Hello lads, NADS blogman, checking in. Today, we discuss something other than underwear. Yes, wild, I know. Let’s talk about the common sources of chemical exposure in our daily lives. By the end of this, you should have a solid understanding of what the most common types of endocrine disruptors are and some items in which they are most commonly found.
What Are Endocrine Disruptors?
Endocrine disruptors are chemicals that interfere with the normal function of the endocrine system, AKA the bodies hormone control center. Exposure to these chemicals can lead to a variety of health problems, including reproductive disorders, developmental delays, and certain cancers. Most EDC's can be absorbed into the body via inhalation, skin contact,or ingestion.
Unfortunately, endocrine disruptors are found in many everyday items, and people may be exposed to them without even realizing it. Summary: EDC's are hiding in plain sight!
Here is a quick crash course on the most common EDC’s and some items in which they can be found.
Bisphenol A (BPA)
Bisphenol A is a chemical used in the production of plastics and epoxy resins. It is commonly found in:
- Plastic water bottles
- Food containers
- Canned foods
- Receipts (thermal paper)
BPA is particularly concerning because it can leach into food and beverages, leading to ingestion by people who use these products. BPA has been linked to a variety of health problems, including cancer, reproductive disorders, and developmental delays.
Phthalates are a group of chemicals used to make plastics more flexible and durable. They are commonly found in:
- Vinyl flooring
- Shower curtains
- Personal care products (such as shampoo,lotion, deodorant, fragrances)
- Cleaning products
Phthalates can enter the body through ingestion, inhalation, or skin contact, and have been linked to a variety of health problems, including reproductive disorders, developmental delays, and asthma.
Perfluorinated Compounds (PFCs)
Perfluorinated compounds are a group of chemicals used to make products water and stain resistant. They are commonly found in:
- Non-stick cookware (such as Teflon)
- Stain-resistant carpets and upholstery
- ‘Moisture wicking’ clothing
- Food packaging
PFCs are particularly concerning because they are persistent in the environment and can accumulate in the body over time. PFC exposure has been linked to a variety of health problems, including cancer, thyroid disorders, developmental delays, and reproductive issues.
Flame retardants are chemicals added to products to make them less flammable. They are commonly found in:
- Building materials (such as insulation)
- Children's products (such as car seats and strollers)
Flame retardants can enter the body through ingestion, inhalation, or skin contact, and have been linked to a bunch of health problems, including cancer, reproductive disorders, and developmental delays. Seeing the theme here?
How to Reduce Your Exposure to Endocrine Disruptors
Reducing your exposure to endocrine disruptors can be challenging, but there are steps you can take to limit your risk. Here are some tips:
- Choose glass or stainless steel containers for food and beverages instead of plastic
- Avoid using products that contain BPA, such as canned foods and receipts
- Look for personal care products and children's toys that are labeled "phthalate-free"
- Avoid using non-stick cookware and opt for stainless steel or cast iron instead
- Choose furniture and electronics that are free of flame retardants
- Opt for organic product whenever possible: food, textiles, clothing, & more
Endocrine disruptors are a serious concern for human health, and they are unfortunately pretty prevalent in our lives. By being aware of where these chemicals are commonly found and taking steps to reduce your exposure, you can help protect yourself and your family from the harmful effects of endocrine disruptors. Small changes=big results