Glossary of Exposures

Vinyl Chloride

Vinyl chloride was a common ingredient used in cosmetic products, refrigerants and household aerosols in the United States. It is also used to make polyvinyl chloride (PVC), which is a repeating chain of vinyl chloride. Vinyl...

Triclosan

Triclosan is an antimicrobial agent added to a wide array of household products to prevent the growth of bacteria and fungus. It has been found in human blood, urine and breast milk. The chemical is a potential endocrine...

Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons (PAHs)

Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) are a group of more than 100 chemical compounds that are prevalent in the environment and food. They contribute to indoor and outdoor air pollution and are harmful to humans. What are...

Tobacco Smoke

Tobacco smoke contains chemicals that have been linked to cancer, from both active and passive smoking. The use of cigarettes has been linked to stroke, coronary heart disease, and many cancers, including lung cancer and breast...

Polychlorinated Biphenyls (PCBs)

The EPA banned PCBs from new products in 1976. Due to their persistence in the environment, they are still found in soil, riverbeds and dust particulates in homes. They also remain in products manufactured prior to the ban such...

Polybrominated Diphenyl Ethers (PBDEs)

PBDEs are a class of compounds used as flame retardants.  They are endocrine disrupting compounds associated primarily with thyroid disruption. Some evidence also links them to breast cancer. What are polybrominated diphenyl...

Phytoestrogens

Phytoestrogens are plant nutrients found in several different types of food such as soy products, grains, beans, and some fruits and vegetables. Phytoestrogens, especially when consumed regularly during childhood, have been...

Phthalates

Phthalates are a group of chemicals used to soften and improve the flexibility and durability of plastics. Phthalates are endocrine disruptors, and exposure to phthalates has been linked to breast cancer, developmental issues,...

Perfluorooactanoic Acid (PFOA) & Other PFAS Chemicals

Perfluorooactanoic acid (PFOA) and perfluorooctanesulfonic acid (PFOS) are used extensively in commercial applications for their properties of being highly stable and having low surface tension. PFOA and PFOS are found in items...

Parabens

Parabens are a group of chemicals that prevent the growth of mold, bacteria and yeasts. They are often added to cosmetics and personal care products to increase shelf-life and stability. Parabens enter the body through dermal...