Chemicals in the everyday products we use in our homes may be negatively affecting our hormones, says a newly-released study by WHO, the World Health Organization. The study, titled "State of the Science of Endocrine Disrupting Chemicals," says pesticides, plasticizers and product additives containendocrine-disrupting chemicals (EDCs). They act like synthetic hormones, throwing off the body's natural hormonal system. A hormone is a chemical messenger produced in the glands in our endocrine system and released in our blood and affects everything from mood to metabolism.
One of the chemicals investigated in the study is BPA, or bisphenol A, which mimics estrogen if it's introduced into your body. It can get there by leaching out of hard plastic bottles, especially if they are heated (in microwave ovens or dishwashers) or exposed to acidic solutions (tomato sauce). BPA is also found in plastic reusable food containers, canned soup, soda cans, and cash register and ATM receipts.
Frederick vom Saal, a biology professor at the University of Missouri-Columbia and one of the leading BPA researchers in the country, says that in studies of laboratory animals BPA changes play behavior, weakens gender differences, decreases sperm count, stimulates prostate cancer and causes ADHD symptoms.