What you need to know about endocrine-disrupting chemicals | CHOICE (2022)

These common chemicals have been linked to reproductive and other hormonal abnormalities.

What you need to know about endocrine-disrupting chemicals | CHOICE (1)

Karina Bray

Last updated: 21 November 2019

People are becoming more aware of and concerned about the dangers that even tiny quantities of chemicals may cause them – chemicals that are found in products we use every day, such as plastic water bottles, sunscreen and toothpaste.

You've probably heard about bisphenol A (BPA), which can be found in plastic containers we use to store our food and drink.

We know BPA affects our hormones, and it's been linked (although not conclusively) to all sorts of hormone-related health problems including asthma, obesity, diabetes, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), breast and prostate cancers, and reproductive abnormalities.

Because of its hormonal action, BPA is classified as an endocrine-disrupting chemical (EDC).

But it's not the only EDC you'll find in everyday items.

On this page:

  • How EDCs affect us
  • Which EDCs are we regularly exposed to?
  • Who is most vulnerable to the effects of EDCs?
  • What lab results show – and don't show
  • What are governments doing about EDCs?
  • EDCs in everyday products

How EDCs affect us

The endocrine system is a series of ductless glands that secrete hormones directly into the blood to regulate various bodily functions. The glands and the hormones they produce include:

  • gonads – produce sex hormones (oestrogen and testosterone)
  • thyroid – thyroid hormone
  • adrenal – adrenaline
  • pancreas – insulin
  • pituitary – growth hormone.

Body fat, muscle, heart, liver, intestines and kidneys have secondary endocrine functions and also produce hormones.

Many substances affect our endocrine systems. When ingested (in food, for example), absorbed or inhaled into the body, these substances interfere with the production, action and/or elimination of our naturally present hormones.

Endocrine disorders are on the rise worldwide

Endocrine disorders include:

  • low semen quality and fertility in young men
  • genital malformations, such as non-descending testes (cryptorchidism) and penile malformations (hypospadias) in baby boys
  • premature birth and low birth weight
  • neurobehavioural disorders associated with thyroid disruption in children (autism, attention deficit disorders and learning disabilities)
  • endocrine-related cancers (breast, endometrial, ovarian, prostate, testicular and thyroid)
  • earlier onset of breast development in young girls, which is a risk factor for breast cancer
  • obesity and type-2 diabetes.

Studies have confirmed EDCs as a cause of many of these disorders (though not all). In some cases, EDCs account for their increased incidence, too. Endocrine disorders have also been recorded in wild and domestic animals.

Which EDCs are we regularly exposed to?

BPA may be one of the highest-profile endocrine disruptors, but we're regularly exposed to plenty of others, including:

  • synthetic chemicals used as industrial solvents/lubricants and their byproducts (polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), polybrominated biphenyls (PBBs), dioxins)
  • plasticisers (phthalates)
  • pesticides (methoxychlor, chlorpyrifos, dichlorodiphenyltrichloroethane (DDT) and tributyltin)
  • fungicides (vinclozolin)
  • pharmaceutical agents (diethylstilbestrol)
  • fluorinated surfactants or perfluoroalkyl and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS).

Although they're rarely classed as endocrine disruptors, natural substances such as soy and beta-sitosterol also have hormonal effects. Pharmaceuticals including menopause hormone therapy and the oral contraceptive pill have endocrine-disrupting effects, too.

Another concern is that, of an estimated 50,000 chemicals in use today, very few have been tested for endocrine effects. And only a small proportion of the 800 or so chemicals suspected to be endocrine disruptors have been tested.

What you need to know about endocrine-disrupting chemicals | CHOICE (3)

Some types of pesticides are known endocrine disruptors.

Who is most vulnerable to the effects of EDCs?

Our age and developmental stage play a major role in how, or even if, endocrine disruptors affect us.

