It can literally take generations to determine if a chemical is or isn’t safe, by then the horse has bolted. We really are living in a giant science experiment. Are you willing to wait and watch or take preventative actions. It is not hard and there are alternatives, raise your consciousness and choose wisely. The greater the demand for certified organic and chemical free products and services, the greater the supply will become. Therese Kerr, Chemical Free Community Ambassador, shares some tips on avoiding hormone disruption chemicals.
This is Non-organic foods and our kids hormones – PART 2.
Click here to read Non-organic foods and our kids hormones – PART 1 which answers the following questions.
Question 1: Why should I be concerned about hormones they are only babies?
Question 2. What is our endocrine system and why is it so important?
Question 3. What are hormone disruptors?
Question 4. What are worst hormone-altering chemicals and how can I avoid them?
Here are 12 of the worst hormone disrupters, how they do their dirty deeds, and some tips on how to avoid them.
- BPASome may say that imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, but do you really want a chemical used in plastics imitating the sex hormone estrogen in your body? No! Unfortunately, this synthetic hormone can trick the body into thinking it’s the real thing – and the results aren’t pretty. BPA has been linked to everything from breast and others cancers to reproductive problems, obesity, early puberty and heart disease, and according to government tests, 93 percent of Americans have BPA in their bodies!
- DioxinDioxins are multi-taskers… but not in a good way! They form during many industrial processes when chlorine or bromine are burned in the presence of carbon and oxygen. Dioxins can disrupt the delicate ways that both male and female sex hormone signaling occurs in the body. This is a bad thing! Here’s why: Recent research has shown that exposure to low levels of dioxin in the womb and early in life can both permanently affect sperm quality and lower the sperm count in men during their prime reproductive years. But that’s not all! Dioxins are very long-lived, build up both in the body and in the food chain, are powerful carcinogens and can also affect the immune and reproductive systems.
- AtrazineWhat happens when you introduce highly toxic chemicals into nature and turn your back? For one thing, feminization of male frogs. That’s right, researchers have found that exposure to even low levels of the herbicide atrazine can turn male frogs into females that produce completely viable eggs. Atrazine is widely used on the majority of corn crops in the United States, and consequently it’s a pervasive drinking water contaminant. Atrazine has been linked to breast tumors, delayed puberty and prostate inflammation in animals, and some research has linked it to prostate cancer in people.
- PhthalatesDid you know that a specific signal programs cells in our bodies to die? It’s totally normal and healthy for 50 billion cells in your body to die every day! But studies have shown that chemicals called phthalates can trigger what’s known as “death-inducing signaling” in testicular cells, making them die earlier than they should. Yep, that’s cell death – in your man parts. If that’s not enough, studies have linked phthalates to hormone changes, lower sperm count, less mobile sperm, birth defects in the male reproductive system, obesity, diabetes and thyroid irregularities.
How to avoid it? A good place to start is to avoid plastic food containers, children’s toys (some phthalates are already banned in kid’s products), and plastic wrap made from PVC, which has the recycling label #3. Almost all personal care products also contain phthalates, so read the labels and avoid products that simply list “fragrance,” and avoid perfume since the catch-call “fragrance” more often than not means hidden phthalates.
- PerchlorateWho needs food tainted with rocket fuel?! That’s right, perchlorate, a component in rocket fuel, contaminates much of our produce and milk, according to EWG and government test data. When perchlorate gets into your body it competes with the nutrient iodine, which the thyroid gland needs to make thyroid hormones. Basically, this means that if you ingest too much of it you can end up altering your thyroid hormone balance. This is important because it’s these hormones that regulate metabolism in adults and are critical for proper brain and organ development in infants and young children.
