Thyroid gland a large butterfly shaped endocrine gland located above the chest just below the Adam’s apple (thyroid cartilage). This gland regulates the usage of energy by the human body. It also makes proteins and regulates body’s sensitivity to other hormones. Thyroid gland functions through thyroid hormones like triiodothyronine and thyroxine.
Dangerous Chemicals That Alter Thyroid Functions:
Here are certain chemicals which interfere in the normal functioning of the thyroid gland:
Flame retardant chemicals: Studies have indicated that exposure to chemicals like poly-brominated di-phenyl ethers (PBDE) which are found in TV and computer screens results in more active thyroid gland leading to hyperthyroidism. Hyperthyroidism may lead to miscarriage and birth defects in pregnant women. The study was conducted by researchers at the University of California, Berkley and the results were published in “Environmental Health Perspectives” journal.
Poly-Chlorinated Biphenyls (PCB): These man made organic chemicals are found to cause hypothyroidism. Hypothyroidism may reduce heart beat and can be dangerous. Severe hypothyroidism can lead to coma.
Dioxins: These chemicals are formed during combustion processes. They are found to cause hypothyroidism.
Perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA): These chemicals are used in non stick cooking pans, waterproofing fabrics and stain-proof carpet coatings. A study by British researchers has proved that these chemicals cause thyroid diseases.
Furans: Exposure to these heterocyclic organic compounds can cause hypothyroidism.
Phthalates: These chemicals are also called as phthalate esters. They are used as plasticizes (substances added to plastics to increase their flexibility, transparency and durability. Exposure to these dangerous chemicals results in disruption of normal functioning of thyroid glands.
Parabens: These are chemicals used in the chemical and pharmaceutical industries as preservatives. These may affect normal thyroid functioning.
Pesticides: Pesticides like DDT and HCB are found to disrupt thyroid functioning.
Proper functioning of thyroid gland is vital for a healthy and happy existence. People should prevent exposure to the above mentioned chemicals. Health is wealth.