“Endocrine disruptor” might not be part of your daily vocabulary, but it is most certainly a part of your daily life – whether you know it or not. And in this case, what you don’t know could hurt you. Awareness about these compounds, found in all kinds of common products and environments, may help you avoid negative implications for your health and the health of your children.
We believe wholeheartedly that knowledge is powerful when it comes to living a nourishing lifestyle – and a flourishing life is what we want most of all for you. So in this two-part series, we would like to help acquaint you with two of the most prevalent sources of endocrine disrupting chemicals that you probably encounter every day: non-glass packaging materials and pesticides.
Let’s start at the very beginning…
What are endocrine disruptors?
“Endocrine disruptor” is a classification for compounds that interfere with our body’s hormones in some way. According to the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences, they are known to “produce adverse developmental, reproductive, neurological, and immune effects in both humans and wildlife.” Most often endocrine disruptors cause harm by competing with our hormones for receptor sites, interrupting the normal signaling of our endocrine system. Here are other ways they interfere:
- reduce the production of hormones in endocrine glands
- affect the release of hormones from endocrine glands
- copy or counteract the action of hormones in certain tissues
- speed up the metabolism of hormones and so reduce their action