Humans and other animals are most vulnerable to EDCs during critical periods of development, such as during foetal development and puberty. And there can be a long time, even several generations, between exposure to an endocrine disruptor and when it takes effect. This means a pregnant woman's exposure may ultimately affect her grandchildren.

(Video) Endocrine Disrupting Chemicals (EDCs)

A pregnant woman's exposure may ultimately affect her grandchildren

In acknowledgement of the vulnerability of the developing foetus and infant, the Danish government has compiled an English-version consumer brochure for pregnant women.

This explains how to avoid exposure to known and suspected endocrine disruptors while pregnant and breastfeeding. It also explains how to keep your baby away from them too.

What you need to know about endocrine-disrupting chemicals | CHOICE (4)

We’re most vulnerable to EDCs during key developmental stages such as foetal development and puberty.

What lab results show – and don't show

There's lots we don't know about the effects of EDCs. For instance, researchers still struggle to establish whether a substance is an endocrine disruptor or not, and under what circumstances. But research has at least shed some light on EDCs.

Animal testing

Lots of information about endocrine disruption has come from lab animals, but animal testing doesn't always translate well from one species to another. For example, rats are more sensitive to some chemicals than other animals (including humans), yet less sensitive to others. Even within a species, some breeds are more sensitive than others.


Many endocrine disruptors have different effects at different doses. The problem arises when scientists only study very large doses and, if proven safe, assume the EDC is still safe at lower doses, too.

But there's growing evidence that very low doses of certain chemicals have an equal effect to high doses, or even a more potent effect. A medium dose, by contrast, may have no effect at all.

The other possibility is that the effect may be different, but equally damaging. For example, pregnant mice given large doses of an oestrogenic drug called diethylstilbestrol have extremely skinny offspring, whereas very low doses produce obese offspring. Alternatively, some endocrine disruptors may have an effect at medium doses, but have no effect at very high or very low doses.

Potential interactions

Testing also often overlooks the combined effects of more than one EDC – they may magnify, change or cancel out any endocrine effects they have individually. This applies to products such as cosmetics or pesticides, which contain a raft of chemicals that could alter the effects of EDCs.

Studies on herbicides containing glyphosate, for example, found that the formulation of its containers was the major determinant of its endocrine effects, rather than the concentration of the glyphosate itself.

Test conditions versus normal use

Finally, just because a product contains known EDCs doesn't mean they'll be in a form that's harmful.

The Danish environmental protection agency tested various products containing EDCs, including mobile phone covers, work gloves, sleeping mats, sneakers and handbags, and found that the chemicals didn't migrate from the products under simulated conditions of normal use.

Just because a product contains known EDCs doesn't mean they'll be in a form that's harmful

On the other hand, for decades scientists assumed BPA wouldn't cause any problems because it was safely locked up in polycarbonate plastic – but when that plastic was heated or washed in harsh detergents, it released the BPA.

What are governments doing about EDCs?

Some jurisdictions adopt a precautionary approach, meaning they ban known EDCs from some or all products and processes.

Relevant Australian authoritiesare taking a wait-and-see approach until there are more definitive research results – these include the Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA), Food Standards Australia New Zealand (FSANZ), the Australian Pesticides & Veterinary Medicines Authority (APVMA), the National Industrial Chemicals Notification and Assessment Scheme (NICNAS), plus the various state and local environmental and water authorities.

EDCs in everyday products

What you need to know about endocrine-disrupting chemicals | CHOICE (5)

BPA is in polycarbonate plastics, including some food and drinks containers.

Found in

  • Polycarbonate plastics, including food and drink containers
  • Linings of tins and jar lids
  • Thermally printed shopping dockets

Studies on animals and in vitro testing on human cells have linked BPA exposure to breast and prostate cancers, obesity, neurobehavioural problems and reproductive abnormalities.

Because babies and young children are more vulnerable to its effects due to their development stage and rates of metabolism, products containing this substance have caused the most concern.

BPA is more likely to leach from containers into food and drinks if the containers are heated or the contents are acidic. Harsh detergents can also break down the plastics, causing the release of BPA.

