Monday, May 01, 2006

What are Xenoestrogens anyway???

Products we use everyday are filled with synthetic chemicals. Since these are man-made chemicals that do not naturally occur, the body does not know how to deal with them. One group of synthetic chemicals that is responsible for many terrible effects are xenoestrogens (xeno means foreign). Other names for them are hormone disruptors, estrogen mimics, and endocrine disruptors. Since the chemicals are similar in structure to the natural hormone estrogen, they affect areas of the body naturally regulated by estrogen.

Two biological properties of xenoestrogens are bioaccumulation and biomagnification. Bioaccumulation means that since the body stores these chemicals in fat, and since the only way they can leave a woman's body is through the placenta, all of the xenoestrogens you are exposed to in your life stay in your body for your entire life. Biomagnification has to do with the food chain. Since these chemicals stay in the body, when a large fish eats a small fish, it is eating that fish's ENTIRE accumulation of the contaminents. Then, when the human eats the large fish, not only are we eating the xenoestrogens the large fish has been exposed to, but also all of the xenoestrogens that the little fish and algae were exposed to! That makes for a lot of toxins.

The main problem with xenoestrogens is that our bodies are bombarded with them all day. Not only are they present in the food we eat, but also in most of our toiletries and cleaners. They are also present in the home, in some types of carpets, paint and such. When I first found out about xenoestrogens, I checked my lotions, cleansers, hair products, feminine hygiene products, and make up. All had xenoestrogens. One of the most popular ones are parabens. They usually have another word before them such as methyl, or ethyl. Red dye no.3 is also another common one. Dioxin is another one. It is a biproduct of processes like bleaching and burning products. They have been found in tampons and pads.

Also, many plastics are hormonally active and release xenoestrogens into things they come in contact with. This is why it is never a good idea to heat or cook something in plastic, because the heat accelerates the leaching of the chemicals into the food. When you look at all the food that is packaged in plastic, and the abundance of plastic water bottles, containers and utensils, you begin to understand why this is such a problem.

Again, the main problem with xenoestrogens is that we are exposed to them dozens of times a day from dozens of sources. When you add in the fact that these chemicals stay in our bodies for life, you see that this is not only a problem, but an epidemic. A modern epidemic, since these synthetic chemicals didn't exist 70 years ago.

A good site for information on the toxins our bodies are daily exposed to is If you click first on Personal Care, and then on Common Hazardous Chemicals found in Personal Care Products, you will get a list of toxins to watch out for, including estrogen mimics.


At 8:23 p.m. , Blogger Dave said...

Nice blog lady. Keep up the good work. I am special because I have made the first ever post. So special.

At 8:24 p.m. , Blogger Dave said...

Your dad told me he wished your blog had more links to information that explained the scientific stuff in your blog.

At 11:19 a.m. , Blogger Leah said...

Roxanne je suis bien fier de toi, good for you! i will be an avid reader of your health blog, these are issues i have pondered for a long while, especially living in an urban environment, i feel the toxins coat and enter my body daily, i am always on the lookout for the most organic, plant based products. Recently i have started using Aveda products, which are almost 100% plant based cleansers, moisturizers, hair care, etc. Their philosophy is very good, encompassing care of our environment as well as respect for our bodies and the ways of indiginous peoples who , for years, have cared for themselves using what the earth gives to us. i think their website is I hope you are well, and we'll see you soon in Montreal!!

At 11:21 a.m. , Blogger Leah said...

Also, your photo on this blog looks strikingly like Audrey Hepburn, it's delightful.

At 12:59 p.m. , Blogger Axel said...

kryce tells me that if your mom breastfeeds you, you won't get any disease ever.

At 10:53 p.m. , Blogger sinner said...

agreed, totally hawt pic :)

At 10:58 p.m. , Blogger sinner said...

I blame the US government for Xenoestrogens. Seriously though, I'm not poking fun, they (US Feds) are so lenient with their rules and regulations regarding the amounts of certain products that are safe for human consumption.

At 11:20 a.m. , Blogger kryce said...

what's this science i hear everyone talk about?
is that something those young kids enjoy like the Spice Girls and Neve Campbell?

At 10:28 a.m. , Blogger Roxanne said...

Thanks everyone!
I'm just glad people actually read this!
Dash, you're totally right; if regulations were stricter and involved indepth testing for safety, my site wouldn't exist. Who says what the tolerated daily exposure to a neurotoxin is? I want a virgin brain!

At 6:56 p.m. , Blogger Roxanne said...

I found this info on the Our Stolen Futures website and it made me think of your breastfeeding comment. Not that women should stop breastfeeing or anything... breastfeeding is a natural and necessary process... this just shows how these chemicals have corrupted all aspects of reproduction.

"A Dutch study indicates that PCB and dioxin contamination experienced during breast feeding weakens exposed infants' immune systems, making them more vulnerable to common childhood diseases."

At 4:19 p.m. , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thanks for the informative information - I enjoyed reading it! I always enjoy this blog. :) Cheers, what does childbirth look like


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