There is growing interest in the possible health threat posed by some chemicals, which are substances in our environment, food, and consumer products that interfere with hormone biosynthesis, metabolism, or action resulting in a deviation from normal homeostatic control or reproduction. Those chemicals are none other than endocrine-disrupting chemicals (EDCs). You can consider these as chemicals or mixtures of chemicals that interfere with the way the body’s hormones work.
Endocrine-disrupting chemicals can disrupt several hormones, which is why they have been linked to numerous adverse human health outcomes including alterations in sperm quality and fertility, abnormalities in sex organs, endometriosis, early puberty, altered nervous system function, immune function, certain cancers, respiratory problems, metabolic issues, diabetes, obesity, cardiovascular problems, growth, neurological and learning disabilities, and more.
Dangers EDCs Pose To Children
Lead, Phthalates, Cadmium are some common EDCs that are used in children’s products. Infants are at a potentially higher risk of endocrine disruptor exposure because of their propensity to put things in their mouth, which, along with a higher metabolic rate, means that infants may be at greater risk for the physiological effects of endocrine disruptors.
High EDC exposures during fetal development and childhood can have long-lasting health effects since there are periods where hormones regulate the formation and maturation of organs. Early-life exposures have been linked to developmental abnormalities and may increase the risk for a variety of diseases later in life. Moreover, various EDCs have been found to cross the placenta and become concentrated in the fetus’ circulation. Other EDCs can be transferred from mother to infant through breast milk.
It is believed that EDCs increase the risk of childhood diseases during times of rapid growth. Population studies comparing trends over time in the developmental effects of EDC exposure on physiological development have found significant increases in childhood obesity rates and lower IQs.
Are We Exposed to EDC?
EDCs are found in a considerable lot of our ordinary items, for instance, those that we use for individual or homegrown consideration, noticeable all around we inhale, in the food we eat, and in the water we drink. The difficulties that emerge from the field of endocrine interruption are the monstrous variety of synthetic compounds delivered, yet not tried, the combinations and the obscure cooperations between them, along with their subsequent impacts. The absence of a powerful and solid enactment and guideline represents a huge danger to people, creatures, and plants, and adds to the openness to synthetic compounds that might upset the endocrine framework.
Some Common Sources of EDC
- Industrial chemicals and pesticides often leach into soil and groundwater and make their way into the food chain by building up in fish, animals, and people
- Non-organic produce can have pesticide residues that may turn out to be toxic
- Some consumer products contain EDCs or are packaged in containers that can leach EDCs, such as household chemicals, fabrics treated with flame
retardants, cosmetics, lotions, products with fragrance, and anti-bacterial soaps
- Processed foods can accumulate traces of EDCs that leach out of materials used in manufacturing, processing, transportation, and storage
- Soy-based products contain phytoestrogens, which are chemicals produced by plants that mimic estrogen
- Household dust can contain EDCs such as lead, flame retardants, and PCBs from weathering construction material or furniture
How To Encounter EDCs?
It’s time to act now and prevent your exposure to Endocrine-Disrupting Chemicals and let’s make this world a safer place for all.
- Look for alternatives: Some merchants, such as Purely Family sell only EDC-free products and others like Trader Joe’s grocery store, list certain EDCs (such as BPA) with a “yes” or “no” status for their products. If this information is still not available in the place you bought it, we suggest you ask for it.
- Notice the labels: On plastic bottles, a #1, #2, or #4 in the recycling sign means that the product is free of BPA, a still commonly-used EDC. PVC labels for shower curtains, raincoats, floors, and outdoor furniture will be similar, and similar labels will be affixed to canned foods with non-BPA coatings. The labels on cleaning products, facial cleansers, and detergents also indicate the presence or absence of certain EDCs that are known to be potentially hazardous, such as phthalates.
- Eat fresh: Minimize the consumption of processed foods and use filtered water instead of bottled water.
- Avoid leaching: Precaution needs to be taken and storing canned or plastic-packaged food in hot places, such as the trunk of a car in summer should be avoided. In addition, avoid heating food in microwave ovens or plastic containers. EDC can leak out of the container and enter food and the body.
- Do minimal or no pesticide usage: Try strategies such as plugging the hole under the sink to reduce pests and avoid the use of pesticides. For agricultural products, wash fresh fruits and vegetables with tap water to remove most of the chemicals.