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Endocrine Disruptors, Beware!


What are endocrine disruptors?

Endocrine disruptors are chemicals that may interfere with the body’s endocrine system and produce adverse developmental, reproductive, neurological, and immune effects in both humans and wildlife¹. You may encounter endocrine disruptors in many products you use on a daily basis, including plastic bottles, metal food cans, detergents, flame retardants, food, toys, cosmetics, and pesticides. A wide range of substances, both natural and man-made, are thought to cause endocrine disruption, including pharmaceuticals, dioxin and dioxin-like compounds, polychlorinated biphenyls, DDT and other pesticides, and plasticizers such as bisphenol A¹.



How can endocrine disruptors impact your health?

Our endocrine system is composed of several glands that produce and secrete hormones that the body uses for a wide range of functions. Almost every activity in your body is regulated by your endocrine system; appetite, skin health, gut function, sleep, fertility, and metabolism is controlled by hormones. If this system is "disrupted", there can be adverse reactions in your body. For instance, endocrine disrupting chemicals can mimic a natural hormone, causing the body to over-respond to the stimulus, or respond at inappropriate times (e.g., producing insulin when it is not needed)². Other endocrine disruptors block the effects of a hormone from certain receptors (e.g. growth hormones required for normal development), or can directly stimulate or inhibit the endocrine system and cause overproduction or underproduction of hormones (e.g. an over or underactive thyroid)².


Tips for minimizing your exposure to endocrine disruptors:³

  • Consider choosing consumer products with BPA- and phthalate-free packaging.

  • Drink tap water that has been filtered.

  • Avoid microwaving plastics.

  • Use glass containers to store foods.

  • Use fragrance-free dish soaps, laundry detergents, and personal care products (think: shampoo, conditioner, body lotions, lipstick, mascara).

  • Avoid products that list “fragrance” as an ingredient, as phthalates often hide in fragrances.

  • Choose products labeled “phthalate-free,” “paraben-free” or “BPA-free.”

  • Avoid unnecessary exposure to industrial chemicals and pesticides.

  • *Extra Tips* for people who menstruate: If you use tampons, look for organic cotton ones that are free from dioxin and bleach/chlorine/fragrance. Consider using a silicone menstrual cup as well to minimize your monthly costs.



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The information, including but not limited to, text, graphics, images and other material contained on this website are for informational purposes only. No material on this site is intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified healthcare provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition or treatment and before undertaking a new health care regimen, and never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website.

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