Endocrine disruptors refer to toxins that cause disturbance to the normal functioning of our endocrine system. There are many chemicals found in plastics used to wrap everyday products such as skin care, food and household items that have been shown to be harmful to our cells, causing hormonal disturbances, immune dysregulation and possibly cancers. There are links between these chemicals and an unfolding range of health issues such as, allergies, breathing problems skin conditions, and have been shown in animal studies to be paticularly hazardous in pregnant mice and their litters.
Plastics to avoid
Polystyrene - found in packaging, plastic cups and bowls
Vinyl/PVC - found in cling film, plastic bottles, clothing
Polycarbonate - found in baby bottles, office water cooler systems, sports drinks bottles, shampoo/skincare products
How to reduce your exposure to plastics and other environmental toxins
Heat, cleaning agents, packaging damage and fats can degrade plastics, and make the toxic chemicals more likely to contaminate your food or get on your skin or into your environment. There are some actions you can take to reduce the amount of exposure you have with these harmful plastics and toxins:
- Look for labels that read 'PVC free' and 'BPA free'
- Take off your shoes when you are at home
- Use glass storage containers, foil instead of cling film, brown paper bags rather than plastic, metal flasks
- Recycle any old plastic containers once they show signs of wear
- Wash plastic by hand rather than in the dishwasher
- Only consume glass bottled water, or preferalby tap water filtered in a metal filter (e.g. Berkey)
- Buy in bulk and decant your food items in glass jars
- Use organic, natural make-up/skin and hair care brands
- Buy organic plant and animal foods
- Use well researched natural household cleaning products, or make your own
- Buy fresh or frozen foods and transfer to glass storage if possible. Avoid canned foods due to the plastic lining.
- Use eco-friendly dry cleaning companies or take off plastic covers and air clothes as soon as you can