Did you know that hormone or endocrine disruptors present in personal care products, cleaning products, non-stick cookware, plastics can disrupt growth, development and reproduction, and may even cause serious neurological and immune-system failures.
Endocrine disruptors are those chemicals that mimic or look like hormones in our body, including the female sex hormone estrogen, the male sex hormone androgen, and thyroid hormones. They block or alter hormonal signals within our body and wreak havoc.
Children and Pregnant Women are at high risk, But it can affect anybody
Who would want a synthetic chemical to get inside the body and disrupt body’s normal functions?
But truth is, eliminating them from our system is way too difficult. Endocrine disruptors are present everywhere, secretly present inside thousands of products which we use every day, such as Food, personal care products, sunscreen, perfume, antibacterial washes, household cleaners, laundry products, vinyl shower curtains, plastic toys, electronics, household dust and germ sprays.
Let’s have a close look at top 5 Endocrine disruptors. Also let me help you with tips to avoid them.
Phthalates are added to plastics to make them more durable and flexible. Phthalates are also used in cosmetics and personal care products, including perfume, hair spray, soap, shampoo, nail polish, and skin moisturizers. They are also found in consumer products such as flexible plastic and vinyl toys, shower curtains, wallpaper, food packaging, and plastic wrap. Phthalates find their way inside our body by even consuming food that comes wrapped in containers made of phthalates or even breathing in air from room with wallpaper or phthalate containing flooring tiles.
How to Avoid it:
- Avoid plastic food containers
- Opt for phthalate free cosmetic products
- Say no to plastic toys for kids
- Read the product labels clearly when you buy personal care products
- BPA or bisphenol A
BPA is present in water bottles, baby bottles, dental fillings, dental devices, medical devices, eyeglass lenses, DVDs and CDs, household electronic items, mobile devices and sports equipment. They are also used to coat the inside of food and drinks cans.
How to avoid it:
- Say no to plastic water bottles
- Look for BPA free containers and bottles in case you need to use plastic ones
- Better skip the receipts, since thermal paper is often coated with BPA
- Avoid plastics marked with “PC,” for polycarbonate
- Perfluorinated compounds
Perfluorinated compoundsperfluorooctane sulfonate (PFOS) and perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA) are the most prevalent PFCs. It is this PFOA we find in non-stick cookware’s. They are also found in fast food wrappers, microwave popcorn bags, disposable paper plates, stain-resistant carpets, carpet cleaning solutions, windshield washing fluid and fire-fighting foam, as well as in some adhesives, cosmetics, pharmaceuticals, electronics and cleaning products. PFCs have been linked to a wide range of health effects, including weight gain, liver toxicity, increased neonatal mortality, abnormal mammary gland development, altered thyroid hormones etc.
How to avoid it:
- Say no to Non-stick pans and pots
- If you prefer using non-stick cookware, do not allow it to cross 232degreeC
- Do not opt for clothing, furniture and carpets with water-resistant coatings
- Say no to microwave popcorns
- Say no to furniture and carpets that are marketed as “stain-resistant”
- Avoid personal products that include the words ”fluoro” or ”perfluoro”, especially look for them in eye shadow, foundation, facial powder, bronzer, and blush
Almost every living creature has been exposed to dioxins or dioxin-like compounds; they are the outcome of industrialization. They are also produced through incineration processes like improper municipal waste incineration and burning of trash. Once they enter our body, it can stay there for years. More than 90% of human exposure is through food, mainly meat and dairy products, fish and shellfish. Dioxins can cause developmental problems in children, lead to reproductive and infertility problems in adults, result in miscarriages, and cause diseases like type 2 diabetes and ischemic heart disease.
How to avoid it:
- Opt for organically grown fruits and vegetables
- Opt for organic milk, meat and egg
- Avoid using pesticides and herbicides that contain dioxin for kitchen garden
- In personal care products it’s better to avoid triclosan, an antibacterial agent. It degrades into dioxin
- Avoid bleached paper products, which contains dioxin, like napkins, tissue and paper towels
- Organophosphate Pesticides
Though organophosphate exposure has been linked to brain development, behavior and fertility, they are still among the most used common pesticides today. They are mostly used to control pests on fruit and vegetable crops. The fruits and vegetables we buy from market will have on it traces of these pesticides.
How to avoid it:
- Grow your own veggies or source it from organic farms
- Wash all vegetables thoroughly and peel of the outer skin
- In meat, it’s good to remove excess fat and skin that may have absorbed pesticides
- Apples, strawberries, grapes, spinach, bell peppers, cucumbers, potatoes, cherry tomatoes and hot peppers have high amount of pesticide residues. Wash them properly
It’s true that we cannot completely avoid toxin exposure, but we can prevent them to a great extend by avoiding high exposure foods and personal care products. Also ensure your natural detoxification system is working perfectly.