Plastic. It's everywhere these days because it is so convenient. Cheap to produce (a petroleum bi-product), strong, light, easy to clean and literally indestructible. But as with many 'indispensable' things that modern society has adopted due to their convenience, plastics are not only having a massive impact on the health of the planet (through production pollution and at the other end of their lifespan, as waste) but they are also contributing to the ever growing epidemic of lifestyle diseases through their affect on hormones. Plastics - hormone disruptors Some of the chemicals used to manufacture plastics are hormone disruptive, with phthalates and BPA being the worst offenders. Please also refer to my Blog On the Nose in regards to phthalates in synthetic fragrances. What does hormone disruptive mean, and why does this even matter, after all a lot of the time hormones get a pretty bad press? In actual fact hormones are vital chemical messengers that coordinate the processes of growth, metabolism and fertility. In addition, hormones help to control the immune system. Hormone disruption can mean several things, including that the chemicals (such as BPA and phthalates): mimic hormones, interfere with the production of hormones, prevent the effective utilisation of hormones, cause generalised inflammation (due to immune system compromise) and they can also impede the detoxification processes required with excess hormones. Doesn't my body deal with chemical exposure itself?
In this video I discuss the world of synthetic fragrances, and specifically the dangerous chemical that is used to make these fragrances last longer: phthalates. When you think about it synthetic fragrances are all around us! There are the obvious things like perfume, after shave, deodorant, air 'fresheners' and scented candles. (When it comes to scented candles please have a look at my Blog The Glow of Wellbeing) And then there are the less obvious things like cleaning products, beauty products, personal care products, and laundry products, which all come with fragrance that definitely does not come from any natural source (like actual pine needles in your 'forest fresh' toilet cleaner!) Lastly there's the downright ridiculous things such as scented toys, stickers and even garbage bin liners - like some fake lavender scent is ever going to overtake the smell of your 3 day old household waste!! On the nose The problem with synthetic fragrances and the phthalates that they contain is that they are hormone disruptors, meaning that they interfere with the natural hormone processes in the human body. Hormones pretty much control everything that goes on inside you and you want them to be able to do that uninterrupted. Phthalates have been associated with: decreased sperm count pregnancy loss decreased size of testicles in infants gestational diabetes breast cancer asthma and allergies To avoid phthalates next time you're