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Tags: chemical | toxins | cancer | menopause

Are Toxins Fueling Rise in Early Menopause, Cancer?

Are Toxins Fueling Rise in Early Menopause, Cancer?
(Copyright DPC)

By    |   Wednesday, 10 February 2016 03:22 PM EST

Chemical toxins that we can’t seem to avoid are wreaking havoc on women’s reproductive systems, including a link to a rise in cases of early menopause.

Toxins that disrupt hormone levels are found everywhere – in the lining of food cans, cosmetics, cleaning products, and even the thermal paper used for store receipts. And a growing number of studies shows they have wide-ranging effects on health.

Recent research at the Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis found that women who had the highest blood and urine levels of 15 different endocrine-disrupting chemicals went through menopause between two and four years earlier than those with the lowest levels. And an early onset of this reproductive rite of passage can cause a cascade of problems.

“Even [experiencing] menopause a few years earlier than usual could have a significant effect on bone health, on cardiovascular health, on memory, and quality of life for women, in general,” says study author Dr. Amber Cooper, an assistant professor of obstetrics and gynecology at the university.
Among the chemicals that continue to have health impacts:
  • PCBs (polychlorinated biphenyls). Although their production in the U.S. has been banned for decades, they stubbornly persist in the environment.
  • Phthalates. This batch of toxins is still used in making plastics and found in everything from vinyl flooring to hairspray.
  • Pesticides and furans. These chemicals are also present in most people’s bodies and are similar to dioxins — some of the most toxic chemicals on Earth.
It may come as no surprise that such powerful chemicals are bad news for women’s health. But middle-aged women aren’t their only victims.

The hidden toxins also appear to be a factor in puberty arriving at an earlier age for girls than ever before. Data from a recent National Health and Nutrition survey suggests that early menstruation is linked to chemicals found in moth balls, room deodorizers, and household cleaning products.

“The bigger question — and one that warrants further research — is what's happening at the other end of the ovarian health spectrum,” says Cooper. “Is the age at which we get pregnant shifting earlier as well, so there are other events on the spectrum that we need to address?"

The chemicals disrupt the balance in the body in different ways. They mimic hormones, such as estrogen and testosterone, or block hormone receptors in cells.  In general, they can interfere with the processing and transportation of hormones from synthesis to excretion.

So what can you do to protect yourselves and your loved ones?

Experts make the following 10 suggestions:
  1. Limit the canned and processed foods you eat because the packaging contains phthalates, which can leach into food.
  2. Microwave and store food in glass containers, not plastic, which can increase the risk of ingesting chemical toxins.
  3. Avoid non-stick cooking pans. Stainless steel or cast iron pans are good alternatives.
  4. Eat organic produce to reduce exposure to pesticides.
  5. Limit your contact with store register receipts, which can contain the endocrine-disruptor BPA (bisphenol A).
  6. Search the Environmental Working Group’s online data base to find safe cosmetics and personal care products.
  7. Replace your vinyl shower curtain with one made of cloth.
  8. Use fragrance-free products because phthalates and many other dangerous chemicals are used to create the artificial aromas or make them last longer.
  9. Use natural cleaning products or make your own using things like baking soda, vinegar, ammonia, and lemon juice.
  10. Don’t use herbicides or pesticides on your property.
“Many of these chemical exposures are beyond our control because they are in the soil, water and air,” says Cooper. “But we can educate ourselves about our day-to-day chemical exposures and become more aware of the plastics and other household products we use.
“My hope is to not scare women. My hope is to raise awareness.”

© 2023 NewsmaxHealth. All rights reserved.

Chemical toxins that disrupt hormone levels are found everywhere – in the lining of food cans, cosmetics, cleaning products, and even the thermal paper used for store receipts. And a growing number of studies shows they have wide-ranging effects on health and may be linked to early menopause.
chemical, toxins, cancer, menopause
Wednesday, 10 February 2016 03:22 PM
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