Generations: Protecting yourself, your children, and their children

Protecting Yourself Protects Future Generations

Did you know that parents’ exposure to certain chemicals before conception and during fetal development can impact the risk of diseases throughout their own, their children and even their grandchildren’s lives? Learn about how and see below for things you can do. 

Endocrine disrupting chemicals (EDCs) affect the ability of our glands and organs to coordinate body functions through hormones like estrogen. The endocrine system controls many things, including metabolism, reproduction, growth, and mood. EDCs can enter the body through ingestion (swallowing), skin (absorbing), and lungs (breathing). When the endocrine system is disrupted by chemicals, it can increase the risk of many diseases throughout the lifespan, such as childhood leukemia, obesity, and breast cancer.

Learn about how chemicals affect multiple generations

How can personal care product ingredients be harmful?Poster choose safer personal care products with the Think Dirty app

Many personal care products (PCPs) contain ingredients that are known or suspected to be endocrine disrupting chemicals (EDCs) and are not regulated by the US FDA. PCPs are used for personal hygiene or grooming. Examples include shampoo, conditioner, toothpaste, deodorant, cosmetics, hair dye, sunscreen, etc. regardless of the gender it's marketed to.

Hormonally active chemicals like PFAS, phthalates, parabens, triclosan, and even some essential oils are some of the EDCs commonly found in our products, but there are many more. Read more about chemicals of concern.

With so many EDCs in these products and some chemicals having multiple names, avoiding ingredients by reading the labels can be challenging. That’s why we recommend the following tips rather than memorizing specific chemical names or ingredients. 

How can we reduce our exposure?

  • Use an app to choose safer personal care products. We recommend Think Dirty and EWG's Healthy Living apps, which are available on Apple and Android devices.
  • Try Clearya's browser plugin or mobile apps when you shop to be alerted if products contain toxic ingredients.
  • Search for products on EWG’s Skin Deep website.
  • Look for safety certifications, like Made Safe, when purchasing products.
  • Avoid personal care products with ingredients that are hard to pronounce and that have fragrance.
  • Use regular soap and water to safely wash away germs. Avoid items that have antibacterial or antimicrobial properties, which are unnecessary.
  • Use Silent Spring Institute's DetoxMe app or website for more tips and resources. 

Learn more about this campaign and the study that inspired it. 




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