Endocrine disruptors are chemicals that affect the hormones in our bodies. These chemicals can be found in so many of our everyday products, including food, personal care, and household items. In recent years, more research has been conducted on the effects of endocrine disruptors on human health, and the findings have been worrying. Let's explore what endocrine disruptors are, their sources, and their potential effects on our health.
What are Endocrine Disruptors?
Endocrine disruptors are chemicals that can interfere with the hormonal system in our bodies. These chemicals can mimic, block, or disrupt the production, transport, and function of hormones in our bodies. Endocrine disruptors can alter the normal balance of hormones in our bodies, leading to a lot of different health problems. These chemicals can come from natural and man-made sources and persist in the environment for a long time.
Sources of Endocrine Disruptors
Endocrine disruptors are found in a lot of different products, like food, personal care products, and household items. Some familiar sources of endocrine disruptors include plastic and metal food packaging, pesticides, herbicides, flame retardants, furniture, cosmetics, and medications. Endocrine disruptors can also be found in water and soil and enter the food chain through plants and animals.
Potential Health Effects of Endocrine Disruptors
Endocrine disruptors have been linked to various health problems, including reproductive disorders, birth defects, developmental disorders, immune disorders, and certain types of cancer. Infants, children, and pregnant women are especially sensitive to the effects of endocrine disruptors because their bodies are still developing and undergoing significant changes. Endocrine disruptors can affect the development of the brain, reproductive tract, and other organs, leading to long-term health problems.
But don't freak out!
We can lower endocrine disruptors that we come in contact with tremendously!
How to Reduce Exposure to Endocrine Disruptors
Reducing exposure to endocrine disruptors can be challenging because these chemicals are often found in many everyday products. However, some steps can be taken to lower exposure to endocrine disruptors. Choose organic fresh or frozen fruits and vegetables instead of canned. (Canning usually involves food packaging with endocrine disruptors.) Choose organic products and avoid products that contain pesticides and herbicides whenever possible. Use natural and chemical-free household cleaners and personal care products. (That means makeup, shampoo, conditioner, lotions, perfume, etc.) Avoid plastic containers made with endocrine disruptors, and choose glass, ceramic, or stainless steel containers instead.
Endocrine disruptors can have bad effects on our health. Because of their widespread use in many everyday products, avoiding exposure to endocrine disruptors is challenging. BUT, we can minimize our exposure to these chemicals by making conscious choices and adopting healthier habits!