Are Hormone-Disrupting Chemicals Lurking in Your House?

May 24, 2019 0 Comments

Are Hormone-Disrupting Chemicals Lurking in Your House?

Hormones play a crucial role in our body, especially when we are talking about women's health and fertility. Endocrine disrupting chemicals (EDCs) in our environment can wreak havoc on our hormones, and worsen conditions such as endometriosis and Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS). As a PCOS warrior myself, I know all too well how important it is to reduce our exposure to EDCs. Your hormones should work for you, not against you, and propel you forward into a better state of health. This time of year is perfect for Spring Cleaning, and tossing out the junk that is getting in the way of your health goals.

Kitchen Cupboard

Plastic: Plastic, especially when it contains BPA and BPS, is a well-known endocrine disruptor. These chemicals interfere with cell signalling by binding strongly to estrogen receptors in our body. Heating up plastic in a microwave has been shown to directly increase the growth of breast cancer cells. In one study, higher levels of BPA in the urine of women undergoing IVF was associated with a lower number of eggs retrieved and decreased pregnancy rates.

How to avoid them:
  • DITCH plastic of any kind, including products labelled ‘BPA-Free’. Use glass or stainless for water bottles and food storage containers.
  • Ask for an email copy of receipts whenever possible, most receipts contain BPA
  • NEVER EVER heat food in plastic containers, this causes the chemicals to leach directly into foods.


Pesticides: Found on conventionally grown non-organic fruits and vegetables. Prolonged pesticide exposure in men delays time to pregnancy and reduces sperm quality. In women, pesticides disrupt the production, binding, and clearance of several important hormones This has been associated with irregular cycles, changes in hormone levels and decreased fertility.

How to avoid them:
  • Check out the Environmental Working Group Dirty Dozen and Clean 15 to learn which fruits and vegetables you should be buying organic, and which ones you don’t need to worry about.

Bathroom Cabinet

Parabens (methyl, propyl, isopropyl, butyl, isobutyl): Used a preservative to prevent mould growth, found in many beauty products such as shampoo, conditioner, body lotion, cosmetics, sunscreen, and deodorant. Parabens accumulate rapidly in hormone-sensitive tissue, especially methylparaben. They have been shown to have estrogenic activity in human breast cancer cells, and disrupt mitochondrial function.

How to avoid them:
  • Look for products that are labelled 100% paraben-free.
  • Pick beauty products that are dispensed in pumps and not in jars. They are less prone to bacterial and mould growth, reducing the need for added parabens.

Laundry Room

Phthalates: Say BYE BYE to dryer sheets. They often contain synthetic fragrance (phthalates), which are directly associated with obesity and impaired thyroid function. Still not convinced? Dryer sheets can worsen acne, especially if you use them when washing your sheets and pillows.

How to avoid them:
  • Reach for a natural wool dryer ball instead.


Written by Dr. Von Hagen