How To Avoid Xenoestrogens

Every day, we are exposed to hormone-disrupting chemicals in the environment that adversely affect our bodies and minds (see 'What are Xenoestrogens?'). In the industrial world, it is impossible to avoid these substances completely but we can do our best.

How can you reduce exposure to xenoestrogens? Here are some common tips. The list is not exhaustive (it just looks exhausting!) 

Food and gardening

  • As often as possible, cook from scratch using organic, locally grown and in-season foods, as pesticides, etc. contain hormone-disrupting chemicals
  • Consider eating a whole-foods, plant-based diet, as animal foods accumulate more hormone disruptors
  • Buy loose produce
  • Peel non-organic produce
  • Avoid canned foods, as most tins are lined with an oestrogenic plastic coating
  • Buy organic, grass-fed meat and dairy products, organic, free-range eggs from foraging hens and wild-caught, smaller fish if eating animal foods
  • Avoid junk food, processed foods, bad fats and oils, preservatives and other food chemicals
  • Drink organic tea and coffee; non-organic coffee is the second-most-sprayed crop in the world
  • Avoid all pesticides, herbicides and fungicides in food and in the garden
  • Run your hose for a while before watering produce


  • Replace plastic with glass, paper, cloth, wood, etc.
  • Don't heat up food in plastic containers
  • Avoid plastic wrap/bags when buying, storing, or microwaving food (fatty foods like bacon are particularly vulnerable to soaking up chemicals from plastic wrappers)
  • Avoid plastic food containers and plastic-coated cardboard vessels
  • Avoid Styrofoam, especially cups for holding liquids
  • Store food in glass, ceramic or paper
  • Don't leave plastic containers (e.g. bottled water) in the sun or near a heat source
  • Chuck out warmed plastic containers and their contents
  • Don't refill plastic water bottles
  • Don't freeze water in plastic bottles
  • Better still, avoid plastic bottles, as they will have been heated to unacceptable levels in transit even if they're cool now
  • Be wary of 'BPA-free' plastics; BPA is merely one of the best-known endocrine disruptors; some BPA-free plastics are equally bad, or worse!
  • Choose non-plastic children's toys and baby ware (bottles, etc.) wherever possible
  • Buy a stainless steel PUNC bottle from The Hopsack and bring filtered water with you

At home

  • Use eco-friendly laundry/ cleaning products (e.g. Lilly's Eco Clean is a fantastic Irish cleaning product brand)
  • Choose chlorine-free, unbleached paper products (e.g. Natracare tampons and pads, loo paper, kitchen roll, coffee filters, etc.)
  • Install a shower filter to reduce chemicals
  • Consider filtering your water but be aware that most filters have plastic parts. Transferring filtered water ASAP to a glass container and keeping the filter jug away from heat and sunlight might help
  • Carpets, sofas, mattresses, flame retardants and commercial paints can all off-gas dodgy chemicals. Consider using Auro paints and choosing organic materials when replacing furniture and carpets
  • Do not use common non-stick frying pans and cookware. Instead cook with ceramic, glass or stainless steel pots and pans, or newer non-stick pans with ceramic coatings
  • Don't smoke, or let anyone else smoke in your house

Health and personal care

  • Avoid creams and cosmetics containing toxic chemicals. Consider Dr Hauschka, Lavera and other natural cosmetic brands (ask the Hopsack helpers for advice)
  • Avoid nail varnish and remover, or check out our less harmful nail polish range
  • Use essential oils instead of 'Xenoestrogène No.1' (perfumes are a serious source of endocrine disruptors)
  • Use chemical-free soaps, shampoos, conditioners, toothpastes and sunscreens (e.g. Dr Bronner, Weleda, Sarakan toothpaste, Green People sunscreen)
  • Use a tiny amount of baking soda instead of commercial deodorants, or try Weleda's citrusy deodorant
  • Consider buying or ordering natural condoms and gels from your local health food shop, as nonoxynol-9 spermicide is endocrine-disrupting
  • Consider avoiding hormone-based contraception and synthetic HRT
  • Choose clothes and shoes made from natural fabrics wherever possible (e.g. organic cotton, hemp, wool, silk, natural rubber). Synthetic clothes can be killers (shades of poisoned dresses from the court of Elizabeth I!).

'Xenoestrogens – What are they? How to avoid them' (2013) and Organic Excellence website.  

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