Many of the toxic chemicals lurking in our homes are what are called Hormone Disruptors. Hormone disruptors are in everything from cleaning products, synthetic fragrances and food packaging!
In biology class we learned that our bodies are run by a network of hormones and glands that regulate everything we do. This network or system is called the endocrine system.
While you may instantly think of the endocrine system in the context of puberty, it actually plays a much bigger role and in ALL phases of development, metabolism, and even behavior.
Synthetic chemicals in products like plastics, cosmetics and “fragrances” can mimic hormones and interfere with or disrupt the delicate endocrine workings. These hormone disruptive toxins cause adverse developmental, reproductive, neurological, and immune system effects in both humans and animals. We’re exposed to these chemicals daily, as are our dogs, cats, birds and all companion animals and the effects are intensified in our pets, due to their smaller body size.
A wide range of substances, both natural and man-made, have been found to cause endocrine disruption, including pharmaceuticals, products with “fragrances” dioxin and dioxin-like compounds, polychlorinated biphenyls, pesticides, and plasticizers such as bisphenol A.
Young animals and pregnant animals are especially vulnerable to the endocrine disrupting effects during phases of accelerated development—both in utero and throughout their growth periods as they mature.
There is no end to the tricks that endocrine disruptors can play on our bodies:
- increasing production of certain hormones; decreasing production of others
- imitating hormones;
- turning one hormone into another;
- interfering with hormone signaling;
- telling cells to die prematurely;
- competing with essential nutrients;
- binding to essential hormones;
- accumulating in organs that produce hormones
Here are the 12 worst toxic chemical – hormone disruptors, called – “The DIrty Dozen”
Stay tuned, my focus is going to be on toxins in the home and around as well as in our pets.