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Hackensack Study Finds Disruptive Chemical Levels In Children

Deidre Imus, President and Founder of The Deirdre Imus Environmental Health Center at Hackensack University Medical Center
Deidre Imus, President and Founder of The Deirdre Imus Environmental Health Center at Hackensack University Medical Center Photo Credit: Twitter

HACKENSACK, N.J. — Detectable levels of environmental chemicals have been found in healthy children who were part of a study conducted by The Deirdre Imus Environmental Health Center at Hackensack University Medical Center.

In a study of 50 healthy, prepubescent patients, 100 percent of subjects had detectable levels of at least five endocrine disrupting environmental chemicals in their urine. Almost three-quarters of these children had detectable levels of eight or more chemicals.

The study was published in BMC Endocrine Disorders December 2015 edition. Endocrine disrupting chemicals like bisphenol-A (BPA), phthalates, parabens, 4-nonylphenol (4NP), and triclosan (TCS) pervade everyday lives. They are present in plastic products such as baby bottles and food containers; in antibacterial hand soaps, toothpaste, and household cleaning supplies; and in personal care products and cosmetics. Previous research has linked these chemicals to changes in estrogen metabolism associated with pediatric endocrine disorders and estrogen-dependent cancers.

“Science continues to confirm these chemicals are everywhere,” said Deirdre Imus, president and founder of The Deirdre Imus Environmental Health Center. “Now we know they are also inside our children’s bodies. What we need to focus on is how we can reduce these exposures so that we can protect our children’s health.”

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The Deirdre Imus Environmental Health Center represents one of the first hospital-based programs whose specific mission is to identify, control and ultimately prevent toxic exposures in the environment that threaten children's health. HackensackUMC began its journey towards environmental health and sustainability more than a decade ago with the help of Deirdre Imus, beginning with the Greening The Cleaning program in 2001, which promotes the use of safer cleaning products.

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