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How to Avoid Hormone-Harming Endocrine Disruptors

By Fredrica Syren:

As a woman with Hashimoto’s thyroiditis, an autoimmune disease, I’m always concerned with hormones or anything else that disrupts my hormone system. So, I immersed myself in learning more about what disrupts hormones and how I can reduce exposure to those things. Well, the more I learned, the more concerned I became with how many products in my day-to-day life contain hormone-harming endocrine disruptors — synthetic chemicals in plastic of beauty products that mimic our own hormones; and, unfortunately, we’re exposed to them all the time.chemicals

First of all, what are Endocrine disruptors? They basically are chemicals, some natural and some synthetic, that harm our bodies’ endocrine systems. When these chemicals enter the body — either by absorption through our skin, ingestion with food or drink, or inhalation of the air — they tend to mimic hormones in our bodies and can make our natural hormones unbalanced. They make our natural hormone system either go into overdrive or start becoming underactive, causing problems either way. The chemicals take a long time to break down in our bodies, giving them plenty of time to cause damage. It’s easy to think that hormones affect only our fertility, but they have an impact on so much more than that. Our hormones actually have a major role in all phases of our development, metabolism and behavior. Research suggests that hormone-harming endocrine disrupting chemicals may be linked to cancer, infertility, autoimmune diseases, ADD and learning disabilities.

endocrinesThe sad part is that that endocrine disruptors damage not just our bodies. These chemicals also end up in the environment, and cause reproductive and fertility problems for wildlife, including the recovery of some wildlife populations.

So what are the most common products containing hormone-harming endocrine disruptors? The bad news is that they are in EVERYTHING like antibacterial soap, perfumes, household cleaning products, food storage containers, furniture, toys and even our food.

Now, how to we avoid them?

  • • Skip non-stick cookware — Use stainless steel, cast iron or ceramic pans.
  • • Skip food packaged in cans and plastic — Look for unpackaged food and, if buying canned food, look for BPA-free cans.
  • • Eat organic as much as possible — This will reduce your exposure to endocrine-disrupting pesticides and herbicides a lot.plastic
  • • Skip plastic as much as possible — Avoid food wrapped in plastic; skip plastic toys; and invest in glass food storage containers or use recycled glass jars. Skip gum (yes there’s plastic in gum) because BPA and other harmful chemicals can leach out of any plastic. Even by touching plastic, you’re exposing yourself.bottled-water
  • • Skip plastic water bottles — Invest in recycled non-plastic water bottles and filter your water with a Brita or Pur water filter. This will reduce not only BPA from the plastic but also clean your water of arsenic, lead and atrazine.shampoo
  • • Switch to natural, fragrance-free and paraben-free beauty products —  Shampoo, conditioner, deodorant (or make your own), moisturizer, cosmetics, perfume, soaps, and even toothpaste and other personal care products often contain endocrine disruptors.
  • • Choose nontoxic and natural household products — After cleaning with all those harmful chemicals, they leave behind residues that we absorb just by breathing and touching. And they get flushed down our drains, straight into nature. There are many chemical free options. Or, why not make your own?
  • • Eat fewer animal products — Unfortunately, there are too many chemicals and toxins as well as pharmaceuticals in meat, fish, seafood and other animal products, so reducing your consumption of these will reduce the exposure to these chemicals.
  • •

About Green Mom

Fredrica Syren, the author and founder of Green-Mom.com, was born in Sweden. Her mother was a classically trained chef who introduced her to many eclectic flavors and skills at a young age. Her mom’s passion for the outdoors and gardening planted the seed for her own love of nature and healthy eating. She received a degree in journalism and has worked as a print, Internet and broadcasting journalist for many years with big businesses within Europe and the United States. After her mom was diagnosed with terminal cancer and she with pre-cancer, Fredrica changed her career to become a full time yoga teacher and activist. A longtime world traveler, foodie and career woman, she was exposed to many facets of life, but nothing inspired her more than becoming a mom. After her first-born, Fredrica began a food blog focusing on local, seasonal, organic & vegetarian dishes. Years of food blogging developed into the cookbook Yummy in My Tummy, Healthy Cooking for the Whole Family. Upon the arrival of her second child, Fredrica founded Green-Mom.com. Her vision was to establish a site providing insight about gardening, home and personal care, baby & child, and of course food & nutrition. Green-Mom.com hosts many talented writers shedding light on ways to incorporate eco-friendly and nutritious practices for busy families. She is an advocate for organic, local and sustainable businesses. Fredrica hopes to inspire social change through her lifestyle, passion and business. Fredrica lives with her husband James Harker-Syren and their three children in San Diego, CA.

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