A couple questions today regarding exposure to hormone disrupting chemicals.
“Interested in your thoughts about water while living abroad and traveling. At home I have spring water delivered in glass jars to avoid plastics. I’m in Mexico for the next four months at the moment – not advisable to drink the tap water and let’s be honest I’m not going to walk to a reverse osmosis filter system multiple times a day to fill a steel or glass water bottle. Anything at can block the plastics or help remove them from your body?”
It’s easy to go overzealous with your health.
You might be surprised to learn that I sometimes drink from plastic bottles. Gasp!
Yes, my main water source is a fresh, local spring that gets stored only in glass and ceramic containers.
When I’m traveling, I’ll try to get glass bottles of spring waters when available. But sometimes that doesn’t happen. So from time to time, I drink from plastic bottles. And I’m okay with that. This is basically the 80/20 principle in action.
Is drinking from plastic bottles for four months going to kill you? No, not even close. But this is good to be thinking about. You’ve got to weight the benefits and costs of any situation, including convenience.
If that is your only solution, then go for it.
At this time, I’m not aware of anything that will block microplastic absorption within the body.
Removing microplastics is another matter. Basically, you’re going to need open detoxification pathways to let the body do what it does best.
This includes the liver which is going to process such chemicals. It includes the blood and lymph, which are involved.
This also means to free up exposure to other chemicals as best as you can. The body is able to handle so much, and you don’t want to cause it to be backed up.
Fasting of various types tends to help as it allows for detoxification.
Various herbs are likely to assist in detoxing various chemicals from the body. However, which ones specifically work on plastics I can’t say for sure. I haven’t seen any research that covers the subject.
“I am required to wear flame retardant clothing for my job. Are there health risks associated with this?”
For those not aware, flame retardants are endocrine disrupting chemicals. Specifically, they contain polybrominated diphenyl ethers which have been shown to disrupt thyroid hormones.
Wearing this clothing you’re going to be exposed more to this than if you weren’t wearing such clothes. However, the amounts may not be very big, a question of how much these materials aerolize or otherwise absorb through the skin.
The facts are that many people do have exposure to such chemicals. Most mattresses and furniture were made with flame retardant chemicals, though my understanding is this has been reduced in recent years. This was for an obvious safety reason, however comes at the not so obvious chronic safety cost.
Particles of the bed will break down and become dust found in houses over time. Some will be breathed in.
So I looked up some studies. One I found looked at female firefighters.
In this study they compared firefighters to office workers looking specifically at various flame retardants. The firefighters did have higher exposure pretty much across the board, as this graph demonstrates.
You’ll note that for the reasons already stated that the office workers still have exposure. Those numbers aren’t that much higher for the firefighters because chronically toxic chemicals are everywhere in our environment.
What they found was that the higher exposure was correlated with a slight decrease in T4, one of the thyroid hormones, but only of about 3%.
In other words, the effect was there, but it wasn’t huge.
You could counterbalance the job-related exposure by making sure your materials at home have less. In this way you’d likely be exposed less than the average person.
Beyond this, striving for health where your detoxification systems are optimized, as mentioned above, will help your body to be able to handle such exposures.
The chronic toxicity of such chemicals is something we all have to deal with. It’s not worth worrying yourself into the grave about, but it is worth taking some actions to reduce exposure, and support your body when and where you can.
Here’s another article that talks about detoxification, including some of the herbs that help best.