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How to Avoid Hormone Disrupting Chemicals

Analysis by Dr. Joseph Mercola Fact Checked

Story at-a-glance -

  • Endocrine disrupting chemicals (EDCs) are similar in structure to natural hormones such as the female sex hormone estrogen, the male sex hormone androgen, and thyroid hormones
  • EDCs interfere with development, reproduction, neurological functioning, metabolism, satiety and your immune system function, and much more, and for many of these chemicals, there may be no safe level of exposure
  • 12 of the worst and most widely used EDCs are: BPA, dioxin, atrazine, phthalates, perchlorate, fire retardants, lead, mercury, arsenic, PFCs, organophosphate pesticides and glycol ethers
  • 10 common routes of exposure include personal care products, drinking water, canned and packaged foods, conventionally grown produce and CAFO meat, poultry and dairy products, high-mercury fish, plastic and nonstick kitchenware, cleaning products, household dust, office products and cash register receipts
  • Suggestions for how to avoid or limit exposure are included

Endocrine disrupting chemicals (EDCs) are similar in structure to natural hormones such as the female sex hormone estrogen, the male sex hormone androgen and thyroid hormones, which allow them to interfere with development, reproduction, neurological functioning, metabolism, satiety and your immune system function, and much more.

For example, they may block certain hormonal signals, alter your hormone levels, or change the way your natural hormones travel through your body. As noted in a World Health Organization (WHO) report published in 2012, the effects of EDCs on your hormonal systems “can lead to obesity, infertility or reduced fertility, learning and memory difficulties, Type 2 diabetes or cardiovascular disease, as well as a variety of other diseases."


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