Our diets, packaging, cosmetics, the coating of many surfaces… these are all products that contain endocrine disruptors: very useful molecules for industry, but capable of mimicking the endogenous hormones of our body and altering it.
In the second episode of the second season of ‘La mare de la ciència‘, the scientific outreach podcast of the Barcelona Biomedical Research Park (PRBB), we will discover what ‘endocrine disruptors‘ are and what effect they have on our health with Maribel Casas, research assistant at the Global Health Institute of Barcelona (ISGlobal).
Sadly, these impostor hormones are everywhere. But as Maribel explains, it is important to minimize exposure to them in specific stages of life such as pregnancy and the first years of life. “The first 1,000 days of life determine your health, and these start to count during pregnancy, when life begins,” she explains.
To understand the effect of disruptors, the team where Maribel works studies the exposome, i.e., all the environmental exposures to which we are subjected on a daily basis and which modulate our environment. And they do this in cohort studies of volunteer mothers and children that they follow for more than ten years.
Over the years, they have seen that exposure to certain disruptors leads to a greater risk of obesity, respiratory infections, behavioral problems, or premature puberty. And despite the fact that these are very small effects, “if exposure to an agent can be avoided, why don’t we do it?”, asks the scientist.
Listen to Maribel. It certainly won’t leave you indifferent!