(Endocrine disrupters)

Some chemicals are very harmful to the endocrine system and disturb our biological cycles, leading to hormonal imbalances. As a result, we see a negative impact not only on reproductive health and increased risks of developing neurological diseases, obesity and cancer. These bad guys are known as endocrine disrupters.

Endocrine disrupters are traces of modern life and can be found in almost everything around us, from personal care and cleaning products to canned food and furniture. These chemicals with hormonal activity can exert their effects through:

   - mimicking the biological activity of a natural hormone;

  - interfering with the biochemical processes in your body

    Unfortunately, is practically impossible to completely eliminate endocrine disrupters from your life. However, you can significantly reduce the chemical load on yourself by limiting the use of the most dangerous disruptors. Here are five notoriously dangerous endocrine disrupters you don't want to mess around with.


    1. BPA (bisphenol A) is used in the production of polycarbonate plastics, including plastic tableware and some toys. BPA epoxy resins are used to line food cans. To limit exposure to BPA, look out for products with plastic-free packaging. Most payment receipts are also made from BPA-coated thermal paper, so we suggest asking for an electronic one. 


    1. Dioxins are substances formed during the combustion of industrial waste. Dioxins primarily contaminate animal foods, so eating less meat can reduce your exposure to this chemical.


    1. Atrazine is a herbicide widely used by corn farmers. Like many other pesticides and herbicides, this endocrine disruptor also finds its way into our water supply. The best way to avoid exposure to atrazine is to buy organic products and install a drinking water filter.


    1. Mercury is a naturally-occurring element, found in air, water and soil. Even minor exposure to mercury can cause serious health problems. The best way to avoid it is to eat safe and sustainable seafood. You can check out Monterey Bay Aquarium Seafood Watch Pocket Guide for more tips on seafood consumption. 


    1. Lead overexposure may negatively affect major organs and systems of our body and children aged 6 and younger are particularly vulnerable to it. The Environmental Protection Agency lists ways to avoid lead exposure, which include inspecting and maintaining painted surfaces to prevent deterioration, regularly decluttering exhaust screens or faucet aerators, and frequently washing hands and toys.




    De Coster S, van Larebeke N. Endocrine-disrupting chemicals: associated disorders and mechanisms of action. Journal of Environmental and Public Health Article, 2012; 52.



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