By Bonnie Penner, Well Being Journal, Vol. 23, No. 6.
Xenoestrogens can wreak havoc on hormonal balance, potentially creating a myriad of problems. Recent research indicates that they are greatly affecting the world we live in, from impairing the reproductive capacity of male alligators to increasing risk of breast cancer in women. They can also suppress human thyroid hormones, leading to fatigue and muscle and joint pain. Additionally, endocrine-disrupting chemicals may cause endometriosis, fibrocystic breast disease, ovarian and uterine cysts, migraines, severe PMS, infertility, increased rates of uterine cancer, reduced testosterone in males, and even behavioral changes.
Most personal care products, such as shampoos, hair sprays, lotions, and perfumes, are riddled with xenoestrogenic phthalates, parabens, and petroleum-based chemicals. These fake estrogens are added to help smooth the skin and enable scents to last longer. Unfortunately, such products often come packaged in plastic containers made with BPA or BPS that themselves may leach estrogenic chemicals. Many household cleaning products, especially those with antibacterial agents such as triclosan, contain multiple estrogenic chemicals.
The Zero Xeno Movement aims to raise awareness about harmful xenoestrogens found in products the average person uses every day. Our mission is to educate consumers in how to make informed choices and to help them to avoid endocrine-disrupting chemicals. We focus on teaching people how to read ingredient labels so that they can identify products that may harm their health.
This article appeared as a health note along side the feature article, “Xenoestrogens as Endocrine Disruptors,” by Bonnie Penner, in Vol. 23, No. 6, November/December 2014 (available in print or digital format) of Well Being Journal.