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Endocrine Disruption and Pesticides

The term "endocrine disruption" is quickly becoming a familiar one. The research surrounding bisphenol A has helped bring the subject to the forefront. BPA is a known endocrine disruptor and is commonly found in plastics.

Pesticides have also been implicated in recent years. The organization Beyond Pesticides is dedicated to the eradication of pesticides and now offers a database of pesticide-induced diseases, which facilitates access to epidemiologic and laboratory studies. In the article Wide Range of Diseases Linked to Pesticides, endocrine disruption is described this way:

Endocrine disruptors function by: (i) Mimicking the action of a naturally-produced hormone, such as estrogen or testosterone, thereby setting off similar chemical reactions in the body; (ii) Blocking hormone receptors in cells, thereby preventing the action of normal hormones; or (iii) Affecting the synthesis, transport, metabolism and excretion of hormones, thus altering the concentrations of natural hormones. Endocrine disruptors have been linked to attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s diseases, diabetes, cardiovascular disease, obesity, early puberty, infertility and other reproductive disorders, and childhood and adult cancers. More than 50 pesticide active ingredients have been identified as endocrine disruptors by the European Union and endocrine disruptor expert Theo Colborn, PhD.

The organization TEDX (The Endocrine Disruption Exchange) focuses exclusively on the health and environmental problems caused by exposure to these and other chemicals. According to TEDX:

Most people are not aware of the thousands of pesticides and their formulations that are in use today, some of them in huge volumes and on huge acreages worldwide. They comprise acaricides, algicides, antifoulants, avicides, bactericides, herbicides, insecticides, fungicides, molluscicides, nematicides, piscicides, rodenticides, virucides, and the related plant and insect growth regulators; chemosterilants; bird, mammal and insect repellents, insect pheromones and other attractants. Product formulations may contain more than one active ingredient, as well as synergists, "safeners," and other ingredients formerly known as "inerts."

Our particular concern about pesticides is that they have been designed to disrupt biological systems, causing death to target organisms, such as insects or plants. Some actually work by acting on the endocrine systems of insects. The problem is that the biochemistry of most living things is similar enough that humans, wildlife and plants can also be adversely affected by pesticides.

In the past, much of the human and wildlife health-related research on pesticides has dealt with more or less immediate toxicity at relatively high doses, or has been concerned only with the primary mode of action of a single active ingredient in the pesticide product. In recent years, these concerns have broadened to include other possible actions of the ingredients, and testing at exposure levels more relevant to what may be in the environment.

TEDX has a list of endocrine disruption links and resources which is one of the most comprehensive lists available on the issue of environmental health.

Quotes

"Our family has been out of our home for 9 months due to mold... I am so scared and weak from all of this. We have lost friends; family members don't understand."

– Anonymous

"I was skeptical at first that these (natural cleaning) products would work, but they work better than the stuff I buy at the store! We will soon be moving to the personal care products as well!"

– Jennifer

"We had some water leaks in our home... we never thought we needed to clean out and remove the floor, the ceiling, or the drywall... my two small children and I have remained constantly sick for years in this home."

– Mia

"The entire time we lived in our (mold-infested) house the kitchen sponge would get musty smelling within 3-4 days. It was so strange. I had to buy a pack of sponges nearly every week."

– Anonymous

"I've been living in a mold-infested home for 13 months... I was going CRAZY! Finally figured it out... Just a few days of recovering in a mold-free home and I feel AMAZING!!!"

– Lauren

"I have been sick for almost 6 months now and doctors were not able to figure out why. I finally put it all together after going away for vacation for a week and suddenly my symptoms were going away."

– Anonymous

"I'm new at this, but today I cleaned my bathroom with baking soda and vinegar. It's much better not having those strong chemical smells afterwards."

– Anonymous

"We all suffered from headaches, hormonal body temperature fluctuations, brain fog, fatigue, difficulty breathing, thrush, rashes, and yeast infections... we vacated our home two weeks ago."

– Anonymous

"I had been struggling with headaches, head fog, breathing difficulties (unable to get a full breath), constant scalp tingling, migraines, nausea, feeling spacey/detached, and severe itchy skin."

– Anonymous

"I started finding myself sitting on the floor in rooms of my house and not remembering how I got there, what I was doing before, or how long I had been there."

– Brenda

"My daughter has had many blood samples taken to test for everything imaginable and her doctor just seems puzzled. Everything comes back normal."

– Anonymous

"In my moldy home if I left the wet clothes in the washer they would get musty very quickly and I'd have to re-wash... Sometimes I'd run a load, go to work, and they'd be musty when I returned that evening."

– Anonymous

"I knew it was mold, but doctors kept telling me I had anxiety. I was sitting in my office and could not remember who I was talking to, or what we were talking about."

– Brenda

"My symptoms persisted and eventually turned into lethargy and depression. At the age of 26, I required a nap every evening after work."

– Jennifer

"My daughter started having digestive problems... heart palpitations... coughing episodes... muscle/joint pain... asthma/allergies... Her doctor finally advised me to check for mold in our home."

– Anonymous

"Both of my sons went downhill quickly and coughed for months... They both lost their ability to read, had profound vision disturbances, and had phenomenal gastric issues."

– Lee

"...at age 35 or 36 I started to become allergic to everything, and I got asthma at age 36... I went to doctor after doctor after doctor and was desperate for help, but nobody could help me."

– Mia

"We were having a lot of health problems and had been to the doctor countless times... we had large circles of slimy greenish-black mold on the bathroom ceiling, where it had caved in a few months before."

– C.

Dedication