Volume 5 Issue 2

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Page 25 of 79

Page 26 | Abby's Magazine - DIRTY DOZEN There is no end to the tricks that endocrine disruptors can play on our bodies: increasing produc on of certain hormones; decreasing produc on of others; imita ng hormones; turning one hormone into another; interfering with hormone signaling; telling cells to die prematurely; compe ng with essen al nutrients; binding to essen al hormones; accumula ng in organs that produce hormones. Here are 12 of the worst hormone disrupters, how they do their dirty deeds, and some ps on how to avoid them. BPA Some may say that imita on is the sincerest form of fla ery, but do you really want a chemical used in plas cs imita ng the sex hormone estrogen in your body? No! Unfortunately, this synthe c hormone can trick the body into thinking it's the real thing – and the results aren't pre y. BPA has been linked to everything from breast and others cancers to reproduc ve problems, obesity, early puberty and heart disease, and according to government tests, 93 percent of Americans have BPA in their bodies! How to avoid it? Go fresh instead of canned – many food cans are lined with BPA – or research which companies don't use BPA or similar chemicals in their products. Say no to receipts, since thermal paper is o en coated with BPA. And avoid plas cs marked with a "PC," for polycarbonate, or recycling label #7. Not all of these plas cs contain BPA, but many do – and it's be er safe than sorry when it comes to keeping synthe c hormones out of your body. Dioxin Dioxins are mul -taskers… but not in a good way! They form during many industrial processes when chlorine or bromine are burned in the presence of carbon and oxygen. Dioxins can disrupt the delicate ways that both male and female sex hormone signaling occurs in the body. This is a bad thing! Here's why: Recent research has shown that exposure to low levels of dioxin in the womb and early in life can both permanently affect sperm quality and lower the sperm count in men during their prime reproduc ve years. But that's not all! Dioxins are very long-lived, build up both in the body and in the food chain, are powerful carcinogens and can also affect the immune and reproduc ve systems. How to avoid it? That's pre y difficult, since the ongoing industrial release of dioxin has meant that the American food supply is widely contaminated. Products including meat, fish, milk, eggs and bu er are most likely to be contaminated, but you can cut down on your exposure by ea ng fewer animal products and going organic. Atrazine What happens when you introduce highly toxic chemicals into nature and turn your back? For one thing, feminiza on of male frogs. That's right, researchers have found that DIRTY DOZEN ENDOCRINE DISRUPTORS 12 Hormone-Altering Chemicals and How to Avoid Them

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