Here’s a riddle for you: What could nonstick pans, corn, plastic kids toys, cleaning products, and cosmetics all have in common?
Each could be hiding hormone disruptors—potentially toxic chemicals that can interfere with your body’s endocrine system. These chemicals have been linked to a wide range of health concerns, including fertility problems, diminished sex drive, kidney disease, and birth defects.
Thankfully, there are easy ways to reduce these risks. Start by shopping for cleaning supplies and personal care products with fewer chemicals of concern instead of harsh conventional options that may be loaded with hazardous ingredients. Our new company, Thrive Market, offers all of these healthy products and more at a deep discount. Get two months of free membership here.
To lower your exposure to endocrine disruptors, avoid these 12 chemical compounds—what EWG calls the “dirty dozen”—whenever possible.
What is it? A chemical used to make some plastics and resins that mimics estrogen.
Hiding In: Resins that line the inside of some of canned goods; most thermal paper used for receipts; polycarbonate plastics marked with recycling label No. 7.
What is it? A chemical formed during industrial processes that has the potential to disrupt male and female sex hormones.
Hiding In: Animal products including meat, fish, milk, and eggs.
What is it? An herbicide widely used on corn crops linked to the feminization of male frogs.
Hiding In: Corn crops, drinking water.
What are they? Plasticizers that have been linked to death of testicular cells.
Hiding In: Plastic food containers, plastic toys, and some personal care products.
What is it? A component of rocket fuel that can interfere with the thyroid hormones.
Hiding In: Drinking water and some foods.
6. Fire retardants
What are they? Chemicals used to make products less flammable. Some fire retardant chemicals can imitate thyroid hormones.
Hiding In: Some foam furniture, house dust and the padding under carpet.
What is it? A heavy metal that has been linked to lowered IQ, hearing loss, miscarriage and premature birth.
Hiding In: Some older paints and pipes, drinking water.
What is it? This toxic chemical has been linked to skin, bladder and lung cancer.
Hiding In: Drinking water.
What is it? A naturally occurring toxic metal that can concentrate in the fetal brain and interfere with brain development.
Hiding In: Some fish, such as shark, king mackerel, and swordfish.
10. Perfluorinated chemicals (PFCs)
What are they? Chemicals added to nonstick cookware, clothing, upholstery, tents and more for their ability to repel water and resist stains. One particular compound, PFOA, is completely non-biodegradable and has been linked to kidney disease, low sperm count, thyroid disease and other illnesses.
Hiding In: Some nonstick pans, stain-resistant clothing, and furniture.
11. Organophosphate pesticides
What are they? Pesticides that target the nervous system of insects. They have also been linked to altered brain development, behavior and fertility.
Hiding In: Most conventionally farmed produce.
12. Glycol ethers
What are they? Solvents that the European Union said can damage the fertility of an unborn child.
Hiding In: Paints, cleaning products, brake fluid, and cosmetics
The bottom line: Endocrine disruptors have the potential to change the way your body functions, and have been linked to long-term health problems in animals. If you're concerned about their effect on your body, try to limit your exposure. Thrive Market carries tons of eco-friendly cleaning supplies, beauty essentials, and personal care staples that are all free of endocrine disruptors. Outsource your trust to us, and make safer, smarter shopping decisions every day.
By being a part of our site, making your purchases with us, and sharing us with your friends, you're contributing to a meaningful paradigm shift. With that in mind, please use this link to get two months of free membership—and an additional 25 percent off your first purchase.
Photo credit: Paul Delmont