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Some may say that imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, but do you really want a chemical used in plastics imitating the sex hormone estrogen in your body? Unfortunately, this synthetic hormone can trick the body into thinking it’s the real thing – and the results aren’t pretty.
BPA has been linked to everything from breast and others cancers to reproductive problems, obesity, early puberty and heart disease, and according to government tests, 93 percent of Americans have BPA in their bodies! Go fresh instead of canned – many food cans are lined with BPA – or research which companies don’t use BPA or similar chemicals in their products.
In animals, lead has been found to lower sex hormone levels.
Research has also shown that lead can disrupt the hormone signaling that regulates the body’s major stress system (called the HPA axis). Crumbling old paint is a major source of lead exposure, so get rid of it carefully.
There is no end to the tricks that endocrine disruptors can play on our bodies: increasing production of certain hormones; decreasing production of others; imitating hormones; turning one hormone into another; interfering with hormone signaling; telling cells to die prematurely; competing with essential nutrients; binding to essential hormones; accumulating in organs that produce hormones.
Here are 12 of the worst hormone disruptors, how they do their dirty deeds, and some tips on how to avoid them.
That’s right, perchlorate, a component in rocket fuel, contaminates much of our produce and milk, according to EWG and government test data.
A few things that can you can do in the meantime include: use a vacuum cleaner with a HEPA filter, which can cut down on toxic-laden house dust; avoid reupholstering foam furniture; take care when replacing old carpet (the padding underneath may contain PBDEs).
Atrazine has been linked to breast tumors, delayed puberty and prostate inflammation in animals, and some research has linked it to prostate cancer in people. Buy organic produce and get a drinking water filter certified to remove atrazine.