Endocrine Disrupting Chemicals (EDCs), also known as Endocrine Inhibitors, are just starting to get some headlines. Why? Because recently, exposure to endocrine disruptors has exploded leading to a growing number of people with infertility, diabetes, early menopause in women, cancer, birth defects, and neurobehavioral disorders.  You can find these evil little toxins lurking in everything from your hair care products to your water-resistant parka.
SO WHAT ARE THEY AND WHAT DO THEY DO?
EDCs are harmful chemicals that mimic, block or interfere with natural hormones in the body and unfortunately are living throughout the beauty industry. FYI, a big part of our 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. When EDCs mess with functions of our hormonal system, it increases the risk of major health issues.
These Don’t Affect Me. I Make Healthy Choices
I felt the same way until I did a little digging. Many of us have made changes to our lifestyles and diets to avoid these types of health issues and good for you, if you have! Unfortunately, EDCs can be lurking in more areas of your life than you realize like air, water, soil and a range of household products, including furniture, kids toys, and our beauty products. That’s right, the great smelling, hair smoothing styling product you bought to deliver shiny, youthful hair may actually be causing early menopause or worse…cancer!
So What Do I Do? Live in the Woods?
No, LOL. I know this may sound overwhelming, but you have to make conscious decisions when choosing what you allow to enter your life. Like the boundaries and rejection of toxic relationships we are getting so good at implementing to protect our mind and hearts, you must use the same mindfulness toward toxic chemicals in your purchases. This will not be easy. They are everywhere so it may take some time and adjustments.
So, Why Would Companies Use These Harmful Ingredients?
The number one reason for most wrongdoing…$$$. Lower manufacturing and production costs leads to higher profits. While I can’t say these high end, well known brands (many of which you likely have paid big bucks for and are living in your bathroom cabinet right now) are maliciously putting arsenic in our beauty products like some evil villain; in my mind, including cheap, unknown chemicals in a product, without testing for adverse health effects, because it brings in higher margins, isn’t much better.
So Why The Heck Are They Allowed To Do That?
Although multiple studies show that even low doses of EDC’s can cause harm to our health, there are few US regulations on the manufacturing and use of EDCs. On top of this, as the beauty industry is widely unregulated, products with EDCs do not have to be tested for endocrine-inhibiting effects before they go to market. In fact, when it comes to beauty products, the Food and Drug Administration has little to no authority.
While the brands using these ingredients are bringing in higher profits, we, our society and planet, are bearing a much larger expense, as those cheaper ingredients are having an insurmountable higher cost on the health and sustainability of ourselves, our families and our planet.
Ok, Fine!!! I Hear You. How Do I Keep A Look Out For Them?
I’m so proud! You can limit your exposure to EDCs by making healthier choices when purchasing everyday products. Make a go of living toxic free if you can.
Here is a list of chemicals to look out for and how to avoid them:
Bisphenol A (BPA) - Avoid canned food, plastics marked with “PC” (polycarbonate) and receipts (thermal paper is often coated with BPA)
Dioxins - Found in animal products (i.e., meat, fish, milk, eggs and butter).
Arsenic - Reduce your exposure by using a water filter that lowers arsenic levels.
I recommend not stopping at your drinking water, but install one in your shower as well. Our plumbing is susceptible to unwanted metals, minerals and pollutants that are also extremely harmful to our skin and hair. Not only that, these elements will stick to our hair and cause yellowing and brassiness to our hair color. Yuck! So pick up a filter for your shower as well.
PFAS (per- and polyfuoroalkyl substances - Skip non-stick pans as well as stain and water-resistant coatings on clothing, furniture and carpets. Also look for them in cleaners, personal care products, and food packaging.
Phthalates - Avoid plastic food containers and plastic wrap made from PVC. Many cosmetics, skin and hair products include these so read your labels. Any product that says fragrance is likely to include phthalates. North Authentic carries multiple organic, fragrance free hair care brands like Cult & King, Reverie, Innersense and Evolvh. Opt for these options when shopping for haircare.
Glycol Ethers (aka, 2-butoxyethanol (EGBE) and methoxydiglycol (DEGME) - Look for it in all-purpose cleaners, glass cleaners, liquid soap, household degreasers, dry-cleaning chemicals and latex paints.
I Had No Idea! Thank You Natalie!
No problem! That is what I am here for. If the best thing that comes out of my starting North Authentic is spreading the word and saving many of you from health issues and heartache, then I am winning. And there are more clean beauty advocates being born every day! After all, I think that most of us just didn’t know about this. Once we do, we will do our best to make conscious choices to sustain our health and of those we love.
“When you know better, You do Better.” Maya Angelou
An Endocrine Society Thematic Issue: Endocrine Disrupting Chemicals 2017
 Effects of human exposure to hormone-disrupting chemicals examined in landmark UN report. 19 February 2013. https://www.who.int/mediacentre/news/releases/2013/hormone_disrupting_20130219/en/
 Same. Effects of human exposure to hormone-disrupting chemicals examined in landmark UN report.