The Link Between Environmental Chemicals and Thyroid Function

It’s true, we’re surrounded by more toxins than ever before. And that’s a concern as there is a definite link between environmental chemicals and thyroid function.

In effect, daily exposure to harmful environmental chemicals is a serious threat to thyroid health.

Widespread global industrialization over the last few decades has flooded the planet with a cocktail of dangerous environmental chemicals. Furthermore, contamination is widespread which poses a serious threat to the quality of the food we eat, the water we drink, and the air we breathe.

Environmental health experts warn exposure to even very small concentrations or a complex mixture can interfere with reproduction, immune health and nervous system function. Over time exposure to risky environmental chemicals can lead to a diverse range of health problems such as hypothyroidism, chemical sensitivities, nervous system disorders, even cancer.

The Link Between Environmental Chemicals and Thyroid Function

The thyroid is extremely vulnerable to the effects of hazardous environmental chemicals. It should therefore come as little surprise that thyroid problems are escalating as we become increasingly exposed to environmental pollution. Thyroid disease including thyroid cancer and thyroid autoimmune disease is increasing substantially.

A wide range of environmental chemicals harm thyroid health. Of particular concern are ‘thyroid-disrupting chemicals’.

Also known as TCDs, these environmental pollutants damage the thyroid, and alter thyroid hormone function. TDCs also block uptake of iodine in the thyroid, trigger thyroid antibody production leading to an autoimmune thyroid disorder, and increase thyroid cancer risk.

This list here may seem a little daunting but it gives you an idea of what we are up against. These days harmful chemicals are all around us:

  • pesticides found in the food and water supply
  • polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) found in older paints, electrical equipment and building materials
  • heavy metals such as cadmium, lead and mercury
  • dioxin and dioxin-like compounds from the environment
  • phthalates found in vinyl and plastic products
  • polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs) flame retardants present in carpets, clothing, soft furnishings, electronics and plastics
  • polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) present in air pollution
  • bisphenol A (BPA) found in a variety of food and beverage packaging
  • bromides used in oils to stabilise citrus flavoured soft drinks,commercial bakery products, some flours and is also found in pesticides
  • halogens which include fluoridechlorineperchlorate and bromide. Did you know halogens compete for the same receptor sites as iodine? Consequently, excessive halogen exposure blocks optimal iodine activity.


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