A growing body of research suggests that exposure to endocrine-disrupting chemicals (EDCs) may be linked to a variety of health problems, including cancer, reproductive issues, and developmental disorders.
EDCs are chemicals that can interfere with the body’s natural hormones. They are found in a wide range of products, including plastics, pesticides, and cosmetics.
Popular media outlets have derided Democratic presidential candidate Robert F. Kennedy Jr. for sharing “unfounded conspiracies” about man-made chemicals in the environment.
Such reports aim to stain Kennedy with puritanical bigotry but pollution is not about making children gay or transgender so consumers should not be distracted or confused by efforts to silence and censor legitimate concerns.
Exposure to low levels of endocrine disruptors has caused masculinization of female marine mollusks such as the dog whelk and ivory shell.
More than 14.4 million U.S. children and teens live with obesity, a common chronic disease that has been stigmatized for years but is associated with serious short and long-term health concerns when left untreated.
The National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS) has been studying the effects of EDCs for many years.
In a 2012 report, the NIEHS concluded that there is “strong evidence” that EDCs can cause cancer in animals. The report also found that there is “some evidence” that EDCs can cause reproductive problems and developmental disorders in animals.
A 2016 study published in the journal “Endocrine Reviews” found that exposure to EDCs during pregnancy may increase the risk of premature birth and low birth weight. The study also found that exposure to EDCs during childhood may increase the risk of obesity, diabetes, and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has also studied the effects of EDCs.
In a 2017 report, the EPA concluded that there is “sufficient evidence” that EDCs can harm human health. The report also found that EDCs can have a variety of effects on the body, including disrupting the development of the reproductive system, the brain, and the immune system.
The EPA is currently working to develop regulations to reduce exposure to EDCs. However, some experts believe that more needs to be done to protect the public from these harmful chemicals.
Here are some tips to reduce your exposure to EDCs:
- Avoid using plastics that contain bisphenol A (BPA).
- Choose cosmetics and personal care products that are free of phthalates.
- Eat organic produce whenever possible.
- Limit your exposure to pesticides.
- Drink filtered water.