When patients come to me for help in taking charge of their health, one of the essential changes I encourage each of them to make is to reduce their toxic load – specifically to rid themselves of as many Endocrine Disruptors (EDs as possible. But why the fuss over Endocrine Disruptors? It’s pretty simple: EDs are chemicals that can wreak havoc with your hormones – making them do things they shouldn’t – like stimulating cancer development and triggering immunity, fertility, metabolic, developmental and cognitive problems just to name a few – while stopping them from doing what they should be doing – namely protecting you from the aforementioned and keeping your body’s natural hormones balanced.
Filmmaker Penelope Jagessar Chaffer was curious about the chemicals she was exposed to while pregnant: Could they affect her unborn child? So she asked scientist Tyrone Hayes to brief her on one he studied closely: atrazine, a herbicide used on corn. (Hayes, an expert on amphibians, is a critic of atrazine, which displays a disturbing effect on frog development.) Onstage together at TEDWomen, Hayes and Chaffer tell their story.