By Chen Ching-fang and Christie Chen ENDITEM/J
2011/02/12 21:14:01 Taipei, Feb. 12 (CNA) The habits of consuming hot food and drink out of plastic containers, using cosmetics with stabilizers and washing clothes with heavy duty detergents are harming the reproductive health of Taiwanese people, doctors warned in a press conference in Taipei Saturday.
According to studies, environmental hormones — toxic substances that can impede the reproductive function — are detectable in more than 90 percent of the Taiwanese population, said Chien Chi-cheng, vice superintendent of Ton Yen General Hospital in Hsinchu County.
Chien said the results of a study conducted by his team a few years ago showed that as many as 200-300 types of chemical compounds, including Bisphenol A, are passed down from mothers to their children.
After babies are born, they continue to be exposed to these environmental hormones through plastic pacifiers, feeding bottles and toys. When they get older they come in contact with other plastic products, food preservatives and cosmetic products that contain these chemical substances, he said.
Once these environmental hormones enter the body, they disrupt the body’s endocrine function, said Chen Shee-uan, director of reproductive endocrinology and infertility at the National Taiwan University Hospital’s Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology.
More young girls are having their first menstruation before the age of 10 in Taiwan. Besides the increasingly Westernized dietary habits, exposure to environmental hormones is also a reason for earlier menstruation, according to Chen.
Ching-Hung Hsieh, director of the Taiwan Association of Obstetrics and Gynecology, called for women and children to protect themselves by using less synthetic detergent and plastic products and using traditional soap and steel, porcelain and glass containers.