Endocrine disruptors. If you haven’t heard of them, it’s worth a Google. We are exposed to over 80,000 chemicals every day. Of this large number, it is estimated that around 1,000 may interfere with the body’s carefully regulated hormonal system. These chemicals can be found in beauty and skincare products, in cleaning sprays, and even your kitchenware.
But there’s no need to panic. We’ve made it a bit easier for you to figure out how to avoid endocrine disruptors.
First, What Are Endocrine Disruptors?
As women’s health writer Chloe Burcham writes, “Your endocrine system i.e. the system in which all of your hormones are secreted into the blood, is affected by everyday toxins and pollutants. These pollutants trick our hormones into acting in different ways than they’re naturally supposed to behave — and so they’re called ‘endocrine disruptors’. These changes to your hormones can cause anything from irregular periods, hormonal breakouts and (in very extreme cases) birth defects, illnesses and cancer.”
Opt for Plastic-Free
Swap your plastic food containers and water bottles for stainless steel or glass. Take advantage of digital receipts and boarding passes, as the printed versions of these documents are commonly coated with the toxic contaminant BPA, an endocrine disruptor.
Buy Organic and Sustainably-Sourced
Buy organic, grass-fed, free-range, and wild-caught whenever possible to avoid ingesting excess hormones that are often used in non-organic farming practices. Choose fresh food over canned goods, which can contain the endocrine-disrupting chemical BPA.
Clean Up Your Beauty Routine
Read your labels! Steer clear of products that include parabens, triclosan, and phthalates. Opt for fragrance-free formulas, as they are less likely to contain a cocktail of hidden ingredients.
Invest in a Quality Water Filter
Quality water filters, such as those that use reverse osmosis, can effectively minimize harmful contaminants that have leached into your tap water. Pro tip: make sure your water filter is also BPA-free.
Tidy Up Your Cleaning Products
Avoid products made with triclosan (commonly found in soaps), glycol ethers, and cyclosiloxanes which have been linked to hormone imbalance. Invest in a HEPA-filtered vacuum, which can reduce the amount of harmful chemicals accumulating in your home.
Don’t Put Plastic in the Dishwasher
A dishwasher's heat can cause harmful chemicals such as phthalates and BPA to leach from plastics that contain them. The best option is to hand wash anything plastic, but if you don’t have time for that, place them on the top rack away from the heating source.