The dangers of endocrine-disrupting chemicals (EDC) found in plenty of everyday products like plastic, perfume, and even some foods are not something a lot of people are aware of. These chemicals share similar structures with natural hormones like estrogen and androgen. This factor allows them to interfere with reproduction, development, and immune system function.
Exposure to these chemicals in the environment can have significant health effects for both children and adults. The World Health Organization reports that the effects EDCs have on the body's hormonal systems can lead to infertility, obesity, Type 2 diabetes, as well as a variety of other diseases. To make it worse, these effects can also be transmitted to future generations, giving a much bigger emphasis on avoiding EDCs as much as possible.
Identify and avoid
With EDCs present in a wide variety of products, knowing which products they're in and how to avoid them is crucial in staying healthy. Here are 10 effective ways to reduce your exposure to these harmful chemicals.
Drinking water. The water you drink can potentially be contaminated with EDCs like atrazine, arsenic, and glyphosate. Through filtering your water using a high-quality filtration system, this threat can be completely avoided.
Office products. Things like toners, ink cartridges, and other solvents often found in offices are common sources of EDCs. Always handle these products with care to minimize your exposure.
High-mercury fish. Some fish can be contaminated with high levels of mercury and other heavy metals. These metals can disrupt your hormonal balance and even cause memory problems. One should carefully select their seafood by choosing fish known to have low mercury content. Sardines, anchovies, and herring are excellent choices of non-contaminated fish.
Canned goods and nonstick food packaging. The Center for Environmental Health reported that 40 percent of canned foods tested positive for the toxic chemical bisphenol-A (BPA). They are also a source for other EDCs like Bisphenol-S (BPS), a chemical that could impair the development of offspring. Instead of buying in cans and plastic containers, you can opt to purchase products that come in glass bottles and jars.
Household dust. Not keeping your house clean can lead to EDCs. Fire-retardant chemicals are often found lurking among household dust. These are normally shed from treated furniture like couches and mattresses. To combat this, you can buy "green" non-toxic furniture. In addition, you should use a wet mop or rag when cleaning to avoid scattering dust.
Kitchenware. Some plastics may contain BPA and other endocrine-disruptive plastic chemicals that could transfer into your food. Per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) used to create food packaging and water-repellent products can cause reproductive, kidney, and immunological effects. Swap out these products with glass containers, ceramic, and cast iron cookware. These are durable, easy to clean and don't release harmful chemicals into your home.
Cash register receipts. A report by the Environmental Working Group showed that thermal paper receipts contain a measurable amount of BPA. With the rise of paperless receipts via email or text message, this problem can be avoided completely. You should also avoid carrying around receipts in your wallet or pocket as the chemical can transfer over to other surfaces.
Cleaning products. Floor cleaners and other similar cleaning products contain industrial chemicals that can affect your hormones. Many EDCs can also be found in air fresheners. Instead of buying, you can create your own cleaning products using vinegar, baking soda, essential oils, and even coconut oil.
Conventionally grown produce and CAFO meat, poultry, and dairy products. Conventionally grown fruits and vegetables are contaminated with various herbicides, pesticides, and industrial runoff that coat them in EDCs. Furthermore, animals raised on concentrated animal feeding operations (CAFOs) are contaminated by different antibiotics and industrial chemicals that could possibly disrupt your endocrine system. In this case, organic is always the way to go. Organic produce and grass-fed animal produce minimize your exposure to various chemicals while retaining its healthfulness.
Following these safety precautions and finding alternatives to everyday items can go a long way in safeguarding both you and your family from the dangers of EDCs.
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