We live in a toxic world. Yes, the stress of our times burdens us, but here I am talking about the toxins literally flowing through our water supply. We have industrial pollutants. We have countless medications pouring into our toilets. Some of these are filtered out in treatment plants and some are not. Among the many adverse effects these contaminants may trigger, endocrine disruption ranks high in the potential for widespread harm.
Much of these adverse effects manifest themselves in the next generation of girls growing up, a generation of girls who are bombarded by a horde of these hormone influences. Even if their parents protect them from the many personal care products which can cause endocrine disruption issues, the water supply may still pose a risk. We wonder why our young girls are starting their menstrual cycles so young or have so many menstrual irregularities early in life. We see more severe cramping and polycystic ovarian syndrome, but we still seem to lack a medical answer.
The article in question does not focus on the adverse effects of such endocrine disruption; instead, it acknowledges the problem as a reality which deserves attention. To answer a need for better understanding, the researchers describe their attempt to study the potential effects of these chemicals in the water supply. They point out that the sheer number of different chemicals precludes an easy method of testing a water sample for such contaminants. They answer this challenge by devising biological testing methods using engineered cells that emit light when their hormone receptors encounter hormone influences in the water.
This simple “yes or no” biological sample catches anything that might have hormonal influences and is a great advance. Their next work must take the process a step further as simple binding to a hormone receptor on a cell does not reveal what actual effects that chemical will have on an organism’s hormonal systems. The complexity of human biology including hormonal systems and their downstream effects requires a multilayered systems approach and they along with others are moving towards this type of evaluation process.
As we wait for better testing methods, common sense would tell us to actively work towards limiting the potential for such exposures in both ourselves and especially our children. Choosing to avoid personal care products with such endocrine disruptors lowers the toxic load. Filtering water in your home will lessen the toxic burden. Choosing home locations greater distances from industrial pollution will even further lower the toxic exposure.
Beyond these personal choices, we can educate others on the dangers to our children of such endocrine toxins. As more people join in the choice to avoid toxic products, the market will respond by offering healthier options. As more people join to put pressure on various levels of government, we can see changes in policy that promote health rather than sacrificing our children’s endocrine wellness for the dollar’s sake. Together we can make a difference for ourselves and for our society and for our next generation.
Helping others live healthier more abundant lives requires this team effort. Functional medicine encourages all of this and more.
T.S. Barton-Maclaren, M. Wade, N. Basu, S. Bayen, J. Grundy, V. Marlatt, R. Moore, L. Parent, J. Parrott, P. Grigorova, J. Pinsonnault-Cooper, V.S. Langlois. Innovation in regulatory approaches for endocrine disrupting chemicals: The journey to risk assessment modernization in Canada. Environmental Research, 2022; 204: 112225 DOI: 10.1016/j.envres.2021.112225
Thanks to Science Daily:
Institut national de la recherche scientifique – INRS. “Measuring endocrine disruptors in wastewater.” ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 12 April 2022.
Sanctuary Functional Medicine, under the direction of Dr Eric Potter, IFMCP MD, provides functional medicine services to Nashville, Middle Tennessee and beyond. We frequently treat patients from Kentucky, Alabama, Mississippi, Georgia, Ohio, Indiana, and more... offering the hope of healthier more abundant lives to those with chronic illness.