SA's IVF Leader Since 1982
Endocrine Disorders

Endocrine Disrupting Chemicals (EDCs)

Endocrine-disrupting chemicals (EDCs) are chemicals that can interfere with the body's endocrine (hormone) system and which can have an impact on your fertility.

Endocrine-disrupting chemicals (EDCs) are common and can be found in a variety of everyday sources:

  • Pesticides: Certain pesticides, such as organophosphates and pyrethroids, are known to have endocrine-disrupting effects. These chemicals are commonly used in agriculture and in home and garden products.
  • Industrial chemicals: Industrial chemicals such as bisphenol A (BPA) and phthalates are commonly used in a wide variety of products, including plastics, food packaging, and personal care products.
  • Heavy metals: Heavy metals such as lead, mercury, and cadmium have been found to have endocrine-disrupting effects. These chemicals can be found in industrial waste, as well as in certain types of fish and seafood.
  • Personal care products: Cosmetics, skin care products, and other personal care products can contain EDCs such as parabens, phthalates, and triclosan.
  • Pharmaceuticals: some hormonal drugs and hormone-like substances used in hormone replacement therapy, contraceptive pills, and some veterinary products

It's also important to note that EDCs can enter the environment through various means and travel long distances by air and water, which can contribute to widespread exposure. Also, Some EDCs are persistent, meaning that they don't break down easily in the environment, which means that they can build up in animals and plants over time.

Some EDCs, such as certain types of pesticides and industrial chemicals, have been found to have an impact on fertility in both men and women. Studies have shown that exposure to high levels of EDCs can decrease sperm count and quality in men, and disrupt ovulation and menstrual cycles in women.

For more information on how to avoid EDCs see our news article here. You can also download our guide on how to Detox Your Home which has formulations for non-toxic cleaning products you can easily make at home.