Are You Toxic Rich, Health Poor?
© 2022 Health Realizations, Inc. Update
Even in some of the richest countries in the world, environmental toxins could be making you “health poor.” In fact, even with the best diet, regular exercise and an optimistic outlook, your health can be impacted by the air you breathe, the water you drink, the food you eat, and even the soil in which your food is grown.
Are These Eight Top Environmental Toxins Making You “Health Poor”?
More than 80,000 industrial chemicals have found their way into the U.S. environment over the last 50 years.
Contrary to popular belief, most of these chemicals have never been safety tested for use with humans, animals or the environment, and many environmental chemicals cannot be seen, smelled or tasted -- but that doesn't mean they are inert.
Scientists are now beginning to discover that exposure to chemicals -- indoors, outside, at work and even in the womb -- is a major contributor to chronic diseases plaguing the nation. The Collaborative on Health and the Environment (CHE) has released a toxicant and disease database that summarizes links between chemical contaminants and 180 diseases or conditions in humans.
Further, the World Health Organization (WHO) has released a report stating that one-quarter of the world's disease burden -- and one-third of the disease burden among children -- is due to environmental factors that could be modified.
Some of the more pervasive, and most potentially toxic, chemicals out there are as follows:
Bisphenol-A: A chemical used in plastic bottles, toys, pacifiers, can liners and more that mimics the female hormone estrogen and may affect fertility and promote cancer.
Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs): Gases emitted from paint, carpeting, air fresheners and other building supplies that have been linked to cancer and damage to the liver, kidney and central nervous system.
Phthalates: Chemicals found in soft plastics (plastic wrap, food storage containers, toys) and many personal care products that may cause reproductive and developmental harm, organ damage, immune suppression, endocrine disruption and cancer.
Organophosphates: Widely used pesticides linked to cancer, decreasing male fertility and Parkinson's disease.
Perfluorinated chemicals (PFCs): Used in non-stick pans and wrinkle-free clothing, PFCs have been linked to cancer.
Brominated Flame Retardants: Polybrominated diphenyl ether, or PBDEs, are flame retardants used in foams and other plastics. Animal studies have shown that PBDEs can be neurotoxic and exposures in utero may cause future sexual, learning, behavior and thyroid problems in the offspring.
PCBs: Polychlorinated biphenyls are industrial chemicals that have been banned in the United States for decades, but still exist in the environment, including in the food chain in items like farm-raised fish. PCBs have been lined to cancer and impaired fetal brain development.
Mercury: The primary way humans are exposed to methylmercury, an organic form of mercury, is by eating fish, although mercury exposure also occurs from “silver” dental fillings, pollution and vaccinations.
One of the primary health concerns for mercury exposure is for pregnant and nursing women, or women who may become pregnant, as mercury can harm a developing child. One study, for instance, found neuropsychological deficiencies in children who had higher levels of mercury in their cord blood sample, including deficiencies in language, memory, attention, motor function and visual-spatial functions.
Recent studies have also found a connection between increased mercury levels and heart disease.
To find out about more than 180 diseases and conditions linked to environmental chemicals, you can search CHE's Toxicant and Disease Database. Here is a small sampling from the list:
Abnormal sperm count
Gulf War Syndrome
How to Become Health Rich and Toxic Poor …
Changing your lifestyle to minimize your exposure to toxins may not be as cumbersome as you think. There are actually a number of strategies you can take, immediately and in the months and weeks to come, that will cut down on your family’s exposure.
1. Buy organic produce, meats, eggs and dairy products as much as possible to reduce pesticide exposure.
Processed foods also contain preservatives, artificial colors and flavors and many other additives that are not good for your body. To really give your body a break, cut back on processed food and focus on whole, natural foods instead.
And as much as possible, choose foods free of pesticides, hormones, genetically modified ingredients and other additives.
2. Eliminate chemical cleaners from your home. Opt for natural varieties instead.
Using typical cleaning sprays and air fresheners at least once a week can increase your risk of asthma by 30-50 percent.
Instead of using these toxic chemicals, which you breathe in and which linger in your home (in your carpets, fabrics, household dust, countertops and more), opt for antimicrobial cloths, mops, dusters and mitts, which are used by leading hospitals and other healthcare organizations, for all of your cleaning needs.
3. Use safe, natural brands of cosmetics and other toiletries.
Most health food stores carry chemical-free varieties of everything from shave cream to moisturizing lotion. Also avoid using synthetic air fresheners, laundry detergents and fabric softeners.
Dryer sheets are also loaded with toxic chemicals that soften your clothes at the expense of your health.
4. Leave toxins at your door.
You’d be surprised at the number of bacteria, germs and chemical contaminants you pick up and track around on the bottom of your shoes. This is why taking off your shoes and leaving them at the front door when you come in is key to keeping your home as germ-free as possible.
If you have toddlers who crawl on the floor, or if you like to walk barefoot, this is especially important.
And here's something you may not know: Dirt in your home has been verified as one of today's top health risks and one of two primary counter-measures to the risks (the other is proper home cleaning) is to use high-quality mats and rugs at your doorways and in other key high-traffic areas.
5. Purify your home’s air.
A study conducted by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) found significantly higher concentrations of 20 different compounds right inside your home, not outdoors. You can help keep the air inside your home pure by:
6. Avoid BPA by ditching plastic water bottles and plastic food containers.
Choose glass storage containers for your food and drinks when possible, and avoid heating your food in plastic containers or covered in plastic wrap.
Also, buy your own a personal reusable water bottle that's made of HDPE (high density polyethylene) plastic, which is BPA-free!
7. Detox your body regularly.
You probably already have toxins in your body, and while you can take steps to reduce your load in the future, there’s really no way to stop all absorption. This is why we highly recommend detoxing toxins from your body on a regular basis.
So please take all the steps you can to help detoxify your body, and stop absorbing toxins, now. The world can be a dirty place, but with the recommendations above you can keep your body as “health rich and toxin poor” as possible!
The Collaborative on Health and the Environment Toxicant and Disease Database
WHO: Preventing Disease Through Healthy Environments