What are endocrine disruptors and where are they found?
Good question ...
With nearly 20,000 monthly searches on Google, this subject is interesting and intriguing…
And you, endocrine disruptors, have you ever heard of it?
Yes of course, but from there to really know what that it is… These 2 words just sound very negative in your ear.
We will try to enlighten you ...
The definition of endocrine disruptors is still the subject of international debate today. Here is the one proposed by the World Health Organization (WHO):
"An endocrine disruptor refers to a substance or an exogenous mixture (which comes from the outside) which alters the functions of the endocrine system and induces in consequence of the harmful effects on the health of an intact organism (or) of its descendants… ”.
Have you been lost?
Clearly, endocrine disruptors are chemical substances of artificial or (rarely) natural origin, foreign to the body which are not toxic in the usual sense of the term but as their name suggests can disrupt the functioning of the hormonal system and be transmitted over several generations.
Therefore, they represent a threat for health human and environment .
And in practice, what does it give?
First, where are endocrine disruptors found?
Almost everywhere around us, unfortunately!
In many of the products that we use on a daily basis: food packaging , cans, plastic bottles , detergents and products of 'maintenance , baby wipes … and also a lot in cosmetic products .
In the workplace, the sectors concerned are above all agriculture (use and handling of pesticides), the pharmaceutical industry (production of hormones) and chemicals (manufacture of pesticides and plastics).
What are the risks of endocrine disruptors?
A priori, endocrine disruptors can accentuate allergies , and certain substances undoubtedly play a role in the appearance of hormone-dependent cancers (breast, uterus, prostate and testes) of fertility , diabetes and neurodegenerative diseases.
What are the exact effects of endocrine disruptors?
Of course, we don't know precisely, it would be too simple!
Estimating the effect of endocrine disruptors on human health is not easy to establish because many questions arise about their mechanisms of action, the number of substances involved and the types and doses of exposure…
It would not be the dose that makes the poison because some are more toxic at low doses than others.
And as we are exposed to multiple substances, their effects can add up hence "The cocktail effect"!
Finally, the toxicity is not the same depending on the period of life: in any case, we know that the fetus and the newborn are subject to a maximum of damage.
Pregnant women must therefore be very vigilant.
What can we do to protect ourselves?
~ In the power supply:
- Avoid using polycarbonate containers (plastic form), whether for your preparations, or for storing your food.
- Do not heat your food in plastic : Put it on a plate to heat it in the microwave (be careful, no aluminum!).
Small aside: prefer the traditional oven than the microwave, which represents a risk of increased cholesterol, leukocytes and a decrease in hemoglobin
Some studies have even demonstrated that the radiation emitted by microwaves can cause insomnia, migraines or depression ... In short, it is very practical but if it can be avoided, it is better!
- Do not abuse fast-food whose cardboard or paper packaging may be affected.
- Prefer organic fruits, vegetables and cereals which will reduce your exposure to pesticides.
~ In household products:
Promote organic and ecological cleaning products or make your own household products.
In one of its specials (April 2016), the magazine 60 Millions de consommateurs had also offered lots of easy-to-use recipes. make for natural, healthy and ecological hygiene products.
Here is an overview of 6 of their grandmother's recipes that work!
To whiten the joints in the bathroom:
No one escapes it, every 3 months, the joints of the shower turn yellow (or even blacken) and we do not know how to get rid of them ... The solution ? Mix baking soda and toothpaste and scrub with a toothbrush!
To scare away dust mites:
Sprinkle the mattress (or fabric sofa) with baking diatomaceous earth, rub vigorously with a bump, let stand 4 hours then vacuum. It will scare the little beasts away in no time!
To clean the stove or the oven, forget the spray paint!
Mix 1/4 glass of coarse salt and 1/4 glass of white vinegar, rub and leave to act for 15 minutes. Rinse.
To make a patent leather sofa shine:
Just cut an onion in half and rub. If so, it works!
To make your "homemade" laundry:
Mix soap shavings (natural), baking soda and vinegar.
Our Les Petits Prödiges "House" laundry recipe:
- 150g of Marseille soap in shavings or flakes (ideally without glycerin)
- 3 tablespoons of baking soda
- 3 tablespoons of white vinegar: it acts as a softener.
- 3.5 liters of water
- 1 teaspoon of essential oil of your choice, to perfume your laundry (lavender, eucalyptus, tea tree, verbena, etc.):
In a large pot, bring water to a boil and add the soap shavings and baking soda. Stir well to melt the mixture until a smooth consistency is achieved. Then pour the still lukewarm liquid into a bottle / canister (do not wait for it to cool too much).
Once your washing powder has cooled, pour in the essential oil (be careful, wait for it to cool down too much). be cooled!)
And for the "lazy" or the working girls, we advise you to take a look at the brand L'Alchimiste (soon on sale) which is about to release some great natural detergents already prepared.
~ In cosmetics:
Did you know that 40% of hygiene and beauty products contain at least 1 endocrine disruptor…? Not very reassuring…
They are present in the form of preservatives, antibacterials, added sun filters and emollients (softeners).