(Video) Endocrine Disrupting Chemicals

It's been banned or voluntarily withdrawn from use in baby bottles in Australia and many other countries. FSANZ says it does not consider BPA in food and drink a significant health risk at current exposure levels.

What you can do

It's difficult to know whether BPA is in tin or jar linings, but you can avoid polycarbonate plastics used in water bottles and other food containers (a number "7" in the recycling triangle means the plastic is polycarbonate or "other", and a sign it may contain BPA).

Buying something labelled 'BPA-free' doesn't guarantee that it's risk-free

Don't use scratched, damaged or old bottles and containers.

Unfortunately, chemicals used to replace BPA, including bisphenol S and bisphenol F, appear to have similar endocrine-disrupting effects, so buying something labelled 'BPA-free' doesn't guarantee that it's risk-free.

What you need to know about endocrine-disrupting chemicals | CHOICE (6)

Some chemical sunscreens may have developmental and reproductive effects.

Found in

  • Sunscreen
  • Cosmetics with sun protection, such as lip balm, makeup and moisturiser

Some chemical sunscreens, including widely used octyl methoxycinnamate (also called OMC or ethylhexyl methoxy cinnamate), as well as 4-methylbenzylidene camphor (4-MBC) and benzophenone 3 (also called oxybenzone), have been found in some studies to have developmental and reproductive effects, as well as thyroid effects from OMC. (For more on the potential effects, see Endocrine disorders are on the rise worldwide, above.)

Most studies look at the chemicals in isolation, but in reality many products contain more than one chemical sunscreen, not to mention other potential endocrine disruptors, such as parabens. The combined effects of these aren't known.

What you can do

Choose sunscreens with physical blockers, such as zinc oxide or titanium dioxide.

What you need to know about endocrine-disrupting chemicals | CHOICE (7)

Pharmaceutical companies use phthalates in coatings for timed-release pills.

Found in

  • Flooring
  • Food wrappers
  • Cosmetics such as fragrances, lotions and nail polish
  • Pharmaceutical products

Phthalates are common chemicals primarily used as plasticisers in the manufacture of flexible vinyl plastic found in flooring, food wrappers and medical devices. They are also in cosmetics and personal-care products, such as fragrances, lotions and nail polish. Pharmaceutical companies use them in coatings for timed-release pills.

All of this means we eat, breathe and absorb them through our skin. They have been linked with endometriosis and early puberty in girls, and reproductive organ abnormalities and reduced fertility in boys and men. They can also act on the thyroid, and have been linked with obesity.

What you can do

Some dangerous phthalates have been banned in cosmetics and children's toys in Europe, and toys in the US. But only one phthalate has been banned in Australian toys. They're often in fragrances such as air fresheners, so you could avoid perfumed personal-care and household products.

What you need to know about endocrine-disrupting chemicals | CHOICE (8)

When buying cosmetic and personal-care products, avoid any containing propyl-, isopropyl-, butyl- and isobutyl-parabens.

(Video) What Are Endocrine Disrupting Chemicals? Makeup And Medicine

Found in

  • Cosmetic and personal-care products

Parabens are preservatives used in many cosmetic and personal-care products, and are reported to have oestrogenic activity. The larger the molecule, the greater the effect. Smaller-molecule parabens are the safest, including methyl paraben, which is the most commonly used.

The European Scientific Committee on Consumer Safety carried out a review of parabens in consumer goods and determined that they didn't pose a risk in the quantities permitted in such products.

But the Danish government has banned the use of some of the larger-molecule parabens (propyl-, isopropyl-, butyl- and isobutyl-parabens) in products for children up to three years old as a precautionary measure, as children might be especially vulnerable to endocrine effects. This is of particular concern if products are used on broken skin, such as nappy rash.

What you can do

Check the ingredients list and avoid products that contain propyl-, isopropyl-, butyl- and isobutyl-parabens.

