What Are They and What do They Mean for Your Health?
‘Endocrine disruptors’ are man-made chemicals that can mimic our natural hormones in the body – particularly oestrogen. There has been some exposure in the media recently on the potential damage these nasties have on the health of a living organism: have a look at the following ABC news item explaining how some herbicides are having a profound effect on our amphibious species – www.abc.net.au – they are changing sex! This phenomenon has also been noted in the Great Lakes U.S.A. where a vast amount of pesticide residue finds its way into these closed waterways, resulting in some fish species turning female.
So what relevance has this to you, you might ask. Plenty! There are an inordinate amount of chemicals utilised by many different manufacturers that have taken on the philosophy of ‘innocent until proven guilty’. Unfortunately, the number of these chemicals flooding the market on a yearly basis is far too vast for the FDA to check in depth. This results in the unfortunate public bearing the brunt of the health effects.
Endocrine disruptors displace oestrogen on receptor sites on the body – they bind to these receptors and stimulate growth. These receptor sites are found in particularly large numbers in breast, vaginal and uterine tissues. But are also scattered elsewhere throughout the body. So it begs the question … if these disruptors stimulate growth and cancer is unmitigated growth of tissue, what are they doing in our daily lives?
Many chemicals have been identified as endocrine disruptors, here are a few. This list is by no means complete:
- Phthalates – are plastic softeners and are used in a vast number of consumables utilised on a daily basis, from furniture to car interiors to carpet to plastic ware. They are also added to almost all perfumes to make the scent last longer and to hairspray and gels to make these products ‘stickier’.
- Parabens – are additives added to almost every personal care product on the market today to prevent microorganisms growing.
- Plastics such as BPA – this is a particularly nasty one as this is the one still used in babies’ bottles in Australia (it has been banned in Canada)
- Certain herbicides and pesticides utilised in the food industry.
PROBLEMS ASSOCIATED WITH REGULAR EXPOSURE:
Endometriosis, infertility, (as providers of natural fertility treatment in Brisbane we frequently experience this symptom), breast, ovarian, prostate and testicular cancers, low sperm count, liver toxicity, immune concerns, obesity.
WHAT CAN I DO TO DECREASE MY EXPOSURE?
Stay away from the chemicals as much as possible!
- Buy organic personal care products (including washing powder – this is against your skin 24 hrs per day).
- Buy organic food where possible; wash all fruit and vegetables well with an approved veggie wash and water.
- Be particularly vary of non organic chicken – these poor animals are pumped full of endocrine disruptors to stimulate growth.
- If you have a new car, drive with the windows down – that lovely new car smell is actually phthalates ‘gassing off’ – don’t stew in a toxic air soup with the air con on, particularly if it is on recycle.
- Avoid plastic – stick to glass or stainless steel: this includes, beverage containers – DO NOT re-use clear water bottles. If you enjoy a daily take away coffee, buy your own insulated stainless mug (make certain it is not plastic lined). Feed your baby from a glass bottle. Store your food in glass or ceramic/china. There are many stainless products on the market designed specifically for babies. Don’t forget, babies are of particular risk here due to the nature of their rapidly growth, smaller bodies.
- Come and speak to us – this is a very important topic, and we can help you turn your life back on to a more natural path! Take advantage of our free Health Assessment offer.