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Vocab Class: endocrine disruptors

endocrine disruptors (pl. n.) - chemicals, both natural and man-made, that may mimic or interfere with the body's hormones, known as the endocrine system. Endocrine disruptors are linked with developmental, reproductive, brain, immune, and other problems. 

"Endocrine disruptors are found in many everyday products, including some plastic bottles and containers, liners of metal food cans, detergents, flame retardants, food, toys, cosmetics, and pesticides." (NIH)

While endocrine disruptors are quite ubiquitous, by recognizing these terms, we can empower ourselves and our families to avoid them to the best of our ability. Familiarize yourself with these 6 chemicals as a start (from NIH): 

  • Bisphenol A (BPA) — used to make polycarbonate plastics and epoxy resins, which are found in many plastic products including food storage containers

  • Dioxins — produced as a byproduct in herbicide production and paper bleaching, they are also released into the environment during waste burning and wildfires

  • Perfluoroalkyl and Polyfluoroalkyl Substances (PFAS) — used widely in industrial applications, such as firefighting foams and non-stick pan, paper, and textile coatings

  • Phthalates — used to make plastics more flexible, they are also found in some food packaging, cosmetics, children’s toys, and medical devices

  • Polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDE) — used to make flame retardants for household products such as furniture foam and carpets

  • Triclosan — may be found in some anti-microbial and personal care products, like liquid body wash

This Plastic Free July, let's go beyond ditching single-use plastics to understanding sneaky sources of hormone disrupting petrochemicals in our life. Do you have any plastic-free health hacks to share? Email us!


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