What are endocrine disrupting chemicals (EDCs)?
Many of the chemicals that are included in the personal care products we use every day are endocrine disruptors (EDCs). EDCs are a class of synthetic chemicals that have been clinically proven to interfere with the normal functioning of the endocrine system in the bodies of humans and some animals. The endocrine system regulates the metabolism and function of the body. Endocrine glands secrete hormones that act on our organs through cognate receptors. Some of these hormones regulate brain and reproductive functions, including reproduction.
Common ECDs that you may have heard about include BPA, phthalates, dioxins, and organochlorine pesticides like DDT and DDE. Altogether, over 800 chemicals are known to be endocrine disrupting, although only a small number of these have been tested to determine their overall effects on human and environmental health. However, what is clear is that levels of exposure to EDCs have been steadily increasing over the years, as has the incidence of disorders and diseases known to be caused by EDCs. While everyone has been exposed to ECDs, children are particularly vulnerable to their health effects.Read More