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Beware of endocrine disruptors at home

CuĆ­date de los disruptores endocrinos del hogar

Did you know that there is a huge amount of toxins that we consume daily without knowing it? These components are called endocrine disruptors and are related to various diseases.

You can find them in the foods, products, and items you regularly use at home. Also in work environments and in spaces where there is no safe exposure threshold.

Keep reading and discover how many endocrine disruptors there are in your home. Also, I will give you some recommendations so that you can eliminate them completely.

What is the hormonal or endocrine system?

To understand what endocrine disruptors are and how they act in our body, we must know what the endocrine system is and how hormones act.

This system is a communication network that our body (which is a multicellular organism) has. In order for the cells to work in coordination, there must be a message between them; that communication and the integration of information are produced by chemical stimuli.

These cells whose function is to secrete chemical messengers (hormones) are called endocrine cells and are found in three anatomical locations in the body:

What is the hormonal or endocrine system?

In summary: the hormonal or endocrine system is vital for life and the proper functioning of the body, which is characterized by:

In summary: the hormonal or endocrine system is vital for life and the proper functioning of the body, which is characterized by:

Note that:

What are endocrine disruptors?

Also known as hormonal contaminants, they are a series of chemical substances capable of altering the hormonal system of the human organism and generating its dysfunction. And they can generate various diseases throughout the family (I'll talk about them later).

One of the fundamental problems is that, in general, the effect of endocrine disruptors on the body is cumulative and irreversible and can be transmitted from one generation to another without manifesting itself pathologically.

These substances are everywhere and we live permanently with them, as they are part of our lives on a regular basis, be it at home, at work, on the street or even in the fields.

What are endocrine disruptors?

The World Health Organization (WHO) in a report published in 2013 indicated a list detailing some 800 chemical substances suspected of acting as endocrine disruptors.

How do endocrine disruptors work?

It is a diverse and heterogeneous set of exogenous chemical compounds capable of altering the synthesis, release, transport, metabolism, binding, action or elimination of natural hormones in your body.

Knowing the mechanisms and modes of action of the different hormonal contaminants is one of the research priorities in this field. Much progress has been made in recent years and different ways have been described in which environmental estrogens can alter the hormonal balance.

What are endocrine disruptors?

So that you understand better, I am going to explain graphically how endocrine disruptors act:

So that you understand better, I am going to explain graphically how endocrine disruptors act:

The same endocrine disrupting substance can act through more than one mode of action.

What effect do hormonal contaminants have on human health?

The effects of these toxic chemicals have been known since the 1940s, but it wasn't until 50 years later that they were called endocrine disruptors.

Recently, numerous studies have been published on the exposure of people to different pollutants and their ability to alter the hormonal system.

The results of these investigations show that the general population is exposed to a cocktail of endocrine disruptors that are present at highly variable levels according to sex, age, educational level, and social class.

  • Pregnant women and children are the most vulnerable groups and are exposed to higher concentrations of hormonal contaminants.

Knowing with absolute certainty how endocrine disruptors affect human health is practically impossible, given the large number of substances involved, their biological complexity, the number and importance of the functions regulated by the endocrine system.

There are effects in people that are being studied epidemiologically, such as:

  • Increased incidence of abortions, low birth weight and congenital malformations.
  • Problems in the development of the central nervous system and psychiatric disorders.
  • Alteration of thyroid hormone levels.
  • Impairment of human reproductive health.
  • Disorders in the immune system and more probability of infections.
  • Increased risk of intrauterine growth retardation and malformations such as cryptorchidism, hypospadias and polythelia.
  • Adverse reproductive effects such as prematurity, increased risk of miscarriage and ectopic pregnancy, increased incidence of tumors and malformations of the reproductive system.

Now yes, these are some of the possible adverse effects that endocrine disruptors have on human health:

What effect do hormonal contaminants have on human health?

What are disruptive substances?

The World Health Organization (WHO) exposes in the State of the Science of Endocrine Disrupting Chemicals-2012 report scientific data on the impact on the health of humans and animals, caused by chemical substances that act as endocrine disruptors.

This document lists nearly 800 chemicals that have been identified as endocrine disruptors or are suspected of being so. Few have been thoroughly investigated and most of the chemicals on the market have not been evaluated.

Next, I show you the chemical groups to which these substances belong, many of which are in our homes:

What are disruptive substances?

How do we expose ourselves to endocrine disruptors?

More than 1,500 substances capable of disrupting the endocrine system have been identified, many related to products that we usually use in our homes.

Take a look at this table and detect if you have some in your house:

How do we expose ourselves to endocrine disruptors?

If you have some, you are exposed to the action of these substances via:

  • Digestive: through food and water with pesticide residues.
  • Respiratory: by inhalation of the indoor air of homes and pollutants present in the outdoor environment. Also during work that requires handling of products with these contaminants.
  • Cutaneous: due to the use of cosmetics, hygiene products, clothing or substances used at work that contain hormonal contaminants.
  • Intravenous: during sanitary practices that involve the use of plastics.

Recommendations to avoid exposure to hormonal contaminants


There are certain habits that can help you reduce their impact at home... Do you want to know which ones?

in food

Food exposes us to pesticide residues with the capacity to alter the hormonal system , to contaminants that accumulate in fish and animal fats, and to substances that are released from food packaging and kitchen materials.

Problem: Animal foods often contain high concentrations of hormonal contaminants present in the environment that accumulate in fats, such as pesticides (even those currently banned), mercury, cadmium, lead, or dioxins.

Tips:

  • Choose to eat local and organic farming products whenever possible. If this is not possible, wash and peel the vegetables very well before eating or cooking them.
  • Reduce the consumption of animal fats, oily fish and shellfish.

Problem: plastic bottles and containers, cans, Teflon pans or thermal paper, such as popcorn bags, release hormonal contaminants such as BISPHENOL-A, PHTHALATES or fluorinated compounds into food.

Avoid hormonal pollutants

Problem: Control analyzes carried out in many countries have determined the presence of hormonal contaminants (phthalates, alkylphenols and benzophenones) in all bottled water samples analyzed. In addition, it generates enormous amounts of plastic waste.

Advice:

  • Choose water bottled in glass, rather than bottled in plastic.

Hygiene and personal care

Many conventional cosmetic and hygiene products expose us to hormonal contaminants. We use an average of 9 cosmetic products a day, which are made with around 10,500 different chemicals, many of which are endocrine disruptors that cross the skin and reach the blood.

Problem: Artificial perfume in household and personal hygiene products signals the presence of hormonal contaminants such as phthalates and synthetic musks.

Hygiene and personal care

Problem: Conventional sun creams use chemical filters, such as benzophenones, 4MBC, OMC, as well as musks, parabens and phthalates. All these substances are endocrine disruptors.

Avoid hormonal pollutants

At home

Inside homes there may be more endocrine disruptors than outside.

The origin of these hormonal contaminants are the synthetic materials used in the construction and decoration of homes, in addition to conventional cleaning products and tobacco smoke.

Also keep in mind that outside pollution can enter the house, such as smoke from road traffic in the city or pesticide residues in the air in rural areas.

Problem: Laundry detergents, household cleaning products, and bactericides may have hormonal contaminants among their ingredients.

Advice:

  • Use natural cleaning products such as soda soap, vinegar, lemon and baking soda. They work! You can also buy those from certified organic brands.

Problem: Chemical pesticides used in public or private gardens, such as insecticides to treat pests or herbicides to control ā€œweedsā€, may contain hormonal contaminants. The population rarely knows or uses protection methods against these toxins.

Advice:

  • It begins with a correct choice of the species to plant according to the characteristics of the area, the use of "friendly" plants and fauna and the preparation of natural pesticides.

Where and what endocrine disruptors can be found inside the house

Where and what endocrine disruptors can be found inside the house


Once you detect the endocrine disruptors that can affect everyone at home, get down to work and start applying the advice that I offered you earlier.


And if you want to eliminate these toxic substances from your body, I make two final recommendations:

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