Each year, the Environmental Working Group ranks supermarket produce by its pesticide load. The top most loaded with pesticides become the Dirty Dozen, the fruits and vegetables you should consider buying in their organic form. I’ve been aware of this list for years and turn to it for guidance often.
But then, I just learned of another “dirty dozen” the EWG has released. They’ve partnered with the Keep-A-Breast Foundation to develop a new list; this one involves everyday toxins, not just those in food.
“EWG researchers compiled the new Dirty Dozen list by scouring the scientific literature and identifying the most hazardous and widely used hormone-disrupting chemicals that pollute the environment and ultimately our bodies.” Find the full press release here.
Hormone-disrupting chemicals are being blamed for a ton of ailments, including breast and other cancers. The new list includes things like, BPA, phthalates and other well-known endocrine disruptors that are widespread in consumer products such as plastic containers, food cans and fragrances. The list also includes things often not understood as hormone disruptors like arsenic, mercury, lead and others that are less familiar, such as glycol ethers and perfluorinated chemicals. The guide is intended for consumers of all ages, particularly young people who are most at risk from these dangerous chemicals.
Is exposure to these chemicals completely avoidable? No. It’s not likely. But we can take steps to reduce our exposure by avoiding as many as possible, whenever possible, to minimize any compounding effects. We can also reduce risks by keeping an active voice in democracy. For example, a group of very active folks (mostly moms) were responsible for getting the dangerous endocrine disruptor, BPA, out of baby bottles back in 2012. I wonder (and hope it is) is it possible to continue that effort to eliminate more?