Health

How Endocrine Disruptors in Your Personal Products Affect Your Health

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Hello Global Beauties,

If you are in the USA, did you vote today? I hope so!

Today’s blog post is about another choice that you get to vote for. You get to vote whether or not you buy personal and skincare products that contain harmful chemicals that are endocrine disruptors. Even though you are not physically casting your vote, by choosing not to buy certain products, you are letting the companies/manufacturers know that you don’t want to buy what they are selling and their sales numbers will decrease. It’s all supply and demand!

I’m sure you are now wondering what endocrine disruptors are and what they do. But before we dive into that, I want to explain the functions of the endocrine system. The endocrine system is the collection of glands that produce hormones that regulate metabolism, growth and development, tissue function, sexual function, reproduction, sleep, and mood, among other things. The endocrine system is made up of the pituitary gland, thyroid gland, parathyroid glands, adrenal glands, pancreas, ovaries (in females) and testicles (in males). In general, a gland selects and removes materials from the blood, processes them and secretes the finished chemical product for use somewhere in the body. The endocrine system affects almost every organ and cell in the body. (source)

Hormone levels that are too high or too low indicate a problem with the endocrine system and can lead to hormone diseases.

The most common endocrine disease in the United States is diabetes, a condition in which the body does not properly process glucose, a simple sugar. Hormone imbalances can also have a significant impact on the reproductive system, particularly in women. Another disorder, hypothyroidism, occurs when the thyroid gland does not produce enough thyroid hormone to meet the body’s needs. (source) If you have not read it already, you can read about my personal struggle with hypothyroidism here.

Endocrine disruptors interfere with the normal hormone function.

Endocrine Disruptors image (source)

Even in small quantities, they pose serious developmental, reproductive, neurological, and immune effects to our bodies. These are extensively associated with various kinds of cancer, lowered fertility, and obesity. Endocrine disruptors are also different from endocrine activators or modulators that are used to combat hormonal imbalances. These disruptors are commonly used in cosmetic formulations and packaging. They are absorbed through the skin (dermally) and can stay in our bodies up to 5-8 years.

Endocrine Disruptors:

  • increase production of certain hormones while decreasing production of others
  • imitate hormones
  • turn one hormone into another
  • interfere with hormone signaling
  • tell cells to die prematurely
  • compete with essential nutrients by binding to essential hormones
  • accumulate in organs that produce hormones

Endocrine disruptors can both increase and decrease activity in different tissues at the same time! I’m sure you can imagine the unpredictable havoc this can cause! So then why are we exposing ourselves and our loved ones to chemicals that harbor these little monsters? 

Now that you know what endocrine disruptors are, here are some ways that you can reduce your exposure to them.

You Can:

  • Avoid any label that displays “perfume”or “fragrance”, as this trade secret combination could potentially contain harmful phthalates
  • Refer to www.EWG.com for the latest dirty dozen lists. Here is their list for endocrine disruptors.
  • Look for pure, natural, high-quality ingredients, devoid of any harmful and synthetic chemicals. These may contain some plant based hormones; however, they are eliminated from the body within 6-8 hours.
  • Use the ThinkDirty app to look up products before buying them.

Companies are not labeling their products with “No Endocrine Disruptors” yet, so I just want you to be well informed. I was unknowingly using products with endocrine disruptors for years and these disruptors may have been a contributing factor as to why I developed hypothyroidism. Now that I know their harmful effects, I can vote to make healthier and smarter decisions about what I put on and in my body and you can too!

Stay happy & healthy ~

Xoxo,Screen Shot 2015-11-12 at 8.37.48 PM

cover image (source)written by: Stephanie Peterson / Mitisha Mehta

written by: Stephanie Peterson / Mitisha Mehta

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