EDC History | Common EDCs and Where They Are Found | Frequently Asked Questions

You can act now to prevent your exposure to some of the endocrine-disrupting chemicals (EDCs) all around us and take steps toward making the world safer for all.

Get Smart at Home

You can’t control every chemical that you come into contact with each day. But you can make more informed choices about what you eat, drink, bring into your home, and decide to keep or throw away.

  • Learn about common EDCs and where they’re found. You might see that old toy and beloved flame-retardant couch in a new light. In modern products, “non-stick” or “stain-resistant” may raise a red flag for your further investigation.
  • Seek alternatives. Some merchants, like Trader Joe’s grocery store, list a yes or no status for certain EDCs (like BPA) for their products. If where you shop doesn’t give you this information already, we encourage you to ask for it.
  • Read the labels. On plastic bottles, a #1, #2, or #4 in the recycling sign means that the product is free of BPA, a still commonly-used EDC. Shower curtains, raincoats, flooring, and outdoor furniture will be similarly labeled for PVCs, as will canned food with BPA-free liners. Labels for cleaning supplies, facial washes, and detergents also indicate the presence or absence of some EDCs known to be a potential risk, such as phthalates.
  • Keep it fresh. Minimize consumption of processed foods as much as possible, and use filtered as opposed to bottled water.
  • Watch out for leaching. Avoid storing canned or plastic-packaged foods in hot areas, like the trunk of a car on a summer day. Also, avoid microwaving or heating food in plastic containers. EDCs could leach out of the container and into your food and body.
  • Reduce pesticide use. At home, try tactics like plugging holes under the sink to reduce pests and prevent the need for pesticides. For produce, wash fresh fruit and vegetables with tap water to remove most chemicals.
  • Learn more from other groups. The Environmental Working Group has important advice for reducing your exposure to EDCs, and the Pediatric Environmental Health Toolkit is useful for all parents as well as healthcare providers.

Speak to Lawmakers and Your Community

As more science about EDCs becomes available and people understand EDCs and their risks, policymakers are considering different approaches. The Endocrine Society can help identify which bills need your help and how you can participate in Endocrine Society advocacy campaigns.

If you have more ideas on what else we can do together, especially in your community, please reach out to us at govt-prof@endocrine.org.