Women ‘underestimate exposure to toxins in the home’

Toxic chemicals are part of our everyday lifeDespite the widespread presence of toxic chemicals in everyday household products, many women are uninformed about how this exposure could affect them, new research reveals.

A study published in the Journal of Health and Social Behavior suggests that many women are likely to think that most of their chemical exposure comes from environmental disasters and contamination.

“Yet, the products and activities that form the backdrop to our everyday lives – electronics, cleaners, beauty products, food packaging – are a significant source of daily personal chemical exposure that accumulates over time,” lead author Rebecca Gasior Altman explained.

The research participants had previously participated in a study which tested their homes for pollutants in air, dust and urine samples.

On average, 20 chemicals per home were uncovered, originating in plastics, cleaning products, furniture and cosmetics.

The scientists said that when the women learned the results of their home testing, they were often eager to discover more about exposure to toxic chemicals in everyday life.

Earlier this year, a University of Washington study found that six top-selling laundry products contained at least one chemical that could be classified as toxic or hazardous – yet it was not mentioned on the label.