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12 October 2005 | Printer friendly

New study from Greenpeace shows chemicals in umbilical cord

Greenpeace Netherlands and WWF UK have been working together on a new study entitled “A present for Life” analyzing maternal and umbilical cord blood provided by volunteers in the Netherlands.

The study highlights that chemicals found in the mother’s blood samples can also be found in the cord, meaning that children at the earliest stage are affected by products from which we mostly ignore the long term effects.

The chemicals that have been tested are those that can be found for instance in cell phones, computers, perfumes shaving creams and clothes. They are suspected of affecting physical and mental developments in animals, and are used in perfluorinated compounds, in water-repellent coatings and to prepare non-stick surfaces such as Teflon, as well as flame-retardants, and the antibacterial agent triclosan, found in antibacterial soap.

Taking action

Some companies [1] are taking actions in order to phase out those components from their products. But even if Corporate Social Responsibilty is an increasing factor for the industry, there still is a need for a strong regulation to prevent and undermine the presence of those chemicals in our everyday home and working life.

Therefore the "package of regulation", REACH (Regulation Evaluation and Authorization of Chemicals), is an extremely important opportunity that we have to catch in order to set up this regulation as soon as possible at the EU level.

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[1] Sony and Sony Ericsson, for example, are phasing out brominated flame retardants

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