Hormone-disrupting chemicals found in human-made products—from plastics to pesticides—are causing health problems that cost society billions, a new study finds.
Published Thursday in the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism, the examination was conducted by eighteen researchers in eight countries and is the first attempt to quantify the concrete costs of these chemicals.
According to researchers, the costs come to more than $170 billion a year in Europe alone—what they call a “conservative” estimate.
But beyond the dollar amount, the human health problems the study highlights are staggering.
“Global experts in this field concluded that infertility and male reproductive dysfunctions, birth defects, obesity, diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and neurobehavioral and learning disorders were among the conditions than can be attributed in part to exposure to endocrine-disrupting chemicals (EDCs),” reads asummary of the research.