30-fold rise in toxin numbers since the 1950s, say Norway health experts / News / The Foreigner

30-fold rise in toxin numbers since the 1950s, say Norway health experts. Norwegians’ bodies contain hundreds more contaminants today than they did some 60 years ago, research shows. According to Eldbjørg Heimstad, research director at the Norwegian Institute for air Research (NILU) in Tromsø, exposure used to be as a result of working in the industrial or similar sectors. Regional paper Bergens Tidende report the number of these pollutants used to be six or seven. Now, there are potentially poisonous substances found in modern clothes and toys, as well as food and drink, for example.

norwayfood, toxins, foodsafety



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30-fold rise in toxin numbers since the 1950s, say Norway health experts

Published on Thursday, 27th February, 2014 at 12:23 under the news category, by Michael Sandelson   .

Norwegians’ bodies contain hundreds more contaminants today than they did some 60 years ago, research shows.

Supermarket trolleys (illus. photo)
Consumers can take active measures to cut down the number of toxins they absorb and create change, an academic tells The Foreigner.Supermarket trolleys (illus. photo)
Photo: © Copyright Keith Evans/geograph.org.uk


According to Eldbjørg Heimstad, research director at the Norwegian Institute for air Research (NILU) in Tromsø, exposure used to be as a result of working in the industrial or similar sectors.

Regional paper Bergens Tidende report the number of these pollutants used to be six or seven. Now, there are potentially poisonous substances found in modern clothes and toys, as well as food and drink, for example.

“Products containing hazardous substances are an important part of current everyday life,” Ms Heimstad says.

“We probably have more than 200 in our bodies”, Associate University of Tromsø Professor Torkjell Sandanger tells The Foreigner, “but there is no tangible data to support that. We can summarise what we know from documentation, but complete studies are few, and it all depends on what detection limits are used.”

“Moreover, some of the compounds we are exposed to are short-lived. They would disappear from the blood stream within two or three days if you stopped using them.”

Associate Professor Sandanger adds that they are more concerned about the effects of the compound cocktail mix.

“There are long-term compounds such as PCBs and organo-chlorinated pesticides that are not eliminated from our bodies, even though production of them ceased in the 1980s, and concentrations are down to about 20 per cent.”

“These may have a half-life of between three and 12 years, but new compounds are added on top of this,” he explains.

There was also concern about parabens – an endocrine (hormonal) disrupting chemical – in cosmetic products some years ago.

This prompted and industry shift, “but one can question if this was done for the benefit of the consumer,” the Associate Professor remarks.

“Manufacturers argued that parabens were ok, as there were few allergic reactions. But this compound gave the products a long shelf-life, meaning it was cheaper to produce and consequently kept costs down.”

What can people do to limit the number of compounds in their body?

“I’d advise consumers be circumspect in their purchases and be conscious of what they buy. It was consumer pressure that put an end to parabens in products. Perhaps decision-makers will have to take notice when consumers start asking questions about other ones,” concludes Associate Professor Torkjel Sandanger.




Published on Thursday, 27th February, 2014 at 12:23 under the news category, by Michael Sandelson   .

This post has the following tags: norwayfood, toxins, foodsafety.





  
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