What you need to know about endocrine-disrupting chemicals | CHOICE (9)

Limit your exposure to pesticides and herbicides by washing all fruit and vegetables before eating them.

Many pesticides are endocrine disruptors. These include some that have been banned but persist in the environment, and those that have been banned in some countries but not Australia, and some that are still widely used globally, including DDT, endosulfan, synthetic pyrethroids and chlorpyrifos.

  • DDT has an oestrogenic effect. Although it's been banned in most countries for several decades, it persists in the environment and the food chain. It's still used in some countries for mosquito control where short-term malaria deaths are understandably a greater concern than potential longer-term endocrine effects.
  • Atrazine is a selective herbicide used on animal-feed crops, sugar cane and forestry plantations, and canola crops, and is one of the most commonly used herbicides in Australia. Apart from being in food residues, it can also enter the water supply and has been linked with neuroendocrine effects. Australian regulatory authorities have determined that it doesn't pose a health risk.
  • Glyphosate, the active ingredient in Roundup weed killer, is widely used throughout the world in agriculture, parks and home gardens, and has been linked to endocrine-disruption effects related to growth, sexual development and reproduction. Various food crops (including soy, canola, corn, cotton and sugar beet) have been genetically modified to be resistant to glyphosate.

What you can do

Wash all fruit and vegetables before eating them. If possible, avoid buying imported fresh, canned or frozen produce from countries with poor pesticide regulation. Buy GM-free produce to avoid plant foods (such as canola and soy) that are tolerant to pesticides.

What you need to know about endocrine-disrupting chemicals | CHOICE (10)

Triclosan is in some soaps, hand washes and toothpastes, but we couldn't find any major brands in Australian supermarkets and pharmacies that still use it.

Found in

  • Antibacterial soap and hand wash
  • Toothpaste
  • Cleaning cloths
  • Cutting boards

Triclosan is an antibacterial compound found in some soaps, hand washes and toothpastes, as well as other consumer products such as cleaning cloths and cutting boards. It interferes with thyroid hormones and is oestrogenic. There are also concerns that it may contribute to antibiotic resistance.

What you can do

Triclosan in being phased out of personal-care products, and we couldn't find any major brands in Australian supermarkets or pharmacies that still use it. But check the label to make sure.

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Avoid hair dyes that contain resorcinol.

Found in

  • Hair dyes
  • Topical treatments for acne, seborrhoeic dermatitis, eczema, psoriasis, corns and warts

Resorcinol is used as an antiseptic and disinfectant. It's currently on the European Union's Category 1 list of endocrine disruptors, and has been linked to thyroid disease when used in large quantities on broken skin over a long period.

What you can do

Look for hair dye that's resorcinol-free and don't overuse products containing resorcinol on broken skin.

What you need to know about endocrine-disrupting chemicals | CHOICE (12)

PFAS, which is used in firefighting foams, can contaminate soil and water supplies.

Found in

  • Furniture upholstery, carpets, weatherproof clothing
  • Coatings for non-stick cookware
  • Grease-repelling paper food wrappers/containers
  • Firefighting foams
  • Cosmetics, personal-care and cleaning products

These chemicals are resistant to solvents, acids, oils and bases. They're also heat-resistant and have a non-stick quality. All of these features make them highly useful in a variety of consumer products. These include cosmetics and personal-care products; stain- and water-repellent coatings and treatments for textiles (such as furniture upholstery, carpets, weatherproof clothing); coatings for non-stick cookware; and grease-repelling paper food wrappers and containers (such as pizza boxes and microwave popcorn bags).

PFAS are also used in firefighting foams, and can contaminate soil and water supplies near military bases, airports and other places where firefighting training takes place. In Australia, the federal government has offered some support including blood testing and counselling to communities living near three major contamination sites in Katherine (Northern Territory), Oakey (Queensland) and Williamtown (NSW), although it denies that PFAS has an adverse effect on health.

