A scientific statement released by the Endocrine Society says that new evidence points to a link between endocrine-disrupting chemical exposure and both diabetes and obesity — two of the biggest health threats in modern society. Approximately 35 percent of American adults are obese, and more than 29 million Americans have diabetes.
Animal studies have found that endocrine-disrupting chemicals (EDCs) affect beta and alpha cells in the pancreas, fat cells, and liver cells and can lead to two risk factors for type 2 diabetes and obesity — insulin resistance and an abundance of insulin in the body. Previous research has found endocrine disruptors to play a role in infertility, hormone-related cancers (such as breast and ovarian cancer), prostate conditions, thyroid disorders, neurological issues, and other disorders, and the “number of corroborating studies continues to mount.”
What types of chemicals are endocrine disruptors?
These chemicals are DDT and other pesticides, plasticizers such as bisphenol A (BPA), phthalates and flame-retardants. They’re found in everyday products — including cash register receipts, plastic bottles, metal food cans, food, toys, cosmetics, and pesticides, according to the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences.