What are endocrine disruptors?
Endocrine disruptors (ED), as the name itself suggests, are certain chemicals that are culpable for disrupting normal function of your endocrine hormones and thereby triggering a number of ailments viz. sturdy growths, diabetes, malignant tumours, birth defects, endometriosis, osteoporosis, etc.
You can find the presence of Endocrine Disruptors in a number of products ranging from pharmaceuticals to personal care and canned foods to industrial goods and therefore the endocrine disruptors interfere with your natural hormones even without your knowledge.
How do Endocrine Disruptors work on you?
Through experiments spanning over 25 years on various animal species and humans researchers conclude that Endocrine Disruptors mimic some of the natural hormones (e.g. oestrogen, thyroxin, androgen etc.) and therefore your body has an overproduction of hormones. Sometimes they even block secretion of your natural hormones due to which your body experiences major imbalance of hormones and become vulnerable to various life threatening diseases.
Following are the ways in which the Endocrine Disruptors can affect your body:
- Change signalling of natural hormones
- Accumulate in the endocrine glands
- Block normal functioning of natural hormones
- Binds with a receptor in your cells and thus prevents the your endogenous hormones from binding
- Mimics natural hormones and thereby prevents their production
- Converts your natural hormones into some other compounds (harmful)
How can you avoid the Dirty Dozens?
Scientists of the Environmental Working Group have listed 12 out of the thousands that should be avoided at all costs. They are:
- BPA– Avoid using polycarbonate plastics, unnecessary cash receipts and processed food. Be alert about foods and other stuff that are labelled as” BPA Free”.
- Dioxin- Limit your consumption of animal protein (eggs, meat, fish and dairy products) as most of the foods produced by the American food supply has high chances of dioxin contamination.
- Atrazine- Buy organic food instead of the canned and frozen ones. Drink filtered atrazine free water.
- Phthalates- Do not buy products made of PVC, plastic or vinyl. Opt for using stainless steel containers for food storage purpose.
- Perchlorate- For purifying your drinking water, use a filter which has reverse osmosis mechanism installed in it.
- Fire Retardants- Choose a vacuum cleaner with HEPA mechanism. Avoid using foam cushions for your furniture. Choose upholstery with “NO added flame retardant chemical” label.
- Lead- Use a water filter which filters out lead from water. Consume fresh and whole foods. Remove your wall paint carefully as it transmits lead dust in air.
- Arsenic– Wash rice repeatedly in water. Drink pure water.
- Organophosphate Pesticides– Grow organic vegetables at home. From the market look for fresh, organic foods.
- Glycol ethers– Make your own room cleaners that are free from methoxydiglycol (DEGME) and 2-butoxyethanol (EGBE).
- Mercury– Limit your consumption of fish. You can keep Alaskan Salmon, Pacific Sardines or Mackarel in your diet.
- Perfluorinated Chemicals– Avoid using non-stick cookware. Make your popcorn in a stove at home instead of buying the packed ones.
Reading this article you have a good idea about the harmful ED and how you can keep yourself and your family away from their harm.
Bring a little change in your lifestyle and see how you change the world around you!