Thursday, June 28, 2012

How to reduce exposure to endocrine-disrupting chemicals

Researchers suggest a simpler lifestyle could be the answer

A small population study shows that lifestyle could be one of the most important factors to curb exposure to endocrine disruptors such as BPA and phthalates.

The lifestyle with the best results focuses on fresh foods and limited use of products likely to contain environmental chemicals.

Endocrine-disrupting chemicals have been linked
to adverse health effects, researchers say.
The researchers examined urine samples and individual lifestyle choices of a group of Old Order Mennonite (OOM) women in mid-pregnancy and found that they have much lower concentrations of endocrine-disrupting chemicals (EDCs) than the general population.

The Mennonite community provided a good control group because their lifestyle includes mostly fresh foods, farming without pesticides, no cosmetics and limited use of personal care products.

The scientists compared the data on 10 OOM women in mid-pregnancy with pregnant women who participated in the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES).

While more research is needed to confirm their findings, the researchers say that the results show how important lifestyle factors and the home environment are when it comes to chemical exposures.

Why avoid endocrine-disrupting chemicals?

Endocrine disruptors interfere with the body’s hormone system.

Recent studies have linked EDCs to adverse health effects such as neuro-developmental delays, behavioral issues and fertility problems.

BPA and phthalates have also been associated with obesity, asthma, allergies and heart disease.

It is next to impossible to completely avoid exposure, since these chemicals can be found in a wide range of household products that contain certain plastics, including
  • Clothing
  • Furniture
  • Toys
  • Medical supplies
  • Cosmetics

Adopting a simpler lifestyle similar to the OOM women may help reduce exposure, the researchers say.

The study appeared in the journal NeuroToxicology.

Source: The Mount Sinai Hospital

Air purifiers for chemicals and more

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