How to get rid of Endocrine Disruptors hiding in your household?

Published May 4, 2024 • By Somya Pokharna

Hidden within our everyday surroundings are chemicals known as endocrine disruptors, which can interfere with our hormonal systems and are capable of causing serious health issues such as cancer, birth defects, and other developmental disorders, affecting any part of the body that our hormones regulate.

The widespread presence of these chemicals in our household items is a rising cause for concern.

So, what exactly are endocrine disruptors? In which household items can they be found? How can you eliminate them and make your environment safer?

Dive into this article to detox your daily life!

How to get rid of Endocrine Disruptors hiding in your household?

What are endocrine disruptors? How do they work?

Endocrine disruptors are chemicals that interfere with the endocrine system, which is responsible for regulating the body's hormones. Hormones act as messengers, telling various parts of the body how to function. When endocrine disruptors enter the body, they can mimic or block natural hormones, upsetting normal hormonal balance.

Here’s how endocrine disruptors can work:

  1. Mimicking natural hormones: Some disruptors are structurally similar to natural hormones and can bind to hormone receptors. For example, chemicals like bisphenol A (BPA) can mimic estrogen. When they bind to estrogen receptors, they produce effects similar to or stronger than the natural hormone, potentially leading to overstimulation of certain bodily processes.
  2. Blocking hormones: Endocrine disruptors can also block natural hormones from binding to their receptors, thus preventing the hormones from exerting their effects. This can lead to underactivity of certain bodily systems that depend on those hormones.
  3. Altering hormone levels: These chemicals can influence the synthesis, conversion, or breakdown of hormones, altering the natural levels of hormones in the body. For instance, some pesticides can inhibit enzymes that are crucial for hormone production.

Endocrine disruptors can enter the human body through ingestion, inhalation, or skin absorption, leading to various health effects depending on the nature of the disruptor and the level of exposure.

Which products contain endocrine disruptors?

Some common types of endocrine disruptors and the wide array of typical household items in which they can be found are as follows:

Bisphenol A (BPA)

BPA is found in plastic containers, water bottles, and the linings of food and beverage cans. BPA can leach into food and drinks, especially when containers made with it are heated.


Phthalates are found in vinyl flooring, plastic wrap, and personal care products like shampoos, soaps, lotions, and fragrances. They render plastics more flexible and are also used as solvents in cosmetics.


Parabens are found in cosmetics, moisturizers, hair care products like shampoos and conditioners, and pharmaceuticals as preservatives.


Triclosan is found in antibacterial soaps, detergents, toothpastes, and some cosmetics. It is added for its antibacterial properties but can disrupt thyroid hormone-associated gene expression.

Perfluorinated chemicals (PFCs)

PFCs are found in non-stick cookware, stain-resistant carpets and fabrics, and water-repellent clothing. PFCs are used to make surfaces resistant to stains, water, and grease.

Polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs)

PBDEs are found in flame retardants used in a variety of products, including furniture foams, electronics, and carpets. PBDEs can leach out into the environment and accumulate in human tissue.


Dioxins are found in meat, dairy, fish, and shellfish. They are by-products of combustion and certain industrial processes, and are highly persistent in the environment and accumulate in the food chain.

How to eliminate endocrine disruptors from your home?

Reducing the presence of these substances in the home involves being mindful of the composition of household items and choosing alternatives that are free from these harmful chemicals.

Be cautious with plastics, cookware, and food storage

Look for products labeled as BPA-free. However, be cautious as some BPA-free plastics may contain other harmful chemicals.

Replace non-stick cookware with stainless steel, ceramic, or cast-iron alternatives.

Do not microwave food in plastic containers or use plastic wrap to cover food while heating, as this can cause chemicals to leach into food. Even for storage, use glass or stainless-steel food containers which do not leach chemicals instead of plastic containers.

Many canned food linings also contain BPA or similar substances. Go for fresh or frozen foods instead.

Select natural and organic personal care products

Read labels on cosmetics, lotions, and shampoos to avoid products containing phthalates and parabens. Look for products marketed as "paraben-free" and "phthalate-free." When possible, use organic personal care products that are less likely to contain hormone-disrupting chemicals.

Use natural cleaning products

Look for green-certified, eco-friendly cleaning products that don't contain harsh chemicals. Basic ingredients like vinegar, baking soda, and lemon can also be used to create natural yet effective cleaning solutions.

Improve indoor air quality

Ventilate your home by regularly opening windows and using exhaust fans to reduce the concentration of airborne chemicals from indoor sources. An air purifier with a HEPA filter can be used to capture particulate matter, including dust that may contain endocrine disruptors.

Choose furniture and household items wisely

Opt for furniture that is free from flame retardant chemicals. Check labels and ask retailers about the chemical treatments used on furniture. Where possible, choose natural fiber rugs and textiles like wool, cotton, or jute which are less likely to be treated with harmful chemicals.

Be mindful of children’s products

Buy safer toys made of natural materials or those explicitly marked as free from BPA, phthalates, and PVC. Avoid baby products made with harmful flame retardants or plasticizers. For bottles, go for glass or BPA-free plastic.

Key Takeaways

Endocrine disruptors are chemicals that can interfere with the body’s hormone systems, leading to significant health concerns. They work by mimicking natural hormones, blocking their actions, or altering hormonal levels, thus disrupting bodily functions dependent on hormonal regulation. Common sources include everyday items such as plastic containers, cosmetics, non-stick cookware, and flame retardants in furniture.

Reducing exposure in the home requires vigilance and informed choices, such as opting for BPA-free products, using natural cleaning solutions, and selecting personal care products without harmful additives. By making these adjustments, you can decrease the potential health risks associated with these disruptive chemicals, safeguarding your and your family’s health in the process.

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avatar Somya Pokharna

Author: Somya Pokharna, Health Writer

Somya is a content creator at Carenity, specialised in health writing. She has a Master’s degree in International Brand Management from NEOMA... >> Learn more


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