PFAS have been linked to various health problems. These include endocrine effects such as altered thyroid and sex hormone levels, low birthweights and reproductive disorders. A recent Expert Health Panel convened by the Australian government to look into the health effects of PFAS acknowledged these links, but considered the findings inconsistent, with too many issues and limitations in the research studies to draw firm conclusions.

What you can do

The bad news is that PFAS are difficult to avoid because environmental contamination means they're in our food and water supplies. They persist in the environment for many years, and there are many more affected sites in Australia than those mentioned above.

The good news is that there are international efforts to limit the use of PFAS. Some companies have moved to phase out the main types of PFAS from food-related products, and one recent study found that the amount of them in microwave packaging (once a staple source) was now barely detectable.

If you have older non-stick cookware at home, and you're not sure if it's PFOA-free, use it at low temperatures only

Although it's hard for consumers to know which cosmetics products contain PFAS and which don't, some companies, including Body Shop and L'Oreal, have responded to public pressure and moved to eliminate PFAS from their products.

Look for non-stick cookware labelled PFOA-free (PFOA, or perfluorooctanoic acid, is a type of PFAS). If you have older non-stick cookware at home, and you're not sure if it's PFOA-free, use it at low temperatures only. If the coating is peeling, throw it away – you don't want to swallow little bits in your food.

(Video) Endocrine-disrupting Chemicals (EDCS) | ENDO 2022 Press Conference

What you need to know about endocrine-disrupting chemicals | CHOICE (13)

There's some concern that plant oestrogens in soy may act as endocrine disruptors, but more research is needed.

Soy contains isoflavones called genistein and daidzein, which have a weak oestrogenic effect. Known as phytoestrogens (plant oestrogens), some researchers are concerned they may act as endocrine disruptors, much like the oestrogens in contraceptive pills or menopause hormone therapy. In particular, some claim they increase the risk of hormone-sensitive cancers, such as breast and prostate cancer.

Some studies on animals and human cells have indeed found that soy increases the growth of cancerous cells, but large long-term studies on people have found no evidence that soy causes breast or prostate cancer. In fact, it may even help protect against these cancers – some studies show lower rates of breast cancer among the highest consumers of soy foods compared with the lowest. But more research is needed to draw definitive conclusions.

As for taking soy supplements to head off menopausal 'hot flashes', which are caused by diminishing oestrogen levels, there's no convincing evidence that it helps ­– the oestrogenic effect appears to be too weak.

Further reading

  • The Endocrine Society is an international organisation of professionals concerned with endocrinology research and clinical practice. Its members include clinicians, researchers, educators, industry professionals and health professionals. They have created a comprehensive review of the science behind endocrine disruptors.
  • The World Health Organization (WHO) and United Nations Environment Programme's report on EDCs was released in February 2013.
  • The Danish Ministry of the Environment has information and a consumer-friendly pamphlet (in English) for pregnant women on how to avoid EDCs.

We care about accuracy. See something that's not quite right in this article? Let us know or read more about fact-checking at CHOICE.

We care about accuracy. See something that's not quite right in this article? Let us know or read more about fact-checking at CHOICE.

Stock images:Getty, unless otherwise stated.

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(Video) Endocrine disruptors and biocides: what you need to know


What does endocrine disrupting chemicals do to your body? ›

EDCs can disrupt many different hormones, which is why they have been linked to numerous adverse human health outcomes including alterations in sperm quality and fertility, abnormalities in sex organs, endometriosis, early puberty, altered nervous system function, immune function, certain cancers, respiratory problems, ...

Should we be worried about endocrine disrupting chemicals Why or why not? ›

We found clear evidence showing how EDCs disrupt our hormones and harm our health. They are linked to male and female reproductive disorders, obesity, diabetes, neurological problems, immune and thyroid disorders, osteoporosis, Parkinson's disease, and hormone-related cancers.

