Endocrine disruptors are toxic chemicals that interfere with your endocrine system, which is the network of glands that produce, store and secrete hormones. Also known as endocrine-disrupting chemicals (EDC), these toxins are linked to multiple health problems, including infertility, diabetes, cancer and stunted brain development. Endocrine disruptors are found in a long list of common, everyday products, such as baby bottles and household cleaners.
Hormones secreted by your endocrine system coordinate different functions in your body by delivering messages to your organs, skin, muscles and other tissues. These messages then tell your body what to do and when to do it. Hormones influence metabolism, growth and development, emotions and mood, fertility, sexual function, sleep and blood pressure, among other things.
Endocrine disruptors interfere with these by disrupting the way your hormones work. Some EDCs trick your body into thinking that they are hormones, while others prevent hormones from doing their job. Some also increase or decrease the levels of hormones in your blood by interfering with how they are made, broken down or stored in your body. Others, on the other hand, alter your body’s sensitivity to different hormones.
Many endocrine disruptors are found in common household products, such as the following. Read more…