You might not expect it, but plastics can affect your hormones and how they work in your body. Plastics can contain endocrine disruptors, chemicals that interfere with or mimic our hormones. It is important to be aware of the risks that plastics can pose to your hormonal health. So how are plastics impacting your hormonal health and what are the consequences? Find out in this blog post!
What Do Plastics Contain to Affect Our Hormonal Health?
Plastics contain chemicals called endocrine disruptors. Endocrine disruptors are chemicals that can interfere with or mimic the hormones in our body. When they interfere with our hormones, they can cause problems with development, reproduction, your immune system and brain. The endocrine system refers to the system in your body composed of glands that release your hormones. In a study conducted by the Endocrine Society, 140 chemicals were found in plastics that can be hazardous to human health. Plastics that contain these endocrine disrupting chemicals can also leach them once the plastics are sent to a landfill site, or can release them when the plastics are heated.
Plastics and Your Hormonal Health: Bisphenol A (BPA)
Types of plastics BPA are typically found: BPA is commonly found in plastic water bottles and cans.
What hormones are affected: mimics the hormones estrogen, and can interfere with progesterone and thyroid hormones.
Effects on the body: BPA is thought to cause a number of problems in the body, from affecting reproduction, sperm and ovulation to potentially causing heart conditions, diabetes, weight gain and increasing the risk of breast and prostate cancer while decreasing the effectiveness of chemotherapy for breast cancer.
Plastics and Your Hormonal Health: Phthalates
Types of plastics phthalates are typically found in: Phthalates can be found in plastic wrap, PVC (polyvinyl chloride) plastics, and plastic children’s toys
What hormones are affected: sex hormones.
Effects on the body: Phthalates are expected to affect sperm count and mobility, and also alter the development of genitals. Studies have also linked phthalates to an increased risk of miscarriages and gestational diabetes (diabetes diagnosed during pregnancy).
Plastics and Your Hormonal Health: Per- and Polyfluoroalkyl Substances (PFAS)
Types of plastics Per- and Polyfluoroalkyl Substances are typically found in: PFAS are typically found in fast food containers.
What hormones are affected: sex hormones and insulin-like growth factor hormone.
Effects on the body: It is thought that exposure to PFAS could potentially cause developmental effects in children, affect the likelihood of pregnancy, increase cholesterol levels, impact the immune system and increase the risk of cancer.
Plastics and Your Hormonal Health: UV Stabilizers
Types of plastics UV stabilizers are typically found in: UV stabilizers are added to prevent degradation of a product. They are commonly found in plastic food wrap, plastic water bottles and plastic outdoor furniture.
What hormones are affected: sex hormones and thyroid hormone.
Effects on the body: UV stabilizers can disrupt the functioning of estrogen, testosterone and progesterone, causing problems associated with the sex hormones in the body. It also disrupts the normal functioning of the thyroid hormone.