Chemicals in the environment — in your air, food, water and more — can disrupt your fragile endocrine system. This intricate system of glands, including your thyroid, adrenals and pituitary, produces nearly two-dozen hormones that help regulate your metabolism, mood, growth, development and more.
Endocrine-disrupting chemicals have the potential to alter your normal hormone levels, leading to a range of serious health conditions including cancer, decreased fertility, reduced sperm count, nervous system damage and reproductive and developmental problems.
Just last month we reported on two such chemicals — phthalates found in plastics and personal care products and flame-retardant chemicals called polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs) — which can cause thyroid problems.
Now the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has announced a new list of 134 chemicals that will be screened for their potential to disrupt the endocrine system. EPA Administrator Lisa P. Jackson said in a news release:
“Endocrine disruptors represent a serious health concern for the American people, especially children. Americans today are exposed to more chemicals in our products, our environment and our bodies than ever before, and it is essential that EPA takes every step to gather information and prevent risks.”
Chemicals on the new list include those commonly found in:
- Personal care products
Testing for an initial group of 67 pesticide chemicals is already underway, while testing on the new round of 134 chemicals will begin in 2011. Hopefully the screening will help identify more potentially toxic endocrine-disrupting chemicals, and mark the beginning of efforts to stop their use and get them out of U.S. products and the environment.
For more information, be sure to read 9 Top Thyroid-Disrupting Toxins to Avoid.