Endocrine Disruptors


Endocrine disruptors are chemicals that can affect normal hormone functions in the body. These are compounds that have a chemical structure that the body mistakenly recognizes as a naturally occurring hormone. They can interfere with normal body chemistry in several ways. These compounds can block the action of a hormone, or have a similar effect as the hormone. They may also alter the production of hormones or the chemical message sent by a hormone.

They can be found in household items, consumer goods, foods and the environment.

Compounds that act as endocrine disruptors include:

  • DDT – a pesticide
  • Phthalates- used to make plastics more flexible, found in food containers, toys and personal care products
  • Polychlorinated Biphenyls or PCBs- used in many consumer items. These are now banned but still persist in the environment.
  • Phenol compounds- bisphenol A (BPA) found in food containers, alkylphenol found in laundry detergents, and triclosan found…

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