- Fire retardantsWhat do breast milk and polar bears have in common? In 1999, some Swedish scientists studying women’s breast milk discovered something totally unexpected: The milk contained an endocrine-disrupting chemical found in fire retardants, and the levels had been doubling every five years since 1972! These incredibly persistent chemicals, known as polybrominated diphenyl ethers or PBDEs, (sometimes found in cosmetics and personal care products) have since been found to contaminate the bodies of people and wildlife around the globe – even polar bears. These chemicals can imitate thyroid hormones in our bodies and disrupt their activity. That can lead to lower IQ, among other significant health effects.
- LeadLead harms almost every organ system in the body and has been linked to a staggering array of health effects, including permanent brain damage, lowered IQ, hearing loss, miscarriage, premature birth, increased blood pressure, kidney damage and nervous system problems. But few people realize that one other way that lead may affect your body is by disrupting your hormones. In animals, lead has been found to lower sex hormone levels. Research has also shown that lead can disrupt the hormone signaling that regulates the body’s major stress system (called the HPA axis).
- ArsenicArsenic can interfere with normal hormone functioning in the glucocorticoid system that regulates how our bodies process sugars and carbohydrates. What does that mean for you? Well, disrupting the glucocorticoid system has been linked to weight gain/loss, protein wasting, immunosuppression, insulin resistance (which can lead to diabetes), osteoporosis, growth retardation and high blood pressure.
- MercuryPregnant women are the most at risk from the toxic effects of mercury, since the metal is known to concentrate in the fetal brain and can interfere with brain development. Mercury is also known to bind directly to one particular hormone that regulates women’s menstrual cycle and ovulation, interfering with normal signaling pathways.
- Perfluorinated chemicals (PFCs)The perfluorinated chemicals used to make non-stick cookware can stick to you. One particularly notorious compound called PFOA has been shown to be “completely resistant to biodegradation.” In other words, PFOA doesn’t break down in the environment – ever. That means that even though the chemical was banned after decades of use, it will be showing up in people’s bodies for countless generations to come. This is worrisome, since PFOA exposure has been linked to decreased sperm quality, low birth weight, kidney disease, thyroid disease and high cholesterol, among other health issues. Scientists are still figuring out how PFOA affects the human body, but animal studies have found that it can affect thyroid and sex hormone levels.
- Organophosphate pesticidesNeurotoxic organophosphate compounds that the Nazis produced in huge quantities for chemical warfare during World War II were luckily never used. After the war ended, American scientists used the same chemistry to develop a long line of pesticides that target the nervous systems of insects. Despite many studies linking organophosphate exposure to effects on brain development, behavior and fertility, they are still among the more common pesticides in use today. A few of the many ways that organophosphates can affect the human body include interfering with the way testosterone communicates with cells, lowering testosterone and altering thyroid hormone levels.
- Glycol EthersThese are common solvents in paints, cleaning products, brake fluid and cosmetics, personal, skin, hair, baby, beauty and oral care products. Studies have shown that glycols have caused genital malformation in rats.
Question 5. What are the potential health impacts for my children if they are exposed to these hormone disruptors?
Most people simply don’t understand that a high percentage of the chemicals used in products that they and their children use everyday are either carcinogenic, neurotoxic, toxic to the immune and reproductive system and damaging to internal organs
Part of this question has been answered in question 2, however, research is showing that the level of endocrine disorders (hormonal related disorders), i.e., thyroid diseases, breast, ovarian, testicular cancer, PCOS, Endometriosis, Fibroids, Infertility (1 in 8 women infertile), early onset puberty, early onset menopause, decrease in male semen quality, genital malformation in baby boys is at an all time high. In fact, male semen quality has reduced 40% to what it was years ago, genital malformation in baby boys has increased by 400% according to the World Health Organisation report of 2012 and we are on the tip of the iceberg in relation to the level of these disorders in society. View the report from the World Health Organisation.
Question 6. Is it just my kids I should be concerned about?
Everyone should be concerned about this. With the high level of infertility that we are experiencing, with the alarming rate of chronic illness our children are experiencing and with the alarming rate of autism (1 in 66 American school-aged children have autism, research is showing the actual figure to be 1 in 38), some researchers are saying that we are the only species actively contributing to our own extinction and that if we continue on the trajectory we are on, it may well be the next of the generation after that who will be the last to have children.
