News & Media :: Daily Log
Do You Know
May 9, 2011
Our friends Dr. Theo Colborn and Dr. Lynn Carroll of TEDX have compiled a new, near-comprehensive list of all chemicals known to disrupt one or more aspects of the endocrine system, or physiological processes controlled by the endocrine system.
In all, they list 803 chemicals on the "TEDX List of Potential Endocrine Disruptors". Of these, one-third, or 269 in total, are pesticide active ingredients, or pesticide metabolites, break down products, impurities, or precursors. These include about --
- 71 herbicides,
- 52 fungicides, and
- 93 insecticides and other pesticides.
The Center estimates that between one-quarter and one-third of the total pounds of pesticides applied worldwide annually are endocrine disruptors.
Every citizen on planet earth ingests several of these endocrine disrupting pesticides on a daily basis via their diet and beverages. Fortunately, the levels ingested are nearly always very small. Unfortunately, at critical stages of fetal development, and as infants mature, very low doses of endocrine disruptors can trigger seemingly minor changes in gene expression and developmental pathways, triggering lifelong changes with sometimes very negative consequences.
People consuming a predominantly organic diet ingest a small fraction of the total amount of endocrine disrupting pesticides, compared to people consuming mostly conventionally grown food.
Most exposures to endocrine disrupting pesticides among those choosing organic food come from animal fats in dairy products, eggs, meat, and fish, or from leafy green or root crops grown in soils that still contain low-level residues of chlorinated hydrocarbon insecticides. These include DDT, aldrin, dieldrin, mirex, toxaphene, chlordane, heptachlor -- persistent insecticides that were all banned by the EPA by the late 1970s. This family of chemistry lasts for decades in the soil and bioaccumulates up food chains.
By this time next century, these legacy exposures will, for the most part, end, and none too soon.