Endocrine disruptors are chemicals that affect our hormones. Hormones are the normal chemical signals that is involved with every system of the body. Endocrine disruptors have been linked to infertility, stillbirths, endometriosis, a problem with the development of babies during pregnancy and young children.
Endocrine disruptors are chemically added to plastics, personal care products, cleaning products, and fire protected fabrics; but some also naturally occurring in foods.
They cause changes in our hormones in several ways. Some endocrine disruptors cause overstimulation of the systems they affect; such as thyroid, overproduction of oestrogen, reduced testosterone, and the hormones of fertility. Others block the signals of your normal hormones or change how the body works.
How do you protect yourself against endocrine disruptors?
These chemicals are in most modern products and household dust, so it is very difficult to remove then totally from your food and home, but you can significantly reduce the amount in your food, clothes, and home.
In a 2007 study, the Centers for Disease Control reported that 93 percent of people have Bisphenol A (BPA) in their bodies. BPA is used in hard shatterproof plastics such as food containers and to make epoxy resin; a type of industrial glue. You can product yourself against BPA by making the following changes.
|BPA Containing Products||BPA Free Products|
|Plastic bottles or aluminium which may be lined with BPA||Stainless steel or glass|
|Canned goods||Glass jars; fresh or frozen food; dried beans|
|Microwaving in plastic or pouring hot liquids into BPA-containing bottles or containers||Transferring your leftovers to a glass or ceramic bowl before you heat them up, heating baby formula in BPA-free bottles or by putting the bottle in a bowl of warm water.|
Phthalates are in 98 percent of people; the highest levels are present in people who rely on fast foods and ready-made meals. They are added to plastics to me them more flexible. They are also used in personal care products and household products to keep the fragrance.
|Phthalate Containing Products||Phthalate Free Products|
|Personal-care products that list “fragrance” as an ingredient||Fragrance-free shampoo, moisturizer, and other staples|
|Heavily fragranced cleaning products||A spray bottle filled with a solution of half vinegar, half water. Or use Clorox, Seventh Generation, or Method, cleaning-product brands that are free of phthalates and most other EDCs.|
|Buying new toys without knowing what they may contain||Ensure the toys are Phthalate free|
Up to 80 percent of people have Polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs). PBDEs are used to make products fire resistant, such as electronics, furniture, carpets, and clothes. To avoid PBDEs choose naturally fire-resistant wool, hemp, and cotton where possible.
Phytoestrogens are naturally occurring on soya products. These have oestrogen hormone-like activity and can affect conditions such as endometriosis and polycystic ovarian syndrome. Reducing your intake of soya containing foods may improve fertility.