How environmental exposures affect women’s health

James Eaton

Katie Huffling, DNP, RN, CNM, FAAN, government director at Alliance of Nurses for Healthier Environments, lately gave a presentation on how environmental exposures have impacted women’s health at the 25th Annual Premier Women’s Health care Convention in Houston, Texas, held in-man or woman from September 29 to October 2.

In her presentation, Huffling examined information from the Earth Health Business, stating that up to 24{a5ceed037b574a4d8c6b44a0a7290437cee40655417128da3b56d864fe64414f} of world-wide diseases are caused by environmental exposures, which could be avoided with appropriate protocols. This makes up a component of the 80{a5ceed037b574a4d8c6b44a0a7290437cee40655417128da3b56d864fe64414f} of important ailments considerably impacted by the setting. In children, environmental exposures are the source of 33{a5ceed037b574a4d8c6b44a0a7290437cee40655417128da3b56d864fe64414f} of ailments.1

Above 280 industrial chemical substances were being uncovered in newborns through a benchmark investigation, mentioned Huffling.These chemical compounds incorporated 217 brain/nervous system toxicants, 180 carcinogens, and 208 beginning problems or abnormal improvement. When uncovered to these chemical compounds, men and women may create bronchial asthma, lung ailment, autism, notice-deficit/hyperactivity condition, Parkinson’s, autoimmune diseases, cancer, being overweight, and problems in reproductive well being these as fertility and breast cancer.

These substances can also be identified in some particular care items. Huffling presented knowledge stating that only 11{a5ceed037b574a4d8c6b44a0a7290437cee40655417128da3b56d864fe64414f} of substances in cosmetics have been screened for security. Flame retardants also contain chemical compounds which can increase the danger of most cancers, endocrine disruptors, and neurological impacts.

To decrease possibility, Huffling proposed solutions of lowering exposure to these forms of pollutants. These incorporate preserving flame retardants from kids, utilizing a vacuum with a HEPA filter, mopping floors and dusting household furniture routinely, washing hands commonly, totally cleaning a car’s inside, and using obviously flame-resistant fabrics.

There are also hazards of publicity to harmful chemicals in selected sorts of food. Huffling stated a “dirty dozen” meals items with these dangers, which consisted of strawberries, spinach, kale, nectarines, apples, grapes, peaches, cherries, pears, tomatoes, celery, potatoes, and warm pepper.

To counter threat, Huffling also mentioned a “clean 15.” These products are protected for consumption, and involved: sweet corn, avocadoes, pineapples, papaya, onions, frozen sweet peas, eggplant, cauliflower, cantaloupe, broccoli, mushroom, cabbage, honeydew melon, kiwi, and asparagus.

Huffling also reminded attendees to keep away from drinking water contaminated with for every- and polyfluoroalkyl substances. This can aid lessen publicity, alongside with staying away from microwave popcorn, reducing processed food consumption, and working with solid-iron pans about Teflon nonstick pans.

Phthalates were also talked about, as they can lead to metabolic problems, elevated blood force, precocious puberty, fertility difficulties, being pregnant complications these as reduced beginning excess weight and preterm start, neurodevelopment, and respiratory impacts.

To lower exposure, Huffling encouraged avoiding plastic wrap and plastic meals containers, retaining plastic out of the microwave, averting products with fragrance or phthalate on the label, decreasing quick meals use, and supporting guidelines for banning phthalates.

For improved security in girls making ready to have youngsters, Huffling prompt the Secure Infant Products Guidebook. This makes it possible for girls to investigation details on certain child items and recognize how the chemical substances in certain products and solutions would have an affect on their baby’s wellbeing. Huffling reminded girls that infant products and solutions can be economical when you independent what you need to have from what you don’t require.

Local weather transform was also a problem, as a rise in temperature and modifications in purely natural functions this kind of as drought, flooding, and forest fire influence women’s health. Quite a few of the wellness impacts described beforehand are also brought about by the outcomes of local weather alter.

The health impacts of climate adjust consist of adverse pregnancy results, amplified chance of sure problems in younger children with increased biological sensitivity, and enhanced chance of exposure to coronary heart-related health problems in activities of more mature children.

Huffling stressed the affect advocacy can make, primarily amongst health treatment providers’ voices. This can be at an affiliation and institutional degree, a neighborhood stage, or a point out and federal level. Huffling concluded the presentation by showcasing the fracking ban in Maryland, a situation where overall health voices built a distinction.


Huffling K. Influence of environmental exposures on women’s health. Presented at: 25th Yearly Leading Women’s Healthcare Meeting. Houston, Texas. September 29 to October 2, 2022.

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