There’s been a lot written about the dangers of endocrine-disrupting chemicals (EDCs) – that is, chemicals that mess up the finely-tuned orchestra that is our hormonal system. In short, they have been linked to infertility, endometriosis, thyroid dysfunction, obesity and much more.
For the purpose of this post, I am assuming you know about these dangers already. Sometimes hearing further about the dangers can make you feel overwhelmed, without giving you any action you can take. So the simple aim of this post is to give you a range of ideas for reducing your exposure.
- Keep a tally of the number of cans you use in cooking for the week. Aim to cut it in half.
- Examine your plastics for the number “7” in the triangle. Avoid buying anything with this, as it likely contains BPA. Limit plastics overall. Teach this habit to your kids. My son was appalled when my daughter emerged from the fruit shop with the bananas in a bag. We usually make a spectacle of ourselves traipsing down to the car, each of us full to the brim with groceries because we’ve forgotten our reusable bags. It’s a task that’s spatially and physically challenging, while being a great boost for the environment and our own health!
- Buy a stainless steel water bottle for each member of the family and have each family member take responsibility for it (wash it up each day, make sure it’s ready for each outing, etc).
- Buy physical block sunscreens (those whose active ingredient is zinc oxide or titanium dioxide). Sadly, the others contain EDCs.
- Ban conventional air fresheners from your house and car, such as Air Wick, which contain phthalates. Use essential oils, beeswax candles, or eucalyptus/tea tree sprays.
- Use a bowl or plate to cover food as opposed to plastic wrap, or glass containers with plastic lids (available from the supermarket).
- Save nailpolish for special occasions. Don’t give it to your daughters. Don’t give manicure vouchers as gifts. Choose low-toxin nailpolishes.
- Check your ingredients lists of cosmetics and household products. Considering it a flashing red light with sirens if you see the terms PROPYLPARABEN, ISOPROPYLPARABEN, BUTYLPARABEN, ISOBUTYLPARABEN. Try Aware washing powder and get two health bonuses for the price of one by avoiding the support of unsustainable palm oil production, which ultimately harms human beings.
- Wash all fruit and vegetables before eating them. Buy whatever you can afford organic, especially high-pesticide produce like spinach, broccoli, lettuce and strawberries.
- Stop using anti-bacterial washes. Triclosan, which they contain, is an endocrine disrupter. Just Use Plain Soap And Water.
- If you have Gore-Tex products for travel, take good care of them so you don’t need to replace them. They contain perfluoroalkyl acids (PFOA), which have been shown to disrupt the thyroid. This saves even more of these chemicals ending up in our environment, so is a community service you can do! Of course, if you have concerns about your own thyroid, you might want to get rid of them!
- Throw away peeling Teflon (non-stick) pans immediately. Just use more olive oil on regular pans and cook on lower temperatures to stop food burning – it’s much better for you!
- Avoid fast food. The wrappings and containers contain endocrine disruptors. And that’s before we even get started on the contents of the containers!
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