Endocrine Disrupting Chemicals
Hi readers, and welcome to our first Green Blog post! We’re in the midst of our annual Norwex Conference, and I’m even more pumped than ever about the great strides we’re making and all the exciting ways I see Norwex Consultants embracing our Mission, which is to improve quality of life by radically reducing the use of chemicals in personal care and cleaning.
For this first blog, I want to share with you a little of my Conference presentation, namely the chemicals that surround us, their dangers and what we can do about it.
I talked about the World Health Organization (WHO) 2012 report, State of the Science of Endocrine Disrupting Chemicals. It’s a decade-long research report from a team of 16 scientists from 10 nations covering the global evidence of health hazards from a class of chemicals called endocrine-disrupting chemicals, or EDCs.
It’s pretty shocking so hang on. Here are some facts about endocrine disruptors.
• Endocrine disruptors are chemicals that interfere with normal hormone action. Hormones are critical to the normal functioning of every tissue and organ in our bodies. Our health and the health of the environment depend on our ability to reproduce and develop normally. A healthy endocrine system is critical for this.
• EDCs interfere with this process.
• Nearly 800 chemicals are known or suspected to be capable of interfering with hormone reception, synthesis or conversion. Only a small fraction have been researched in organisms, if at all.
• The WHO report concluded that there is evidence for adverse reproductive outcomes from exposure to EDCs including infertility, cancers and malformations, as well as effects of EDCs on thyroid function, brain function, obesity and metabolism, and insulin and glucose homeostasis.
• Children are among the most vulnerable to damage from EDCs. In adults, the EDC has an effect when it is present, but when it’s withdrawn, the effect diminishes.
• In contrast, exposure to EDCs during development (in utero, infancy, early childhood through puberty) can have permanent effects if the exposure takes place when a specific tissue is developing.
• EDC exposure has been linked with increased rates of neurobehavioral disorders, including dyslexia, ADHD and autism.
• EDCs are pervasive in our homes as well as the environment. Chemicals find their way into our environment—and eventually into us—in a variety of ways.
• The one area that we can control is our homes. We can make changes to limit our exposure to chemicals inside the home and to make our home a safe haven. Reports like the WHO study can be frightening, but they can also be empowering.
Using Norwex products is a quick and easy way to start you on your journey to optimizing your home and the environment. The simple act of using the Norwex EnviroCloth® and only water to clean your entire home will greatly reduce your family’s exposure to harmful chemicals.
Check back often for ideas about how to make your home a safer haven.