BPA isn't the only common chemical that could be ruining your health - the very ingredients that add so much convenience to modern life could also cause early menopause.

The chemicals are perfluorocarbons, or PFCs, known endocrine disruptors that can throw your hormones out of whack. You'll find them in many of the products that claim to be waterproof, wrinkle-free, stain resistant, and non-stick.

And now, researchers say women with the highest levels of this stuff are far more likely to experience early menopause than women with the lowest.

Researchers tracked 26,000 women participating in the C8 Health Project, funded by Dupont as part of a settlement of a lawsuit over contaminated drinking water near one of the company's plants in West Virginia.

The researchers found that women between the ages of 42 and 64 with the highest levels of one PFC in particular, PFOS, had the highest risk of an early menopause.

They also found that women between the ages of 42 and 51 years old with the highest levels of PFOS were 40 percent more likely to have experienced menopause than women in the same age group with the lowest levels, according to the study in the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism.

The researchers say that's because PFOS can lower levels of estradiol, which is a form of estrogen. And when estrogen levels fall, menopause can't be far behind.

It's something every woman goes through eventually... but women who experience early menopause face a higher risk later of heart attack, stroke, osteoporosis, cataracts and even gum disease... not to mention emotional stress and inner turmoil when they realize "the change" has come early.

But let's get back to those chemicals, because PFOS isn't the only PFC you need to watch out for.

They're all bad news - for men, women and children alike.

PFCs have been link to immune system damage, cancer, hypothyroidism, birth defects, sexual problems and more.

And we're all exposed to this stuff nearly every single day. In some places, they're even in the air and water.

Unless you seal yourself in a bubble, you might not be able to completely stop all PFC exposure... and even then, the bubble itself might contain PFCs.

You just can't win!

But you can take steps to protect yourself and your family by removing the riskiest products from your home. Environmental Working Group has a list of common items that contain PFCs, which you'll find here.

It's spring cleaning time anyway - make it a thorough one this year.