In light of Father’s Day, I wanted to share some information on the harmful effects that could be caused by endocrine disrupting chemicals, or EDCs, and how exposure could be negatively affecting the men in our lives. Studies have shown there are reproductive issues potentially caused by contact with EDCs that could be avoided by taking action! First, it’s necessary to be aware of the toxins most of us come into contact with on a daily basis so healthy choices can be made to start ridding us of any dangers, for good.
So what are EDCs and how do they affect us? Humans depend on a well-functioning endocrine system to regulate the release of hormones essential for metabolism, growth, development, sleep, and mood, and EDCs may alter the functions of the hormone system, resulting in negative health repercussions. While some EDCs occur naturally, synthetic varieties can be found in many household and industrial products, as well as food additives.
Some well known examples of EDCs include phthalates (used to soften plastics), BPA (in much of our plastic products), parabens (in personal care products), and pesticides (on some produce & genetically modified foods). However, there are many more EDCs with less popular names, so it’s a good idea to seek natural alternatives to some common household products that could be hazardous. Taking steps toward avoiding EDCs can help us make positive changes for our families and our health!
The reason I’m discussing EDCs is because evidence has shown that exposure could cause the following reproductive concerns in men:
- Reduce semen quality
- Low sperm counts
- Male infertility
- Hormonal changes
- Testicular and prostate cancer
- Miscarriage in your partner
So before you opt to take that plastic lunch container or pick up fast food, consider trying the following simple ways men (and their families) can help reduce contact with the chemicals:
1. Choose a natural shaving cream (and natural bath and body products)
When possible, select products made from plant based materials and natural oils, to avoid contact with parabens and other toxins. It’s a great tip to steer clear of the word “fragrance,” which is a general term that doesn’t disclose the specific ingredients that could be harmful.
2. Stick with regular soap and water
Try to avoid “antibacterial soaps as well as toothpastes that may contain triclosan, a chemical that could interfere with thyroid hormones. And according to the FDA, there is no evidence that “antibacterial” has any health benefits over standard soap and water. Kind of makes you feel like you’ve been fooled!
3. Skip the fast food
Toxins known for their “non-stick” quality could be lurking in the paper fast-food wrappers/containers of your favorite drive-thrus! Just another reason besides health benefits to stay away from all that grease!
4. Cook at home
Say goodbye to quick microwavable dinners, which could have BPA in the wrapping. Instead, take time to cook your meals in safer cookware (like glass, stainless steel, or cast iron) and avoid non-stick options that could emit toxins like PFOAs. Plus, cooking together means great family time!
5. Pack your lunch
Avoid plastic and Styrofoam packaging, silverware, cups and other disposable items. Instead, bring your lunch in glass or stainless steel containers and pack a reusable water bottle.
6. Eat “cleaner”
Choose organic fruits and vegetables whenever possible as they’ve been shown to have less pesticide residue. And either way, rinse all your produce to avoid consuming chemicals. Also, try to avoid canned foods, as there can be BPA in the lining.
Of course, reproductive health issues among men are not the only concerns linked to EDCs, however, the above tips are a great place to start to invest in your health. For further information on this article, you can visit http://bit.ly/12wwnee.
Wednesday, June 12th, 2013