Researchers, scientists and doctors are increasingly aware that the tens of thousands of chemicals we are exposed to on a daily basis in our air, water, household products and food can have significant negative impacts on human health.  In this article, I’d like to bring to your attention a very dangerous group of chemical substances, called endocrine or hormone disruptors, which have the potential to alter normal hormonal functioning in the body.

Here is a list of twelve of the worst offenders:

  • BPA  (linked to breast and other cancers, obesity, early puberty and heart disease)
  • Dioxin  (disrupts normal hormone and immune function in both men and women, is a powerful carcinogen)
  • Atrazine  (potentially linked to prostate cancer in men, is a widely used agricultural herbicide)
  • Phthalates  (linked to lower sperm counts and less mobile sperm, obesity, diabetes, thyroid problems)
  • Perchlorate  (competes with iodine in the body, potentially causing thyroid issues)
  • Fire Retardants/PBDEs  (dangerous, extremely long-lasting chemicals that can disrupt thyroid function)
  • Lead  (causes brain damage, lowered IQ, hearing loss, miscarriage, premature birth, increased blood pressure, kidney damage and nervous system problems, disrupts HPA axis)
  • Arsenic  (can kill in high amounts, can cause skin, bladder and lung cancer, disrupts normal glucocorticoid functioning thus potentially leading to weight gain, immunosuppression, insulin resistance, osteoporosis and high blood pressure
  • Mercury  (affects brain development in the fetus, interrupts and dysregulates the menstrual cycle in women, may cause diabetes)
  • Perfluorinated chemicals/PFCs  (the PFC called PFOA never degrades in the environment, can cause decreased sperm quality, low birth weight, kidney disease, thyroid dysfunction and high cholesterol)
  • Organophosphate pesticides  (derived from WW II chemical weapons, can cause negative effects on brain development, behavior and fertility, interrupts normal testosterone levels in men, and alters thyroid hormone levels)
  • Glycol Ethers  (may damage male reproductive capability, cause certain blood disorders, may increase asthma and allergies in children)


I highly recommend having a look at the Environmental Working Group’s (EWG) website at , for more information on these powerful and dangerous chemicals, and steps you can take to minimize your exposure to them.

For those who may be interested, I also offer testing in my office to ascertain what an individual’s chemical toxic “load” may be, so that I can devise a detoxification strategy to improve his or her overall health.




Courtesy of EWG


Dr. Allen gives free lectures at the Library three to four times each year, on topics of interest from the cutting edge of integrative medicine.  If you would like to be added to our mailing list for these lectures and his other speaking engagements, please email