German Study: Alarming Levels of Dangerous Plastics in Children's Bodies
Plastic by-products were found in an alarming 97-100% of blood and urine samples from 2,500 children tested between 2014 and 2017, according to a new study by the German Environment Ministry and the Robert Koch Institute.
Der Spiegel, the German weekly magazine, published the findings Saturday, which were part of a federal study focused on “human biomonitoring” of 3 to 17-year-olds. Traces from 11 out of 15 plastic ingredients were found in the test samples.
“Our study clearly shows that plastic ingredients, which are rising in production, are also showing up more and more in the body. It is really worrying that the youngest children are most affected as the most sensitive group,” Marike Kolossa-Gehring, one of the study’s authors, told the magazine.
Researchers said that they were especially concerned about high levels of perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA) that were found in the study. PFOA is an extremely persistent, bioaccumulative, and toxic chemical frequently used in non-stick cookware and in waterproof clothing.
In 20 percent of those examined, they were above the limit, in the younger children, the proportion was even higher. The study also showed children from poorer families had more plastic residue in their bodies than children from higher-income families, according to German public broadcaster ARD
“It can not be that every fourth child between the ages of three and five is so heavily burdened with chemicals that long-term damage cannot be reliably ruled out,” says Hoffmann. “The Federal Government must make every effort to protect people from harmful chemicals,” says Hoffmann, “Provision is an obligation.”
The chemical is dangerous for the reproductive system and is toxic to the liver. While a global ban of perfluorooctanoic acid is to take effect in 2020, a group of international NGOs has criticized the EU for requiring an exemption for medical textiles from a global ban on the use of perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA) agreed at the UN Conference of the Parties (COPs) last May.
In a statement, NGOs, including the Health and Environment Alliance (HEAL), Health Care Without Harm (HCWH) and Arnika, expressed “deep regret and disapproval” for the request, which could “undermine an otherwise effective worldwide ban.
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