Endocrine disruptors are chemicals that interfere with the production and regulation of hormones in the body – commonly found in food and many other items such as cosmetics and household items. Exposure to these disruptors can negatively affect health. So how can you limit the risk of these substances?
According to the researchers, the endocrine system is responsible for the production and regulation of hormones in the body – considered to be extremely essential “chemical messengers” in controlling and maintaining various functions. in the body, such as: growth and development of organ systems, metabolism, mood, sleep and reproduction. This shows that the endocrine system has a significant influence on human life.
Regarding endocrine disruptors, they are polyester-based chemicals or substances that can interfere with the endocrine system in humans and animals, thereby causing disturbances in hormone secretion and leading to endocrine disruptors. endocrine disorders. Common examples of endocrine disruptors include:
– Bisphenol A (BPA): Found in many types of plastic products, food and beverage containers, and the lining of some food and soft drinks cans.
– Phthalates: Phthalates are employed in plastics, personal care items, and certain pharmaceuticals.
– Polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs): persistent environmental contaminants, commonly used in electrical equipment and other industrial applications.
– Pesticides: including organophosphates and chlorpyrifos, possess endocrine-disrupting properties.
– Dioxins: environmental pollutants that can be released during industrial processes and from the burning of some materials.
Exposure to and exposure to endocrine disruptors can expose you to a variety of health problems, including: fertility disorders, increased risk of hormone-related cancers (such as breast cancer, thyroid cancer, cervical cancer and prostate cancer), metabolic disorders and leading to chronic diseases (cardiovascular, blood pressure, blood fat, etc.) ), nervous disorders, and weakens the immune system.
In particular, the group of pregnant women, infants and children are very vulnerable to the negative effects of endocrine disruptors due to the important role of hormones in development and growth. If pregnant women are exposed to endocrine disrupting substances, they will easily experience pregnancy complications (threatened miscarriage, premature birth, postpartum haemorrhage, etc.), the fetus has a high risk of birth defects due to malformations. chromosomal changes, or at birth may have delayed brain development.
The above is enough to show that exposure to endocrine disruptors is extremely dangerous.
So how do you limit the risk of these substances – when they seem to have been and are present in every corner of people’s daily lives, such as in food and drink, items – utensils, etc. household or cosmetic products that people are using? Health experts say the following 7 ways can help you.
7 ways to help limit the risk of exposure to endocrine disruptors
1. Choose safer cookware
Choose cookware made from materials that are less likely to leach harmful chemicals into your food. Some of the safer options include stainless steel, cast iron, ceramic, and glass. Avoid non-stick cookware with polytetrafluoroethylene (PTFE) coatings, as they can release toxic fumes at high temperatures. These coatings also often start to chip after prolonged use, increasing your risk of ingesting these endocrine disruptors.
2. Use wooden or silicone utensils
When cooking, use utensils made of wood or silicone instead of plastic, especially those that help stir or turn hot food. Plastic utensils can contain chemicals like BPA and phthalates – as you read above, these are two of the most common and harmful endocrine disruptors.
3. Limit eating canned foods
Canned foods can be a source of exposure to endocrine-disrupting chemicals like BPA and BPS, which are found in the lining of some canned goods. Research results from the Institute of Environmental and Pollution Sciences (USA) show that BPA levels in urine are increased in people who have a habit of regularly consuming canned foods. Specifically, BPA levels in urine were significantly different between consumption of canned foods and raw foods.
Therefore, choose fresh or frozen food instead of canned food, because obviously we also do not know the food supply for canned foods is really fresh and not contaminated with pesticides. worms, or any other endocrine disrupting compounds.
4. Minimize the use of microwave ovens with plastic containers
Reheating food in a plastic container in the microwave can release harmful chemicals. Whenever possible, transfer food to glass or ceramic dishes when using the microwave. Or if possible, choose to use an oven or air fryer to process food.
5. Avoid prepackaged and processed foods
Many prepackaged and processed foods that come in plastic containers or wrappers can contain endocrine disruptors. So choose fresh, whole foods and prepare meals from scratch as much as possible.
6. Choose organic and synthetic hormone-free foods
Organic foods are less likely to contain synthetic pesticides and hormones, which can be endocrine disruptors. Additionally, choosing meat and dairy products that don’t contain synthetic hormones can reduce your exposure to potential endocrine disruptors.
7. Wash fruits and vegetables thoroughly before eating
Washing fruits and vegetables before eating multiple times with salt water can help remove pesticide residues and reduce exposure to endocrine-disrupting chemicals. In particular, when choosing to buy vegetables, you should not regret too much money when buying organically raised / grown foods. Because according to the Mayo Clinic, compared with products grown by conventional methods, products grown by organic methods have lower levels of pesticide residues.
Minimizing the use of products containing these endocrine-disrupting chemicals and choosing safer alternatives are important steps to protect human health and the environment.