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Endocrine Disruptors: the Dirty Dozen

The endocrine system is the part of our body that works to regulate homeostasis through hormones. It is essential to nearly all bodily functions including reproduction, digestion, brain development, and the immune response. The brain along with other glands work to keep the balance of the endocrine system in check. However, there are chemicals that can occur naturally or through a synthetic process disrupt the endocrine system of the body.

We are often exposed to these endocrine disruptors and toxins every day through plastic, makeup, detergent, pesticides, food cans, toys, and many more household items.

What are some of these chemicals that mess with our hormones?

  1. Bisphenol A (BPA): A chemical found in plastic-like water bottles or food storage containers. There are plastic water bottles available that are BPA free, make sure to look for the label before purchasing.

  2. Dioxins: Commonly known as an environmental pollutant that can remain in the environment for years following a forest fire or after burning trash.

  3. Perchlorate: This is rocket fuel and who needs that!! A chemical compound found in commercially produced salt and as a byproduct of the weapons, fertilizer, and pharmaceutical industries. Perchlorate has been found in drinking fountains and can often leech into other water sources causing contamination.

  4. Perfluoroalkyl and Polyfluoroalkyl Substances (PFAS): PFAS are found in industrial items such as fire extinguishers, kitchen pans, and food packaging materials. These chemicals are man-made and can interfere with normal reproductive function.

  5. Phthalates: Phthalates are used to make plastics more flexible and durable. They can be found in makeup, toy plastics, and medical devices.

  6. Phytoestrogens: These are naturally occurring substances that can affect hormone activity. These plant-derived substances can alter estrogen levels and are normally found in soy foods like tofu or drinks like soymilk.

  7. Polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDE): PBDE are organic compounds that are present in flame retardants which can be found in furniture and carpets.

  8. Polychlorinated biphenyls (PCB): PCB is a man-made, organic compound that can be found in electrical equipment and hydraulic fluids.

  9. Triclosan: Triclosan is added to products to prevent bacteria from building up. It can be found in antibacterial soap, body wash, and toothpastes.

  10. Atrazine: This herbicide is used to prevent weeds and often found on turfed surfaces like golf courses.

  11. Lead: Lead is a heavy metal that is toxic to humans and animals. It can be found in crumbling old paint or pipes.

  12. Arsenic: Arsenic is an element that can kill you in large amounts, but its actually found in many foods and drinks in small amounts. Small amounts of arsenic can be found in our water system and mess with our body regulation systems

How can you avoid these dangerous chemicals?

In the modern world, it can be difficult to avoid all endocrine disruptors but we can sure take steps to minimize exposure to these disruptors by:

  • Drinking filtered water and use BPA - free drink containers

  • Replacing personal care products with phthalate-free options

  • Keeping your home clean with “green” cleansing solutions and using a vacuum cleaner with a HEPA filter

  • Consuming fresh, organic produce versus canned products (Upload the Environmental Working Group App and use EWG’s Shopper’s Guide to Pesticides in Produce)

  • Eating fewer animal products to cut down dioxin exposure.

  • Cooking with cast iron and avoiding non-stick cookware

Minimizing exposure to and implementing detoxifications a few times per year are great ways to reduce your total toxic load and reduce your chance of acquiring a chronic illness. To learn more about detoxification and to discuss your personalized treatment plan for hormone balance, schedule a free consultation with our provider.

Want more information? Check out these sources.

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