This week your goal is to reduce your exposure to environmental obesogens. Again, for those of us living in the modern world, eliminating these endocrine-disrupting chemicals from our lives entirely is pretty much impossible. However, there is much you can do to limit your exposure, especially around your home.
Here is the list:
- Pesticides and chemicals in your soil and water supply - These are chemicals that are sprayed on crops that have leached into your water supply. I was a unhappy to learn that the old farm land we live on still has DDT in the soil from over 40 years ago. I was even more unhappy to learn that the main obesogen in US tap water is atrazine. This herbicide is banned in Europe because it can cause birth defects and menstrual problems. It inhibits metabolism of your thyroid hormones.
The fix: Buy organic or local produce when possible. Use a granular activated carbon filter to remove atrazine and other chemicals from your tap water.
- Non-stick pots and pans - These utensils may make cooking and cleanup a breeze, but there is a price to pay. Unless you are very careful when using them, you will damage them and cause them to release chemicals. If you notice a nasty smell or the pan smokes you can be sure it is releasing thyroid disrupting perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA) into your food and air.
The fix: If you use non-stick cooking utensils, cook only on medium or low heat. If you smell chemicals, or the pan ever smokes or gets scratched, it is damaged, throw it out. Manufacturers are now making safe non-stick pans. Look for non-stick pans labeled ‘PFOA free’ or ‘Green’.
- Products that contain phthalates – This plastic softener is found in many products including shrink wrap, vinyl shower curtains, floors, and vinyl dashboards and car seats. It is in fragrance products, air fresheners and dryer sheets. Because phthalates may lower testosterone and metabolism you can lose muscle and gain fat. Many of these products out gas a variety of health-damaging chemicals, especially when new.
The fix: Find natural alternatives or do without. For example: Use a cloth shower curtain. They wash well and last for years. Scent only with essential oils. If you get something with new vinyl, let it air out for at least a few days so the worst of it will out gas where you aren’t breathing it in.Next time we will look at a few non-chemical endocrine disruptors that can cause you to pile on the pounds while compromising your health.
In the meantime, take control and say no to chemical obesogens. Vote with your wallets and manufacturers will listen.
Share how you are avoiding these chemicals in the comments below.