We’ve talked a lot this week about endocrine disruptors and how they impact our hormone health, so now we want to discuss how to avoid them and offer you some tips on how to reduce the presence of endocrine disruptors in your home! Keep reading to learn more about it!
Reducing the Presence of Endocrine Disruptors: Microwave in glass bowls
A lot of food packaging can contain endocrine disruptors that are released when the packaging is heated up. An example of this is in the lining of popcorn packets. Also, many food containers are labelled as microwave safe, meaning that they will not catch fire or melt upon being heated, but they might still release endocrine disruptors into your food. To avoid these risks, it is useful to always microwave food in glass containers.
Reducing the Presence of Endocrine Disruptors: Check the BPA number on water bottles
Plastic water bottles carry a small triangle on their packaging that displays a number. This number refers to the potential BPA that the bottle may contain. Bottles with the numbers 1,2,4,5,6 most likely do not contain any BPA. Those marked with the numbers 3 and 7 pose the most risk of containing BPA, so avoid those.
Reducing the Presence of Endocrine Disruptors: Find alternatives to plastic
A large variety of plastic products can contain endocrine disruptors, from food packaging to children’s toys and outdoor furniture, so when it is possible, try to choose alternatives. Rather than plastic food containers, choose glass or stainless steel. Many alternatives exist to the popular plastics, so make sure that before you buy the plastic, research the suitable alternatives.
Reducing the Presence of Endocrine Disruptors: Wash your hands
Simple but effective. Our hands can pick up a lot of things throughout the day, so it can be important to rinse and wash any chemicals that have gathered on your hands down the drain.
Reducing the Presence of Endocrine Disruptors: Limit canned foods
Endocrine disrupting chemicals, such as BPA, are commonly found in the cans of canned food in order to preserve the packaging. Choosing fresh or frozen food is a safe alternative to canned foods and can help you avoid the potential danger of endocrine disruptors in the packaging.
Reducing the Presence of Endocrine Disruptors: Remove dust by vacuuming often
Many items in our households may contain these endocrine disruptors and we may not even know which items are exposing us. This is why it is important to not let dust build up and vacuum often to remove any endocrine disrupting chemicals that might have built up. Another important tip is to use a vacuum cleaner with a HEPA filter that allows the dust and harmful particles to be trapped, rather than blown around your house. Also, if you decide to dust, make sure that you use a wet cloth to increase effectiveness.
Reducing the Presence of Endocrine Disruptors: Read labels
If you are aware of what ingredients and chemicals are harmful to your body and are known as endocrine disruptors, then always read the packaging or label of the product that you are buying. Endocrine disrupting chemicals can be found in a wide variety of products, from cosmetics to soap to cleaning products and food, so a great habit is to always examine what you are buying. The Environmental Working Group also has a number of great and useful databases to ensure that you are purchasing the right products: Skin Deep Cosmetics Database, BPA Product List, Food Scores and Shoppers Guide to Pesticides in Produce.
Reducing the Presence of Endocrine Disruptors: Avoid fragrance
Fragrance in products, such as cleaning products, is not necessary and this means that a host of ingredients are just added for the smell. This gives rise to the potential of added harmful chemicals that are unnecessary for the primary function of the product. For example, phthalates are commonly found in fragranced products.
Reducing the Presence of Endocrine Disruptors: Filter Your Water
Tap water has the potential for containing harmful endocrine disrupting chemicals that have leaked into the source. To make sure that your drinking water is safe, it may be useful to purchase an effective water filter. Again, the Environmental Working Group has a great resource for researching the best option: EWG’s Water Filter Guide.
How Endocrine Disruptors Are Threatening the Future of Humanity
Endocrine disruptors can have a number of health effects on our bodies, but how are they threatening the future of humanity? Endocrine disruptors can be found in plastics, furniture, cleaning products, soaps and more…what toll does this have on all of us? What effects do these endocrine disruptors have on reproduction and development to the extent that they threaten the future of humanity? Keep reading this blog post to find out more!
How Endocrine Disruptors Are Threatening the Future of Humanity: Sperm Count and Mobility
A number of endocrine disruptors are expected to cause low sperm count and mobility. These include both BPA and phthalates. The negative effects on sperm are caused by the endocrine disruptors affecting sex hormones, particularly testosterone. In a study carried out on men working in factories, one group being exposed to BPA, the group exposed were four times more likely to have lowered sperm counts and twice as likely to have poor sperm mobility. Phthalates can cause lower sperm quality as they can lead the body into thinking that it has more testosterone than it actually does. This leads to a decreased production of testosterone and subsequently, lower sperm count.
How Endocrine Disruptors Are Threatening the Future of Humanity: Genital Development
Along with causing low sperm count and mobility, phthalates are also thought to interfere with the development of genitals. The disruption in development usually occurs in boys and common changes include a shortened distance between the anus and penis, testicles that do not descend, and also changes in the testicles that affect their function. These effects are caused by phthalates interference with sex hormones.
How Endocrine Disruptors Are Threatening the Future of Humanity: Ovulation, Menstruation and Infertility
Phthalates cause a number of issues when it comes to reproduction, and affecting egg quality is another one. Studies have also shown that high levels of phthalates cause a disruption in menstruation, ovulation, increase in the risk of endometriosis, longer conception times and even potential infertility. Exposure to high phthalate levels can also decrease the chances of IVF being successful and can cause adverse pregnancy outcomes. Per- and Polyfluoroalkyl Substances also decrease the likelihood of pregnancy.
How Endocrine Disruptors Are Threatening the Future of Humanity: Miscarriage
Phthalates are also thought to increase the risk of miscarriage, along with BPA. A study revealed that patients with high BPA levels had an 83% increased chance of miscarriage compared to women with low levels of BPA. Per- and Polyfluoroalkyl substances are also thought to increase the risk of miscarriage.
How Endocrine Disruptors Are Threatening the Future of Humanity: Gestational Diabetes, Heart Disease and Cancer
Along with endocrine disrupting chemicals causing reproductive problems, they can also cause developmental problems too. BPA has been researched and is thought to increase the risk of heart disease and both breast and prostate cancer. Per- and Polyfluoroalkyl Substances may also increase the risk of cancer, while phthalates are expected to increase the chances of gestational diabetes (diagnosed while in the womb).