06 June 2007 11:10 [Source: ICIS news]
MUMBAI (ICIS news)--Laundry workers, commercial fishermen and environmental and public health groups, have petitioned the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to provide health and safety protections from endocrine-disrupting chemicals.
Endocrine-disrupting chemicals are principally used in cleaning products and detergents.
Even at low levels, these damaging chemicals nonyplphenol and nonylphenol ethoxylates (NPEs) are known to cause male fish to produce eggs, disrupt normal male-to-female sex ratios and harm the ability of fish to reproduce.
The groups are calling for further health and safety studies, labelling of products containing the chemicals, and banning their use in industrial and consumer detergents, since safer alternatives are available.
“When fish change gender and develop sexual deformities because of the chemicals we discharge into our streams, it's a danger signal we should take very seriously,” said Ed Hopkins, director of the Sierra Club's environmental quality program on Tuesday.
“Fish are not the proverbial canaries in the coal mine, but they do warn us of the toxicity of NPEs, which can be especially threatening to vulnerable populations like developing children,” said Dr Michael McCally, executive director of physicians for social responsibility.
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