This day has been a long time in coming. It was over two decades ago when I started alerting clients and readers that the same toxic additives they needed to avoid in processed foods, home care and personal care products, were also present in commonly prescribed and over-the-counter (OTC) medications. Finally, a team of scientists have begun alerting healthcare providers of the dangers of endocrine-disrupting chemicals (EDCs) present in numerous commonly prescribed medications and medical supplies. Most healthcare providers, the scientists confirmed, are completely unaware of the toxic chemicals (frequently added as “inactive ingredients” for color or consistency) contained in prescribed and OTC medicines.
“Through the prescribing of medications and the use of medical supplies, health care providers expose patients to chemicals that can disrupt the body’s natural hormones. In order to provide ethically sound medical care, the health care community must be made aware of these risks, manufacturers must strive to identify and eliminate endocrine-disrupting chemicals from their products, and patients must be empowered with knowledge and options to make informed decisions that limit their exposure to potentially harmful chemicals. As clinicians, we have an ethical imperative to act on this issue to protect our patients.”
-Robert Michael Sargis, M.D., Ph.D., the University of Illinois at Chicago
The researchers are calling on physicians to become educated about their role in exposing patients to these chemicals. They express the need for better patient education and a commitment on the part of physicians to live up to their ethical mandates to discuss the risks of EDC exposure. Regulatory agencies and manufacturers, the scientists argue, also need to identify and eliminate EDCs in medications and medical devices and develop safer alternatives.
“As health care providers, we need to do a better job of limiting the threats of chemical exposures to our patients’ health by ending our complicity in mediating those exposures.”
Journal Reference: Robert M Sargis, Lisa Anderson-Shaw, Matthew Genco. Unwitting Accomplices: Endocrine Disruptors Confounding Clinical Care. The Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism, 2020; DOI: 10.1210/clinem/dgaa358