It seems like everywhere we turn, science is telling us hormone disruptors are dangerous and can hurt our health. But let’s back up. What exactly IS a hormone disruptor, what are the problems associated with them, and is there anything we can do to really to minimize our exposure?
Let's break it down.
What are hormone disruptors?
According to the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences, hormone disruptors (or endocrine disruptors) are “chemicals that can interfere with the endocrine system and produce adverse effects in laboratory animals, wildlife and humans.”
Proper functioning of our endocrine system keeps our bodies in balance, regulates organ function and ensures proper growth and development. When absorbed into the body, endocrine disruptors can actually change, block, mimic and/or alter our natural hormones. (Yikes!)
Why should you care?
When our endocrine systems are compromised, it puts us at risk for health concerns and diseases including infertility, neurotoxicity, certain cancers, autoimmune disorders, endometriosis and even diabetes and obesity.
Where can you find hormone disruptors?
These chemicals can be in products that we come in contact with everyday including pesticides plastics, flame retardants, toys, personal care and cleaning products ... even our food and water. Some are even naturally occurring such as those found in soy-derived products. Hormone disruptors can be absorbed through ingestion or through the skin. While it's impossible to completely avoid hormone disruptors, here are some simple changes you can make to minimize exposure.