Hypothyroidism rates are soaring – and scientists agree that exposure to toxic chemicals from consumer products are contributing.
And more worrying…it’s clear government organisations aren’t doing enough to regulate dangerous thyroid disrupting chemicals (TDCs).
TDCs is a term used to describe toxins that harm the thyroid and seriously disrupt proper thyroid function.
Environmental Alert: Toxins Threaten Thyroid Health
Along with global industrialization over the last few decades our planet has been flooded with a cocktail of hazardous chemicals…to the point we are now living in a sea of toxins.
Most of these act as potent TDCs.
The thyroid-disrupting chemicals of greatest concern includes; pesticides, heavy metals such as mercury from amalgam fillings and cadmium from cigarette smoke, phthalates found in vinyl and other plastics, dioxin and dioxin-like compounds from the environment, and polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) found in older paints, electrical equipment and building materials.
It also includes polybrominated diethyl ethers (PBDEs) used in flame retardants, bisphenol A the basic building block of polycarbonate plastic found in food and drink packaging, and halogens which include fluoride, chlorine, perchlorate and bromine.
The vast array of chemicals that threaten our health can be overwhelming. But this shows us what we are up against.
11 Steps to Minimize Your Exposure to The Worst Thyroid-Disrupting Chemicals
There are some important steps you can take to minimize your exposure to harmful thyroid-disrupting chemicals. Here are my top 11 recommendations:
First and foremost filter your water.
By filtering your water you will reduce exposure to fluoride, chlorine and other water contaminants. In addition I suggest you stay out of pools and spas this summer as they contain polluted water and high levels of chlorine.
Whenever possible choose fresh, organic fruit and vegetables.
Conventionally grown fruit and vegetables can harbor multiple pesticide residues. For example, research reveals our food supply is highly contaminated with gut damaging glyphosate, the main ingredient found in the agricultural chemical known as Roundup. If possible visit a local farmers market to stock up on healthy, organic produce.
Avoid junk food and highly processed foods.
In other words, choose the kind of food your great grandmother would have recognized. Processed food can contain synthetic dyes, flavoring agents, chemical preservatives, emulsifiers, texturizers, humectants, ripening gases, bleaching agents and synthetic sweeteners.
Avoid hydrogenated fats or ‘plastic fats’ found in margarine, bakery products and vegetable oils for cooking.
This includes soy and Canola oil which are often listed as ‘vegetable oils’. Hydrogenation is an industrial process which is used to convert liquid vegetable oils into semi-solid fats. These poisonous hydrogenated fats are incorporated into the thyroid cell membranes as if they were healthy fats. Your thyroid cells actually become partially hydrogenated! This causes the thyroid cells to cease working properly.
Avoid non-stick cooking pans and utensils as these emit perfluorochemicals (PFC).
These chemicals are known to be poisonous to birds with DuPont warning fumes from Teflon coatings can be fatal for pet birds. In humans the fumes cause headaches, chills, backache and fever. Opt for stainless steel, Neoflame®, or glass for cooking.
Avoid canned food, convenience foods, or food and beverages purchased in plastic.
In addition, avoid using your microwave to heat food. This is a source of phthalates as these compounds are released when food is heated in plastic. The safest option for you and your family? Stop using a microwave all together.
Buy clothing garments locally made from natural fibres such as hemp, silk, wool, and organic cotton.
These are safer fabrics to place against your skin, reducing absorption of chemicals such as formaldehyde resins through the skin. Chemicals such as formaldehyde are used to make clothing wrinkle free. Without strict controls, especially in developing countries, the tendency is to use this and other chemicals too freely.
Check your oral health.
Mercury is extremely harmful to the thyroid. The greatest source of toxicity is via silver amalgam fillings. Mercury is used in these fillings as it is believed it will help make the filling material more pliable. The problem is, these fillings break down over time releasing mercury into the body. Safe removal of amalgam fillings is done with a qualified dentist who follows a strict protocol to minimize your exposure to greater amounts of mercury.
Go for green in your home.
Choose natural building products, try non-toxic pesticide control alternatives, eco-freindly cleaning products, and natural air freshener alternatives.
Ditch the toxic ingredients in your bathroom cabinet.
Cosmetic and skin care products are notorious for containing hazardous thyroid-disrupting chemicals as the beauty industry is virtually unregulated. Choose non-toxic cosmetics and other personal care products that will help reduce your body burden of harmful chemicals.
Avoid perfumes, cologne and other products with synthetic fragrances.
The term ‘fragrance’ can indicate a synthetic aroma has been engineered by combining dozens of chemicals. Fragrance-free products, or those that contain natural essential oils are much better options.
Quit smoking if you smoke.
Smoking decreases both thyroid hormone secretion and the action of these hormones. Cigarettes contain a complex mix of thyroid disrupting chemicals including; nicotine, tar, carbon monoxide (found in car exhausts), formaldehyde (found in embalming fluid), hydrogen cyanide (found in pesticides), hydrochloric acid (a corrosive acid), toluene (found in solvents), ammonia (found in some cleaning products), and acetone (found in nail polish remover).
Dufour P, Pirard C, Seghaye MC, Charlier C. Association between organohalogenated pollutants in cord blood and thyroid function in newborns and mothers from Belgian population. Environ Pollut. 2018 Mar 23;238:389-396. Link
Duntas LH, Stathatos N. Toxic chemicals and thyroid function: hard facts and lateral thinking. Rev Endocr Metab Disord. 2015 Dec;16(4):311-8.Link