Updated: Feb 10
You may have heard about the male frog whose anatomy turned to female after being exposed to a pesticide. This story begs the question- if pesticides are doing this to frogs, what are they doing to our reproductive systems?
As a woman, it’s important to have a basic understanding of endocrine disruptors and the potentially harmful effects they can have on your body. Endocrine disruptors are chemicals that can interfere with the function of our hormones, and can be found in many everyday items such as food, cosmetics and household products. In this blog post, we’ll take a look at what endocrine disruptors are, where you might find them, and how you can avoid them. And keep in mind- it's impossible to avoid them completely (unless you live in a bubble!), but taking small steps to lower your exposure can have a big impact on your hormonal health!
What Are Endocrine Disruptors?
Endocrine disruptors are chemicals that can mimic or interfere with the function of our hormones. They are usually found in everyday products such as food, cosmetics, cleaning products and even pesticides used on crops. These chemicals come from different sources including non-natural materials like plastics or synthetic compounds used in manufacturing processes. In addition to these artificial sources, some natural substances (such as phytoestrogens) may also act as hormone disruptors.
Some of the most common and harmful endocrine disruptors include:
BPA (bisphenol A)
Where Can You Find Endocrine Disruptors?
Endocrine disruptors can be found in many places throughout your home and kitchen. For instance, certain plastic containers may contain BPA (bisphenol A), which is an artificial chemical often used to make plastics stronger and more durable but is also known to act as an endocrine disrupter. Other common items that may contain endocrine-disrupting chemicals include canned foods (which often contain bisphenol S or BPS), flame retardants used on furniture upholstery or mattresses, and perfumes or fragrances which contain phthalates. Lastly, some insecticides and herbicides used in farming may also cause endocrine disruption when ingested by humans through fruits or vegetables grown with the use of these chemicals.
Public water supply also contains many contaminants (for example, Houston water supply has arsenic and chloroform in it), so it's best to get a high-quality water filter or have spring water delivered to your home. You can check what contaminants are in your water by using this EWG search.
How To Avoid Endocrine Disruptors
The best way to avoid exposure to endocrine disrupting chemicals is to become aware of the potential sources they come from and make conscious decisions about which products you allow into your home. Where possible opt for organic produce over conventionally farmed produce; this will help reduce your exposure to agricultural pesticides which could be acting as hormone disrupters if consumed regularly over time. When using plastic containers for storage purposes choose those labelled ‘BPA-free’ where possible; this means that no bisphenols have been added during production so there is less chance of them leaching into food stored in the container over time. Additionally try to limit your exposure to fragranced products like perfumes or air fresheners; often these fragrances contain phthalates which could cause hormonal disturbances if used regularly over time.
Endocrine disruptors are everywhere - but knowing what they are, where they come from and how you can avoid them will help protect your health from any long term harm caused by these potentially harmful substances! By becoming aware of potential sources of endocrinological disruption within your own home you are taking steps towards ensuring your overall health is kept safe! With a little bit of research you should be able to identify potential sources of disruption within your own environment - ultimately giving you more control over what enters your body!
And remember- you can't completely avoid them, but you can make small changes over time to help reduce exposure to them.
There are also a lot of ways to help your body detox better to push out toxins- read my blog post, How to Detox & Support Hormonal Health for more info on this!