On the occasion of the release of her new book “Endocrine disruptors, a time bomb for our children” (ed Larousse), Isabelle Doumenc, naturopath, guides us in the world of these substances dangerous for our health and present everywhere in our day-to-day. Knowing how to spot them and protect ourselves from them can only help us preserve our health and that of our children. Guided tour.
“Ah not the kettle too? I have to change it, are you sure? » Yes, the Bisphenol A contained in the interior coating of a plastic kettle migrates into the water each time it is heated. By drinking this water, we absorb this bisphenol A which parasitizes our endocrine system, ie our hormonal system. This is called an endocrine disruptor, ie a molecule that “deludes” our hormonal system and disrupts communication. ” For the kettle, take stainless steel, or stainless steel, it’s a safe material“.
Pregnant women and young children: the most vulnerable to this pollution
I continue my visit to this pregnant friend, who absolutely wants to protect her baby from endocrine disruptors. The fetus is very vulnerable to these pollutants because embryonic development is orchestrated by hormones. If hormonal information does not arrive at the expected time, or is distorted by the action of endocrine disruptors, an irreversible disruption can take place in the body of the fetus. The deleterious effects may have consequences for the health of the child or his offspring. This is one of the particularities of endocrine disruptors, the disturbances are transmitted from one generation to another. Pregnant women should therefore be protected as much as possible from this pollution. The contamination of her baby takes place invisibly, through her exposure to everyday life: eating, drinking, breathing, applying make-up, washing, decorating the apartment, painting or not the future baby’s room…
In the kitchen, we also spotted the plastics of storage boxes and stretch film which should not come into contact with food that is being heated, because the molecules would pass into the food under the action of heat. . Using a glass plate or dish is a safe way to reheat. Head to the pantry, priority to organic for vegetables, fruits, eggs, legumes and cereals. It is the assurance of not having pesticides, some of which behave as endocrine disruptors.
The thyroid in 1st line
In the fridge, sardines. ” Should I stop eating fish so as not to be contaminated by mercury during my pregnancy? No, but you really have to limit your consumption to once a week when planning pregnancy, pregnant, and breastfeeding. Preferably eat fatty fish, alternating between mackerel, sardines, anchovies, salmon, which are also eaten for their omega 3 intake necessary for the proper development of the fetal nervous system. This restriction of consumption is important because the mercury which accumulates in the fatty flesh of fish interferes with the fixation of selenium, one of the essential co-factors in the production of thyroid hormones, in addition to having neurotoxic effects if it is consumed in high doses. Fish also accumulate PCBs, another endocrine disrupting pollutant which also parasitizes the thyroid, with risks for the unborn baby, reduced intellectual faculties, i.e. IQ (intelligence quotient) and increased neurobehavioral pathologies such as autism or hyperactivity disorder. These risks are particularly present during the first 3 months of pregnancy, when the baby does not yet produce its thyroid hormones and depends entirely on those of its mother. “How do I know if my thyroid hormones are affected or not” ? I advise her to do a urinary iodide test (around 20 €) to know her iodine status and supplement if it is too low, in order to start a pregnancy with an optimum status and thus protect the baby’s good brain development. . Other molecules also disturb the thyroid:
– The bromine contained in brominated flame retardants (PDBE), molecules intended to limit the risk of fire and which are found in indoor air pollution by emanation from fabrics, curtains, computer screens, televisions, carpets, etc. Emanations are greater during the first 3 months of the life of the objects. Hence the interest of buying second-hand things, especially to furnish the bedrooms of children, who are also vulnerable to this pollution.
– Triclosan, an antibacterial present in toothpastes, hydro alcoholic gels for cleaning hands,
– Phthalates present in toy plastics, fast-food packaging boxes, but also perfumes and nail polishes…
Cosmetics are an important vector of pollution for women
Direction the bathroom, “Cis awful, for me it was a cocoon where I wake up gently in the morning, and now I feel like I’m surrounded by enemies “. My friend isn’t wrong, but it’s not that complicated to protect yourself from all the endocrine disruptors present in cosmetics. What needs to be changed first? Products that remain on the skin and will thus pass into the bloodstream” Do you really need all these different creams, foundations, lipsticks, concealers? She admits to being flirtatious but also admits that common sense advises parsimony to limit the impact of these pollutants, at least during pregnancy. What to choose ? Products labeled organic, but be careful, some labels have different levels of certification, organic and natural or organic and ecological. Only organic certification will protect you. The fashion for naturalness makes it possible to avoid ingredients derived from petrochemicals, on the other hand it does not make it possible to avoid the pesticides included in certain “natural” plants. However, many pesticides have an endocrine disrupting action. All the organic label standards are reviewed in my guide to avoid being misled by “natural” marketing. Even in organic labels, be careful to take the shortest possible label. And why not use organic vegetable oils to nourish the skin or floral waters to cleanse it?
Avoiding endocrine disruptors is a necessity
The scientific consensus on the health risks is largely substantiated. International doctors, gynecologists and endocrine specialists warn of the impact of these substances in the resurgence of obesity, diabetes, reproductive disorders, cancers and hormonal and neurodevelopmental disorders, and in the decline of intellectual faculties. (lower IQ).
We are not yet protected by laws because this relatively recent pollution is omnipresent. All industrial sectors are concerned. The economic stakes are therefore enormous, the detractors of endocrine disruptors will always have it easy to sow doubt. Remember asbestos, tobacco, lead, there too the sowers of doubt have delayed for many years taking decisions that are nevertheless essential for the protection of health.
The specific actions of this pollution also make it difficult to limit. These molecules are more harmful at low doses than at high doses and the cocktail effect, ie the amplification of their effects when they are taken simultaneously, is confirmed. These very particular modes of action call into question the way in which prevention is currently done with a calculation of an acceptable daily intake (ADI), product by product.
While waiting for the public authorities to put in place the necessary measures to ban them, it is necessary to learn how to spot them and drive them out of your daily life. This invisible pollution has invaded our daily lives through our food, the water we drink, the air we breathe, what we put on our skin. The guide allows you to identify the most harmful molecules in all your daily actions and offers easy and accessible solutions to do things differently.
To know everything and order: 2 books by Isabelle Doumenc, naturopath and journalist
“Endocrine disruptors, a time bomb for our children”, Larousse edition, March 29, 2017
“Thyroid disorders are over! », Jouvence edition, February 2017
By Isabelle Doumenc, Naturopath