As part of your healthy lifestyle, you may already be choosing BPA-free for any plastics that may contain food and been avoiding parabens in your body care products.
Switching out your plastics and skincare is a great start – but did you know that endocrine disrupting chemicals are actually found all over our homes?
Endocrine disrupting chemicals (aka hormone-disrupting chemicals) are found to be affecting our health at much smaller amounts than other toxics. So this means that the little bits we’re exposed to on a daily basis are adding up.
For instance, one study of 100 teen girls in the US found a 30% decrease of endocrine disrupting chemicals in their urine after just 3 days of using cosmetics free from hormone disruptors.
Other studies suggest hormone disruptors play a role in developmental disorders, fatigue and weight-gain and autoimmune disease. Others are suggesting that hormone disruptors may impair hormone function and sperm production in men, and may impair ovulation and egg quality in women. For women with conditions such as Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) and endometriosis, hormone disruptors may make symptoms worse.
The World Health Organization is especially concerned about how hormone disruptors affect children since their bodies are growing and changing so rapidly. Studies in both Canada and the US have demonstrated that hormone disruptors are even found in the cord blood of newborns.
While the research hasn’t looked at it yet, it’s not much of a stretch to imagine the potential impacts hormone disruptors have throughout menopause, too.
The solution – reduce hormone disruptors at home
The good news is, there are a few simple ways you can help reduce hormone disruptors in your home to support your healthy lifestyle. Here are 3 ways you can make healthier choices today:
- Ditch the fabric softener and dryer sheets. These typically contain synthetic fragrance, which is made up of any combination of hundreds of chemicals that often include phthalates (which are known hormone disruptors) and allergens. To help speed up drying time while combating static, opt for 100% wool dryer balls instead! You can add a few drops of essential oils to them if you like your laundry to have a fresh scent.
Given laundry is done on a regular basis, you can reduce the vicious cycle of re-introducing hormone disruptors by eliminating the use of fabric softener and dryer sheets.
- Choose a non-PVC shower curtain or liner. Phthalates are released from conventional PVC curtains with the heat of the shower. Opt for safer PEVA, which is also easy to clean and is less likely to contribute to mould. Natural hemp is another great option, but note it will require a bit more attention if you don’t have good air circulation in the bathroom.
- Choose a pillow free from flame retardants. Organic Lifestyle has a variety of pillows for every preference. Flame retardant-free, organic, and natural ingredients will help you have a healthier and worry-free sleep. (I’m a side sleeper and the shredded rubber pillow is the most comfortable one I’ve ever tried – and it holds it’s loft much longer than synthetic fill too!)
Making some simple changes towards a healthier home, especially focused on hormone disruptor chemicals, can have a lasting effect on your health. What will your next step be?
If you’re looking for more specific guidance to help you detox your home, check out my online program Your Healthy Home: A Room-by-Room Guide to Detoxing Your Home.
Also published on Medium.