What are Endocrine Disrupting Chemicals? What does it mean to me?
Endocrine disrupting chemicals (EDC’s) are chemicals made outside of the body that can block, mimic or otherwise disrupt normal hormone function. This can result in diseases, disorders, and poor health conditions. EDC’s interact with the endocrine system from conception through gestation, birth, puberty and adulthood. We breathe, eat, drink and touch EDC’s every day. Endocrine Disrupting Chemicals are components of plastics, pesticides, flame retardants, fragrances and more. EDC’s are in homes, schools and workplaces such as toys, clothing, cosmetics, sunscreens, electronics, furniture, cleaning products, lawn care, food and food packaging.
How do Endocrine Disrupting Chemicals affect our health?
EDC’s have a wide array of effects on humans and wildlife. Examples include reduced reproductive ability, changes to secondary sex characteristics, certain cancers (breast, ovarian, prostate, and testicular) delayed cognitive development, altered response to stress, increased accumulation to fat and changes to sensitivity to insulin.
Fetal development, early childhood and puberty are critical periods for exposure because events early in life set the stage for how the body responds to the environment throughout life.
In the US the disease burden and cost related to EDC exposure is estimated at $340 billion a year. It is imperative that we take action now to reduce exposure to EDC’s and ensure a healthy environment for future generations. (source: TEDX – The Endocrine Disruption Exchange)
EDC’s are one of the main things I look at in ingredients searching and there are SO many under this umbrella. It’s at the top of my To Avoid List.
The main culprits are:
- BPA (plastics, food storage, canned food, toys, electronics)
- DIOXIN (found in meat and dairy products, bleaching of paper, pesticides, forest fires)
- PHTHALATES (personal care, nail varnish, detergents, adhesives, vinyl, fragrance)
- FIRE RETARDANTS (polyurethane foam, electronics, building insulation, furniture)
- GLYCOL ETHERS (paints, liquid soaps, cosmetics, cleaning products)
- MERCURY (fish, dental fillings)
- LEAD (paint, soil, tap water)
- ARSENIC (tap water)
- PERCHLORATE (tap water)
- ATRAZINE (common herbicide used for crops, found in tap water)