Girls reaching puberty at 8, boys’ fertility threatened – these are the results of the MASSIVE amounts of hormone-disrupting chemicals that are found in every day items. ⠀
Let’s talk about hormones and the toxic chemicals that are mimicking those hormones and causing absolute havoc on our health and that of our children.
What exactly are hormone disrupting chemicals?
Hormone (or Endocrine) disruptors are chemicals that can interfere with endocrine systems at certain doses. These disruptions can cause cancerous tumours, birth defects, and other developmental disorders. Any system in the body controlled by hormones can be derailed by hormone disruptors.
By the way, if you want to learn more about the chemicals below and how to make switches for your family, we recommend the Go Low Tox Ecourse by Alexx Stuart of Low Tox Life.
It sounds crazy that manufacturers would do this (and the laws that allow them to), but if an item has a fragrance, and the packaging or ingredient list doesn’t specifically say that that fragrance is derived from essential oils, then that fragrance contains hormone disrupting phthalates (they use them to make the smell last longer). Also anything that comes in or is made from soft, squeezable plastic, you’re using phthalates.
✖Synthetic fragrances (including those used in air fresheners, perfumes, cheap shampoo and conditioner and other body products, cheap scented lipbalms for kids, the scent in the hair of dolls!, scratch and sniff paper, loom bands etc and most candles)
✔choose perfumes that have used essential oils as their fragrance base and for candles choose 100% pure beeswax candles, either unscented or those that have used essential oils.
It’s worth repeating: If a product says ‘fragrance’ or ‘parfum’ on its ingredient list, but doesn’t asterix ‘from natural essential oil’ or similar then it is 99.9% fake!
✖PVC raincoats ✔ choose organic cotton or quality oilskin coats like Driza-Bone
✖Cheap kids toys – especially cheap balls and plastic padded bath books that are stretchy and bendy ✔ avoid!
✖Cheap kids foamy puzzle fitting mats ✔avoid altogether even the ones marketed as ‘phthalate free’ to be sure – does your kid really need one?
✖Most yoga mats ✔ instead choose Cork Leaf, Mukha or EkoMat
✖Vinyl floors and synthetic carpet ✔seek out natural options when you renovate or build
✖That ‘new’ car smell ✔ buy a second hand car…better for your wallet and health!
✖The fragrance when getting your car cleaned ✔ ask them to skip that step
✖All pesticides ✔ choose organic food where possible
Bisphenol A (BPA)
The primary source of exposure to BPA for most people is through the diet. While air, dust, and water are other possible sources of exposure, BPA leached intofood and beverages accounts for the majority of daily human exposure.
Where to find and how to avoid
✖Cask wine ✔ choose bottled wine
✖Thermal receipts ✔ say no when asked if you want it – decline getting one from the ATM
✖Canned foods ✔ seek out non-BPA lined cans, go for glass jars. If you prefer to stay with canned goods, stick to these brands: Good Fish, Global Organics, Eden and Ayam.
✖Some plastics still ✔ 3, 6 and 7 are the best categories of plastic to steer clear of.
✖Takeaway coffee cup lids ✔ get a reusable glass cup.
According to David Suzuki, parabens can mimic oestrogen, the primary female sex hormone. They have been detected in human breast cancer tissues, suggesting a possible association between parabens in cosmetics and cancer, although studies haven’t been conclusive. Parabens may also interfere with male reproductive functions. In addition, studies indicate that methylparaben applied on the skin reacts with UVB leading to increased skin ageing and DNA damage.
Parabens are preservatives found in many skincare products. You can spot them easily on the product label because they end with the word paraben. Examples include: methylparaben, proplyparaben, isopropylparaben, isobutylparaben, butylparaben, and sodium butylparaben.
According to the Journal of Industrial Hygiene and Toxicology, phenoxyethanol affected the brain and nervous system in animals at moderate doses. It is a scientifically proven irritant to human skin and eyes and it is classified as an irritant in European Union. Phenoxyethanol is also restricted for use in Japan.
Phenoxyethanol pops up in MANY, MANY ‘natural’ and ‘organic’ products so it’s one to keep a sharp eye out for.
Some brands are going so far as to say the Phenoxyethanol is ‘naturally derived’. Unfortunately, it’s the process that creates the hormone disruptive result, so best to avoid if you can.
So, there you have it – four hormone disrupting chemicals to steer clear of, especially in items and products children use and those used by pregnant women. The good news is there are lots of little changes you can make that will reduce your exposure levels quite quickly.
Greenwashing is a thriving market and it pays to be aware of the tactics some companies are using to earn your hard earned dollar. I wrote about greenwashing and how to avoid it here.
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