The study links about 5% of autism cases, lower IQ and adult obesity to items such as food containers, cosmetics, plastics, toys and furniture that contain chemicals which disrupt the endocrine system. These endocrine-disrupting chemicals (EDCs) have caused a spiraling increase in the cost of healthcare in Europe. Shockingly, these costs attributed to EDCs are comparable to those of serious health issues such as mercury poisoning and lead poisoning. This study is being touted as the most comprehensive one published yet. EDCs are known to interfere with the regular and normal functions of the human endocrine systems, and these undesirable chemicals are contained in carpeting materials, food containers, furniture, cosmetics, plastics, and toys, among other items.
This new series of reports has been researched and compiled by the leading experts in the field of endocrine science. According to the team of experts, the total cost incurred from exposure to EDCs is pegged between €157bn and €270bn in Europe. Roughly, this translates into 1.23% of the total GDP of Europe.
According to a professor at the Harvard University, Philippe Grandjean, the most alarming aspect of these findings is that EDCs directly impact brain function among young people, who are the next generation citizens. This adds up the cost associated with treating brain function loss.
Besides the loss of IQ, adult obesity was the second-largest health concern linked to phthalates exposure. Phthalates are a chemical group commonly used in plastics. The price tag related to this health disorder was estimated to be €15.6 billion a year, the paper revealed.