Alarm Over Gender-Bender Chemical in Household Cleaning Products

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July 26, 2007 | 98,163 views

Public health advocates, environmentalists and laundry workers have petitioned the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to ban “gender-bender” chemical additives found in some household detergents and other cleaning agents. 

They‘re also calling for studies on the human risks related to nonylphenol ethoxylates (NPEs), which are known to be potent endocrine disrupters. These chemicals are already thought to be the cause of male fish transforming into females in waterways around the world. 

Some believe these transformed fish may be the proverbial canaries in the coal mine, pointing toward a much larger human problem. About 250,000 fewer boys have been born in the last 30 years in the United States and Japan, and scientists are linking the phenomenon to a body accumulation of these types of gender-bending toxins. 

As endocrine disrupters, NPEs affect gene expression by turning on or off certain genes, and interfere with the way your glandular system works. They mimic the female hormone estrogen, which is the reason behind some marine species switching from male to female. 

Approximately 400 million pounds of NPEs are manufactured in the United States each year.

Organic Consumers Association June 6, 2007 

Natural Health—A Much Better Way July 21, 2007

Many of the most common household products contain potentially toxic chemicals. Although most people don’t reflect on this, you can easily absorb most of these chemicals through your skin, and you can also breathe them into your lungs. Over time, these toxins can build up in your system and cause any number of unknown effects.

Aside from detergents and cleaning agents, endocrine-disrupting chemicals can also be found in plastics, pesticides, fertilizers and even soy

Fortunately, you can take control of your household environment, and simply avoid using toxic chemicals in your home. Instead, please seek out natural laundry detergents and cleaning products. Your local health food store is a good place to start.

But, if you’re thrifty to boot, you can also use items you already have around your house, such as:  vinegar, baking soda, salt, and lemon juice, which in most cases get the job done just as well -- sometimes even better.

Baking soda is a real powerhouse when it comes to cleaning. Here are just a few examples of how plain and simple baking soda can replace dangerous commercial cleaning products in your home:

More common sense tips you can use today to reduce your exposure to harmful chemicals include: