While it's next to impossible to remove all of endocrine disruptor sources from our lives, the following information is meant to help you become aware of potential sources of parabens, phthalates, PBDE's and BPA.
It is our hope that you will use the information on this page to evaluate and remove, as much as possible, known endocrine disruptor sources within your home. Start with products that you replace on a regular basis. When it's time for new items which are replaced less often look for organic replacements.
It's important to understand that it is inevitable that each one of us already possesses an alphabet soup of these chemicals in our bodies. Because of this it's also important that we take action to help our bodies defend themselves by eliminating as many toxins as possible.
There are those things which none of us can personally control when it comes to avoiding exposure to endocrine disruptor sources. Don't stress yourself about the past and what you can't change, concentrate on what you can change. Focus on working at becoming the healthiest you that you can be at this point in time.
Everyone, adults and children, should be taking daily nutritional supplements consisting of minerals, multivitamins and essential fatty acids. This is very important as so many of our foods come from farm land which has been over used and depleted of it's natural ability to provide quality nutrition. The reason crops grow so well is that they are being pumped full of chemicals.
Choose your food wisely and when possible eat organic. Be cautious about your sources of seafood, fish and meat. Endocrine disruptors and heavy metals become more localized and concentrated as they are stored in the fatty tissues of animals and fish.
If at all possible purchase you meats from an organic supplier. The mass production suppliers are definitely not the place to obtain a source of healthy meat. Large deep water fish like most tuna, shark and swordfish as well as most shellfish often contain high levels of chemicals and heavy metals such as mercury.
Try to buy only wild fish and seafood, check it for the word wild, not something that sounds like it might be wild, on the label. When it comes to meat products look for grass fed or free range organic meat. If you're not able to buy all of your food organic a lot of families start, as we did, with fruits and vegetables.
These fruits and vegetables are usually listed as those with the highest pesticide residue. They are, in alphabetical order, apples, bell peppers, celery, cherries, grapes, lettuce, nectarines, peaches, pears, potatoes and strawberries.
By purchasing these organically you will get off to a good start in converting to eating organic.
Find a good fruit and veggie wash and wash all fruits and vegetables thoroughly, don't just rinse them under cold water, before eating. This includes even those grown organically. If you can't find a good wash, make your own:
Mix one cup of water, one tbsp of baking soda and one tbsp of lemon juice. The mixture will likely foam, this is normal, put the ingredients in a spray bottle and shake it gently to mix. Spray on produce and let it set 5 minutes then rinse under cold water. Keep unused spray in refrigerator, it will be good for about a week.
Take a daily probiotic with Lactobacillus which will help your body process the nutrition you give it. This will help you body strengthen is own defense system.
Flavonoids which are found in blueberries, green and green white teas, pomegranates and red wine help the body flush toxins.
If you are taking medications, check with your pharmacist about possible drug interactions.
Talk with your health care provider about trying a detox program. Exercise and sweating will go a long way in helping your body to do its own natural detox as will using a steam room or sauna. Getting good regular sleep allows your body to do additional detoxification.
Find out what's in the water you drink and bathe in.
Chlorine which is in all municipal water systems is a poisonous gas which is added to kill living organisms. This can't be good for the "living" human body.
Does your water supply contain hormone altering chemicals? Purchase a quality filter for both your drinking and bath water.
If you drink bottled water be very cautious about the sourcing, storage (not over 75 F) and reuse of plastic containers. If you drink bottled water in small containers DO NOT leave them where the temperature will exceed 75 degrees Fahrenheit as exposure to heat will release chemicals, which are a known endocrine disruptor source, from the plastic into the water.
Never heat or put hot food or drinks in plastic containers as this will release BPA and/or phthalates, also endocrine disruptors, into the food. Never microwave foods covered with plastic wrap or bake in the "oven safe" bags.
The softer the plastic the more easily it will release chemicals into what ever comes in contact with it. Buy glass containers to store foods.
Soft plastic plastics such as vinyl shower curtains, vinyl flooring, sandwich bags, food wrap and baby toys are the worst plastic endocrine disruptor sources. These products release phthalates not only into everything that comes in contact with them but also into the air to be carried throughout the home and becoming an inhalation threat.
