Thyroid disruptors such as Tribromophenol (TBP) are very likely contributing to your thyroid dysfunction at home.
TBP, also known as 2,4,6-Tribromophenol, is primarily known for its use in the preparation of flame retardants or as a fungicide for plant protection. And although we may not realize it, we are very likely exposed to this chemical every day because TBP is also used as a wood preservative in pallets used by food and medicine companies. Indeed, if you have ever noticed a musty odor coming from your over-the-counter medicine bottles or food packaging products that you have purchased over a month ago, it is likely coming from 2,4,6-tribromoanisol (TBA), a metabolite converted from TBP. In fact, you may have heard of Tylenol
products being recalled several years ago; these were due to a large number of customers complaining about “moldy” odors coming from their bottles.
All that being said, what does it have to do with your thyroid? A recent medical study
supported by the National Research Foundation of Korea
and published in July of 2016 by the International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health
evaluated the effects of TBP on the thyroid systems of mice and its potential as a thyroid endocrine disruptor. “Thyroid function was analyzed by measuring serum free thyroid hormones because free hormones are more accurately reflected than total hormones. While fT3 was decreased by T3 and TBP, fT4 was decreased by TBP with or without thyroid hormones. Similar to the T3 treated group, serum fT3 was reduced in a dose-dependent manner in response to TBP treatments.” Moreover, the indicator of thyroid hormone levels being down-regulated decreased by over 80% when mice were exposed to moderately low and high levels of TBP.
This means that these endocrine disruptors are competing with your naturally produced thyroid hormones T4 and T3, causing you to be hypothyroid. TBP, among other household chemicals and environmental pollutants and toxins, could be a very underestimated contributing factor to your thyroid dysfunction and you should definitely bring it up to your doctor. To be safe, you may want to throw out any plastic bottles or packaged food products that have been sitting in your pantry for a while and that seem to be releasing any weird moldy or musty odors. Also pay attention to similar smells coming from any wooden materials in your house including your floor, doors, etc…