Endocrine Disrupting Chemicals EDCs
- Endocrine disruptors
- Toxic Chemicals used in Plastics and Household goods
- Toxic Chemicals used in Industrial Processes
- Toxic Chemicals used in Agriculture - Herbicides and Pesticides
- Banned Toxic Chemicals - Still need to protect yourself
What are Endocrine disruptors
Good water filter Reviews
Buy organic produce and avoid pesticides
- See EWG’s Shopper’s Guide to Pesticides in Produce, which can help you find the fruits and vegetables that have the fewest pesticide residues.
- SRC Dirty Dozen Endocrine Disruptors | EWG
- Endocrine disruptor - Wikipedia
- Endocrine-Disrupting Chemicals EDCs | Endocrine Society
Toxic Chemicals used in Plastics and Household goods
BPAs is a synthetic hormone added to plastics to harden them up, so used to make eg water bottles with very thin plastic.
Evidence on harms
However these imitate the sex hormone estrogen in your body and trick the body into thinking it’s the real thing.
BPA has been linked to everything from breast and others cancers to reproductive problems, obesity, early puberty and heart disease, and according to government tests, 93 percent of Americans have BPA in their bodies!
One of the best things to do is to get rid of "OLD" plastics esp. cooking dishes made before recent new firm controls.
Go fresh instead of canned – many food cans are lined with BPA – or research which companies don’t use BPA or similar chemicals in their products.
Say no to receipts, since thermal paper is often coated with BPA.
Avoid plastics marked with a “PC,” for polycarbonate, or recycling label #7. Not all of these plastics contain BPA, but many do – and it’s better safe than sorry when it comes to keeping synthetic hormones out of your body.
For more tips, check out: www.ewg.org/bpa/
Common uses are in plastic food containers, plastic food wraps made from PVC and kids toys.
Evidence on harms
Studies have shown that chemicals called phthalates can trigger what’s known as “death-inducing signaling” - specific signal programs cells in our bodies to die? It’s totally normal and healthy for 50 billion cells in your body to die every day!
Phthalates harms testicular cells, making them die earlier than they should.
Studies have linked phthalates to hormone changes, lower sperm count, less mobile sperm, birth defects in the male reproductive system, obesity, diabetes and thyroid irregularities.
Avoid plastic food containers
Used in children’s toys (some phthalates are already banned in kid’s products)
Avoid plastic wrap made from PVC, which has the recycling label #3.
Some personal care products also contain phthalates, so read the labels and avoid products that simply list added “fragrance,” since this catch-all term sometimes means hidden phthalates.
Find phthalate-free personal care products with EWG’s Skin Deep Database
Perfluorinated chemicals PFCs
The perfluorinated chemicals used to make non-stick cookware can stick to you. Perfluorochemicals are so widespread and extraordinarily persistent that 99 percent of Americans have these chemicals in their bodies. One particularly notorious compound called PFOA has been shown to be “completely resistant to biodegradation.” In other words, PFOA doesn’t break down in the environment – ever. That means that even though the chemical was banned after decades of use, it will be showing up in people’s bodies for countless generations to come. This is worrisome, since PFOA exposure has been linked to decreased sperm quality, low birth weight, kidney disease, thyroid disease and high cholesterol, among other health issues. Scientists are still figuring out how PFOA affects the human body, but animal studies have found that it can affect thyroid and sex hormone levels.
Skip non-stick pans - the teflon,etc. coatings have perfluorinated chemicals - while non-stick cookware is convenient - it can stick to you forever.
Skip stain and water-resistant coatings on clothing, furniture and carpets.
Neurotoxic organophosphate compounds created by the Nazis were produced in huge quantities for chemical warfare during World War II were luckily never used.
After the war ended, American scientists used the same chemistry to develop a long line of pesticides that target the nervous systems of insects.
Despite many studies linking organophosphate exposure to effects on brain development, behavior and fertility, they are still among the more common pesticides in use today.
A few of the many ways that organophosphates can affect the human body include interfering with the way testosterone communicates with cells, lowering testosterone and altering thyroid hormone levels.
- Buy organic produce and avoid pesticides
These incredibly persistent chemicals, known as polybrominated diphenyl ethers or PBDEs, have since been found to contaminate the bodies of people and wildlife around the globe – even polar bears.
While several kinds of PBDEs have now been phased out, this doesn’t mean that toxic fire retardants have gone away. PBDEs are incredibly persistent, so they’re going to be contaminating people and wildlife for decades to come.
Evidence on harms
In 1999, some Swedish scientists studying women’s breast milk discovered something totally unexpected: The milk contained an endocrine-disrupting chemical found in fire retardants, and the levels had been doubling every five years since 1972!
These chemicals can imitate thyroid hormones in our bodies and disrupt their activity. That can lead to lower IQ, among other significant health effects.
It’s virtually impossible, but passing better toxic chemical laws that require chemicals to be tested before they go on the market would help reduce our exposure. A few things that can you can do in the meantime include: use a vacuum cleaner with a HEPA filter, which can cut down on toxic-laden house dust; avoid reupholstering foam furniture; take care when replacing old carpet (the padding underneath may contain PBDEs). Find more tips at: www.ewg.org/pbdefree/
Toxic Chemicals used in Industrial Processes
Dioxins are multi-taskers and form during many industrial processes when chlorine or bromine are burned in the presence of carbon and oxygen.
