It would be irresponsible of me to not discuss hormone disruptors on a website about hormone health. My own hormone health issues have made me question healthcare, medication, and nutrition and yes, hormone disruptors all around me. Knowledge is power – the positive outcomes I have had with my hormone health have been as a direct result of me educating myself about my health and the options available to me. By no means do I think my hormone issues are over – I still have menopause to face and wonder in the back of my mind what the effect years of estrogen dominance will have on my future health. It’s not that I live in fear, but rather I want to give my body the best chance at a long and healthy life, which is the reason behind my research into the negative health effects of hormone disruptors. Even more importantly for me is to do the research for the health of my children’s developing bodies.
This post has tons of information – I hope you find something useful. I encourage you to take the list of the hormone disuptors, especially the ones that are known carcinogens (cancer-causing) and go to your cosmetic bag, your bathroom shelf or your bathtub shelf and see if you can find any of these hormone disruptors. I am sure you’ll be surprised – they might even be in your baby wash. Get your kids involved – they’ll go on a hunt through your household products for you. You’ll be clearing out your shelves of harmful products and educating your kids at the same time.
Negative Health Effects of Hormone Disruptors
Hormone disruptors also called endocrine disruptors are being blamed for our rising rates of:
- Endometrial cancer
- Breast cancer
- PCOS – Poly-cycstic Ovarian Syndrome
- and other problems, including testicular & prostrate cancer in men.
We encounter hundreds or thousands of hormone disruptors every day. They are found in plastic, metal food cans, household cleaners & detergents, food, flame retardants, toys, cosmetics, and pesticides.
Known & Suspected Hormone Disruptors
Based on the research I’ve done about hormone disruptors here is a list of some of the more commonly discussed chemicals that mess around with our hormones in one way or another. Clicking each compound name listed will take you to the Wikipedia® article if you’d like to read more.
- Parabens – known to mimic estrogen & linked to breast cancer. Widely found in makeup, moisturizers which may be why one study found significantly higher levels in women than men
- BHA (Butylated hydroxyanisole) – Food preservative also found in moisturizers and cosmetics such as lipsticks. Listed as a carcinogenic by the State of California. Health Canada lists BHA as “high human health priority”. European Union prohibits it’s use in fragrances. BHA interferes with hormone function.
- BHT (Butylated hydroxytoluene) – closely related to BHA. May mimic estrogen and cause adverse affects to reproductive health. Health Canada lists BHT as “moderate human health priority”.
- Phthalates – are used in a wide variety of products, including nail products, children’s toys, coating on pharmaceuticals, plastics, etc. Certain phthalates have been shown to have an adverse affect on reproductive health and disrupt hormones.
- Triclosan – found in antibacterial products such as soaps, toothpastes, mouthwashes, hand sanitizers, antiperspirants/deodorants, laundry detergent, facial tissues, trash bags. Suspected as interfering with hormone function.
- Formaldehyde releasing preservatives (DMDM hydantoin, diazolidinyl urea, imidazolidinyl urea, methenamine, quaternium-15 and sodium hydroxymethylglycinate) – a known carcinogen to humans but still widely used in hair products, moisturizers, nail polishes, building supplies, etc.
- PEG (polyethylene glycols) – Can be contaminated with 1, 4 dioxans potentially carcinogenic. Unfortunately, PEG is frequently found in otherwise safe personal care products.
- Petrolatum – petroleum jelly – a known endocrine disruptor. Sodium Lauryl/Laureth Sulfate (SLS/SLES) – found in foamy products like soaps, shampoos, cleansers, bubble baths. Can be contaminated with 1,4-dioxan which is potentially carcinogenic.
- Coal Tar Dyes (also p-Phenylenediamine PPD) (colors identified as CI followed by five digits or in the US as FD&C or D&C followed by a number) – used in food as artificial colours, many have been banned over the years but several are still in use, used in hair dyes and cosmetics. May be potential carcinogenic but not added to the official list yet.
- DEA, cocamide DEA and lauramide DEA – a known carcinogenic. Used to make soaps and shampoos foamy and as an emulsifying agent in cosmetics.
Websites I Highly Recommend
Environmental Working Group’s Hall of Shame – click to see the worst offenders – some of these toxic chemicals are banned in certain countries, some have ingredients known to be carcinogenic. And some of these products pretend they are “green” – some I’ve had in my own home thinking I was doing the right thing by buying “Green” products! Boy did I feel like a sucker!
Campaign for Safe Cosmetics – a great site, full of information about cosmetics as well as how you can encourage safer cosmetics and demand cosmetic companies stop putting harmful chemicals in our makeup and body care products.
Environmental Working Group’s Guide to Healthy Cleaning – Look up the Cleaning Products that you use & see what you’re bringing into your house maybe without even knowing it! EWG – rates common products for
Environmental Working Group has a list of every chemical under the sun! You can look up virtually any compound on their website and find out the good, bad and the ugly. Check out their site and read about chemicals and hormone disruptors, such as formaldehyde-releasers in baby formulas.
David Suzuki Foundation has a great website and also lists the “Dirty Dozen” chemicals to avoid in cosmetics.
Health Canada – the Canadian Government’s site includes a Cosmetics Hotlist – many chemicals have been banned or have to be labelled in Canada. Not as good as in the EU but much better than in the USA. (To all my cross-border shopping friends – you may be getting more than your bargained for if you shop for cosmetics and body care products south of the border). Explains how to read the labels, warnings and recalls, and a place for you to report adverse affects.
Dr. Theo Colborn’s book “Our Stolen Future” is a must-read for anyone interested in the topic of hormone disruption. Click here for a more detailed chart from their website: Endocrine Disruptor Chart from OurStolenFuture.org
Gillian Deacon’s book, “There’s Lead in Your Lipstick: Toxins in Our Everyday Body Care and How to Avoid Them”
Get the Facts About Hormone Disruptors
Click on the links below to read more about hormone disruptors:
Please feel free to point me toward any studies or further reading that my readers would find informative. Thanks!
To stay informed:
- Read my previous posts about: Estrogen dominance & Why Estrogen Dominance Matters to You & X is for Xenoestrogens
- Sign up for updates if you’d like to read more of my series of articles about estrogen, endocrine disruptors and other hormone imbalance.
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