By: @curawellness.co, www.curawellness.co
Endocrine Disrupting Chemicals (EDCs) are chemicals that mimic, inhibit, and/or interfere with the normal functioning of our body’s natural hormones within the endocrine system. EDCs act by sending false signals to your hormone receptor cells which disrupt the normal programing of your hormones. The endocrine system is a network of glands/organs that produce hormones required to regulate and maintain normal bodily functions. These processes are coordinated by chemical messengers which coordinate complex physiological processes such as metabolism, appetite, development, cognitive function, fertility, behaviour, memory, and immunity.
Research has shown that hormone disruptors can harm our health, specifically implicating growth and development, reproduction, birth defects, neurological conditions, immunity and metabolism. Considering how vital our hormonal health and endocrine system is, it’s important to ensure we make necessary choices to minimize our exposure to EDCs.
EDCs are found in many everyday products including personal care products, plastic bottles/containers, the lining of metal food cans, detergents, deodorants/perfumes, food, cosmetics, and pesticides.
List of Common EDCs
- Preservatives (parabens, detergents)
- Solvents (BPA, BBP, BDP, DEHP) commonly found in the lining of aluminum cans and plastic bottles/containers, and food packaging
- Perfluorinated chemicals (PFCs) found in non-stick cookware
- Pesticides and insecticides found on plants, fruits and vegetables
- Fire retardants found in mattresses, furniture, bedding and clothing
Simple Changes to Minimize Your Toxic Load/Exposure
- Avoid plastic food containers, water bottles and plastic cling wrap as they contain a significant amount of BPA (Bisphenols). Heating food in plastic containers and using a plastic water bottle that’s exposed to heat (i.e. sitting in your cup holder in your car), causes these BPA chemicals to leach into your food or water, and enter your bloodstream which causes havoc to your natural hormones! Solution: invest in reusable glass containers and ceramic coffee cups. An alternative to plastic cling wrap would be to invest in beeswax food covers or simply make your own, as they’re a cost friendly option and sustainable option as they can be washed and reused.
- Invest in organic produce. Understandably, purchasing all of your groceries organic can add up so if this is a concern for you try purchasing the “dirty dozen” organic and the “clean fifteen” conventionally. However I would recommend washing/soaking all produce in an organic fruit and vegetable wash to remove as many pesticides/chemicals as possible. The dirty dozen includes a list of fresh produce that is highly recommended to purchase organically due to their pesticides content. Sourcing your fresh produce from your local farmers market is an excellent way to ensure you’re eating produce that’s in season. You may also like to consider growing your own produce at home in a veggie garden which would be a huge cost saving!
The Dirty Dozen:
- Kale, collard and mustard greens
- Bell and hot peppers
- Use natural home cleaning products. Avoid purchasing conventional cleaning products as they contain copious amounts of synthetic/harsh chemicals which will cause more harm than good. Make your own natural cleaning products using pure essential oils, vinegar, or bicarbonate of soda. Or invest in good quality natural/organic cleaning products.
- Allow fresh air to filter through your home
- Make the switch to natural essential oil based fragrances and ditch your synthetic perfume and deodorants
- Reduce the amount of time spent using a laptop, computer, phone, TV, apple watch, airpods… and the list goes on. These devices emit electromagnetic radiation which disrupts the chemical structures of our cells/tissues by altering the electric current within the body. Other technological hacks to minimize your toxic exposure includes switching your devices onto airplane mode at night and turning off your wifi modem in the evening.
Kıvrak, E. G., Yurt, K. K., Kaplan, A. A., Alkan, I., & Altun, G. (2017). Effects of electromagnetic fields exposure on the antioxidant defense system. Journal of microscopy and ultrastructure, 5(4), 167–176. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jmau.2017.07.003
Mukti. (2018). Truth in Beauty: The Ultimate Resource for Holistic Beauty.
If you’re looking for further support, please contact Tayla via email email@example.com, Instagram @curawellness.co or book in for a naturopathic consultation (available to anyone in Australia).