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U of M School of Public Health study finds possible link between household chemicals and heart disease, cancer

MINNEAPOLIS, Minn. (KTTC) – New research finds a possible link in exposure to chemicals found in everyday products to a higher prevalence of heart disease and all types of cancer.

That study from the University of Minnesota School of Public Health looked into two types of chemicals.

Dichlorophenols or DCPs are chemicals that can be found in a number of consumer and industrial products, like deodorizers, antibacterial additives and even chlorinated water.

But the study authors are not suggesting anyone should be alarmed.

Lead author and Ph.D. candidate Mary Rooney along with her colleagues found that exposure to Dichlorophenols was associated with a higher risk of cardiovascular diseases, and all cancers combined.

“These are commonly found in household products and chlorinated water,” she said.

Rooney and her team found the possible link by analyzing data from the CDC’s National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey.

The survey of  3,617 participants included information on their self-reported history of illness and urine tests, that estimated their exposure to DCPs.

“Previously in this study, about 81% of participants had shown exposure to these compounds,” said Rooney.

The compounds are a byproduct of a chemical used to control moths, mold and mildew.

The chemical is commonly found in moth balls, toilet and room deodorizers.

“I think people should just be more aware of the chemicals that might be in products that they’re using. This research is not necessarily – doesn’t prove that these biomarkers are related to causing the outcome. It’s just an association,” said Rooney.

She recommends that environmental health researchers continue investigations of the effects of DCP exposure to determine if and how it actually causes those diseases in people.

Rooney said the study also showed that participants with higher concentrations of DCP’s tended to be obese, which is associated with cardiovascular disease and cancer.

The study was published in the Journal of Occupational & Environmental Medicine.

Ala Errebhi

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