Zota is the lead author of the study, which was published Wednesday in the journal Environmental Health Perspectives.She and her co-authors suggest frequent hand washing, as well as regular dusting, mopping and vacuuming.
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George Washington University
There are no benefits to using vaginal douches, doctors have already said this. But now, researchers found more proof douching is harmful to women's health. Researchers said, harmful chemicals in the douche called phthalates could affect the body's hormones and cause serious health problems. "Phthalates are chemicals of concern for women's health because they are suspected endocrine disruptors and can alter the action of important hormones such as estrogen, testosterone and thyroid hormones," said Ami Zota of the Milken School of Public Health at George Washington University and the lead author of the study, according to Reuters. Phthalates, however, are also found in other personal care products, but diethyl phthalate is specifically present in tampons and douches, according to TIme Magazine.
The new study, published in the journal Environmental Health Perspectives, is one of the first to look at fast-food consumption and exposure to phthalates. Lead author, Assistant Professor Ami Zota, of Milken Institute School of Public Health in the United States, said: "People who ate the most fast food had phthalate levels that were as much as 40 per cent higher. The researchers found that the more fast food participants in the study ate, the higher their exposure to phthalates. The study found no association between total fast food intake and BPA. But Dr Zota and her colleagues found that people who ate fast food meat products had higher levels of BPA than people who didn't eat fast food.
In addition, the researchers found that phthalates overall were found at the highest levels in dust followed by phenols and flame retardant chemicals. "Our study is the first comprehensive analysis of consumer product chemicals found in household dust," says lead author Ami Zota, ScD, MS, assistant professor of environmental and occupational health at Milken Institute SPH. "The findings suggest that people, and especially children, are exposed on a daily basis to multiple chemicals in dust that are linked to serious health problems." She and colleagues pooled data from 26 peer-reviewed papers and one unpublished dataset that analyzed dust samples taken from homes in 14 states. They found 45 potentially toxic chemicals that are used in many consumer and household products such as vinyl flooring, personal care and cleaning products, building materials and home furnishings.
However, researchers now claim that women of colour are being exposed to higher levels of toxins such as mercury, steroids and hormone-disrupting chemicals from beauty products aimed at them, as opposed to lighter skinned women. Last year, a report by the Environmental Working Group asserted that one in 12 beauty products marketed to black women contained harmful ingredients. 'Pressure to meet Western standards of beauty means Black, Latina and Asian American women are using more beauty products and thus are exposed to higher levels of chemicals known to be harmful to health,' Ami Zota, an environmental epidemiologist at the George Washington University, said in a statement. The experts found that greater amounts of 'beauty-product related environmental chemicals' – from skin-lightening creams and hair relaxers aimed to help women conform to 'European beauty norms' – had been found among women of colour compared to white women, they added.
“This study suggests food prepared at home is less likely to contain high levels of phthalates, chemicals linked to fertility problems, pregnancy complications and other health issues,” Dr. Ami Zota, an assistant professor of environmental and occupational health at George Washington, said in a press release. “Our findings suggest that dining out may be an important, and previously under-recognized source of exposure to phthalates for the U.S. population.” In a 2016 study led by Zota, they found that fast food may expose consumers to higher levels of phthalates among 8,877 participants. In that study, which included 8,877 participants, researchers found phthalate levels were 40 percent higher for people consuming more fast food than those who rarely ate it.