George Graham

Common Chemicals Pose a Deadly Threat

As bad as climate change is, man-made pollution is causing an even more urgent problem – a global health epidemic. A U.N.-sponsored research team reported Tuesday that chemicals used in common household products are contributing to birth deformities, hormonal cancers and psychiatric diseases around the world. And researchers suspect these chemicals also contribute to breast and prostate cancer, diabetes, infertility, asthma, obesity, strokes, Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease.

They call the epidemic “a global threat that needs to be resolved.”

The researchers blame Endocrine Disrupting Chemicals for an assault on global health. Included in the group are chemicals used to make plastic soft and flexible. Products with these chemicals include toys, perfumes and pharmaceuticals, as well as cosmetics like deodorants that are absorbed into the body.

And a group of chemicals used to harden plastic, known as Bisphenol A, or BPA, is also blamed for “upsetting the endocrinal, or hormonal, systems of humans and animals,” according to a Reuters report from Geneva. The Reuters story says “experts believe such chemicals can be absorbed into drinks and food from the containers they come in.”

The UN report is not the first to raise the alarm over health threats posed by the use of chemicals in everyday products.  Google “man-made chemicals” and you’ll see what I mean. The web is abuzz with articles warning of the dangers posed by commonly encountered household products.

But the UN report adds credibility to widespread suspicions that have been around for years.

The Reuters story says “a few countries, including the United States, Canada and some European Union members – have already banned the use of some of them in certain products, especially those destined for the use of children.”

But, clearly, a lot more needs to be done.

With so much corporate resistance to any pollution fighting legislation, I fear it will be an uphill battle. Mighty global corporations and their political front men claim that man-made environmental pollution is a myth. They deny the findings of science and scoff at overwhelming evidence linking devastating weather phenomena to man-made pollution.

I can only imagine how they would greet government attempts to police the myriad chemicals in common household products.

Click here for the Reuters report.


About the author


I am a Jamaican-born writer who has lived and worked in Canada and the United States. I live in Lakeland, Florida with my wife, Sandra, our three cats and two dogs. I like to play golf and enjoy our garden, even though it's a lot of work. Since retiring from newspaper reporting I've written a few books. I also write a monthly column for


  • Jamaica gets a lot of bad press so it’s always nice to meet someone who can see pass the social problems and appreciate the island for what it really has to offer: its heart, good food, good people, good vibes.

    • I have this conversation all the time with people who think I’m crazy for being here. There is good and bad in every corner of the globe and for me the good and great have significantly outweighed the bad, so I happily keep coming back!

  • Good you and good for Jamaica!

    I hope you enjoy your stay overall, but especially on the South Coast. My mom is from St. Elizabeth, where Rebel Salute at Alligator Pond happens, so every time I’m on the island we’re there. They have some of the best seafood dishes I’ve ever tasted. The South Coast is also much nicer than the North Coast because its less touristy and have a more local vibe to the atmosphere. I so wish I was there right now! 🙂

    • I am most excited about exploring the south coast. Heading to the Maroon Festival this Friday and planning trips to Bluefields and Treasure Beach in additional to Rebel Salute! Come on down!

      • OMG, I wish I could, but I’m hamstrung by work! I’m on deadline to finish the first draft of my “Dudus” script and the process has been very slow. I could weep…

        • Oh I understand. Work has kept me immobile many times before. Go ahead and knock it out so you can get back on the road!

  • You’ve been to Chilitos!! I have YET to go there even though all my Kingston peeps keep trying to make me go. LOL I even follow them on Twitter!

    Sounds like you’re taking in all JA has to offer, you will learn so much. Just keep your mind open and you can’t go wrong girl!

    • Yes! Had this spot on the radar for a while. You have to go when you come back!

      I’m trying to take it all in. Time is going by soooo quickly and I’m sadly spending much of it in food comas. LOL I have to do better! LOL

  • With the frigid temperatures here in New York, a couple of reggae and jazz concerts, some rum punch and a beautiful Negril or Montego Bay beach sound perfect:) Hope you enjoy your time there and looking forward to hearing about some of the local artists.

    • Agreed! Cold weather is so not my friend, so this came right on time!

      Definitely enjoying every minute and excited to share great artists coming soon!

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