The Danish Environmental Protection Agency has published a survey and health assessment examining the exposure of 2-year-olds to chemical substances in consumer products.

The report apparently focused on endocrine disruptors, including phthalates and bisphenol A (BPA), found not only in general consumer products but specifically in food products and food contact materials. The study apparently concluded that (i) “a few exposures to a high content of an endocrine disruptor, such as that of DBP [bibutyl phthalate] in rubber clogs, may result in a critical risk for the 2 year-old”; (ii)
“the amounts that 2 year-olds absorb, in particular from the phthalate DBP (mostly from foods) and dioxins and dioxin-like PCBs (mostly from foods, and partly from indoor air and dust), constitute a risk for anti-androgen disruptions to the endocrine system”; and (iii) “the amounts that 2 year-olds absorb from the parabens propylparaben and butylparaben, in particular, can constitute a risk for oestrogen-like
disruptions of the endocrine system.” See Danish Ministry of the Environmental Press Release, October 23, 2009.

Based on these results, the Danish government reportedly intends to lobby the European Union to restrict the use of these substances in consumer products. According to an October 23, 2009, article in The Telegraph, this latest study has contributed to an emerging picture of “ubiquitous chemical contamination driving down sperm counts and feminizing male children all over the developed world.” Pointing to earlier research conducted in Canada, Britain, Denmark and the United States, the article also criticizes the United Kingdom’s role in exempting these “gender-benders” from EU regulations controlling hazardous chemicals. “Confidential documents show that it did so after pressure from George W. Bush’s administration, which protested that U.S. exports ‘could be impacted,’” alleges the media report.

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For decades, manufacturers, distributors and retailers at every link in the food chain have come to Shook, Hardy & Bacon to partner with a legal team that understands the issues they face in today's evolving food production industry. Shook attorneys work with some of the world's largest food, beverage and agribusiness companies to establish preventative measures, conduct internal audits, develop public relations strategies, and advance tort reform initiatives.

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