Endocrine disrupting chemicals interfere with the normal functioning of your hormones – find out how your beauty routine is affecting your health through new book, Truth in Beauty, from Mukti Organics.
Endocrine disrupting chemicals (EDCs) or ‘gender benders,’ are a group of synthetic chemicals (and in some cases natural chemicals) derived from products like soy, which can interfere with the normal functioning of your hormones.
Research has shown that hormone disruptors in both humans and wildlife are having harmful effects on growth and development, reproduction, neurological disorders, immunity and metabolism. They’re also responsible for an increase in the female population when it comes to fish as well as birth defects and development of cancerous tumours.
Your endocrine system is the body’s network of glands that produces more than 50 different hormones that maintain and regulate basic bodily functions. It’s second only to the nervous system in controlling your body. These important chemical messengers travel throughout your body coordinating complex processes like growth, metabolism, and fertility. They can influence the function of the immune system, and even alter behaviour. The brain signals when it’s time for the glands to release hormones directly into the bloodstream, but endocrine disrupting chemicals interfere with this process.
Your Glands and Functions
Adrenal produces adrenalin
Gonads produce sex hormones estrogen and testosterone
Pancreas produces insulin
Pituitary produces growth hormone
Thyroid products thyroid hormones that regulate your body’s temperature, metabolism and heart rate
Your heart, liver, kidney, intestines, muscles and body fat all have secondary endocrine functions and produce hormones as well. Our bodies are assaulted daily by estrogenic chemicals. When they’re absorbed, ingested or inhaled, these specific chemical substances can affect your endocrine system. They can mimic, modify, replicate, release and send false signals to your body’s hormone receptor cells – signals that aren’t commanded by the brain. Others can block the action of natural hormones, preventing them from binding to their receptor cells, making them ineffectual. They can also alter the amount of hormone synthesised and interfere with the production, elimination and metabolism of your naturally occurring hormones.
Endocrine disruptors are prolific in personal care products. They’re found across the bathroom in everything from perfume, shower gels, lotions and soap. An issue with EDCs is they’re so minuscule in comparison to your whole organism they may appear harmless. They don’t just disappear, but rather bioaccumulate in your body.
Tips to avoid and minimise exposure to EDCs
Replace non-stick, coated pots and pans with ceramic, glass, copper, cast iron or metal pans.
Minimise your use of plastic packaging and avoid heating or storing foods in plastic containers.
Store food in glass or stainless-steel containers.
Choose organic produce and free-range meats that are labelled as hormone-free.
Avoid chemical pesticides and insecticide sprays.
Make your own green household cleaners or buy green or earth-friendly cleaning products.
Ask about chemicals in your furniture, bedding and mattresses before buying.
Avoid perfume and synthetic fragrances, including air fresheners and fabric softeners.
Purchase BPA-free baby products and toys.
Replace vinyl or PVC shower curtains with fabric.
Switch to certified organic skincare, cosmetics, toothpaste and deodorant and choose personal care products from reputable companies that use safe ingredients.
Mukti Organics is a certified organic, Australian eco-luxe beauty brand.