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Institute Of Charterd Chemists Of Nigeria

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To have a better understanding of the effects of endocrine disruptors on the human system, we need to know have an idea of what an endocrine really is?
What is an endocrine? The endocrine system refers to the collection of glands of an organism that secrete hormones directly into the circulatory system to be carried towards distant target organs. The major endocrine glands include the pineal gland, pituitary gland, pancreas, ovaries, testes, thyroid gland, parathyroid gland, hypothalamus, and adrenal glands.
As we have seen from our definition of the endocrine system, the hormones are secreted to be carried to target organs. Hence, the hormone is very important in the endocrine system of an organism or mammal. What are hormones?
Hormone is a chemical substance produced in the body that controls and regulates the activity of certain cells or organs. Many hormones are secreted by special glands, such as thyroid hormone produced by the thyroid gland. As we have found out that hormone is a chemical substance, it is expected that hormones will undergo chemical reactions depending on the chemicals it is exposed to.
Endocrine disruptors are chemicals that at certain doses will interfere with endocrine (or hormone) system in mammals. This is because the composition of the hormone changes as it comes across endocrine disruptors and as such can no longer perform its original function.
Endocrine disruptors usually lead to many sickness and deformity such as cancer, birth defects and other developmental disorders. The greatest risks of these disruptors comes from exposure during prenatal or early postnatal development, which is when organs and neural systems are forming, some of the effects, however, may not show up until decades later.
Common sources of endocrine disruptors are personal care products, drinking water (that contains atrazine, arsenic, perchlorate e.t.c), canned foods, conventionally grown produce, high mercury fishes, meat, poultry, dairy products, kitchen products, cleaning products, office products e.t.c
Some common endocrine disruptors includes; Diethylstilbestrol (DES), Polychlorinated Biphenyls (PCBs), Phthalates, arsenic, bisphenol-A (BPA),mercury, polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) e.t.c
There are so many ways to avoid coming in contact with endocrine disruptors. Some of which includes using glass bottles rather than plastic bottles, eat more of organic produce and organic meats to reduce exposure to pesticides and fertilizers, store food and beverages in glass rather than plastic, eat mostly raw and fresh foods, avoid processed and prepackaged foods of all kinds, replacement of non stick pots and pans with ceramic or glass cookware, filter tap water before use, use products manufactured by companies that are earth friendly, avoid stain and water resistant clothing and furniture, use more of natural cleaning products in your homes, switch over to organic brands of personal care products (e.g shampoo, toothpaste e.t.c), avoid artificial air freshners.

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