gallery Are endocrine disrupting chemicals slowly creating a world without men?

Why is the Endocrine System Important?                              

The endocrine system is made up of the glands within our body. These glands include:

  • Adrenal glands
  • Hypothalamus
  • Pineal gland
  • Pituitary gland
  • Thyroid gland
  • Thymus
  • Parathyroid
  • Pancreas
  • Ovaries
  • Testes

These glands secrete hormones that control all of these bodily functions:

  • growth and development
  • response to stress and injury
  • bone and muscle strength
  • nourishes organs, tissues, and whole body
  • reproduction
  • sleep and mood
  • sexual function
  • energy and metabolism

The endocrine system and these glands work naturally and perfectly together, automatically releasing the right amount of hormones at the right time unless they are disrupted by what are known as, endocrine-disrupting chemicals.

TOP ENDOCRINE DISRUPTORS 

  1. Arsenic
  2. Atrazine
  3. BPA (Plasticizers)
  4. DDT
  5. Dioxin
  6. Flame/Fire Retardants
  7. Glycol Ethers (i.e. propylene glycol, ethylene glycol found in soaps, detergents, paint, cosmetics, hydraulic fluid, and solvents)
  8. Lead
  9. Mercury
  10. Organophosphate Pesticides
  11. PCBs
  12. Perchlorate
  13. Perfluorinated Chemicals (PFCs)
  14. Phthalates
  15. Pharmaceuticals
  16. Triclosan

HEALTH EFFECTS of ENDOCRINE DISRUPTORS

  • adverse developmental, reproductive, neurological and immune effects in humans and wildlife,
  • Sleep and mood disorders
  • depression
  • obesity
  • weakened immune system
  • autism
  • impaired learning abilities, ADHD, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder

“Human health depends on a well-functioning endocrine system to regulate the release of certain hormones that are essential for functions such as metabolism, growth and development, sleep and mood. Some substances known as endocrine disruptors can alter the function(s) of this hormonal system increasing the risk of adverse health effects. Some EDCs occur naturally, while synthetic varieties can be found in pesticides, electronics, personal care products and cosmetics. They can also be found as additives or contaminants in food.” Excerpt From the World Health Organization.

How Do Endocrine Disruptors work:

From the National Institutes of Health: From animal studies, researchers have learned much about the mechanisms through which endocrine disruptors influence the endocrine system and alter hormonal functions.

Endocrine disruptors can:

  • Mimic or partly mimic naturally occurring hormones in the body like estrogens (the female sex hormone), androgens (the male sex hormone), and thyroid hormones, potentially producing overstimulation.
  • Bind to a receptor within a cell and block the endogenous hormone from binding. The normal signal then fails to occur and the body fails to respond properly. Examples of chemicals that block or antagonize hormones are anti-estrogens and anti-androgens.
  • Interfere or block the way natural hormones or their receptors are made or controlled, for example, by altering their metabolism in the liver.

 

Protect yourself and your family:

  • Avoid drinking contaminated water (even tap water can contain these toxins), check the quality of your drinking water here. Also as we’ve seen with the trouble in Flint, Michigan make sure your own plumbing pipes aren’t leaching lead into your water.
  • Avoid products containing flame retardants
  • Avoid foods and beverages that contain pesticide residues, opt for organic if possible.
  • Avoid putting food and drinks in plastic containers
  • Learn more ways to avoid endocrine disrupting chemicals here.
  • Check out this great site to learn all about the fascinating Endocrine System.

 

The latest news regarding FLAME RETARDANTS

Flame Retardant substitutes just as bad as original flame retardant chemicals. Chlorinated flame retardants are found in:

  • polyurethane foam
  • building materials, textiles, and insulation
  • children’s car seats, strollers, bedding

“The compounds are substitutes for PBDEs (polybrominated diphenyl ethers), which were widely used as flame retardants until scientists reported they were building up in people and wildlife and various bans took hold.  With PBDEs, inhalation wasn’t considered as important,” said Amina Salamova, an environmental chemist and researcher at Indiana University Bloomington who studies toxic pollutants. “Inhalation of PBDEs accounted for between 10 and 20 percent of exposure,” she added. “With the replacements, we see quite a different picture.” Read full article,

As Washington state decides on stronger toxics law, residents are breathing flame retardants

Studies prove endocrine system problems caused by Flame Retardants:

Excerpt from National Institutes of Health 

  • Chemical flame retardants containing polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs) have attracted growing attention in recent years from toxicologists. Unlike their chemical cousins, dioxins and polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), environmental levels of PBDE compounds are increasing, as are concentrations found in human breast milk. This is of concern because of the potential that PBDEs may cause developmental toxicity due to endocrine-modulating effects, as has previously been documented with dioxins and PCBs. Results of a new German study examining developmental exposure in rats to a commonly used and environmentally abundant PBDE compound, PBDE-99, lend support to suspicions that PBDEs can have detrimental effects on sexual development in the offspring of exposed mothers [EHP 114:194–201].
  • In PBDE-exposed male offspring, pronounced decreases in circulating sex steroids (estradiol, testosterone) were seen both at weaning and in adulthood. Anogenital distance, an androgen-dependent marker of sexual development, was also reduced in the male offspring. The males further displayed a dose-dependent increased preference for sweets, which is a sexually dimorphic behavior in rodents—this finding indicates feminization in the males. A slight acceleration in onset of puberty was noted in the low-dose group.
  • The PBDE-exposed females had less severe effects. Onset of puberty was mildly delayed in the high-dose group. Also, the number of primordial/primary (rudimentary) ovarian follicles was reduced in the low-dose group, with a more pronounced decline in secondary (more developed) follicles within the high-dose group. These results could indicate an impaired reproductive life span, in that ovarian follicles are a key indicator of ovarian health. The females also had an insignificant increase in sweet preference.

endocrine

cover photo, World Without Men by Charles Eric Maine, 1958

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