Endocrine Disruptors

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Endocrine disruptors are compounds that can interfere with the body’s hormone system. Endocrine disrupting chemical pollutants can be found in meat and fish (even organic), and may be linked to early onset puberty, increased obesity risk, and lowered testosterone levels.

Specific types of endocrine disrupting chemicals include: fire retardants, which may be carcinogenic and impair neurobehavioral development, xenoestrogens which can build up in animal fat and may reduce male fertility, and endocrine-disrupting alkylphenols (mostly found in fish), which may be linked to a rise in allergic diseases.

Sex steroids naturally found in all animal products (but may be particularly high in pregnant cow’s milk) may increase cancer risk

These pollutants are pervasive. The CDC found that the majority of women in the U.S. are contaminated with endocrine disruptors, heavy metals, toxic solvents, fire retardant chemicals, PCBs, and pesticides, and a survey of California children exceeded cancer benchmark levels for four endocrine-disrupting pollutants. 

Topic summary contributed by Randy.


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