Over the past year or so, I started becoming more cognizant of the personal care products I was using on a daily basis. I was learning more and more about the harmful ingredients that were found in most, if not all, of the products I was using, from shampoo to deodorant to skin care to tampons.
I was also hearing a lot about “endocrine disruptors,” and if I am being completely honest, I didn’t do a lot of research into it at the time. You see, I was seeing it thrown around the internet, and I caught the bait, but I did not really know what it meant. Recently, however, I decided to look into endocrine disruptors to find out exactly what this term meant. So, just a heads up, I am going to dive into the research a little bit but stay with me!
To start, let’s define endocrine disruptors. According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), an endocrine-disrupting compound is “an agent that interferes with the synthesis, secretion, transport, binding, or elimination of natural hormones in the body that are responsible for the maintenance of homeostasis, reproduction, development and/or behavior.”(1) A simpler way of looking at it is this. We have several functions in our body that are regulated by hormones, and endocrine disruptors interfere with the hormones that regulate these functions.
Please understand, it is much more complicated that that, and I found a lot of information in terms of classification of endocrine disruptors. For the purpose of this post, I simply want you to understand what an endocrine disruptor is so that when you hear the term being used, you will have a general idea of what it means.
When considering the effect endocrine disruptors have on disease, it is really important to look at the research. According to Kabir, Rahman, and Rahman, it is difficult to identify a specific endocrine disruptor as being associated with a particular disease.(1) Many factors influence the effect an endocrine disruptor has on the human body, and it is likely that a long time exposure to a mixture of endocrine disruptors is the reason for human disorders. (1) While we are seeing increases in rates of cancer (breast, prostate, and testicular), diabetes, obesity, and decreases in fertility, there is no direct proof that it is due to specific endocrine-disrupting chemicals. (1) There is proof, however, that there are higher risks of hormone-related cancers in more industrialized countries, the United States being one of those countries. (1)
So what does all this mean? We know that certain endocrine-disrupting chemicals have a potentially negative effect on the body, which has been demonstrated in animal studies. We do not know which of these chemicals actually increases the risk of specific diseases. Remember, it is hard to pinpoint one specific thing as being a cause of disease, because most times it is multifactorial. We must also consider exposure to environmental pollutants and pesticides. We must consider age and genetic predisposition. The list goes on.
So what do I do with this information that can be a little confusing at times? I consider what is within my control. I may not be able to 100% prevent disease, but I can definitely reduce my risk. One way of doing that is by being a responsible consumer. It is within my power to choose what I use on my body, and I would rather limit my exposure to endocrine-disrupting chemicals. I would rather play it safe.
To start, I switched to a non-toxic deodorant. There are many non-toxic deodorants on the market, but I personally had the most success with Primally Pure Deodorant. The ingredients are minimal with approximately 8 ingredients. I have used both the Lavender and the Lemongrass scents, and I love them both. The deodorant is aluminum free, fragrance free, made with organic ingredients, and handcrafted. I feel confident sharing my love for the Primally Pure Brand because of the transparency, and as such I recently partnered with Primally Pure and am now able to offer you a discount on your first order. You can click here to receive 10% off your first order or just use Discount Code ARG10 at checkout!
If you take away one thing away from this post, I hope that you feel inspired to reevaluate the products you use on a daily basis. While there are so many things outside of our control, being selective with the products you use is within your control, and it will take you one step closer to being your Best Well Self.
- Kabir ER, Rahman MS, Rahman I. A review on endocrine disruptors and their possible impacts on human health. Environmental Toxicology and Pharmacology. 2015;40:241-258.