Endocrine Disruptors: What Are They And How To Avoid Them

Have you ever thought about the chemicals that are in your everyday household items, and ultimately, their potential impact on you and your family? BB&R has!! In recent years, there has been mounting research showing the adverse health effects to the exposure to chemicals found in some of the most commonly used household products, including BPA, phthalates, fire retardants, pesticides and PFC’s, just to name a few. These chemicals are known as endocrine disruptors and can have severe health consequences. Endocrine disruptors can interfere with the hypothalamus, pituitary gland, thyroid gland, adrenal glands, pancreas and the reproductive system, the body’s most precious hormone regulators. Consequences can include improper development, reproductive dysfunction, neurological impairment, immune system disruption, obesity, elevated blood pressure, infertility, kidney damage and cancer.

These chemicals, depending on their type, disrupt the endocrine system in numerous ways. Some chemicals actually imitate natural hormones produced in the body, while others block the effects of certain hormones. They can even lead to an over or underproduction of hormones, specifically the thyroid. Hormones are responsible for all biological functions in the body and even the slightest disruption may have devastating effects.

According to the Environmental Working Group, here are the 12 most prominent and damaging endocrine disruptors:

  • BPA: used to make certain plastics, epoxy resins and cash register receipts

  • Dioxin: formed during industrial processes

  • Atrazine: toxic weed killer

  • Phthalates: used to make soft plastic and fragrances and cosmetics stick to your body longer

  • Perchlorate: a byproduct of rocket fuel

  • PFCs: used in nonstick cookware and coating inside popcorn bags and fast food containers

  • Organophosphate pesticides: one of the most commonly used pesticides

  • Glycol ethers: commonly used in cleaning products, brake fluid and cosmetics

  • Fire retardants

  • Lead

  • Arsenic

  • Mercury

So… what’s the solution?! Here are the best ways to AVOID endocrine disruptors in your everyday life and protect the health of you and your family!

  • Avoid Plastics: Opt for glass or paper whenever possible and avoid heating food in plastic containers.

  • Eliminate BPA: Choose BPA free canned foods, water bottles and containers.

  • Use Safe Household Cleaners: Chemical disinfectants and antibacterial soaps are full of endocrine disruptors. We love Mrs. Meyer’s and Method brand cleaners, but its also easy to make your own!

  • Choose Your Beauty Products Wisely: Avoid any product with fragrance or “parfum” and check out this site for choosing safer products.

  • Rethink Your Diet: Buy organic, local and pasture raised, avoid processed foods and eat plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables.