Over the past few generations we have added almost 80,000 new man-made chemicals into our environment. Many of you already know that certain foods can throw off our hormonal balance such as the hormone laden conventional milk & meat products or estrogen mimicking soy products.
What you might not realize is that the products we use every single day that we assume are safe might be negatively affecting our endocrine system and hormonal health. Our bodies are amazingly resilient but at the same time very finely tuned. These estrogen-mimicking chemicals can affect our mood, libido, energy levels, fertility, and PMS for women, to name a few.
These dangers come in the products that we package our food in, the lotions we rub in our body and what we drink our water out of. It’s important to reduce our chemical burden so that our bodies, hormonal & endocrine systems can function properly without working in constant overtime to rid itself of these foreign substances. Below are the four most common ones to be aware of.
1 – Plastic – BPA found in plastic is an endocrine disrupting chemical that has been shown to mimic the female hormone estrogen. It’s so bad that some people have termed bottled water ‘estrogen water’. If you have to use plastic make sure it does not sit in the sun, which leaches even more BPA in your water.
In a report published in the Journal of the American Medical Association in 2008, Frederick S. vom Saal, Ph.D., and colleagues conducted a large major epidemiologic study examining the health effects of BPA, and found a significant relationship between urine concentrations of BPA and cardiovascular disease, type 2 diabetes, and liver-enzyme abnormalities. He recommended the U.S. declare BPA a toxic chemical requiring aggressive action to limit human and environmental exposures.
Buy glass water bottles and containers. Avoid plastics marked with #7, especially if you are pregnant. Look for #1, #2 & #4 if you don’t have an alternative. For those with children use pacifiers and toys that are BPA free!
2- Canned goods – The aluminum lining of canned goods leaches into our food, especially in acidic products such as tomatoes. On top of the aluminum (which would not be on the top of my ingredient list!) recent tests have shown that BPA is also leaching out of canned goods into the food we are eating. Think soda and beer cans as well!
Use BPA free canned food from Eden Organic, choose glass, frozen or even better make dinner from scratch!
3- Perfume– Conventional perfume is loaded with chemicals. Look up some ingredients in your perfume, if you can even find the ingredients, and check out the warnings. You will be amazed. One for example benzaldehyde is found not only in perfume but cologne, hairspray, laundry bleach, deodorant, detergent, shampoo, etc. It is a narcotic, sensitizer, CNS depressant, potential irritant to the mouth, throat, eyes skin, lungs and GI tract and may cause kidney damage. That’s just one ingredient. Truly shocking.
Use organic scented oils instead. They smell amazing, are pure and generally cost less! Win, win, win J
4- Clothing & How you Clean Them! – NPEs (Nonylphenol elthoxylate) is a surfactant used to make clothing and is an endocrine-disrupting chemical that is accumulating in our environment. When our bodies absorb NPEs it cannot tell the difference between the NPE and estrogen, causing potentially serious issues.
When rainbow trout are exposed to NPEs they become part male and part female and while this has not been recorded in humans, extensive exposure could cause serious problems. Let me repeat that again. Part male and part female! And we aren’t concerned that this chemical is affecting our hormonal health? Many household cleaning supplies & detergents contain NPEs as well.
Buy organic or second hand clothes, fix clothes instead of throwing them out or spend the money on clothing that will last. Wash your clothes with green products that say No NPEs on the label, along with no Sodium Lauryl Sulfate (SLS) which is also heavily used in cleaning products as a surfactant.
It’s alarming that we have introduced so many chemicals into our environment and have very little regulations as to what chemicals are on the label. Especially when the chemicals have not been tested thoroughly. The chemicals that we cannot see affecting us are what we need to be most conscious of.
Now you might be thinking I may lose some friends if I get rid of my perfume, and change my cleaning products, but I promise the natural products work just as well, in my opinion, even better than conventional.
Start with one change. Look for cleaner, organic brands, buy a glass water bottle, scented oil, or a clean laundry detergent. One change makes a huge difference over time and you may just notice your hormonal issues clearing up as well.
Brenna Taylor is the creator of Healthy Little Bit, a blog that motivates, educates & inspires women to live healthy, energetic & fulfilling lives. She is a Certified Holistic Health Coach by the Institute of Integrative Nutrition, is licensed by the AADP and believes in coaching clients based on bio-individuality, no deprivation, and that every little healthy bit counts. Contact her for a free initial health consultation.