Endocrine disrupting compounds, or EDC for short, are a reality. Endocrine disrupting means that they interfere with our hormones. These are chemicals that have been introduced into our environment through many avenues. Many of them we are unwittingly exposed to through the foods we eat and the products we use on our bodies such as cosmetics and other personal care products. I encourage you to watch this video to learn how EDC can wreak havoc with our bodies.
The danger of these chemicals has a deep and broad reach. We all are exposed daily. Children, pregnant women and unborn children are some of the most vulnerable. But we are all at risk!
Now this is one of those topics that we may tend to develop a fatalistic attitude towards. We adopt the thinking that “well if they are everywhere, how can I avoid them?” Don't fall into the futility trap. Your choices do matter and are impactful. First begin to educate yourself. Then here are 5 specific ways to take action and limit your exposure to EDC:
- Begin to read labels. Learn the names of some of the most common EDC. Anytime you see the word “paraben” or “phthalate” avoid the product.
- Buy and eat organic as much as possible. Pesticides are known endocrine disruptors and the best way we have of avoiding them is to eat organically grown foods.
- Do a pantry makeover and move away from or at least limit processed foods and their packaging since they are a source of EDC.
- Begin changing out toxic cookware and food storage containers. Stainless steel, ceramic and glass are the best options.
- Move away from body care and cosmetic products that contain EDC. Some of the worst offenders are shampoo, lotions and any products that contain “fragrance”. Fragrance typically contains phthalates which are plasticizing compounds that cause the scent to linger. Commit to purging your bathroom of these harmful chemicals.
Possibly you are more altruistically minded. If you aren't motivated to do it for yourself, do it for your children and their children. You can set the example even if your children are older and make their own decisions. These chemicals are known to persist to several generations and have transgenerational effects. (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4662893/)
Do it for global health and the health of our planet. When you use products that contain these chemicals many of them bioaccumulate and become part of the biosphere affecting everything that has life.
Then, finally, when you make these changes you are advocating for change on a larger scale with the way you spend your money! The food industry, the agricultural industry, the personal care products industry will listen when you speak with your wallet. Don't continue to buy their poison!