What does the endocrine system do and what are endocrine disruptors?

From OVERLOAD: America’s Toxic Love Story

Sometimes radical change can be good, but that’s not what our body needs when it comes to hormones that regulate our development, metabolism, reproductive health, sex drive, sleep patterns and senses.

Research over the last 2 decades connects endocrine disruptors to many health problems including low sperm count, obesity and diabetes, neurological impacts, breast cancer, endometriosis, female reproductive disorders, immune disorders, liver cancer, osteoporosis, Parkinson’s symptoms, prostate cancer, and thyroid disorders.

Endocrine disruptors are found in many everyday products, including plastic bottles and containers, liners of metal food cans, receipt papers, detergents, flame retardants, food, toys, cosmetics, and pesticides.  

Think about how many times per day, you come in contact with these common exposure routes:

  • BPA — food storage containers, metal cans, receipt paper
  • Organophosphates — the most widely used pesticides, insecticides and herbicides commonly found in agriculture, homes, gardens, and veterinary practices
  • Perchlorate — an industrial by-product found in drinking water
  • PFAS — non-stick pans and textile coatings
  • Phthalates — makes plastics more flexible (like vinyl), found in food packaging, cosmetics, children’s toys, and medical devices
  • PBDE — flame retardants for household products such as furniture foam and carpets

This is where small changes can add up

Ditch the vinyl toys for pure rubber or hard plastic options (or better yet solid wood), pass up taking receipts (have them put directly in the bag or get them emailed to you if that’s an option), filter your water, buy organic produce listed on the Dirty Dozen, and buy furniture (especially for children, like car seats, mattresses and gliders) without flame retardants.

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