Know Your Endocrine-Disruptors!
A number of chemicals in our homes commonly found in plastic products, food, pesticides and environment are known as endocrine disruptors.
- Endocrine disruptors or xeno-estrogens behave like our natural sex hormones and can alter the timing of puberty in children, decrease sperm quality and stimulate mammary gland development in men, disrupt reproductive cycles, cause ovarian dysfunction and PMS in women. Xeno-estrogens are also associated with obesity, cancer, heart disease and other diseases.
- Phthalates and other endocrine disruptors are also known as “gender-benders” because they seem to be causing the males to become feminized. When a pregnant woman is exposed to high levels of phthalates, there is a great risk that her son will have smaller genitals and incomplete testicular descent. The research clearly shows that low testosterone is associated with increased phthalate exposure.
- Besides phthalates, the list of the worst offenders includes BPA (bisphenol A), dioxin, perchlorate, fire retardants, lead, mercury, aluminium, arsenic, PFCs, organophosphate pesticides, and glycol ethers. Read more about 20 Biggest Offenders.
- Multiple studies confirmed that all samples of umbilical cord blood obtained from pregnant women had detectable levels of bisphenol A, suggesting “universal fetal exposure” to BPA.
- Scientific studies of wildlife especially frogs and fish has been showing for years that fish are switching gender due to the high levels of estrogens.
8 Tips to Reduce Exposure to Hormone-Disrupting Substances / Xeno-Estrogens
- Eat whole, preferably organic produce and free-range, organic meats to reduce your exposure to hormones, pesticides and fertilizers. Processed, prepackaged foods are a major source of chemicals such as BPA and phthalates. Also avoid milk and dairy products that contain bovine growth hormone.
- Avoid soy and soy based products. Don’t use soy-based infant formula. The only soy that is ok to be consumed is fermented, non-GMO.
- Store your food and beverages in glass containers rather than plastic, and avoid using plastic wrap and canned foods (often contain BPA).
- Use glass baby bottles and BPA-free and phthalates free cups, pacifiers, teething rings and toys.
- Only use natural cleaning products to avoid phthalates and other offending chemicals.
- Switch over to natural brands of shampoo, toothpaste, deodorant and cosmetics free of phthalates, parabens and other dangerous chemicals. Read more at the Natural Skin Care section.
- Replace your non-stick pans with ceramic or glass cookware.
- When renovating your home, look for “green”, non-toxic paint and avoid vinyl flooring.
Sources and Credits
“Universal Fetal Exposure” to BPA Study
Miscarriage risk rises with BPA exposure, study finds
Worst Endocrine Disruptors
BPA may affect sperm quality
Phthalates Lower Testosterone Levels