Fume Events are a very expensive problem which is only getting worse. It will be interesting to see what the tipping point will be for employers to finally fix these problems rather than just paying injured workers while taking a blind eye to their causes. The corporate mindset of denial, deception and cover-up will have to end at some point. Yet, it still remains to be seen as to just what that financial breaking point will be. As this is a long overdue Corporate Cultural change in regards to known Toxic Chemical hazards in the workplace.
“These findings speak to the large health and economic benefits to regulating endocrine-disrupting chemicals,” said senior study author Dr. Leonardo Trasande, a researcher at New York University Langone Medical Center in New York City. The researchers reviewed blood sample and urine analyses that documented the presence of endocrine disruptors among U.S. participants in the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES).
They estimated total costs linked to these chemicals based on both the direct cost of treatment and the indirect cost of lost productivity or earnings. Then, they compared the U.S. results to findings from a previous study done in Europe. Organophosphates – chemicals from Fume Events and found in pesticides that have been restricted in the U.S. since 1996 – are associated with 1.8 million lost IQ points and 7,500 cases of intellectual disability in the U.S. each year, at an estimated cost of $44.7 billion.
In Europe, where these pesticides are not strictly regulated, organophosphates are linked to 13 million lost IQ points and 59,300 cases of intellectual disability each year, costing a projected $194 billion. Autism, attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder, obesity, diabetes, heart and vascular disorders, and endometriosis are among the other diseases linked to exposure to endocrine disruptors and included in the cost analysis.
“Adults and children in the U.S. carry more industrial chemicals in their bodies than their European counterparts simply due to differences in chemical policies,” Allen said by email.”In the U.S. our chemical policy largely follows the approach of our legal system – ‘innocent until proven guilty,'” Allen added. “This is appropriate for criminal justice policy but has disastrous consequences for health when used for chemical policy.”