What is an Endocrine Disrupter?
Endocrine disrupters are harmful chemicals found in everyday products that interfere with our endocrine system. So what exactly is the endocrine system and how can you avoid chemicals that harm one of the most important systems in our bodies?
*This post contains affiliate links
What is the Endocrine System?
In normal human terms, the endocrine system is a bunch of glands that produce many different kinds of hormones to keep our body’s functioning. The endocrine system is made up of the pituitary gland, thyroid glands, parathyroid glands, the ovaries, testicles and a few other important glands (sorry, I don’t have all day).
These glands affect almost every organ in the body and are in charge of cell growth. By using harmful chemicals that disrupt these glands we are really harming ourselves.
What are Endocrine Disrupters and What do They do?
Endocrine disruptors are chemicals (and some natural occurring substances) that can be found in cleaning supplies, plastic bottles, pesticides, cosmetics, perfumes, lotions, shampoos, and more.
But which chemicals are endocrine disrupters?
There are so many there would be no way I could list them all in one small article so I will give you the top 12 worst endocrine disrupters (dubbed by EWG.org):
- BPA – Found in plastics and cans
- Dioxin – Herbicide found in animal products
- Atrazine – Herbicide mostly found in corn and drinking water
- Phthalates – Found in plastics and fragrances
- Perchlorate – Herbicide (rocket fuel!!) found in drinking water
- Fire Retardants – This is literally everywhere: beds, carpet, couches, pillows, etc.
- Lead – Found in old paint and drinking water
- Arsenic – Found in drinking water
- Mercury – Found in seafood, amalgam fillings, and some immunizations
- Perfluorinated Chemicals – Found in non-stick cookware
- Organophosphate Pesticides – Found on non-organic produce
- Glycol Ethers – Found in paint, cosmetics, cleaning products and more
What can all of these things do to you?
These chemicals can get into your body in many different ways. Perfluorinated Chemicals leach into you food when you cook with non-stick pans. BPA gets into your bottled water and into your food when you store it in plastic containers. If you have mercury fillings then mercury is leaking into your body and ruining cells (your dentist will tell you this is not true, but there is way too much proof to deny this). You breath in glycol ethers every time you clean and your skin absorbs it in cosmetics.
Each of these chemicals have different effects but in short, endocrine disruptors can cause birth defects, miscarriage, cancer, obesity, decreased sperm quality, delayed puberty, thyroid irregularity, neurological issues, kidney disease, blood abnormalities, endometriosis, and so much more.
Do you really want these chemicals getting in your body? I don’t think so.
How Can You Avoid Endocrine Disrupters?
First, start by removing the top 12 endocrine disruptors from your life. And by remove them I mean RUN from them!
Write down the chemical names on a small note card and put it in your purse so that when you are out shopping you know exactly what you should not buy! Become more educated about other endocrine disruptors and toxic chemicals in your home.
Here are some household products that do not have endocrine disrupters to help get you started:
- Stainless Steel Pans or Ceramic Pans – I have not tried these brands, but they look like good quality pans for good prices!
- Glass Water Bottles
- Glass Food Storage Containers – My husband and replaced all of our plastic containers with these and they are AMAZING! You can freeze them, bake them, and microwave them and they don’t have any plastic chemicals.
- Berkey Water Filter – I love my Berkey and rest knowing that I am not drinking any harmful chemicals!
- Castile Soap – This can be used to clean toilets, wash dishes, wash hands, hair, body etc. I love this stuff! The best part is is that it’s just soap!
What steps are you going to take to remove endocrine disrupters from your home?