High Endocrine Disruptor Levels in Homes

NEWTON, Mass., Aug. 5 (UPI) — High levels of endocrine disruptors — linked to a range of reproductive problems — are found in homes of the poor and wealthy alike, U.S. researchers say.

Ruthann Rudel of the Silent Spring Institute in Newton, Mass., and colleagues say endocrine disrupting compounds are in many products used throughout the home. Examples include phthalates, found in vinyl and other plastics, while polychlorinated biphenyls, better known as PCBs, are found in older paints, electrical equipment and other building materials. They are among the ingredients found in some pesticides, fragrances and other materials.

The scientists analyzed indoor and outdoor air samples as well as house dust in homes from two different communities for the presence of 104 compounds, including 70 suspected endocrine disrupting compounds.

The sampling, which occurred in 2006, involved 40 homes in Richmond, Calif., an urban, industrial, low-income area, and 10 homes in Bolinas, Calif., an affluent, coastal community, Rudel says.

The study, published in the Environmental Science & Technology, finds 32 of the compounds occurred in higher concentrations indoors and only two were higher outdoors.

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