Toxic exposure has increased dramatically in America, as have rates of disease. Environmental exposure of toxins can happen via air pollution, food and water contamination or through household products used for cleaning/purifying or personal care products. It is estimated that between 80,000 and 85,000 chemicals are in use in the environment in the United States, yet only about 200 of these chemicals have been tested for safety.
While toxins are all around us, The Campaign for Safe Cosmetics indicates that women use an average of nine personal care products each day, exposing themselves to a mixture of over 100 individual chemicals. These products can include things like: soap, facial products, make up, deodorant, lotion, perfume, toothpaste, dental exposures, etc. Now thinking outside of things we put on our body, what are we putting in that exposes us to toxins; food that has been made from GMO, soy, processed foods, sugar, hydrogenated oil, food with pesticides, foods with antibiotics and hormones, food made in microwaves or Teflon cookware. Our home or work environment can expose us to more-air fresheners, cleaning supplies, paints, plastics found everywhere-rain coats, children’s toys, bags, garden houses, containers, vinyl flooring and more!
These lists are just for examples and there are many more; as you can see there is an exhausting supply that we combat on a day to day experience. Various toxins can have different effects in the body such as: headaches, dizziness, respiratory symptoms, infertility, hormonal imbalance, liver, kidney and heart disease, neurological problems, and even cause cancer. You can control what you put in and on your body. Decrease your exposure by taking these steps:
Environment at home
- Take off shoes as to not bring toxins in
- Use natural cleaners
- Use “Low or Zero VOC” (Volatile Organic Compounds-which emit gas and go into our air) paint, air-fresheners, carpet, and furniture( pressed board/wood etc).
- If buying new furniture let it “off gas” into garage for a few days prior to bringing into your home; consider this with dry cleaning clothes.
- Use GreenGuard.Org to find low emissions of VOC’s furniture
- Eat organic, review the 12 crops with the most pesticides (“Dirty Dozen”) and specifically buy these organic if limited on resources. Refer to the “Clean 15” that can be purchased non-organic. See EWG.org
- Eat low mercury fish
- Avoid plastics-drinking/storing/heating with
- Phthalates are used to make plastics softer or more flexible. PVC’s-polyvinyl chloride; avoid these by not using containers with the codes 3 and 7; and using natural fibers. Phthalates are also found in dairy, meat and pesticides they have been linked to birth defects and disrupt our endocrine system.
- Drink filtered water (consider a whole house filter or shower filter to avoid all chlorine/chloroform. Can also use a low-flow shower head,ventilate while showering, shower in cooler water.
Personal Care/Medical products
- Avoid antiperspirant-aluminum is a heavy metal found here
- Use natural deodorants
- Use natural based soaps, facial products and make up
Remember this is a start to living toxin free, other toxins do exist too; radiation from hair dryers, computers, cell phones; and even our emotions and negativity can create toxic effects in our body!