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Endocrine disrupting chemicals

February 02, 2023 4 min read

What is the endocrine system?

Your body’s endocrine system is a network of organs and glands that work with other systems to help create, distribute and regulate hormones that your body needs to function properly.


How do endocrine-disrupting chemicals affect your hormones?

Endocrine-disrupting chemicals (EDCs) are chemicals that disrupt or damage your body’s hormone-making organs and processes. This occurs when a chemical mimics a particular hormone, which prevents your body from using or absorbing a particular hormone. This process interferes with the way your hormones talk to each other or hijacks your hormone-producing organs.

EDCs cause adverse effects in animals, however, there is limited scientific information on potential health problems in humans. This is because humans are normally exposed to multiple EDCs at the same time, thus making assessing public health effects difficult. 


How do people encounter endocrine-disrupting chemicals?

EDCs are substances in the environment (air, soil, or water supply), food sources, personal care products and manufactured products that interfere with the normal function of your body’s endocrine system. It is evident that EDCs come from many different sources and people can be exposed to them in a number of different ways. You can be exposed to EDCs through simple activities such as breathing air, eating food or drinking water; EDCs can even enter your body through the skin. Some EDCs break down slowly in the environment which makes them potentially hazardous over time. Even low exposure to EDC’s can be unsafe as they can alter your body’s sensitive development and reproductive systems – potentially leading to health problems. 


What are some endocrine-disrupting chemicals?

  • Bisphenol (BPA) –makes polycarbonate plastics and resins that can be found in many plastic products such as bottles and food containers.
  • Dioxins –produced as a by-product in herbicide production and paper bleaching, dioxins are additionally released into the environment through waste burning and wildfires
  • Perfluoroalkyl and Polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) –used widely in industrial applications such as firefighting foams, non-stick pans, paper and textile coatings
  • Phthalates –Commonly used to make plastics more flexible. Can also be found in some food packaging, cosmetics, children’s toys, and medical devices
  • Polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDE) – used to make flame retardants for household products such as furniture foam and carpets
  • Polychlorinated biphenyls (PCB) –used to make electrical equipment like transformers and hydraulic fluids, heat transfer fluids, lubricants and plasticizers
  • Triclosan –can be found in some anti-microbial and personal care products – e.g., liquid body wash
  • Chlorine –used in dyes, swimming pools and hot tubs, insecticides, paint, paper products and laundry detergent


How to reduce exposure

When purchasing items, it is important to check labels and do your research to buy what is safe and suitable for you. Below are some tips to help you reduce exposure to EDC’s:


  1. Consider buying fresh, organic, unpacked foods and BPA-free cans. Doing so can lower your exposure to BPA, phthalates and other EDC’s that are included in food processing and packaging.
  2. Choose fragrance-free and paraben-free cosmetics, beauty products, household cleansers and soaps. Doing so can reduce your exposure to phthalates, parabens and other EDC’s.
  3. Avoid non-stick pans. Cook with stainless steel, cast iron, titan or ceramic pans instead as they’re free of PFC’s but may also last longer and give you a better tasting meal!
  4. Try using filtering your water and even consider a reverse osmosis filter system. Filtering your water can reduce arsenic, atrazine, lead and the presence of other endocrine disrupting metals. Installing a reverse osmosis filter will reduce perchlorate.
  5. As many EDC’s are present in dust, vacuum your house regularly with a HEPA filter. Using “a HEPA filter on your vacuum cleaner can help reduce dusty toxins in your home.” Maintaining a clean and tidy space will also contribute to cleaner and healthier air throughout your house.
  6. Lower your consumption of plastics. BPA and other ED’s can be found in children’s toys and other recyclables. Holding, touching and using plastics can increase your exposure to ED through skin contact. Try to store your food in glass containers instead of plastic and choose wooden and cloth toys for children instead of plastic.
  7. Consume less animal products. Environmental chemicals and toxins such as dioxins, lead and mercury often have the greatest concentrations in meat, fish, seafood and other animal products. Limiting these foods can decrease your intake of ED’s.


Why choose Happy Little Camper?

Happy Little Camper thrives on being better for your baby and better for the planet. Our diapers are fragrance-free and contain no harmful chemicals, VOC’s or toxic adhesives. Made without nasties including chlorine, silicone, phthalates, triclosan, sulfates or lead. We use lightweight, ultra-thin, super-absorbent, non-bulky materials and TDI-free elastics that contain no harmful dyes or parabens which make our diapers hypoallergenic. They contain soothing natural ingredients such as GMO-Free Natural Cotton, Organic Aloe Vera and Vitamin E, while also guaranteeing a latex-free product. We source only the purest, sustainably sourced pulp and natural cotton which are all approved by Mother Nature and FSC certified. You can feel comfortable using Happy Little Camper on your little one knowing our diapers are safe, reliable, and ethically sourced.


Additional Resources

Carr, K. (n.d). 9 Easy Ways to Avoid Hormone-Harming Endocrine Disruptors.https://kriscarr.com/blog/hormone-harming-endocrine-disruptors/#:~:text=Choose%20fresh%2C%20unpackaged%20foods%20and%20BPA-free%20cans.%20This,iron%2C%20titanium%20or%20ceramic%20pans%20rather%20than%20non-stick

Endocrine Society. (2022). Endocrine-disrupting Chemicals (EDC’s).https://www.endocrine.org/patient-engagement/endocrine-library/edcs

National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences. (2022). Endocrine disruptors.https://www.niehs.nih.gov/health/topics/agents/endocrine/index.cfm

Openshaw, R. (2018). Endocrine Disruptors: 14 Common Chemicals that Affect your hormones.https://greensmoothiegirl.com/endocrine-disruptors/


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