Evidence on harms
Dioxins can disrupt the delicate ways that both male and female sex hormone signaling occurs in the body. This is a bad with complex cascading impacts.
Recent research has shown that exposure to low levels of dioxin in the womb and early in life can both permanently affect sperm quality and lower the sperm count in men during their prime reproductive years.
Dioxins are very long-lived, build up both in the body and in the food chain, are powerful carcinogens and can also affect the immune and reproductive systems.
That’s pretty difficult, since the ongoing industrial release of dioxin has meant that the American food supply is widely contaminated. Products including meat, fish, milk, eggs and butter are most likely to be contaminated, but you can cut down on your exposure by eating fewer animal products.
Glycol Ethers - solvents and Chemicals
Shrunken testicles is one thing that happened to rats exposed to glycol ethers, which are common solvents in paints, cleaning products, brake fluid and cosmetics.
The EU has declared some of these chemicals “may damage fertility or the unborn child.” Studies of painters have linked exposure to certain glycol ethers to blood abnormalities and lower sperm counts. And children who were exposed to glycol ethers from paint in their bedrooms had substantially more asthma and allergies.
Avoid products with ingredients such as 2-butoxyethanol (EGBE) and methoxydiglycol (DEGME).
- Be smarter about cleaning See EWG’s Guide to Healthy Cleaning
Perchlorate, a component in rocket fuel, contaminates much of our produce and milk, according to government test data.
Evidence on harms
When perchlorate gets into your body it competes with the nutrient iodine, which the thyroid gland needs to make thyroid hormones.
Basically, this means that if you ingest too much of it you can end up altering your thyroid hormone balance. This is important because it’s these hormones that regulate metabolism in adults and are critical for proper brain and organ development in infants and young children.
You can reduce perchlorate in your drinking water by installing a reverse osmosis filter.
As for food, it’s pretty much impossible to avoid perchlorate, but you can reduce its potential effects on you by making sure you are getting enough iodine in your diet. Eating iodized salt is one good way.
Toxic Chemicals used in Agriculture - Herbicides and Pesticides
A highly toxic chemicals which was released in nature and very dangerous in small quantities.
Atrazine is widely used on the majority of corn crops in the United States, and consequently it’s a pervasive drinking water contaminant.
Evidence on harms
Atrazine has been shown to induce feminization of male frogs - exposure to even low levels of the herbicide atrazine can turn male frogs into females that produce completely viable eggs.
Atrazine has been linked to breast tumors, delayed puberty and prostate inflammation in animals, and some research has linked it to prostate cancer in people.
Buy organic produce and get a drinking water filter certified to remove atrazine.
Banned Toxic Chemicals - Still need to protect yourself
You may or may not like heavy metal music, but lead is one heavy metal you want to avoid. It’s well known that lead is toxic, especially to children. Lead harms almost every organ system in the body and has been linked to a staggering array of health effects, including permanent brain damage, lowered IQ, hearing loss, miscarriage, premature birth, increased blood pressure, kidney damage and nervous system problems. But few people realize that one other way that lead may affect your body is by disrupting your hormones. In animals, lead has been found to lower sex hormone levels. Research has also shown that lead can disrupt the hormone signaling that regulates the body’s major stress system (called the HPA axis). You probably have more stress in your life than you want, so the last thing you need is something making it harder for your body to deal with it – especially when this stress system is implicated in high blood pressure, diabetes, anxiety and depression.
Keep your home clean and well maintained. Crumbling old paint is a major source of lead exposure, so get rid of it carefully. A good water filter can also reduce your exposure to lead in drinking water. (Check out www.ewg.org/report/ewgs-water-filter-buying-guide/ for help finding a filter.) And if you need another reason to eat better, studies have also shown that children with healthy diets absorb less lead.
Arsenic isn’t just for murder mysteries anymore. In fact, this toxin is lurking in your food and drinking water. If you eat enough of it, arsenic will kill you outright. In smaller amounts, arsenic can cause skin, bladder and lung cancer. Basically, bad news. Less well known: Arsenic messes with your hormones! Specifically, it can interfere with normal hormone functioning in the glucocorticoid system that regulates how our bodies process sugars and carbohydrates. What does that mean for you? Well, disrupting the glucocorticoid system has been linked to weight gain/loss, protein wasting, immunosuppression, insulin resistance (which can lead to diabetes), osteoporosis, growth retardation and high blood pressure.
Reduce your exposure by using a water filter that lowers arsenic levels.
Caution: That sushi you are eating could be hazardous to your health. Mercury, a naturally occurring but toxic metal, gets into the air and the oceans primarily though burning coal. Eventually, it can end up on your plate in the form of mercury-contaminated seafood. Pregnant women are the most at risk from the toxic effects of mercury, since the metal is known to concentrate in the fetal brain and can interfere with brain development. Mercury is also known to bind directly to one particular hormone that regulates women’s menstrual cycle and ovulation, interfering with normal signaling pathways. In other words, hormones don’t work so well when they’ve got mercury stuck to them! The metal may also play a role in diabetes, since mercury has been shown to damage cells in the pancreas that produce insulin, which is critical for the body’s ability to metabolize sugar.
For people who still want to eat (sustainable) seafood with lots of healthy fats but without a side of toxic mercury, wild salmon and farmed trout are good choices.