There are over 800 Endocrine Disrupting Chemicals (EDCs) found in food, water, air, soil and man made products. EDCs are thought to have a devastating impact on male and female fertility to such a degree that some scientists are predicting that by 2045, most couples will need assistance in order to conceive a child. For more information on EDCs and where they can be found, please read my previous article What are Endocrine Disrupting Chemicals?
Although it is impossible to be totally free of EDCs, it is totally possible to reduce our exposure to them. As Muslims, it is our duty to protect and take care of our bodies. Below is a list of ways to reduce the level of EDCs and uphold this duty to self care:
Buy organic fruit and vegetables. If this is not possible, buy local to reduce exposure to chemicals that are sprayed on to crops to keep them fresh for longer.
Avoid pre-packaged food. Tin cans and plastic food coverings contain a variety of EDCs which can leach into the food.
Never heat food in a plastic container or eat hot food out of one. Heat can cause EDCs to leach into the food. Use alternative containers to heat food such as glass bowls or ceramic dishes. To avoid food splattering in microwaves, use a paper towel.
Avoid using cling film, aluminium foil or plastic containers to store food. Invest in some glass containers instead.
Eat oily fish in moderation to reduce heavy metal exposure, in particular salmon, sardines and tuna (mercury poisoning).
Avoid soft plastic drinking bottles. Choose glass or hard plastic to drink from instead.
Drink filtered water.
Avoid using air fresheners, instead use natural incense.
Ventilate rooms frequently to avoid build up of inhalable EDCs in the air.
Use natural and non-toxic cleaning products. Avoid use of strong cleaning chemicals such as detergents, antibacterial cleaners, bleach etc.
Avoid using pesticides and weed killers in your garden. Use alternative, non toxic options.
Limit handling of till receipts and avoid storing them where possible.
Choose paraben free and ‘perfume’ free personal care items when buying skincare skin care and cosmetics.
Cook food in non toxic cookware. Avoid chemicals such as PFAS, PFOA, Gen X and PTFE in your cookware. Most readily available non stick pans leach or release into the air, chemicals at high heat.
Do not be fooled by marketing ploys. Products which say BPS free may be replaced by an equally harmful chemical. Always read the label and research before you buy.
In summary, endocrine disrupting chemicals are no friends of ours and we should make a concerted effort to minimise our exposure to them. The best rule of thumb is to conscientiously choose natural materials and items over synthetic man-made materials. Wood, ceramic, glass, cotton, wool etc are easily identifiable natural materials. Ingredients are a little harder so get into the habit of reading labels and if unsure – do a quick online search. A little bit of effort on our part now will pay off in the future for us and our families long term health.
Midlands based mum of one with a love of science and nature. I have always had an interest in the natural world but becoming a mum has pushed me to strive for ways to live a cleaner, sustainable and ethical lifestyle. Trying my best in my everyday life to choose and take the environmentally friendly option because I believe we can all play our part no matter how small.