There are more than 100,000 chemicals out there, and very few of them have been adequately studied to determine their toxicity or effect on hormonal activity. One endocrine-disrupting chemical, chlorine, is commonly found in laundry bleach, household cleaners, and pool cleaners. It's also found in drinking water and industrial waste, and it's used in everyday products that you keep in your kitchen, such as bleached paper towels, napkins, and coffee filters. We are so used to its presence that we probably don't even think about how toxic a chemical it is. Chlorine has the potential to cause respiratory problems (wheezing, coughing, constricted airways), lung pain and collapse, eye and skin irritation, and sore throats. And until we can find out exactly how damaging chlorine and chemicals like it are, be smart and protect yourself. It's easier than you think to rid your home of chlorine. You can start by making some of the following changes.
Paper products: Dioxins, which are by-products of the bleaching of pulp and paper with chlorine, are not only highly carcinogenic but also estrogenic. Choose paper towels, toilet paper, and napkins that are "processed chlorine-free," or PCF.
Coffee filters: Bleached coffee filters leach chlorine into your coffee and release dioxins with every drip. Choose unbleached or oxygen-bleached filters that use chlorine dioxide, a type of bleach that doesn't created dioxin residues.
Antibacterial soaps (or antibacterial anything!): In addition to the harm such products cause by encouraging antibiotic resistance, the triclosan they contain combines with chlorinated tap water to create the carcinogenic gas chloroform, as well as chlorinated dioxins, highly toxic forms of dioxin. Choose natural dishwashing and hand soaps without chlorine or phosphates. Good brands include Seventh Generation, Ecover, and Mrs. Meyer's.