The following electronics companies have stopped using PBDE's in their products, Apple, Cannon, Dell, Ericsson, HP, IBM, Intel, Sony and Toshiba.
The majority of flame retardants based on PBDE's, which are known endocrine disruptor sources, are in virtually everything in our homes that is man made and could possibly burn. They are in upholstered furniture, carpet, carpet pads, bedding, mattresses, computer cases, TV's and building materials.
PBDE's attach themselves very easily to dust particles, so keeping your home as dust free as possible is a great start. When the weather permits, open the windows and air it out. Vacuum carpets often to eliminate the dust collected there.
Don't try to change everything at once but as the time comes to replace items search out and opt for replacements which are not treated with PBDE's.
If you are building a new home or remodeling an existing one there are many steps you can take to reduce the amount of PBDE laden products. Instead of carpet consider hardwood or tile flooring, when possible use solid wood products rather than those made of wood composites, vinyl and plastic.
When replacing furniture ask if it's treated with fire retardants containing PBDE's, if the salesperson doesn't know contact the manufacturer. When replacing you mattress or bedding opt for organically produced items which are never treated with fire retardants containing PBDE's. IKEA has discontinued the use of PBDE's altogether in their products.
The following section is labeled as being for Moms and Moms to be, but the information on personal and skin care products applies to everyone.
If you are pregnant or plan to be in the future, here are some items to consider as you work to remove endocrine disruptor sources from your personal life.
Items such as cosmetics, skin care products like lotions, night creams and sun screens along with personal care products like soaps, shampoos, conditioners, deodorant, hair spray, toothpaste and perfumes are some of the main sources of parabens and phthalates, both known endocrine disruptor sources, found in products that are not certified organic.
For mothers to be and breast feeding mothers these products are the main endocrine disruptor sources that enter your body and are passed on the developing fetus and later through the breast milk.
If a product says organic or natural on the label but doesn't have one of the
certified organic seals it may very likely contain at least one toxic chemical ingredient that is considered to be hazardous to humans, but most likely it contains several.
Second only to the exposures listed for Moms and Moms to be, because of fetus exposure, is the concern for the exposures of small children to endocrine disruptor sources. Think of your child as a magnet or sponge, collecting, absorbing, inhaling and ingesting, any thing that possibly can be.
After the changes listed for Moms, start with the possible sources of exposure for the children. If it has foam padding or contains cloth it probably is treated with a fire retardant that contains PBDE's.
If you are feeding you infant formula, rather than breast feeding, if the container has any metal parts it will most likely be coated with a material containing BPA. Consider using powdered formula.
The vast majority of metal food containers contain these coatings. There are very few baby bottles outside of glass that can be 100% assured of not releasing chemicals when heated.
The water babies are bathed in and their clothes washed in will contain, among other things, chlorine designed to kill living organisms. Their soaps, lotions, shampoos and powders will likely contain phthalates, parabens and talc unless they are organic baby products.
The use of talcum powder in the genital area has been shown to cause a major increase in the development of ovarian cancer.
Their clothes, blankets and sheets are washed with soaps which contain phthalates and they will most likely be treated with flame retardants which contain PBDE's and possibly BPA, again, unless they are organic baby products.
In the child's room keep the floors extra clean as they play on the floor and are constantly putting things in their mouths. When buying new bedding, look for organic cotton, or a mattress look for one that meets the flame retardant standards without using chemicals.
Babies spend so much time sleeping with their faces in direct contact with the pillow, sheets and mattress all of which will be releasing endocrine disruptors if they are treated with PBDE's. Unless, that is, they are organic.
Be aware of what your child's toys are made of, the softer the plastic the greater the danger of them being an endocrine disruptor source. Never let infants chew on plastic of any type. If you will be using a pacifier try to find one that is made of natural rubber.
This page was originally written to provide information for parents on steps they can take to remove endocrine disruptor sources from their home making them safer, especially for mothers to be and small children.
Even though you may not have children, toxic chemicals are a threat to everyone's health, it's just that they are a much bigger concern for infants. Follow this link for additional information about
toxic chemicals and endocrine disruptor sources such as parabens, phthalates, PBDE's and BPA found in everyday products.
Go to our Endocrine Disruptors page.