Læserbrev

Få styr på kemikalierne

Debat
3. december 2012

Igen og igen kommer de hormonforstyrrende stoffer på forsiderne. Kuvøsebørn på neonatal risikerer at få ftalater i kroppen fra sonder og slanger. Der er bisfenol A i drikkeflasker og konservesdåser, og senest har Greenpeace dokumenteret, at modetøj fra Bestseller-koncernen var forurenet med hormonforstyrrende stoffer.

Historierne vil blive ved med at dukke op, så længe EU’s lovgivning er utilstrækkelig. Som det er i dag, har loven ikke nogen klar definition af, hvad det vil sige, at et stof er hormonforstyrrende, og ikke nogen faste kriterier, der gør det muligt at forbyde det.

Det skyldes ikke mangel på viden. Stakkevis af videnskabelige rapporter har påvist, at de hormonforstyrrende stoffer har en skræmmende indvirkning på forplantningsevnen. De kan forringe mænds sædkvalitet, påvirke kvinders frugtbarhed og give kønsrelaterede kræftformer. De kan måles i menneskers urin, spyt, blod og modermælk og endda hos nyfødte babyer. Stofferne bliver for eksempel brugt til at blødgøre plastik og til at brandsikre materialer. Men der findes i langt de fleste tilfælde brugbare alternativer. Derfor er det på høje tid, at de bliver erstattet med mindre farlige stoffer.

Forbud på vej

Europa-Parlamentets Miljø- og Folkesundhedsudvalg har med den svenske parlamentariker Åsa Westlund (S) i spidsen netop fremlagt en rapport med vidtgående forslag til strammere regler for de hormonforstyrrende stoffer. Rapporten lægger op til at indføre præcise kriterier for, hvornår et stof er hormonforstyrrende, og anbefaler, at de bliver klassificeret som sundhedsskadelige uden nedre grænse. Derudover anbefaler den, at EU indfører en samlet regulering af stofferne i alle relevante direktiver.

EU’s kemikalielovgivning REACH skal revideres i 2013, og det er derfor afgørende, at Åsa Westlund og udvalget får opbakning nu i denne fase. Der er ikke noget at betænke sig på. Det er nu, danske politikere og embedsmænd skal på banen og arbejde intensivt for et EU-forbud mod hormonforstyrrende stoffer. Det skylder vi de kommende generationer.

Christel Schaldemose, Europaparlamentariker (S) og Eline Aggerholm Kristensen, kemikaliepolitisk medarbejder, Det Økologiske Råd

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Mens Florence Williams, en amerikansk videnskabsjournalist, var i gang med at amme sit andet barn, sendte hun en prøve af sin brystmælk til et laboritorium i Tyskland. Hun fik at vide at mælken indeholdt en cocktail af kemikalier og lærte at brystens fedtvæv opsuger kemikalier som en svamp:

When writer Florence Williams was nursing her second child, she read a research study about toxins found in human breast milk. She decided to test her own breast milk and shipped a sample to a lab in Germany.

What came back surprised her.

Trace amounts of pesticides, dioxin and a jet fuel ingredient — as well as high to average levels of flame retardants — were all found in her breast milk. How could something like this happen?

"It turns out that our breasts are almost like sponges, the way they can soak up some of these chemicals, especially the ones that are fat-loving — the ones [that] tend to accumulate in fat tissue," Williams tells Fresh Air's Terry Gross. "Unfortunately, the breast is also masterful at converting these molecules into food in the way of breast milk."

Learning that breasts soak up lots of chemicals made Williams wonder just what else was going on with breasts. A lot, as it turns out. In her new book, Breasts: A Natural and Unnatural History, Williams offers her take on — among other things — why breasts are getting bigger and developing earlier, why tumors seem to gravitate toward the breast, and how toxins from the environment may be affecting hormones and breast development.

She says many of those toxins, including the flame retardants found in her breast milk, may come from ordinary household items like couches and electronics, which often contain flame retardants. Some animal studies have shown that certain types of flame retardants interact with hormone levels.

"The flame retardants are known to react with the thyroid receptor, and it turns out that thyroid hormones are responsible for all kinds of important functions in our body, from neuro development in our brain to temperature and metabolism," she tells Gross. "We don't know at what levels these substances may be affecting humans, but it's certainly enough to make us stand back and say, 'Do we really need to have this furniture covered in flame retardants, or is there a better way here?' "

Breast Cancer

While researching her book, Williams also learned that more tumors form in the human breast than in any other organ in the body except for skin.
http://www.npr.org/2012/05/16/152818798/breasts-bigger-and-more-vulnerab...

Anmeldelsen i The New York Times understregede at forureningen fra kemikalier også påvirkede mænd, og hæftede sig ved en kapital i bogen som beskæftigede sig med en marinebase i North Carolina med en forurenet vandforsyning og et hidtil uset frekvens af brystkræft blandt mænd:

I hope men will read this book — not because it will make them less inclined to drool over bizarre, artificially enhanced, porn-star cleavage. But because the dangers that Williams details are not exclusive to women. They threaten our entire species.

Williams’s loudest environmental call to arms is in “The Few, the Proud, the Afflicted,” a chapter on the largest cluster of male breast cancer ever documented: 71 cases at the time of publication, with new cases reported “virtually every month.” The cancer did not break out among civilian wimps. It struck servicemen who had been stationed at Camp Lejeune, a 236-square-mile Marine Corps base in North Carolina, home to 150,000 Marines, sailors and their families and distinguished for having “the most contaminated public drinking water supply ever discovered in the United States.
https://www.nytimes.com/2012/09/16/books/review/breasts-by-florence-will...