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How Chemicals like BPA, Triclosan, and Nonylphenol can Promote Thyroid Problems

Thyroid problems such as hypothyroidism, Graves’ disease, and Hashimoto’s are reaching pandemic levels in the USA. Many studies show that environmental exposure to certain chemicals triggers and promotes thyroid disease 1. In this article, we are going to discuss 3 of the biggest chemicals that promote these thyroid problems. They are Bisphenol A (BPA), Triclosan, and Nonylphenol.

BPA and the Thyroid

BPA is a chemical found in many of the plastic products we use including water bottles (recycling numbers 3 and 7), plastic containers, and thermal paper receipts. BPA coats the inside of these containers and is leached out where it is then consumed or absorbed through our skin. Heat, like leaving your water bottle in your hot car, and microwaves can dramatically increase the leaching rate.

Studies show that BPA disrupts thyroid function by not allowing the active thyroid hormone, T3, to reach the DNA 1. This may be, in part, the explanation why so many people continue to have thyroid symptoms even when lab tests are normal.

Due to our current model of standard healthcare, most doctors are never taught to administer BPA testing. As patients become better educated on the other factors that promote their thyroid problems, they will run tests, like BPA, themselves.

Triclosan and the Thyroid

Triclosan is found in personal care products like toothpaste, shaving cream, and hand soaps. It effects on thyroid function is very similar to the way BPA where the ability for the active thyroid hormone, T3, to influence DNA is shut down 2.

Nonylphenol and the Thyroid

Nonylphenol, found in dry cleaning chemicals, pesticides, paper manufacturing, paints/coatings, household cleaners, as well as PVC food packaging mimics estrogen in the body. These xenoestrogens are well known to promote thyroid problems as well as infertility 3.

Testing for BPA, Triclosan, and Nonylphenol

If we are all exposed to these chemicals to some extent why doesn’t everyone have thyroid or other health problems? The answer is- You can run but you can hide. We will get exposed, however, the body is extremely resilient. We have the ability to break down and get rid of these harmful chemicals, but not if we get overwhelmed or don’t have the nutrition necessary to get rid of BPA, Triclosan and Nonylphenol.

Nutrition? Yes. The P450 enzyme in the liver that detoxifies these chemicals is DEPENDENT on our nutritional status. Yes, food DOES matter.

The only way to know if these chemical is playing a part in your thyroid problems is to run a BPH / Triclosan / Nonylphenol urine test. If these chemicals are in fact building up in your body, aggressive steps can be made to avoid and detoxify these chemicals giving your thyroid a fighting chance to recover. Thyroid testing should always be considered along with chemical toxicity testing.

Feel free to leave a comment and tell us your story.

Wishing you the best of health,

Dr. Brady Hurst


1 J Clin Endocrinol Metab, November 2002, 87(11):5185–519

2 Clayton EM, Todd M, Dowd JB, Aiello AE. The Impact of Bisphenol A and Triclosan on Immune Parameters in the US Population, NHANES 2003-2006. Environmental health perspectives. Nov 9, 2010

3 Endocrinology. 2009 Jun;150(6):2964-73. Epub 2009 Feb 19.