How do you limit your exposure to endocrine disruptors? Endocrine disrupting chemicals (EDCs) are present in a wide range of consumer products like cosmetics, food products, as well as toys and clothing.
A study out of the United Kingdom this week indicated that 86 percent of teenagers have traces of one of the most common, Bisphenol A (BPA) in their bodies. Meanwhile a report published on Feb. 2 by a French government agency warns that EDCs are still insufficiently regulated and under researched.
Avoidance remains the best policy: here’s a list of things you can do to limit the risks for you and your family.
Endocrine disrupting chemicals (EDCs), which are hard to detect and difficult to avoid, are a justifiable cause for concern. Even at low doses, these compounds, which are present in air, water, earth and dust could be harmful to health when they are ingested, touched or inhaled.
The most widely known, BPA, was identified as an endocrine disruptor by the European Chemicals Agency, the ECHA, in June 2017. Glyphosate, the world’s most widely used herbicide, is also thought to be an EDC.
In view of their interference with the hormonal system, EDCs are suspected to be a cause of abnormalities like infertility, congenital malformations, developmental delays, and certain hormone-dependent cancers.
The groups most at risk are expecting mothers and their future babies, infants and children reaching the age of puberty.
Buying organic and adopting an ecologically responsible attitude can help limit exposure to EDCs, although organic fruit and vegetables will still have to be carefully washed and peeled.
Buy in bulk to reduce contact with containers
In principle, reducing contact with containers (plastic bottles and bags, cans and other packaging) will limit exposure to endocrine disruptors. For this reason, the purchase of unpackaged products has emerged as a “zero-waste” consumer trend that aims to be healthier and better for the environment.
When buying baby products, it is best to shop in organic supermarkets and organic toy and clothing outlets. When breastfeeding, young mothers are advised not lto ose weight so as to avoid liberating EDCs stored in fat tissue.
With regard to cleaning, traditional hard soap, distilled vinegar and sodium bicarbonate, can be combined in a variety of ways to produce environmentally friendly cleaning products that represent no hidden danger to health. Information on the recipes for these products can be obtained from blogs, online tutorials, and workshops.
As for cosmetics, many products, and this includes those that are labelled organic or paraben-free, contain hard to detect endocrine disruptors like phthalates. For this reason, natural beauty products are expected to become a major trend in 2018. JB