What Are Endocrine Disruptors?
According to the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences, an endocrine disrupter is a synthetic or natural chemical that can interact and impact the hormones in our bodies, located within the endocrine system. These chemicals can cause hormone imbalances and issues in other parts of the body because the endocrine system regulates functions of the body, including organs.
Types of endocrine disruptors found in drinking water include atrazine, BPA, dioxin, heavy metals (lead, arsenic), phthalates and PCBs.
How do Endocrine Disruptors Get in Drinking Water?
Endocrine disruptors can get into our drinking water typically from industrial waste and sewage that flows into these areas, which is where many people get their drinking water.
Another way it can get into drinking water is by drinking from beverage containers, even after it is filtered, so it is recommended to drink water from a glass, porcelain or stainless steel beverage container to limit BPA exposure from the container. Health Concerns With Endocrine Disruptors Depending on the endocrine disruptor, it can have different ramifications on your body, but the majority of these cause reproductive issues for men and women.
Below are some of the endocrine disruptors found in water that cause health issues.
Arsenic is a heavy metal that can naturally be found in rocks and soil. It can enter drinking water through pesticides or through industrial means when industries release it into the environment, eventually getting into the groundwater in private wells.
Arsenic can cause several types of cancer, but also increase the risk of diabetes because it interrupts the glucocorticoid receptor. This hormone regulates the process of sugars and carbs and can lead to other health issues in the body.
Atrazine is a herbicide that gets into drinking water either by water runoff into streams, rivers and lakes or through soil into groundwater. While many aren’t exposed to atrazine in their drinking water, areas where crops are grown can potentially find it in drinking water because the compound takes time to break down in water.
There is little research on atrazine’s health effects, but it can cause reproductive issues and harmful effects to babies exposed by their moms. It is unclear if it can cause cancer since there is little research on it.
Bisphenol A. (BPA)
Bisphenol A., also known as BPA, is a commonly known endocrine disruptor that is used to make plastics for water bottles (polycarbonate plastics) and metal product coatings (epoxy resins). These release into our water from industrial waste, but the majority of BPA that gets into our body is from our diet.
BPA imitates the hormone estrogen and bind to those receptors to negatively impact hormones causing infertility and negative effects on babies. BPA can also be the cause of other health issues such as asthma, heart disease, type 2 diabetes, obesity, thyroid function and other health issues.
Dioxins (2,3,7,8- tetrachlorodibenzo para dioxin (TCDD)) are persistent organic pollutants (POPs) within the environment mainly in animal food sources, but can also be found in drinking water. Dioxins get into drinking water as a result of industrial waste, either by emissions from burning waste or by being discharged into water from chemical plants. They are also formed from the production of herbicides, chlorine bleaching of paper and smoking. While the EPA has a standard for these in drinking water, Dioxin can cause reproductive issues and increase cancer risk.
Lead can cause numerous health issues and gets into our drinking water through corroded pipes, but you may be surprised to find out it can also impact your hormones. Unlike other endocrine disruptors, it can interfere with the body’s stress response.
Phthalates, a chemical that makes plastics more flexible, is used in food packaging and personal care products like shampoo, cosmetics and lotions. From use, these products drain into our water system, but can be at higher levels where hazardous waste is released. This chemical is known for reproductive health risks, although minimal in most cases.
To keep these chemicals out of your body, water filters are the best line of defense. However, not all water filters remove these chemicals and it is imperative you check the water filter test results and confirm that EPA-accredited laboratories test them.
Polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs)
PCBs are synthetic organic chemicals found and in old light fixtures, electrical devices and appliances and previously in coolants and lubricants for transformers. PCBs were banned by the EPA in 1977, so any PCBs found in water are from decades prior when they were made.
PCBs, like other endocrine disruptors, can cause reproductive health problems in men and women.
What Endocrine Disruptors Does the Berkey Water Filter Remove?
Berkey Water Filter Systems remove many endocrine disruptors. Our Black Berkey Elements are designed to remove more than a typical water filter by using an ion-exchange process where contaminants bind to the filter. This process, along with the gravity flow feature of our systems, allows the process to be slowed enough so contaminants aren’t able to get through.
Thanks to our filters and filter system process, our Black Berkey test results found that over 99.9% of arsenic, atrazine, BPA, lead, phthalates and PCBs are removed.
These endocrine disruptors are just a handful of the contaminants filtered out by Berkey Filters. Take a look at our extensive list of test results.
Does Berkey Remove
While most water filters don’t remove chromium-6, the good news is Berkey filters remove >99.8% of Chromium-6.
Does Berkey Remove Minerals?
Learn more about beneficial minerals in your water.
Do Berkey Filters Change Your pH Level
Depending on your water, Berkey may change the pH level