Exposure to chemicals in pesticides, toys, makeup, food packaging and detergents costs the U.S. more than $340 billion annually due to health care costs and lost wages, according to a new analysis.
The chemicals, known as endocrine disruptors, impact how human hormones function and have been linked to a variety of health problems such as impaired brain development, lower IQs, behavior problems, infertility, birth defects, obesity and diabetes.
The estimated economic toll is more than 2 percent of the nation’s gross domestic product (GDP).
The findings, researchers say, “document the urgent public threat posed by endocrine disrupting chemicals.”
The study was published Monday in The Lancet Diabetes and Endocrinology journal. Pete Myers—founder of Environmental Health Sciences, publisher of Environmental Health News and The Daily Climate—is a co-author on the study.