Endocrine – or hormone – disruptors (EDCs) are often human-made chemicals that interfere with the normal function of the endocrine system and as a result cause adverse health effects.
“The most important conclusion that can be drawn after 14 years of research is that chemically induced endocrine disruption likely affects human and wildlife endocrine health the world over.”
– European Environment Agency (2012)
HOW DO I GET IN CONTACT WITH EDCs?
Exposure to endocrine disruptors can happen indoors and outdoors, at home, the office, schools and daycare facilities. We are exposed via the air, dust, food and water or via our skin. EDCs can also be transferred from the pregnant woman to the developing fetus or child through the placenta and breast milk. [Source: World Health Organisation]
EDCs can be found in household products, personal care products, plastic containers. Some pesticides are EDCs.
KNOWN AND SUSPECTED EDCs
A list of chemicals identified as EDCs and chemicals under evaluation for endocrine disrupting properties within the EU can be found here.
WHY DO HORMONES MATTER?
The hormone or endocrine system is, together with the neuro and immune system, one of the three communication systems within the body. Hormones play crucial roles in the development, maturation and function of a woman’s body.
WHAT WILL FREIA DO?
The main aims of the FREIA project are to:
- Improve test methods and provide new ones to identify EDCs
- Create new insights on how EDCs may affect women’s health
- Promote women’s health
WHAT CAN I DO?
It is hard to avoid EDCs in your everyday life. Yet, there are some things you can do yourself to reduce chemical exposures:
- Wash your hands regularly
- Wash new clothes before wearing
- Do not heat food in the microwave in plastic containers
- Avoid use of pesticides and air fresheners
- Ventilate your home
If you have health issues, always contact your health care provider.