Report: Women Bear Brunt of Environmental Contamination

Findings in a new report by the Women’s Foundation of California show that due to their biological makeup and roles in society women bear the brunt of contamination from environmental toxins. The report raises concerns that despite women’s leadership in environmental health and justice, there is limited research being conducted on the health impacts of environmental toxins on women due to a lack of support.

According to the report, “low-income women and women of color tend to be disproportionately affected” and “women have traditionally borne the consequences of contamination, whether on their health or the health of loved ones.” Some examples of the types of risks women face are abnormal fetal development, diminished fertility, and increased rates of cancers.

The Women’s Foundation recommends that corporations and developers aspire to prevent and minimize harm to humans and the environment, that more research and data collection is done to assess the impact of toxins on women’s health, that governments and businesses promote safer alternatives for low-income women, that organizations that advocate for safer policies are supported, and that governments and manufacturers assume leadership to create healthier solutions and clean up what has already been contaminated.

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Women's Foundation of California report; Women's Enews 10/21/03; Business Wire 10/07/03

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