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May 23, 2023

Jonathan and Chris speak to Julie Robitaille, a Ph.D. student investigating endocrine disruptors in waste water and the president of the student committee of the Intersectoral Centre for Endocrine Disruptors Analysis.

We’ve all heard of them: chemicals that mimic hormones and that are found in everyday products. What are they doing to human health? Many of these endocrine disruptors play important roles in the products we buy, but what we are learning about many of them makes us wonder why they have been so poorly studied given their ubiquity. Should you avoid BPA in plastic? What if its replacement is worse?

(1:11) What the endocrine system is

(6:06) What endocrine disruptors are

(7:00) Julie’s academic background

(8:19) The role of plastic in our lives

(10:02) Why we use BPA and what we know about its risk

(14:38) The difficulty of studying the effects of endocrine disruptors in humans and other potential culprits of ill health

(16:58) What the contraceptive pill does to fish

(20:49) The public discourse on endocrine disruptors

(23:07) Banning endocrine disruptors and the problem with current regulatory approaches

(29:56) How to avoid endocrine disruptors when shopping and what we know about paper receipts

(33:30) Some compounds have a reason to be there. Others, not so much.

(37:25) Who is most vulnerable to the effects of endocrine disruptors


* Theme music: “Fall of the Ocean Queen“ by Joseph Hackl.

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1) The website of the Intersectoral Centre for Endocrine Disruptor Analysis:

2) The Centre’s Facebook page:

3) The Centre’s Twitter account:

4) The McGill study on BPS migrating from labels into food: