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Generations: Protecting yourself, your children, and their children

Protecting Yourself Protects Future Generations

Did you know that parents’ exposure to certain chemicals before conception and during fetal development can impact the risk of diseases throughout their own, their children and even their grandchildren’s lives?

Endocrine disrupting chemicals (EDCs) affect the ability of our glands and organs to coordinate body functions through hormones like estrogen. The endocrine system controls many things, including metabolism, reproduction, growth, and mood. EDCs can enter the body through ingestion (swallowing), skin (absorbing), and lungs (breathing). When the endocrine system is disrupted by chemicals, it can increase the risk of many diseases throughout the lifespan, such as childhood leukemia, obesity, and breast cancer.

Researchers have found that exposure to EDCs can impact the person exposed, as well as their children and sometimes even grandchildren through sperm, in utero, or egg development. Because eggs are created during fetal development, when a person is pregnant with a female fetus, there are potentially three generations directly exposed! Learn more about the impact of EDCs on multiple generations.  

There are many EDCs in our environment that are known or suspected to harm our health. While many people think that the U.S. regulates harmful chemicals to keep them out of our products, that is often not the case. Most older chemicals have never had to prove they are safe and manufacturers want to avoid the cost of testing. Learn more about the limits of regulation in the US.

Generations is an educational campaign created by the Breast Cancer and the Environment Across Generations Community Advisors, a group of Child Health and Development Studies (CHDS) participants led by Zero Breast Cancer staff and CHDS researchers. Learn about the study that inspired this project.

Our goal is to educate young adults and other community members about the multi-generational impact of EDCs and inspire simple actions that we can take to reduce exposure. Visit sections of our website to learn more about things we can do to reduce exposure from personal care productsdust, dirt and cleaning products, pesticides, food preparationdrink and food containers, and receipts.

This project focuses on things we can do as individuals. Working together, we can have an even greater impact. Learn more about current actions you can take. Check out opportunities to sign petitions, call or write your elected representatives or vote with your pocketbook through organizations like Center for Environmental HealthToxic-Free Future, Environmental Working Group, and Women’s Voices for the Earth.




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