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Consequences of low-dose exposure to chemical mixes


Throughout our daily lives we are exposed to numerous chemicals. Lots of them are approved in small doses, but many can’t be evaluated in isolation.

We inhale the air with substances from car exhaust, we eat and drink from containers which have BPA or phthalates, the sunscreen contains nanomaterials and so on. Everything you do and everything you touch or use has some chemicals in it.

The amount of chemicals used in agriculture is the worst example of this practice. During a growing season, substances like nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium – filled fertilizers, herbicides, insecticides and fungicides are all in use. The limitations on the use of these substances are not followed. Thus, agricultural workers and farmers are under the combined effect of these chemicals which was never studied so the consequences are unknown but they sure exist.

A study was conducted by 174 scientists from 28 countries, which looked into the effects of exposure to 85 different chemicals over time and their synergistic impacts on the development of cancer. It was discovered that 50 out of 85 of the chemicals could impact cancer-causing pathways at low doses that are realistic in the environment.

So far, there have been many researches which have only scratched the surface of the interactions that can occur between mixtures of chemicals, but chemical cocktails present in the environment are those that should be thoroughly analyzed.

Food & Water Watch and other coalition groups raised concerns about The World Health Organization decisions and conflicts of interest within WHO taskforces. For example, the International Agency for Research on Cancer has declared 2,4-D as possibly carcinogenic to humans, it is now being used on farms together with glyphosate tolerant corn and soybeans. In another study it was confirmed that the presence of glyphosate, 2,4-D or dicamba at application levels suggested to farmers, can induce the ability of bacteria to develop resistance to antibiotics.

Numerous risks exist, but it is up to government agencies to thoroughly examine them end approve those that are not harmful to humans.

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