Hormones and EDCs

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As you work to understand and protect your hormonal health, you need to be aware of one of the biggest risks to your hormones: Endocrine disrupting chemicals (EDCs). These chemicals can trigger hormonal responses in your body that throw off the proper hormone balance. If you’re wondering what exactly EDCs are and where they are found, this infographic provides more information about these chemicals and how you can avoid them.

What Is an Endocrine Disrupting Chemical?

EDCs are compounds and chemicals found in consumer products that have a direct impact on the endocrine system. These non-natural chemicals can block hormones, mimic the action of hormones, or interfere with the function of the endocrine system.

Where Are Endocrine Disrupting Chemicals Found?

It’s important to know where EDCs are found so you can avoid them. Unfortunately, avoiding EDCs is almost impossible, because they are found everywhere, including the air and water we need for survival. They can enter through topical skin products, can be passed from mother to baby in the womb, and are passed on through breast milk.

EDCs are found in many common products — from cosmetics and personal care items to the clothes we put on our families. The infographic outlines other places where EDCs can be found, including industrial solvent and chemicals, plastics and textiles. In addition, EDCs in food are becoming more common with increased use of pesticides and chemically produced ingredients, as well as EDCs that can leach into food from plastic storage containers. This is a serious concern from a hormonal perspective because of the far-reaching consequences of these chemicals in modern life.

What Endocrine Disrupting Chemicals Are Most Common?

EDCs are found everywhere, but some are more dangerous and common than others. Here are some of the worst hormone disrupters:

  • BPA — Found in plastics, BPA mimics estrogen in the body, and can leach into foods stored and heated in plastic containers.
  • Dioxin — Dioxins are formed in industrial processes and disrupt male and female sex hormones in very low levels. Dioxin has leaked into the food supply.
  • Phthalates — Phthalates can cause testicular cells to die earlier than they should. These are found in plastic food containers and children's toys.
  • Lead — Lead hurts almost every organ system, including the brain, but it also disrupts the hormones that regulate the stress system. Old paint is one of the most common sources of lead.
  • Fire retardants — Fire retardant chemicals can imitate thyroid hormones, disrupting the thyroid system. These are found in carpet padding, foam furniture and household dust.

Learn More About Endocrine Disrupting Chemicals

Download the infographic today to learn more about EDCs and how you can protect your health.