Avoid Endocrine Disturbing Hormones
Task Force Urges Everyone to Proactively Avoid Endocrine-Disrupting Hormones
Based on a review of more than 1,300 studies, an Endocrine Society task force recently issued a new scientific statement on endocrine-disrupting chemicals, noting that the health effects of hormone-disrupting chemicals are such that everyone needs to take proactive steps to avoid them. The statement also calls for improved safety testing to determine which chemicals may cause problems.
The task force, which is made up of doctors who actually treat patients with hormone-related problems, warn that endocrine-disrupting chemicals can have an impact on subsequent generations, and they urge infertility doctors to advise their patients to avoid hormone disruptors to improve their odds of successful conception and a healthy baby. Doctors also need to warn pregnant women and parents of young children about the risks associated with common chemical exposures.
At present, there are some 85,000 chemicals in use in the US, and no one knows exactly how many may act as hormone disruptors as the vast majority of these chemicals have not undergone safety testing. As noted by one of the members of the task force, even if only 1 percent of these chemicals cause hormone disruption, that would equate to about 850 different chemicals, making avoidance difficult. That said, among the chemicals most well-known for their hormone disrupting potential, even at low doses, are:
· BPA/BPS, found in plastics, the lining of canned foods, and cash register receipts
· Phthalates, found in soft plastics, vinyl flooring, perfumes, soaps, shampoos, and cosmetics
· Certain pesticides
· Triclosan, found in a wide array of antimicrobial products, such as soaps and hand sanitizers
Tips to Help You Avoid Toxic Chemicals
Considering all the potential sources of toxic chemicals, it’s virtually impossible to avoid all of them. However, you CAN limit your exposure by keeping a number of key principles in mind.
· Eat a diet focused on locally grown, fresh, and ideally organic whole foods. Processed and packaged foods are a common source of chemicals such as BPA and phthalates. Wash fresh produce well, especially if it’s not organically grown.
· Choose grass-pastured, sustainably raised meats and dairy to reduce your exposure to hormones, pesticides, and fertilizers. Avoid milk and other dairy products that contain the genetically engineered recombinant bovine growth hormone (rBGH or rBST).
· Rather than eating conventional or farm-raised fish, which are often heavily contaminated with PCBs and mercury, supplement with a high-quality krill oil, or eat fish that is wild-caught and lab tested for purity, such as wild caught Alaskan salmon.
· Buy products that come in glass bottles rather than plastic or cans, as chemicals can leach out of plastics (and plastic can linings), into the contents; be aware that even BPA – free plastics ,typically leach other endocrine-disrupting chemicals that are just as bad for you as BPA.
· Store your food and beverages in glass, rather than plastic, and avoid using plastic wrap.
· Use glass baby bottles.
· Replace your non-stick pots and pans with ceramic or glass cookware.
· Filter your tap water for both drinking AND bathing. If you can only afford to do one, filtering your bathing water may be more important, as your skin absorbs contanimants. To remove the endocrine disrupting herbicide Atrazine, make sure your filter is certified to remove it. According to the EWG, perchlorate can be filtered out using a reverse osmosis filter.
· Look for products made by companies that are Earth-friendly, animal-friendly, sustainable, certified organic, and GMO-free. This applies to everything from food and personal care products to building materials, carpeting, paint, baby items, furniture, mattresses, and others.
· Use a vacuum cleaner with a HEPA filter to remove contaminated house dust. This is one of the major routes of exposure to flame retardant chemicals.
· When buying new products such as furniture, mattresses, or carpet padding, consider buying flame retardant free varieties, containing naturally less flammable materials, such as leather, wool, cotton, silk, and Kevlar.
· Avoid stain- and water-resistant clothing, furniture, and carpets to avoid perfluorinated chemicals (PFCs).
· Make sure your baby’s toys are BPA-free, such as pacifiers, teething rings and anything your child may be prone to suck or chew on — even books, which are often plasticized. It’s advisable to avoid all plastic, especially flexible varieties.
· Use natural cleaning products or make your own. Avoid those containing 2-butoxyethanol (EGBE) and methoxydiglycol (DEGME) — two toxic glycol ethers that can compromise your fertility and cause fetal harm.
· Switch over to organic toiletries, including shampoo, toothpaste, antiperspirants, and cosmetics. EWG’s Skin Deep database21 can help you find personal care products that are free of phthlates and other potentially dangerous chemicals.
· Replace your vinyl shower curtain with a fabric one or glass doors.
· Replace feminine hygiene products (tampons and sanitary pads) with safer alternatives.
· Look for fragrance-free products. One artificial fragrances can contain hundreds — even thousands — of potentially toxic chemicals. Avoid fabric softeners and dryer sheets, which contain a mishmash of synthetic chemicals and fragrances.
Spread the Word to Friends And Family By Sharing this Article.
Health and Wellness Associates