Endocrine-Disrupting Chemicals, Phthalates, Flame Retardants Detected in Wristband Study

Disturbing yet not surprising scientists in charge of a novel wristband study that spanned three continents detected chemical exposure to endocrine-disrupting chemicals (EDCs), flame retardants and phthalates.  Previous studies have indicated the potential for adverse health-related outcomes linked with these chemicals.

The study was funded by the National Institutes of Health. The regions studied included four countries — the United States, Senegal, South Africa and Peru.  Here are highlights from the findings:

-Exposure to 13 potential endocrine-disrupting chemicals (EDCs) was detected in more than half of all the wristbands.  Endocrine-disrupting chemicals (EDCs) has been linked to health effects such as low semen quality, adverse pregnancy outcomes and endocrine-related cancers.

-Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) were found in many of the wristbands. PAHs has been associated with cancer, self-regulatory capacity issues, low birth weight and respiratory distress.

-Exposure to specific flame retardants were found in wristbands in the U.S. and South America. Flame retardants have been associated with cancer, neurotoxicity and cardiotoxicity.

-The same 14 chemicals were detected in more than 50 percent of the wristbands returned from the United States, Africa and South America.

-Consumer product-related chemicals and phthalates — a group of chemicals found in plastics and vinyl — were a high percentage of chemical detections across all study locations.

-U.S. children — 11 years old or younger — had the highest percentage of flame-retardant detections compared with all other participants.


Journal Reference: Holly M. Dixon, Georgina Armstrong, Michael Barton, Alan J. Bergmann, Melissa Bondy, Mary L. Halbleib, Winifred Hamilton, Erin Haynes, Julie Herbstman, Peter Hoffman, Paul Jepson, Molly L. Kile, Laurel Kincl, Paul J. Laurienti, Paula North, L. Blair Paulik, Joe Petrosino, Gary L. Points, Carolyn M. Poutasse, Diana Rohlman, Richard P. Scott, Brian Smith, Lane G. Tidwell, Cheryl Walker, Katrina M. Waters, Kim A. Anderson. Discovery of common chemical exposures across three continents using silicone wristbands. Royal Society Open Science, 2019; 6 (2): 181836 Overview ;  Study: DOI: 10.1098/rsos.181836