What are three things that you learned about endocrine disruptors? ›

Endocrine disruptors can affect the body in three main ways: They may block the pathway between a natural hormone and a receptor. They may act directly on a gland, causing it to make too much or too little of a hormone. They may mimic a hormone, causing the body to overreact or to react at the wrong time.

What chemicals are responsible for endocrine disrupting? ›

The group of molecules identified as endocrine disruptors is highly heterogeneous and includes synthetic chemicals used as industrial solvents/lubricants and their byproducts [polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), polybrominated biphenyls (PBBs), dioxins], plastics [bisphenol A (BPA)], plasticizers (phthalates), pesticides ...

How can you prevent exposure to hormone disruptors? ›

9 Ways to Avoid Hormone-Disrupting Chemicals
  1. Wash your hands. ...
  2. Dust and vacuum often. ...
  3. Turn up your nose at fragrances. ...
  4. Think twice about plastics. ...
  5. Say “no can do” to cans. ...
  6. Watch what you eat. ...
  7. Filter your tap water. ...
  8. Rethink kids' cosmetics.
18 Jan 2016

What are 4 sources of endocrine disruptors? ›

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.

What do you think you can do to keep your own endocrine system healthy? ›

To help keep your endocrine system healthy:
  • Get plenty of exercise.
  • Eat a nutritious diet.
  • Go for regular medical checkups.
  • Talk to the doctor before taking any supplements or herbal treatments.
  • Let the doctor know about any family history of endocrine problems, such as diabetes or thyroid problems.

Do endocrine disruptors affect the brain? ›

Unfortunately, the brain is highly vulnerable to endocrine disrupting chemicals (EDCs), which can cause widespread disruption of hormone receptors, enzymes, and nerve signals. The renewal, maintenance, and death of neurons are also highly hormone-sensitive.

Where do endocrine disruptors come from? ›

Endocrine disruptors are found in everyday products, including some food and beverage packaging, cosmetics, toys, flame retardants, and pesticides. Your contact with these chemicals may occur through diet, air, skin, and water. plastics and epoxy resins found in many plastic products, including food storage containers.

What is the most common endocrine disruptor? ›

Bisphenol A (BPA)

It is commonly found in the lining of canned foods and other food-packaging materials, certain polycarbonate plastic bottles, and cash register receipts. BPA has been linked to breast and other cancers, reproductive and fertility issues, obesity, and early puberty.

What foods are high in endocrine disruptors? ›

Farmed meats and fish raised on an un-natural diet that is focused on producing quantity but not quality may contain high levels of hormones, antibiotics, PCBs, and mercury. These are endocrine-disrupting chemicals (EDCs)—they come into your body and send your hormones, like estrogen and progesterone, into a tailspin.

Is stress an endocrine disruptor? ›

Some of these stressful responses can lead to endocrine disorders like Graves' disease, gonadal dysfunction, psychosexual dwarfism and obesity. Stress can also alter the clinical status of many preexisting endocrine disorders such as precipitation of adrenal crisis and thyroid storm.

What products have hidden endocrine disruptor chemicals? ›

The first in the list of EDCs is probably one of the most commonly known: parabens. They are used as a preservative in makeup, lotion, hair care products, shaving creams, toothpaste, suntan products, personal lubricant, and some deodorants.

Is makeup an endocrine disruptor? ›

The main route of exposure is the skin, but the main endpoint of exposure is endocrine disruption. This is due to many substances in cosmetics and sunscreens that have endocrine active properties which affect reproductive health but which also have other endpoints, such as cancer.

Is perfume an endocrine disruptor? ›

Some of the chemicals mimic estrogen, and the others had thyroid effects. (2) That's shocking, and a really important reason to stay away from chemical perfumes at all cost. The bottom line here is that yes, perfume is toxic and it certainly disrupts the endocrine system among other body systems as well.

Is milk an endocrine disruptor? ›

There are several types of estrogen in cow's milk, including estrone and 17β-estradiol. Some types of estrogen are more likely to act as endocrine disruptors than others. In other words, they're more potent.

