaginal cancer compared to those who were not exposed to DES in the womb (Bibbo, 1977; Herbst, 1971). Research indicates that DES exposure is also associated with an increased risk of breast cancer in the women who took it during the 1950s (Colton, 1993; TitusErnstoff, 2001).
In a follow-up study of daughters who were exposed prenatally to DES, a nearly twofold increase in breast cancer risk was observed in women older than age 40. An even greater effect was found for women over the age of 50, although relatively few of the daughters had yet reached that age at the time of the study (Palmer, 2006; Troisi, 2007).
Recent studies examining the mechanisms by which DES might be exerting its carcinogenic effects indicate that the compound activates the same subcellular pathways that estradiol does, both by altering cellular metabolism and interaction with DNA (Saeed, 2009) and by increasing the rate of breast cell proliferation (Larson, 2006).
NEW REPORT finds BPA in cans tested. Find out if this chemical is lurking in your pantry
Toxic BPA Is Still Hiding in Many Popular National Brands of Canned Food
This report, Buyer Beware: Toxic BPA & Regrettable Substitutes in the Linings of Canned Food, was conceived, authored and produced as a collaborative effort by the Breast Cancer Fund; Campaign for Healthier Solutions; Clean Production Action; Ecology Center; Environmental Defence (Canada); and Safer Chemicals, Healthy Families’ Mind the Store campaign.
Test Results and BPA Policies Vary Widely in Retailers’ “Private-Label” Canned Food
Bisphenol A (BPA) is a toxic, endocrine-disrupting chemical that negatively impacts our hormonal systems, contributing to a host of harmful health effects. Hundreds of scientific studies have linked extremely small amounts of BPA, measured in parts per billion and even parts per trillion, to an increased risk of breast and prostate cancer, infertility, type-2 diabetes, obesity, asthma, and behavioral changes including attention deficit disorder. It is likely that people are exposed to BPA from canned foods at levels that are compromising our health.
When It Comes to Labeling, It’s Anyone’s Guess • Even though most national
Table of Contents
“BPA free” May Not Mean Safe
Bisphenol A: Science, Health Effects and FoodBased Exposure
The Safety of BPA Alternatives
Manufacturer and Retailer Can Lining Surveys
Study Design and Experimental Methods
Limitations of Our Findings
Making the Case for Informed Substitution
Current BPA Regulatory Landscape
Solutions: Getting BPA Out of Food Packaging, Disclosing and Ensuring Safer Alternatives
Act Now !
All Foods Are Not Created Equal When It Comes to Cans