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What are endocrine disruptors + 10 ways to avoid them

May 13, 2019

What are endocrine disruptors + 10 ways to avoid them | Flourish Caroline Potter NTP

I often say…”Oh avoid that because it has endocrine disruptors in it!” But what exactly are endocrine disruptors? Let’s tackle them today!

Endocrine disruptors disrupt your hormones.

According to the National Institute for Environmental Health Sciences: “Endocrine disruptors are chemicals that may interfere with the body’s endocrine system and produce adverse developmental, reproductive, neurological, and immune effects in both humans and wildlife. A wide range of substances, both natural and man-made, are thought to cause endocrine disruption.”

Endocrine disruptors can:

  1. Mimic or partly mimic naturally occurring hormones in the body like estrogens (the female sex hormone), androgens (the male sex hormone), and thyroid hormones, potentially producing overstimulation.
  2. Bind to a receptor within a cell and confuse the hormone messaging system. The normal signal then fails to occur and the body fails to respond properly.

Plain and simple? Endocrine disruptors confuse your body and send mixed messages!

When it comes to hormone imbalances—fertility, female and male hormones, the female monthly cycle, thyroid and adrenal hormones—you want to avoid endocrine disruptors at all costs.

Endocrine disruptors can be especially harmful for babies and children whose bodies are rapidly changing and developing, pregnant women, anyone with an auto-immune disease or impaired immune system, those with adrenal fatigue and thyroid dysfunction.

The troublesome part is you often can’t see the effects of endocrine disruptors immediately like say for example if someone has a peanut allergy. Often the effects can take years or even decades to come to the surface, which is why avoiding endocrine disruptors is one of the best forms of “preventative health.”

Here’s where endocrine disruptors are commonly found:

  • plastics
  • flame retardants
  • toys
  • soy
  • pesticides
  • sunscreen
  • conventional makeup + skincare
  • laundry detergent
  • cleaning supplies
  • fragrances

So pretty much they are everywhere.  Yes, BUT you absolutely can take steps to avoid endocrine disruptors! Have no fear!!

What are endocrine disruptors + 10 ways to avoid them | Flourish Caroline Potter NTP

10 simple ways to avoid endocrine disruptors:

These are simple solutions that you can easily incorporate into your daily life to avoid endocrine disruptors. Remember, any way you can avoid them is a positive.  Don’t try to tackle this list all at once. Start small and have a big impact!

Avoid plastics

This is an absolute must! The easiest step with the biggest impact is to switch to glass or stainless water bottles and glass food storage containers. Take it a step further by investing in some reusable Stasher bags (they are worth EVERY penny) and choose non-toxic bamboo for your little’s food.

Clean up your little’s toys

Especially since little ones constantly have things in their mouth, the endocrine disruptors and other chemicals in plastics can have a big impact. Instead choose wood toys, silicone, water based paints and recycled materials.

More resources:

Switch to non-toxic cleaning supplies

Conventional cleaning products contain the worst offenders—parabens, antibacterial agents, fragrances, sodium lauryl sulfates—and since most of us wear clothes all day long everyday, these ingredients have the potential to do a lot of harm. I use (and LOVE) Branch Basics—it cleans even the toughest of situations! 

Read why I love it for laundry HERE. *Use the code “FLOURISH15” for 15% off any Starter Kit or Laundry Kit through May 31st.*

Toss the dryer sheets

That “oh so fresh and so clean” smell may not be as great as it is marketed.  Instead use all natural Wool Dryer Balls. Add a drop of lavender or lemon essential oil if you want fresh scent!

What are endocrine disruptors + 10 ways to avoid them | Flourish Caroline Potter NTP

Create a clean beauty bag

The products you use on your skin, face, hair and body impact your health and hormones all day long! Most conventional skincare items contain endocrine disruptors, so choosing safer alternatives is a great way to decrease your toxic load. My favorite brands are Primally Pure and Beautycounter.

More resources:

Use glass or stainless steel straws

Another simple way to avoid plastics! I love to use glass straws or stainless steel for iced coffees, water and smoothies!

Switch to clean perfume

Fragrance is traditionally the primary ingredient in perfumes and is at the tip top of my naughty list! A company’s fragrance is their trade secret. So they can loop thousands of harmful chemicals and toxins under “fragrance” without having to disclose the true  ingredients.  Scary right? Thankfully, I found Phlur a company that crafts good clean scents that smell amazing and are good for you and the environment.

Choose your sunscreen wisely

The chemicals commonly used to make sunscreen contain endocrine disruptors—in particular the most common sunscreen chemical Oxybenzone is a big endocrine disruptor that can reduce men’s sperm count and wreak havoc on female hormones. In particular, small children, pregnant and breastfeeding moms should take caution! 

Instead use a safer + effective sunscreen! We love this Countersun sunstick for ease of use…it’s a new mama’s best friend to protect the wiggly little ones!

What are endocrine disruptors + 10 ways to avoid them | Flourish Caroline Potter NTP

Purchase a flame retardant free car seat for your little

This one is tough but can have a big impact! There are only a few on the market but we have loved both our Uppababy Infant Car Seat and Nuna Rava Convertible Seat (be sure to double check you are getting the flame retardant free version). The safety ratings are amazing on these too!

You can also help your little one avoid flame retardants by choosing an organic crib mattress and organic cotton PJs!

More Resources:

My advice? Always start small to make a big impact. Choose one from the list above and focus on just that this month. Next month, make another swap! 

Celebrate each of your accomplishments! You are on your way to conscious living!

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