Is caffeine an endocrine disruptor? ›

Caffeine can disrupt your hormonal cascade.

Caffeine itself can cause your body to produce extra cortisol. And while cortisol isn't always bad (the steroid hormone helps maintain healthy blood pressure levels and regulates blood sugar), high cortisol levels can affect your body's ability to regulate inflammation.

Is dairy a hormone disruptor? ›

Dairy products, especially those with a full-fat content, contain high levels of oestrogens that can interfere with your own levels and promote endometriosis as well as, hormone-related cancers, like breast, womb or ovary.

Is water an endocrine disruptor? ›

Anthropogenic contaminants in water can impose risks to reproductive health. Most of these compounds are known to be endocrine disrupting chemicals (EDCs). EDCs can impact the endocrine system and subsequently impair the development and fertility of non-human animals and humans.

Are eggs endocrine disruptors? ›

Foodstuffs in which EDCs can accumulate include meat, fish, eggs, and milk.

What are two ways you can care for your endocrine system? ›

Your endocrine system needs the same things the rest of your body needs to stay healthy. You should exercise, eat right and see your healthcare provider regularly. If you have a family history of diabetes, thyroid disorders or PCOS, talk to your provider.

How does the endocrine system affect daily life? ›

These glands produce hormones in response to stress and regulate blood pressure, glucose metabolism, and the body's salt and water balance. Pancreas - The pancreas is responsible for producing glucagon and insulin. Both hormones help regulate the concentration of glucose (sugar) in the blood.

What are the things that you do to keep your hormonal level balanced? ›

How can I prevent a hormonal imbalance?
  • Maintaining a healthy weight.
  • Eating a balanced, healthy diet.
  • Exercising regularly.
  • Managing your stress.
  • Getting enough quality sleep.
  • Managing your chronic health conditions well (if applicable).
  • Quitting smoking or using tobacco products, if you smoke.
4 Apr 2022

Are endocrine disruptors reversible? ›

Endocrine disruption has been shown to be both acute (reversible) and long term, depending on the developmental stage at which the chemical is seen by the organism.

Can you test for endocrine disruptors? ›

The Endocrine Disruptor Screening Program (EDSP) uses a two tiered approach to screen pesticides, chemicals, and environmental contaminants for their potential effect on estrogen, androgen and thyroid hormone systems.

What heavy metals are endocrine disruptors? ›

We investigated the association between five endocrine-disrupting heavy metals (EDHMs), i.e., arsenic (As), cadmium (Cd), lead (Pb), mercury (Hg), and tin (Sn), in maternal hair and the risk of GDM.

Does sunscreen have endocrine disruptors? ›

BP-3 and OMC are two common sunscreen ingredients that are also known to have endocrine-disrupting potential 8. While they are mainly used as UV filter in sunscreens, they are also prevalent in air, drinking water, cosmetics, fragrances and plastic packagings, providing additional routes of exposure to humans 9.

What are the 2 major types of endocrine disorder? ›

There are two major types of Endocrine disorders. These include: Endocrine disease due to a hormonal imbalance. Endocrine disease due to formation of lesions in the endocrine system.

Is green tea a hormone disruptor? ›

Green tea extract and EGCG, the major catechin in green tea, both suppress the activity of estrogen via ERα and block ERα-dependent transcription [36, 37]. Our results suggest that EGCG also has the ability to suppress the activity of environmental estrogens.

What foods help endocrine? ›

Fruits and Vegetables

Calcium, vitamin C, and B vitamins are important to the formation and function of hormones. Leafy greens like kale, spinach, broccoli, turnip greens, mustard greens, and asparagus are always a good place to find vitamins and minerals.

What food messes with your hormones? ›

4 Foods That Throw off Your Hormonal Balance
  • Red Meat. Red meat contains high amounts of saturated and hydrogenated fats which are considered unhealthy types of fat. ...
  • Processed Foods. Processed and refined foods have been linked to various health issues. ...
  • Caffeine. ...
  • Soy and Dairy products.

