Alarm over Gender-Bending Chemical in Household Detergents & Cleaning Products
NewsDay.com | June 6, 2007
An unusual mix of public health advocates, environmentalists and laundry workers joined yesterday in a petition demanding that federal authorities ban a chemical additive found in some household detergents and other cleaning agents.
The petition, which was submitted to the federal Environmental Protection Agency, also called for studies of human risks related to the dirt- lifting agents called nonylphenol ethoxylates, or NPEs.
Studies have shown NPEs to be potent gender-benders, believed to be responsible for transforming male fish into females in waterways worldwide. Marine scientists at Stony Brook University say NPEs are the likely culprit in the decline of male winter flounder in Jamaica Bay.
The groups calling for a ban of NPEs say the transformed fish may be "the proverbial canaries in the coal mine," and that human safety issues have yet to be uncovered.
The EPA had no comment on the petition yesterday. European and Canadian regulators have banned NPEs in domestic laundry detergents and other cleaning agents. Petitioners, including the Sierra Club, want the EPA to require appropriate labeling of products with NPEs and to eventually ban their use in consumer products...
Full Story: http://www.newsday.com/news/health/ny-hsnpe065243858jun06...
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