Chemicals affecting our hormones
Endocrine (hormone) disrupting ingredients can be found in all kinds of cosmetic, household and industrial products. They are numerous, widespread and have numerous functions. What the substances have in common is that they have endocrine activity properties.
Some of the chemicals that can disrupt hormones are preservatives while others are simply biological hormones added to skin care products, promising youth enhancement. This group of substances are of extra concern because hormones affect more or less everything that happens in our bodies. This have led some researchers and even state agencies within the EU to warn that if hormone disrupting chemicals stays unregulated, as they currently are, it will have wide negative effects on human health.
The hormone systems works as the messengers of the body and influences development, growth, immunity, reproduction, behavior and metabolism. Substances affecting our hormones could therefore affect all those areas. This has led to the suspicion among researchers that hormone-releasing and hormone-disrupting substances could be contributing to the growth of some of the most common diseases in our society.
- Learning disabilities
- Severe attention deficit disorder
- Behavioral changes
- Cognitive and brain development problems
- Cancer; breast cancer, prostate cancer, testicle cancer, hormone-sensitive cancers in females, thyroid and other
- Sexual development problems such as feminizing of males or masculinizing effects on females.
- Affects on female and male reproduction; reduced ability to have children, poor sperm quality
- Effects on immune system
- Effects on metabolism, including obesity
- Damages to a developing fetus
- Affects on neurodevelopment and neuroendocrine systems
- Deformations of the body (including limbs)
Small amounts can affect
Usually, chemicals get more dangerous the more we are exposed to them but with endocrine disrupting substances, even small amounts can affect the body. Paradoxically, larger amounts are sometimes of no harm, reports The Swedish Society for Nature Conservation (SSNC). This evidently makes it difficult to surely determine when they become dangerous. The SSNC, among others, are for this reason pushing to remove all industrial chemicals from consumer products that are known to cause hormone disruption.
The Danish Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) have for many years studied the exposure and the effects of endocrine disrupting chemicals in our everyday lives. The EPA is especially concerned by the “combination/cocktail effect”; the chemical by itself might not pose a great risk but the simultaneous exposure to other chemicals, also disrupting hormones, significally increases the risk of negative effects. We risk being exposed to hormone disrupting chemicals everyday from multiple sources; for example through the personal care products we use, the make-up we apply, the clothes we use, the bed sleep in, the couch we sit in, and through the toys we give our kids.
The EPA as well as the EU chemical regulation (REACH) admits that there is a lack of knowledge regarding the combination effects and that the current legislation is fully not considering it. A specific regulation for the hormone disrupting chemicals does not yet exist in the EU. Consumers who want to avoid chemicals causing hormone disruption will have to continue reading the contents of products, carefully.
Curious Chloride’s scanner extensively covers hormone disrupting chemicals. This group of chemicals are one of our core issues and we are dedicated to step in where regulation leaves off.