As I mentioned in my Chemicals That Lower Testosterone And Where They Are Found Article the majority of house hold cleaning products contain chemicals that lower testosterone production. In this article we are going to look at what products we are typically referring to, the chemicals that tend to be found in these cleaning products, why they lower testosterone production and cause health issues.
The Cleaning Products
As I’ve already mentioned most domestic cleaning products contain chemicals that lower testosterone and cause other health issues. I thought to put it in perspective just how wide spread the issue is, that I’d list the different types of cleaning products where you find these chemicals:
- Floor cleaners
- Toilet cleaners
- Oven Cleaners
- Window Cleaners
- Bathroom and Kitchen Cleaners (surface Sprays)
- Washing Machine Powder
There are plenty more; but the above are probably the most commonly used cleaning products and all of them contain at least one or more of the chemicals that lower testosterone.
So now we are going to look at the chemicals most frequently found in these cleaning products, how they lead to lowered testosterone and the threats that they pose to your wider health.
Quarternary Ammonium Compounds, or “QUATS”
Known as “quats” for short, the full name is quarternary ammonium compounds. These are commonly used in number of personal care items like hair conditioners, shampoos and lotions, they are responsible for the “slippery feel” on hair and skin They have anti-microbial properties which is what has led to them being added to cleaning products.
There are a multiple health issues caused by QUATS, they are known to cause respiratory and skin irritation (If you’re allergic). What we are more interested in as far as chemical that lower testosterone are quarternary ammonium compounds like benzalkonium chloride. These are found to be endocrine disruptors, as you will see in this Chemicals That Lower Testosterone And Where They Are Found Article endocrine disruptors mess with hormone production including lowered testosterone production being amongst them! Something else to consider is that they are poisonous to aquatic life!
Just FYI, these are some of the most common examples of QUATS found in cleaning and personal care products:
- methylbenzethonium chloride
- cetalkonium chloride
- Vegetable Oil Quaternary
- benzathonium chloride
- Grapefruit Seed Extract
- guar hydroxypropyltrimonium chloride
- behentrimonium chloride
- behentrimonium methosulfate
- babassuamidopropalkonium chloride
- benzalkonium chloride
- stearalkonium chloride
Percolate is a chemical found in chlorine based cleaning products, it a man made chemical most commonly found in rocket fuel! If that is not enough to question why something so extreme may be in household cleaners, what you definitely need to know is that when it gets into your body it competes with the nutrient iodine. Iodine is required by the thyroid gland to produce hormones. Basically, this means if too much is absorbed in to your body (it can end up in/ on your food as well) it can alter your thyroid hormone balance which includes testosterone levels, estrogen levels and often results in lowered T or too much estrogen.
Fluoride isn’t just found in cleaning products, it is in many toothpastes and oral care products. In fact there are many chemicals that lower T found in toothpastes and you can see more about this here: Chemicals That Lower Testosterone In Toothpaste
Studies conducted on animals have shown consistently that high exposures to fluoride can seriously damage the male reproductive system. This includes reduced testosterone production, sperm quality, sperm motility and fertility. Studies conducted in to highly-exposed humans have found similar findings of reduced testosterone and fertility. Carefully controlled studies have had consistent findings and found direct exposure of fluoride to the testes or semen both inhibits testosterone production & damages sperm.
Check out the findings from these two studies conducted in the 80s looking in to the impact of fluoride on the testes and as a result testosterone production:
1983, Kanwar reported that infusion of testes for four hours with 10 ppm of fluoride inhibited testosterone production.
1985: Chubb reported that infusion of testes for three hours with just 3 ppm fluoride inhibited testosterone production, which “emphasizes the sensitivity of steroidogenesis to fluoride.”
As I’ve mentioned previously; “Fragrance” or “pafum” is potentially the most vaguely listed ingredient in existence. From a legal perspective all fragrance is “proprietary” and as a result organisations don’t have to disclose its components. Sadly, this is where it’s been shown that phthalates are snuck in and when it comes to chemicals that lower testosterone, they are one of the worst culprits!
So pronounced as thal-ates, these are another endocrine-disrupting chemical. Much the same as many other endocrine disruptors, studies have shown they cause negative effects on the male reproductive system including decreased sperm count, testicular cell destruction and thyroid irregularities. When it comes to lowering testosterone production, it is the destruction of testicular cells and thyroid irregularities that cause major issues. This is because the testes & your thyroid are where testosterone & other hormones are produced.
Triclosan is an antibacterial chemical, hence why it’s found in many cleaning products. It has been linked to concerns over antibiotic resistance & like many chemicals in this article, endocrine disruption and as we know with that, comes lowered testosterone production.
Sodium lauryl sulfate
Sodium lauryl sulfate is a chemical you will have seen mentioned in a number of my other overviews of products that contain chemicals that lower testosterone. It’s used as an ingredient in thousands of products from cleaners, to cosmetics and body cleaning products. It is sometimes abbreviated to SLS/ SLES or may be listed as sulfates.
With regard to testosterone production and wider health, SLS poses a threat as it breaks down the skins’ moisture barrier. This allows the dangerous chemicals like the others listed in this article to penetrate the skin far more easily. SLS is thought to make your skin as much as 100 times more permeable.
Another big cause for concern is that when combined with other chemicals SLS becomes a “nitrosamine”. This is an extremely strong class of carcinogen and a poison to the body. There have been multiple studies conducted in to the effects of SLS exposure and they have shown links to organ toxicity, skin & eye irritation, reproductive & developmental toxicity. Then of course there is the main reason you’re reading this article, it causes endocrine disruption which includes reduced testosterone production.
Final Thoughts & Future Articles
Hopefully this article has painted a picture of the dangers of your standard household cleaning products and what the chemicals that lower testosterone are, the good news is there are alternatives that are both non-toxic and won’t lower testosterone production. I will be publishing an article shortly focused on the alternative products you can use; but to give you an idea for the short term, baking soda, apple cider vinegar and white vinegar are all effective natural cleaners. The chemicals mentioned in this article and others that potentially lower testosterone are found in other products used daily. I’ve written articles covering these, which you can view here: Chemicals That Lower Testosterone
Any questions in regard to this article or chemicals that lower testosterone as a wider subject, just drop me a comment below and I’ll get back to you.