Avoiding Endocrine Disruptors

You might be familiar with the Environmental Working Group’s Dirty Dozen list of pesticide-heavy produce. But did you know they also have a Dirty Dozen list of endocrine disruptors?

Endocrine disruptors are chemicals that mess with your hormones; they can imitate, alter or interfere with hormone production and function.  Here at The Big Carrot we aim to educate our customers, provide excellent product choices and offer practical solutions.

Here are some of the ways we can help you avoid hormone-altering chemicals:

BPA

Commonly found in plastics and the lining of food cans, bisphenol-A is a chemical that mimics estrogen in the body. BPA has been linked to cancers, reproductive problems, early puberty, obesity and heart disease.

How to Avoid: When purchasing canned goods choose companies that use BPA free lining. Some brands we carry include Eden Foods, Native Forest and Wild Planet.

Atrazine

An herbicide found in drinking water and conventional corn crops. Atrazine has been linked to breast tumors, prostate cancer in humans and reproductive issues in animals. 

Organophosphates

Neurotoxic compounds originally designed for warfare and now used in pesticides! Organophosphates can interfere with testosterone function, alter thyroid hormone levels, and effect brain development and fertility.

How to Avoid: Buy organic produce! Organic farming does not allow the use of synthetic herbicides or pesticides. Our produce section is certified organic so you can shop with confidence.

Phthalates

Commonly found in body care products, plastic containers and children’s toys. Phthalates have been found to trigger cell death in testicular cells and are also linked to lower sperm count, less mobile sperm, birth defects in the male reproductive system, obesity, diabetes and thyroid irregularities.

How to Avoid: We offer a range of fantastic stainless steel containers and water bottles for your travelling needs. We also carry safe baby toys and soothers. Our body care department does not allow phthalates in any of its products so you can peruse in comfort.

Lead

A heavy metal found in old paint and drinking water.  Lead is harmful to just about every organ system in the body and is linked to a long list of serious health problems. In terms of hormones, lead can interfere with the function of the HPA axis (your body’s major stress system) creating higher risk for high blood pressure, diabetes, anxiety and depression.

Arsenic

A heavy metal found in food and drinking water. Arsenic is linked to skin, bladder and lung cancers. It can also interfere with the glucocorticoid system that regulates sugar and carbohydrate processing. This interference can lead to weight issues, immunosuppression, insulin resistance (and diabetes), osteoporosis, growth retardation and high blood pressure.

How to Avoid: Filtering your water can lower your exposure to heavy metals such as lead and arsenic. Speak to our customer service team about the filtration systems we carry for sinks and showers.

Mercury

A natural but toxic metal that can be found in the air and oceans. Mercury can accumulate in seafood, and is linked to fetal brain development issues, menstrual cycle irregularities, and pancreatic cell damage (resulting in insulin production problems).

How to Avoid: Mercury accumulates in larger fish. Choose smaller fish like sardines and mackerel to help reduce your exposure. Check out this City of Toronto guide to mercury levels in fish.

Glycol Ethers

Commonly found in cleaning products, glycol ethers are linked to blood abnormalities, lower sperm counts, asthma and allergies.

How to Avoid:  Choose from our wide range of natural cleaning alternatives. We maintain ingredient information on all of the cleaning products we carry. Our customer service team can help you find a product that works for you.

For more information on endocrine disruptors to avoid check out EWG’s guide. Be an informed and conscious consumer!


Kate McMurray Holistic Nutritionist