The Forager's Path - School of Botanical Studies

Understanding the Role of Endocrine Disruptors for Men’s and Women’s Reproductive Health

Endocrine Disruptors: What are They?
Chemicals that can increase and decrease the production of hormones in our body by disrupting the normal functioning of the endocrine glands. They especially affect estrogen, androgen and thyroid hormones. This throws many organ systems out of balance. This term is often used interchangeably with Xeno-estrogen or Xeno-hormones. This is an important topic for both men and women’s reproductive health.

Some chemical compounds to avoid are:
BPA (bisphenol-A)
PBDE’s (polybrominated diphenyl ethers)
Mercury and lead
Organophosphate pesticides
Perflourinated chemicals (PFC)
Glycol ethers
Poly- and perfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS)
Perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA)
Nonylphenol ethoxylates (NPEs)
Methoxydiglycol (DEGME)
2-butoxyethanol (EGBE)

These are very widespread in the modern world and challenging to eliminate completely.
Some ways to eliminate the major sources:

In the Kitchen
Avoid plastic in all its forms
Use glass, stainless steel or ceramic containers whenever possible
Especially don’t use plastic in the microwave
Avoid non-stick cookware and water or stain resistant coatings on clothing, furniture and carpets
Use glass for drinking glasses at home and a stainless steel water bottle or ceramic coffee cup elsewhere
Avoid plastic cooking utensils, strainers and cutting boards.
In the dishwasher, use the greenest alternatives possible. Use detergent that is free of phosphates and fragrances.
Avoid anti-bacterial soaps.  Use eco-friendly products or make your own using castile soap, lemon and vinegar and essential oils.

Local and organic foods have fewer (if any) endocrine-disrupting pesticides and herbicides than the supermarket foods.
Fresh produce is best. If not, use a box or carton. Avoid cans, unless they’re clearly marked “BPA-free,”. BPA is often used to line the inside of cans.
Use organic, grass-fed meats, raised without antibiotics or hormones. Factory farmed animals store environmental toxins in their fat, which we ingest.
Avoid factory-farmed or processed chicken products.
Use a multi-stage, high quality filter for drinking water

Other Sources to Avoid
Thermal lined paper used for cash register receipts. BPA rubs off on our hands or is transferred to paper money in our wallet.
Computer ink cartridges and toner
Replace vinyl shower curtains with fabric
Added ‘fragrance’ in many body care products, air fresheners, dryer sheets and fabric softeners
Products labeled BPA Free are using a similar chemical compound and should still be avoided

Websites for Further Information
These three articles by Juliet Blankenspoor are both clearly explained and well detailed on the role of estrogen and endocrine disruptors in women’s health. An excellent place to begin.
Ecology of Estrogen
Endocrine Disruptors

These two links go into details about ways to eliminate one’s exposure in the home to endocrine disruptors.
Here and Here

Dr Aviva Romm sheds light on the topic of using soy as a phytoestrogen and ways to prevent early puberty in girls.

A thought provoking article on estrogen’s role in male reproductive health

Super Salve has high quality skin care and cosmetic products.


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