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Endocrine disruptors and how to avoid them

What exactly is an EDC anyway?

If you’re on a quest to lower your toxic load chances are you’ll have come across the term endocrine disruptors, or EDCs. In a nutshell, EDCs are chemicals – both synthetic and naturally occurring – that pop up in food, beauty and personal care products, and can play havoc on normal hormone function. They’ve been linked to breast cancer, reproductive issues and low birthweight as well as metabolic and immune function problems. The main culprits for EDCs are phthalates (plasticisers), parabens, triclosan (antibacterial products and some toothpastes) preservatives and fragrance.

Although only trace amounts are usually found in products WHO believes it’s the cumulative exposure that causes health problems, with mothers-to-be and children the most at-risk.

Here’s our checklist of how to lower your exposure to EDCs

  1. Choose beauty and skincare products that are free from parabens and synthetic fragrance, especially if you’re pregnant
  2. Wash fruit and vegetables to remove pesticide residue – try a mix of water and apple cider vinegar
  3. Choose fresh food over processed
  4. Avoid tins or jars lined with BPA
  5. Say no to plastic containers with the numbers 3 (PVC) or 7 (polycarbonate)
  6. Avoid non-stick cooking pans – like those with Teflon coating
  7. Try natural cleaning products
  8. Buy organic where possible – especially items such as berries, apples and lettuce
  9. Use beeswax wrap instead of plastic wrap to cover food
  10. Opt for natural children’s personal care products like wipes, shampoo, body wash and lotion, and sunscreen

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