There are chemicals hiding in many of the products we use every day, and many of them have the potential to cause long-term damage to our health. Specifically, there are many chemicals that actually affect the way our body’s hormones naturally function. These are formally called endocrine disrupters, and the way they affect your hormones can lead to serious diseases and immune system problems. Here are hormone-disrupting chemicals to steer clear of.
BPA is one of the most well-known endocrine disrupters, but unfortunately, it is still present in many products, particularly ones that use plastic. BPA affects your body by mimicking estrogen, which can lead to reproductive problems, breast cancer, and early onset of puberty in young children. Make sure you use a BPA free water bottle and avoid foods in heavy packaging, particularly plastic packaging.
These chemicals are found in a wide variety of beauty and home products, and they’re used primarily as a softener for plastics, or to maintain texture in beauty products. Phalates can disrupt many different systems in the body, causing issues like high blood pressure, diabetes, infertility, and thyroid problems. Unfortunately, they’re difficult to spot, because they often aren’t labeled on the packaging. Avoid products that contain PVC in them, as they typically also contain phthalates.
Dioxin affects sex hormones in both men and women and can lead to infertility, obesity, and even cancer. Dioxin is generated during industrial processes as well as things like forest fires. Animals in the environment absorb it, and then when we eat animal products, we absorb it as well. It’s most commonly found in meat and seafood and can be found in dairy products as well. It’s very difficult to avoid dioxin entirely, but you can limit your consumption by being conscious of your diet.
This chemical is used to kill weeds in the agriculture industry, but unfortunately, it can be very harmful to humans and to the rest of the environment. It disrupts many important hormones, which can lead to issues from birth defects to puberty development problems, all the way to breast cancer and prostate issues. This chemical makes its way into our lives through water sources, so using a water filter is the best way to avoid it.
This is a chemical that is typically used to make fireworks, however, it was only in the last decade that the EPA decided to regulate it. In many places throughout the country, perchlorate is present in drinking water, so it’s important to have a filter on your faucet. While the full extent of perchlorate damage isn’t known yet, it has the potential to cause thyroid issues, as well as developmental problems in babies and children.
These are often referred to as PFCs, and they can cause a variety of issues, including infertility, developmental delays, early onset menopause, and more. One of the most common sources of this chemical is nonstick cookware, but it’s also found in water repellant products.