Worried about plastic and chemicals leaching into your skin and body? You’re not alone. There is a lot of controversy surrounding hormone disruptors – those chemicals found in skin products, soaps, make-up, water bottles, and cans lined with BPA. They are suspected to affect or harm our health in several ways, especially when used daily.

Recently Dateline NBC did an investigation into hormone disruptors. As with most stories, there are 2 opinions and 2 valid arguments to whether we can still use these items or should avoid them like the plague.

For the investigation, the reporter conducted urine tests on herself and her children. She alternated days – one day using products with hormone disruptors and chemicals, and one day using only using chemical-free items and whole foods. Of course, on the days she used the products with chemicals, her levels spiked.

But does this mean her health was in danger?  One daughter tested over 10 times the average level of toxins. That being said, there are no proven risks of having some of these chemicals in our bodies. The initial tests were done on rats and the effects for humans are speculated. Doctors and researchers say that even when found in small levels in the human body, they are far below the danger zone and we should not be concerned. They say that some of the opposing researchers are alarmists – not by purposely trying to scare the public but by presenting the data in a way that certainly does instill fear into people.

On the flip side, other physicians say that developing bodies in children are particularly susceptible to these chemicals and they should be avoided, as they can cause everything from obesity to infertility to ADHD. Many people, including mothers of young children, want to do all the can to avoid chemicals around their families.

Are you concerned? The items that you may want to avoid are :

  • Anti-bacterial soaps
  • BPA lined cans
  • Any plastic bottle that doesn’t say “BPA free”
  • Chemicals in skin care and soap (choose organic or chemical-free versions when you can)
  • Microwaving food in plastic packaging

Having listened to both sides, an argument for moderation may solve the issue, or at least keep us from going overboard with fear. When given a choice of using the chemical-based products or a healthier version, choosing the latter can’t hurt. But there are times it is not feasible, not affordable or not available, so perhaps we shouldn’t stress ourselves too much over it. Stress is not good for our health either.