Exposure to endocrine disruptors has increasingly been associated with increases in rates of endometriosis. A group of researchers at Wuhan University pooled the results of 30 different studies into the links between EDCs and the overall risk of endometriosis. Their ‘meta-analysis’ identified clear links between PCBs, pesticides and phthalates and an increased risk of endometriosis.
Triclosan has been linked to an increased risk of osteoporosis. An American study found that higher levels of triclosan detected in women’s urine was negatively associated with reductions in bone density, and particularly women who were post-menopausal.
It is thought to interfere with bone mineral density, but the exact mechanism is not yet fully understood. Triclosan is widely used as an antibacterial ingredient in soaps, toothpastes and cosmetics. In the UK it’s use is still allowed at permitted levels, so it’s worth comparing products to reduce exposure levels.
Oestrogen is arguably the most important hormone produced by the ovaries, a key gland in the endocrine system. EDC’s mimic the action and disrupt the normal distribution of oestrogen around the body and are abundant in our daily lives.
It’s perhaps no surprise then that EDC exposure has been linked with changes in breast tissue, but the science hasn’t provided conclusive proof yet due to the number of other risk factors that could contribute to the rise in breast cancer incidence rates, such as obesity and lifestyle.