Originally published March 27 2015
Xenoestrogens in make-up and consumer products put women at risk of breast cancer, miscarriage, diabetes and more
by Julie Wilson staff writer
(NaturalNews) The healthy food movement has increasingly gained momentum over the last few years, attracting followers from all over the world who spend a lot of time focusing on which foods to buy and which ones to avoid. Unfortunately, avoiding pesticides and other harmful chemicals is a full-time job, and it's not just spent examining the food we eat.
We're frequently exposed to a multitude of chemicals through a variety of other sources including personal care products, plastics and industrial products such as furnishings, motor vehicles and electronics.
A particularly prevalent group of chemicals that pose a real threat to society right now are endocrine disruptors, some of which are referred to as estrogen mimickers or xenoestrogens. Endocrine disruptors alter the normal functioning of hormones, interfering with signaling processes that tell our tissues what to do.
"When chemicals from the outside get into our bodies, they have the ability to mimic our natural hormones; blocking or binding hormone receptors," reports WomeninBalance.org. "This is particularly detrimental to hormone sensitive organs like the uterus and the breast, the immune and neurological systems, as well as human development."
Xenoestrogens are a sub-category of endocrine disruptors that specifically mimic estrogen, a natural hormone responsible for bone growth, blood clotting and reproduction in men and women. Endocrine disruptors can also interfere with human development, slowing or speeding up certain processes.
Are personal care products influencing your child's sexual development?
The start of menstruation is happening six months earlier than it was 40 years ago, and breast development is occurring two years earlier, according to UC Berkley researchers. "The clock has also moved up for other early pubertal signs, including body odor and the growth of pubic hair."
In an interview with UC Berkeley's NewsCenter, Julianna Deardorff, a UC Berkeley associate professor of maternal and child health in the School of Public Health and a licensed clinical psychologist, identifies the primary contributors to the early onset of puberty.
Obesity, environmental exposures (endocrine disruptors) and stress in the girls' environments were named as the main culprits. While recent data shows that a significant number of girls are developing breasts at age 7, Deardorff refuses to consider this the "new normal," highlighting the fact that early puberty is linked to depression, anxiety, eating disorders and early initiation of substance use and sexual behaviors.
In the long term, early menstruation has been linked to breast cancer, cardiovascular disease and other reproductive cancers.
"It's especially tricky when you consider the potential interactive and additive effects of these chemicals, and how those chemicals interact with other factors -- like genes, body fat and stress -- to potentially have more potent effects," Deardorff said.
The build up of xenoestrogens (estrogen mimickers) can result in several cancers, infertility and miscarriages
Xenoestrogens are not biodegradable and accumulate in fat cells. The build up of xenoestrogens in the body results in something called "estrogen dominance," which has been linked to many complications including breast, prostate and testicular cancer, obesity, infertility, endometriosis, early onset puberty, miscarriages and diabetes.
Xenoestrogens are commonly found in products like pharmaceuticals (birth control), fingernail polish, makeup, lotions, deodorants and sunscreen. They can also be found in phthalates (plasticizers) and building supplies such as wood preservatives, electrical oils and adhesives. Several pesticides contain endocrine disruptors as well.
The best way to avoid these harmful chemicals and prevent them from lowering your quality of living is to avoid using plastic containers as much as possible, buy organic and locally grown, in-season foods and stay away from hormone-treated dairy and beef.
Also try minimizing your exposure to endocrine disruptors through personal care products by checking labels just like you do food. Use natural and chemical-free makeup, toothpaste, perfume and soaps.
Here is a list of chemicals to watch out for and avoid.
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