With Halloween fast approaching, we brace ourselves for the arrival of ghouls and other scary creatures. A festive time for sure, with all the cute cat costumes and sweet baby Batman outfits. Oh yea – and bags and bags of candy.
A recent statement from the Endocrine Society, however, reminds us there might truly be frightening things living with us everyday. We can’t see them. We can’t taste them. They are there, though, haunting us. Lurking in plain sight. Worst of all, in the long run they will likely open us up to illness and disease.
What are we talking about? EDC’s. Endocrine Disrupting Chemicals.
I know. You were hoping for some ancient curse beset on you by the 2000 year old ghost in the floorboards. Instead I’m talking about the slightly less ancient curse of products in your home infused with chemicals that disrupt your hormonal balance, which leads to serious health issues like diabetes and obesity.
These chemicals appear on store receipts, plastic containers, food products, toys and metal can linings. They include DDT and other pesticides, bisphenol A (BPA), phthalates, and flame-retardants. You likely have these items in your home and don’t even know it. Many of these chemicals are commonplace, to the point where we don’t give them a second thought.
The new statement from the Endocrine Society, the oldest, largest and most active organization devoted to research on hormones and the clinical practice of endocrinology, was presented at the recent International Conference on Chemicals Management (ICCM4), in Geneva, Switzerland. The statement comes from research linking the presence of these chemicals to an increase of various illnesses, like diabetes, as well as reproductive health problems, hormone-related cancers such as breast and ovarian cancer, prostate conditions, thyroid disorders and neurodevelopmental issues.
(Check out more information from the Society, you can check out their Facts and Figures page HERE.)
Although some of these connections were demonstrated in earlier research, the Society continues to see links in ongoing research. In fact now they can draw on hundreds of studies being done on the subject, and the data keeps pointing to the same conclusions. The statement encourages several steps to be taken on an international basis to assure the problem does not worsen. They ask for the global community to step up their vigilance and advocate for safer practices for manufacturers and consumers alike.
For a link to the story click HERE
What Do I Do?
Given the fact these chemicals are found in so many common items, it may feel overwhelming to figure out what to cut out and what to keep. However there are some simple things to try that can make a difference. Much of the research found that you can be effected by a relatively small amount of these substances, so frankly anything you do reduces your contact. Right now you can:
1) Use Glass: Whether storing food or drinking water from a bottle, choose the glass option when you can. Glass is much safer and does not leech the way plastic can.
2) If you use plastic – don’t heat it: I know. It’s late and your hungry and all you want is to heat up leftovers. Well if the container is plastic and you heat it in the microwave, then you add a little chemical seasoning into the mix. Better to eat it cold. The fact it’s stored in plastic is not great, but heating the plastic is worse.
3) Fresh food rather than canned: If you can, grab a fresh item from the store rather than choosing the canned version. Want beans for dinner? Cook them up fresh. Ditching the can spares you chemicals required to keep the food preserved in the can. Fresh often tastes better too.
4) Pesticides: If your yard receives treatments of any kind, or you use something on your flower bed, opt for a choice that does not include DDT or other harmful items. Products like Roundup do not serve your health. There are other options.
5) Detox when you can: Periodically it’s a good idea to do a basic detox of your system. Over time, exposure to these chemicals creates a build up in our system. We can become less able to process them, and therefore more likely to have a serious issue develop. Detoxing lets your body reset and strengthen. Contact us if you want more information on this.
So as the goblins and other halloween creatures rap on your door this weekend, think about what you can do to rid yourself of the unwanted monsters living in your home and work. Think about some simple ways you can change things, so that next year the only scary visitors knocking on your door are 4 year olds in awesome costumes.
As always we encourage taking hold of your own wellness. You cannot completely rely on others, like manufacturers, to make the best choices for you. There are good ones out there, so take the time to find the best products. In the end you and your loved ones benefit, which is the best treat of all.
To Your Health