It is good to start with a definition of endocrine disruptors. They are chemicals that mimic our natural hormones, alter the normal function of our hormones and are detrimental to hormone-sensitive organs (Immune health, neurological, and human development). Because our hormone systems operate on such small amounts of specific hormones it does not take much exposure to wreak havoc.
Xenoestrogens are one very predominant class of hormone disruptors in our environment. They can cause PMS, mood swings, painful periods, weight gain, bloating, headaches, insomnia, fibroids and PCOS. It’s important not to be overwhelmed- little steps taken can change your exposure and really add up to better health! Here are some significant endocrine disruptors to consider:
1.Phthalates- disrupt testosterone and can accumulate in our livestock (according to Dept of Health and Human Services)- Remember it’s not what you eat but what you eat- EATS!! It is also found in in fragrances that are in our cosmetics.
- Atrazine- causes feminization of male frogs. Can cause breast tumors and prostate cancer. We can reduce our exposure to this endocrine disruptor by drinking filtered water.
- Percholrate- this is in jet fuel and this endocrine disruptor can affect the thyroid.Checking iodine levels and monitoring thyroid function can help us explore the side effects of this disruptor.
- Fire retardants- these can be found in furniture and the water repellant on clothes, carpet and furniture. Here are some tips to help avoid these: Use a HEPA filter vacumn. Choose your new carpet and clothes carefully.
- Lead, Arsenic & mercury- can be very disruptive to our bodies in a variety of ways, they can be found in water supplies, our food (consumer reports or the environmental working group are good resources for this), and in local environments.
- PFCs (Perfluorinated Chemicals)- These disruptors can contribute to low sperm count and changes in reproductive development in babies. Look for labels that say no PFCs or consult Consumer Reports or Environmental Working Group.