We live in a world saturated with chemicals. It is estimated that the number of chemicals produced by human beings exceeds 80,000. These are found everywhere: in your food, drugs, hair-styling products, personal care products, cleaning products, clothes, cars, computers, and many other objects that you use daily.
What are the risks?
All these toxic substances are found all over your environment, and your body gathers them. The majority of them are endocrine disruptors, which interact with the hormonal activity of your body and affect the function of the reproductive system.
These chemicals can cause different types of cancer, heart diseases, metabolic syndrome, premature puberty, premature menopause, the decrease in spermatozoids’ number, infertility, and pregnancy complications.
Scientific studies confirm the risks
A recent study published in the PLoS ONE Journal revealed that exposure to the chemical products used in your daily routine contributes to premature menopause. To be more precise, the study showed that because of the chemicals, you are likely to reach menopause four years earlier. Women who are using these substances are six times more susceptible to premature menopause compared to women who are not using them.
Women who are diagnosed with premature menopause have to deal with the symptoms for a longer period. Besides the well-known discomfort created by menopause, we can also mention memory problems, very often mood changes, hot flashes, etc. But it is important to know that premature menopause increases the risk of heart diseases, osteoporosis, and breast cancer.
The team of researchers in charge with the study has focused especially on the chemical substances that are already known as endocrine disruptors like surfactants, phytoestrogens, polychlorinated biphenyls, dioxins, furans, and phenolic derivatives. However, the study analyzed the effect of more than one hundred chemical compounds.
The most dangerous chemicals associated with early menopause are phthalates, PCBs, furans and pesticides. But where do you find them? Let’s take for example phthalates. They are found in a large variety of personal care products that women use daily – body lotion, hand cream, shampoo, fragrance, deodorant, hairstyle products, and nail polish. Even if you don’t use all of them daily, at least some of them are part of your daily routine. But, even more concerning is the fact that phthalates are found in many building materials, medical devices, and materials used for processing food. This means regular exposure to phthalates, no matter how hard you try to avoid personal care products.
The effects of these chemicals persist in your body for a long time. Once you have been exposed to them, your body needs ten years for processing only 50% of the substances. Other scientific studies revealed that their effect is more dangerous for your body than smoking.
Taking all these into consideration, it is clear that you cannot completely avoid all the chemicals. But what can you do? You can still control the level of exposure to them by paying attention to what you eat and what you put on your skin. Make sure you read the labels and avoid these dangerous toxins as much as you can.