Is anxiety an endocrine disorder? ›

Now, a new study suggests that anxiety disorders may stem, at least in part, from malfunctions in the body's endocrine system. The results demonstrate that inflammation of the thyroid gland is associated with anxiety disorders, suggesting new avenues of treatment.

Is Lavender an endocrine disruptor? ›

Lavender oil and tea tree oil contain compounds that mimic or oppose the actions of sex hormones and may be considered endocrine disruptors. Persistent exposure to lavender products is associated with premature breast development in girls, according to new research by NIEHS scientists.

Can shampoo affect hormones? ›

New research found that common toiletries may affect your hormones. They found that people who avoided products with parabens, triclosan, and fragrances were twice as likely to be in the group with the lowest chemicals in the body.

Is Vaseline an endocrine disruptor? ›

Many products (including petroleum jelly) contain chemicals called xenoestrogens which may increase estrogen problems in the body. Studies have shown that these chemicals may act on hormone receptors in the body and lead to estrogen dominance.

What are symptoms of endocrine disruption? ›

What Are the Symptoms of an Endocrine Disorder?
  • Mood swings.
  • Fatigue.
  • Weakness.
  • Unintended weight fluctuations.
  • Changes in blood glucose levels or cholesterol levels.

What is endocrine disruption and what can cause it? ›

When chemicals cause changes in the activity or production of hormones, it is called "endocrine disruption." Endocrine disruption can result from changes in the production of various hormones by the glands in the body, or by blocking the ability of circulating hormones to do their normal job.

Are the effects of endocrine disruptors permanent? ›

Chemicals that disrupt hormone function can have substantial and sometimes permanent impacts on health. Due to the nature of the body's endocrine system, effects can occur from very little exposure, particularly if it occurs before birth or during early life.

What is the most common endocrine problem? ›

In the United States, the most common endocrine disease is diabetes. There are many others. They are usually treated by controlling how much hormone your body makes. Hormone supplements can help if the problem is too little of a hormone.

How do you keep your endocrine system healthy? ›

To help keep your endocrine system healthy:
  1. Get plenty of exercise.
  2. Eat a nutritious diet.
  3. Go for regular medical checkups.
  4. Talk to the doctor before taking any supplements or herbal treatments.
  5. Let the doctor know about any family history of endocrine problems, such as diabetes or thyroid problems.

What are two common problems with the endocrine system? ›

Common endocrine disorders
  • Diabetes is a condition that causes high blood glucose levels due to the body being unable to either produce or use insulin sufficiently to regulate glucose. ...
  • Hyperthyroidism occurs when the thyroid gland produces too many hormones .
24 Oct 2021

Is alcohol an endocrine disruptor? ›

Chronic consumption of a large amount of alcohol disrupts the communication between nervous, endocrine and immune system and causes hormonal disturbances that lead to profound and serious consequences at physiological and behavioral levels.

Is Sugar an endocrine disruptor? ›

Sugar's effect on your hormones

Sugar not only provides major highs and lows in mood and energy, it can also disrupt one of the most powerful hormones in the body: insulin. And insulin is closely connected to all of the other hormones in your body, including estrogen and testosterone.


1. Global Concern on Endocrine Disrupting Chemicals and Way Forward
2. Endocrine-Disrupting Chemicals are Contributing to Decreasing Sperm Counts
(Mount Sinai Health System)
3. Endocrine Disrupting Chemicals: Science, Policy, and What You Can Do
(TEDX (The Endocrine Disruption Exchange))
4. ENDO 2018 - News Conference on Endocrine-Disrupting Chemicals
(The Endocrine Society)
5. Endocrine Disrupting Chemicals - ENDO 2016
6. EDCs | Endocrine Disrupting Chemicals and Aging [2020]
(Lance Hitchings)

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