But in what type of cosmetics? Well in almost all of them unfortunately! Mainly in make-up…
In detail, in order:
- Nail polish (74% content)
- Foundation (71%),
- Eye makeup products (51%),
- Make-up removers (43%),
- Lipsticks (40%),
- Facials (38%),
- Deodorants (36%),
- Toothpastes (30%)
- Shampoos (24%)
As mentioned above, repeated doses and the cocktail effect can lead to overdose!
Example: propylparaben (one of the worst endocrine disruptors) is present in 9 families of cosmetic and hygiene products (shower gel, deodorant, sunscreen, shampoo, toothpaste, mouthwash, milk body, lipstick, foundation, face cream)
What to do to adopt a safe beauty routine?
Here is our advice:
They must be eliminated at the source because you have understood that they cannot be managed by the dose ...
Here are the right things to do to limit exposure to endocrine disruptors:
~ Try to spot endocrine disruptors on the labels:
Quite complex task unfortunately, because even if some are easy to identify, d others have dozens of synonyms !!
To help you, we have made a small (summarized!) list of endocrine disruptors and their synonyms:
- Silicones (texture agents)
Mainly in deodorants, shampoos and creams.
On the label : cyclopentasiloxane dimethicone or names derived from siloxane or methicone
- Paraben (preservative)
In shampoos, shower gels, make-up and creams. (Please note that the words "paraben-free" may hide such toxic substitutes as for example methylisothiazolinone )
On the label : Buthyl paraben, ethylparaben, methylparaben and propylparaben
- Triclosan (antibacterial preservative)
In toothpastes and foundations.
On the label : We are lucky, it is clearly stated no synonym!
- Phenoxyethanol (antimicrobial action)
Not classified as endocrine disruptors but to be avoided in particular for babies (wipes).
On the label
- BHA (preservatives and fragrances) frequently used in makeup
On the label : Butylated, hydroxynalisol, BHA
- Phthalates (fixing agent)
The mention of their presence is not obligatory on the list INCI * (can be noted fragrances when the perfume used is synthetic)
On the label : Dhietyl phtalate
On the plastic packaging : PET and PVC p >
- Alkylphenols (emulsifiers)
In cleansers, shaving foams and styling products.
On the label : Menylphenol or derivative of Nonophenol.
- Resorcinol (hair dyes)
Please note, vegetable dyes are not necessarily exempt!
On the label : Benzenidiol, resorcin, hydroxyphenol, dihydroxybenzene, hydroquinone, phenylenediol.
- Chemical UV filters (used to filter UV)
Not exclusively reserved for sun products.
Also found in some shampoos, nail polishes and day creams with SPF.
On the label : Benzophenone, oxybenzone, ethylhexyl, methoxycinnamate, methylbenzylidene camphor.
- Lilial (used as fragrance)
On the label : Butylphenyl, methylpropional
Finished! Congratulations anyway for making it to the end of the list!
So obviously, it's quite complicated for a normally configured brain to remember all these barbaric extended names… Breathe, we offer you an alternative
Are you relieved? There are some great apps out there that will help you find bad students.
- Quelcosmetic (UFC What to choose-Database of 6000 references)
- Clean Beauty
Be careful, however, even if the applications are very good indicators, they do not take into account the percentages of each ingredient included in the total of the composition. Certain essential oils are also "badly" rated: not because they are harmful, but because they can be allergens for some people. Ex: limonene. If the subject interests you, we compared the Yuka, INCI beauty and Clean Beauty applications for you in this article !
Finally, once you've successfully identified the nasty endocrine disruptors, you need to adopt the right habits:
~ Favor simplicity and naturalness and short ingredient lists
"A reduced number of components is a guarantee of lower risk for the consumer ", claims Adeline Trégouët, managing editor of 60 million consumers.
And what could be simpler and healthier than natural ingredients?
Avoid lengthening compositions.
Tips Les Petits Prödiges: The Les Petits Prödiges multi-purpose balm is formulated from only 7 ingredients, all natural.
- The composition is noted in French in addition to the traditional INCI list so that, informed or not, you understand at a glance what it is in it!
- It is 100% Made in France! Designed in Paris and developed in the South of France, it is French from A to Z!
- Its packaging is in recyclable aluminum (Go hop in the yellow bin once the jar is finished, or better: reuse it for put your medications, pills or earrings for example. For a zero waste goal!)
- It is for the whole family, and even pregnant women, for whom endocrine disruptors are so formidable…
If you want more information, do not hesitate to read our article on the balm and the active ingredients it contains!
So, tempted? You will find it here .
~ Choose unscented products , deodorants without aluminum salts, and sunscreens without chemical filters.
By the way, we wrote an article to help you choose a healthy deodorant because it is a product that can be very dangerous!
Here we are, we hope that this article will not have depressed you, because we admit that when we wrote it, we had a little morale in the socks by telling ourselves that we really had to be more and more attentive to the smallest detail to take care of our daily health.
But come on, let's stop feeling sorry for him and let's get started!
Good luck to all of you :)
* INCI = International Nomenclature of Cosmetic Ingredients.