Environmental Pollutants Profile
Chronic exposure to a number of occupational and environmental pollutants is a growing concern in today’s industrialized communities: their effects on human health are profound. Many have been linked to a variety of pathologies including neuropsychological and neuropsychological dysfunction, leukopenia, dyspnea, anemia, and certain cancers, to name a few.
US BioTek Laboratories’ Environmental Pollutants Profile quantifies exposure to select environmental toxins: aromatic solvents, paraben and phthalates.
Acute toxicological effects of aromatic compounds include nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain, headache, dizziness, drowsiness, confusion, tremor, and loss of consciousness. Chronic exposure may affect multiple organ systems.
Aromatic solvents are used commercially in a variety of applications. You’ll find them in the manufacture of plastics, paints, varnishes, resins, synthetic fibers, rubbers, lubricants, dyes and detergents. They are also used in the printing and leather industries, found in many industrial cleaning agents and are a natural part of gasoline, airplane fuel and cigarette smoke.
Parabens are a widely used family of preservatives found in many cosmetic, pharmaceutical and industrial products. They have inherent estrogenic, and other hormone related activity, and have been detected in certain human breast cancer cell lines.
Phthalates are used in the manufacture of plastics to allow for flexibility. They are found in everything from makeup to detergents, shampoos to time-released pharmaceutical drugs. Phthalic acid esters are well known endocrine disruptors which may cause neurological and developmental disorders. They can interfere with tryptophan metabolism resulting in an increase in quinolinic acid, a pro-inflammatory and neurotoxic compound. Phthalates have also been implicated in abnormal fetal development, especially in male fetuses.
The physiological effects from exposure to these toxins depend on a number of factors. These include the amount and duration the individual is exposed to the substance, the route of exposure (air, water, food, skin, consumer products), and whether or not other chemicals are present at the time of exposure, as some compounds exert an accumulated effect.