You may not be aware of the effects some chemicals commonly found in our homes and our environment have on our health and wellbeing, but these so-called endocrine disruptors are all around us and can interfere with hormone balance and the immune system. While it’s becoming common knowledge that the chemicals in our foods can affect our health, the lesser known environmental exposures may be even more ubiquitous.
Here are some examples:
- Pthalates- found in beauty products, plastics and also in new shower curtains. You know that “icky” smell of a new shower curtain? That’s the airborne phthalates. Tip: To disperse the chemical, Air the curtain outside for 24 hours prior to hanging in your bathroom to disperse the chemical.
- Bisphenol A (BPA)- found in plastic drinking bottles, baby bottles, and cash register receipts
- Dioxins- found in all bleached paper products: toilet paper and tampons are particularly problematic as they come in contact with our skin (mucous membranes)
- Chemicals used in dry cleaning will off-gas from the clothing for days after we bring them home.
- Cleaning supplies that we use to wash our kitchen counters, floors and ovens put endocrine disrupting chemicals into the air and can remain on these surfaces
- Many pesticides that are used for repelling ants, roaches and other insects can be also harmful to humans
This is a short list; the ways we are exposed are many. To read more see Dr. Marianne Marchese’s book 8 Weeks to Women’s Wellness. Her book outlines the environmental links to 10 common women’s health conditions, the various ways we are exposed to these chemicals on a daily basis and provides an 8 week detoxification program that is both informative for the doctor and useful for patients.