Environmental Illness - Toxic Chemicals in Our Environment
In the past, a group of substances called polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) were used in electrical equipment, plastics, and dyes. Although they are no longer made in the U.S., they remain in the environment. Exposure to PCBs has been linked to health problems, especially mental functions such as memory and attention in children.13 The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) provides information about PCBs at http://www.epa.gov/epawaste/hazard/tsd/pcbs/index.htm.
Chemicals called phthalates
may cause problems with the reproductive organs of infants and young
children, especially boys. Phthalates can be found in some plastic items (such as some medical
devices) and in products such as powders, lotions, and shampoos.14, 15