Endocrine disrupting chemicals: Is your home making you sick?

Obesity, type 2 diabetes, and some cancer rates are on the rise in humans. While sperm count and fertility is on a downward slide in some populations. What if chemical exposure was partly responsible for these trends?

One hypothesis is that a group of chemicals — known as 'endocrine disrupting chemicals' (EDCSs) — could affect human reproduction, puberty, metabolism and other functions controlled by hormones in our endocrine system.

Many suspected EDCs are already in your home — but how much risk do they really pose? At what exposure level do they become unsafe?

Plastic and how it affects our oceans

"No-one in their daily life within a period of 10 minutes isn't touching something that is made of plastic," said Professor Andrew Holmes, an emeritus professor at the University of Melbourne and a polymer chemist who has developed special plastics for flat screen TVs and solar cells.

It's used in everything from the keyboard or pen you are using, to your glasses or contact lenses, the Teflon on your frying pan, and the banknotes in your wallet. It's in your clothes, phone, car, mattress, and TV screen.