THE SCARY WORLD OF ENDOCRINE DISRUPTORS


Image from Huffington Post

I want to talk to you about something more science-y today, but it is incredibly important so I hope you’ll stick with me! You have probably heard of BPA by now, as we’ve been told to buy BPA-free water bottles and canned items, after it was linked to everything from hormone-related breast and prostate cancers to polycystic ovarian syndrome and early puberty. The issue has gotten some pretty good press, but the scary thing is… BPA is only one of hundreds of chemicals that can interfere with our hormonal systems and most people have no idea they’re being exposed to them every day.

What the heck are Endocrine Disruptors?

Endocrine-disrupting chemicals (EDCs) are chemicals that interfere with our hormone production and delivery. They can increase or decrease the production of certain hormones, imitate hormones, turn one hormone into another, and interfere with hormone signaling. Long story short, they make an enormous and sometimes dangerous mess.

We’re going to get into where we find most of these troublesome chemicals shortly, but I first want to start with why you should care. Endocrine disruptors have been associated with altered reproductive function in both men and women, including infertility, increased incidence of breast cancer, prostate cancer, endometriosis, liver cancer, osteoporosis, thyroid disorders, immune disorders, Parkinson’s symptoms, abnormal growth patterns and neurodevelopment delays in children, as well as other dangerous effects.

Exposure happens through the food we eat, the env