On average there are around 200+ chemicals in breast milk around the world and babies umbilical cords around the world have been found to have on average around 200+ chemicals in the same. Is it any wonder our chronic disease rates are so high not only in adults but in children – it never used to be that way.
Things have to change, but to change people need to be educated. At Divine By Therese Kerr (www.divinebytheresekerr.com) our goal is to educate so that people can make informed choices but without providing healthy alternatives, education is pointless and that is why we as a family are committed to providing the world with the healthiest, certified organic products across all spectrums.
Not only should we be concerned about what we are putting on and ultimately in our children and the impact of that, we should be concerned about ourselves, our partners, other loved ones and also our environment. As a society we believe we need to leave our children to inhabit a world worth inhabiting. We need to realise that what we do to our planet and all living things, we ultimately do to ourselves.
Question 7. How do I avoid these hormone disruptors?
Most people get a little overwhelmed in trying to absorb all of the above. Some get angry at a society, at the government for allowing products to be sold that are in fact unsafe and contain chemicals that have not been tested for safety. The problem is that in most countries around the world (other than Europe), the cosmetics industry is self regulating and what this means is that the very people who create the cosmetics are the people who deem whether or not those products are safe – that has to change and that will only change when people vote with their dollar and stop buying products that are damaging to their health and that will only change when they are educated on the subject. Follow us on http:// https://www.facebook.com/divinebytheresekerr as we are committed to providing education and to making our world and its people a much healthier place.
The key to taking action is to not become overwhelmed, whilst it appears there is a lot to take in, the simple truth is… If you don’t want endocrine disrupting chemicals in your body:
1. Don’t eat produce that contains organophosphates.
2. Remove all food additives from your life (this is a general health request, not specific to endocrine disruption).
3. Remove all sugar from your life.
4. Don’t use personal, skin, hair, beauty, baby or oral care products that contain phthalates, fragrance and glycols and sadly almost all conventional products do. Simply switch to safer alternatives and the safest being certified organic. See our certified organic personal care products and soon to be released certified organic baby products. I am the Health and Wellness Ambassador for Australian Organic (Pete Evans is the Cooking Ambassador, Costa Georgiardis is the Gardening Ambassador) and Australian Certified Organic products are now regarded as one of, if not the most stringent certification bodies in the world.
5. Our products contain only the highest quality certified organic and plant derived ingredients. With the incredible anti-oxidant and nutrient-rich ingredients our products support our bodies, endocrine system and organs, not hinder it in anyway, the exact opposite of what conventional products do to our bodies. http://www.divinebytheresekerr.com
6. Sadly there is a huge misrepresentation as to the use of the word “organic”. A company can claim something is “organic” if it contains one natural or plant-based ingredient, yet it may, and more often than not does, contain hundreds if not thousands of chemicals. Don’t be fooled by “green-washing” or companies calling something “organic”, the only true guarantee that a consumer has is if the product is actually certified organic because this is regulated by the certification body.
Here are two certification bodies we recommend:
7. Remove BPA from your life and review Question 2 above as in that question I identify what are the most common endocrine-disrupting chemicals.
8. Educate yourself and share this information with loved ones. Educate your children and follow us on our social media sites and also follow our blog as we are always posting something and keep up with the latest research and provide that to our subscribers of our VIP and Educated, Empowered and Chemical Free Program.
THERESE KERR: a mother to Miranda and Matthew Kerr, a co-founder and director of The Divine Company, visionary, author, public speaker, Ambassador for the Chemical Free Community, Holistic family health, the Health and Wellbeing, Ambassador for Australian Organic, an Ambassador for The Mind Foundation (prevention and treatment of autism), the Health and Wellbeing Advocate for Pink Hope (an organisation dedicated to the prevention of breast and ovarian cancer) and a Patron of Kids Helpline Australia.