Chief Medical Officer Chris Whitty now oversees the newly created Office for Health Promotion (OHP) which has a remit to drive the government’s prevention measures. However, there is NO mention or inclusion of environmental risk factors (ie chemicals) on human health.
So, this week, we’ve joined with other public health and environmental NGOs to call for Public Health bodies to be given direct responsibilities to research and regulate the effects of harmful chemicals on the nation’s health. Public health strategies must commit to keep harmful chemicals out of our products and the environment.
Every single day, from pre-birth to late in life, we are exposed to a potent cocktail of chemicals from innumerable sources including bisphenols in plastics, flame retardants in furniture and FAS in food packaging.
FULL TEXT HERE
For years, we have highlighted evidence that public and occupational exposure to harmful chemicals that are carcinogenic, toxic and/or disruptive to the endocrine system (EDCs) is contributing to a significant rise in the incidence rates of many public health conditions. Of notable concern are the following findings:
- The World Health Organisation estimates the disease burden from such chemicals has led to 1.6 million deaths globally
- The UN’s Global Chemicals Outlook notes that harmful chemicals such as EDCs are now “ubiquitous in humans and the environment” We ingest them through food and drink, inhale them in the air we breathe and absorb them through our skin.
- Over 1400 compounds are known or suspected EDCs and across Europe, the annual cost of exposure is estimated at between €109-€157 billion
- Throughout our lives we are exposed to a cocktail of chemicals including bisphenols in plastics, phthalates in personal care products, flame retardants in furniture , per and polyfluoroalkyl substances in food packaging and toxic pesticides
- Such chemicals, even at low concentrations, can trigger reactions in the body that increase our chances of suffering from chronic and lethal diseases. Examples include hormone-dependent cancers, such as breast and prostate cancers, obesity, diabetes, reproductive problems, developmental effects, and neuro-behavioural difficulties
- The risk from harmful chemicals is often exacerbated when exposure occurs to especially vulnerable groups including infants, children, pregnant women and the most vulnerable, the developing foetus . Accordingly, the OHP and Department of Health (DofH) must