Many chemicals, both natural and man-made, may mimic or interfere with the body’s hormones, known as the endocrine system. These chemicals, known as endocrine disruptors, are linked to developmental, reproductive, brain, immune and other health problems.
Endocrine disruptors are found in many everyday products, including some plastic bottles and containers, liners of metal food cans, detergents, flame retardants, food, toys, cosmetics and pesticides.
Endocrine disruptors can disrupt the body’s natural processes for hormone creation, binding and breakdown. The full scope of health effects is unknown since most Americans are exposed to multiple endocrine-disrupting chemicals throughout their lives.
Endocrine disruptors are a particularly harmful exposure source because of the important ways hormones regulate our reproductive system. They have been linked to a number of negative reproductive health outcomes including early induced puberty and changes in the function of vital sex organs.