Opening up some canned beans, or tomatoe sauce may be dangerous to your health. The potential harm is very real thanks to a plethera of man made chemicals that invade our planet, our food and beverage containers …all the way down to your baby’s bottle.
Many of the chemicals you find in everyday products contain endocrine disrupting chemicals or (EDC’s) that affect humans as well as wildlife.
So how are these hormones Detrimental to Health?
EDC’s interfere with the action of hormones in the body, and in doing so, produce adverse effects on health.
There are almost 800 different types of EDCs in our environment and they are everywhere—including housefhold products, air fresheners, hair dyes, cosmetics and even sunscreens.
Some of the most prolific EDCs are phthalates, which make plastics soft and flexible, and bisphenol-A (BPA), which hardens plastics. Phthalates can be found in toys, pharmaceuticals and perfumes and cosmetics that can easily be absorbed into your body.
Even more disturbing, BPAs can be found in the linings of food and beverage cans and even baby bottles (although the U.S., Canada and some European countries have banned the use of BPAs in bottles and toddler cups).
Other common EDCs include pesticides, alkylphenols (found in tires, adhesives, and rubber products) and polybrominated flame retardants (used in electronics).
Scientists are just now starting to understand the true extent of EDCs’ potential danger. But we do know that they interfere with tissue and organ development and function in people of all ages. More and more research is linking EDCs with breast cancer, obesity,infertility, cognitive declineand even asthma as well as diabetes.
The report also sites thyroid, adrenal, bone and metabolic disorders, as well as neurodevelopmental problems in children. In fact, babies exposed to EDCs in the womb are at higher risk of developing behavioral and learning problems.
Babies can be further exposed to EDCs through breast milk—and even some types of infant formula. Ready-to-feed liquid infant formula that gets stored in BPA-lined metal cans appears to have high concentrations of BPA
There is so much that is not understood about EDCs, their dangers should not be ignored. We are exposed to more EDCs now than ever before, and there are so many questions that unanswered.
How do you Reduce these Dangerous Hormones in your Family?
Since EDCs are so widespread, it’s nearly impossible to avoid them all. But you can take steps to minimize your exposure—and every little bit can help. Here are some tips to do just that:
- Choose BPA-free or non-plastic alternatives. When buying plastic products, make sure the product is labeled BPA-free. Or, better yet, opt for glass food storage containers and stainless steel water bottles. (Although be careful—stainless steel water bottles sometimes contain plastic liners, so be sure the bottle you choose does not.)
- Avoid #3 and #7 plastics. These often contain BPA. The recycling codes with the numbers 1, 2 and 4 are your safest options if you do use plastic products.
- Don’t heat plastic in the microwave. Doing so could cause chemicals to leach into foods or beverages.
- Avoid or limit your consumption of canned food and beverages. The BPA that lines these containers often leaches into the food. If you do eat canned food, rinse the contents, if possible, prior to eating to lessen the amount of BPA you ingest.
- Use natural and/or plant-based cosmetics and personal products. Read the labels on your hair and skin cleansers, moisturizers and other personal care products. Avoid anything that contains the preservative paraben—a definite EDC—and its many forms (methylparaben, ethylparaben, propylparaben and butylparaben).
- Use Environmentally Safe Cleaning Products such as Get Clean manufactured by the Shaklee Corporation. These products have even been used by the Jacque Cousteau Society. They are safe effective and they work unlike many alternative cleaners on the market.
Also stay away from products that contain DBP (di-n-butyl phthalate) and DEP (diethyl phthalate), which are often found in nail polishes, deodorants, perfumes, hair products and many other personal care products. The very general and nondescript ingredient “;fragrance” should also raise a red flag.
Check the Environmental Working Group’s Skin Deep Cosmetics Database, which evaluates the ingredients of almost 80,000 personal care products for EDCs and other chemicals.
While you can’t escape EDCs, limiting your exposure to certain ones can protect your health, and the health of future generations.