- Detoxify Yourself and Family
- Known Environmental Toxins
- US Government and Environmental Toxins
- The American Cancer Society and Environmental Toxins
- How Toxic is Your Zip Code
- What I Can Do To Protect My Family
- Detoxify Resources
Detoxify Yourself and Family
The word “detox” has been thrown around so much lately that many people don’t know that detoxification is a vital process for our bodies. Detoxification is the removal of toxic substances from the body, whether it be metabolic waste from our cells, food additives and preservatives, the plastic we drink from, or byproducts of medication. A major function of the skin, lungs, liver, kidneys, and gastrointestinal system is detoxification (ie. kidney failure patients use dialysis as a form of detoxification). In short, our bodies are built to detoxify naturally (unless the burden becomes too great…keep reading..) When we detoxify, there are two important points to consider:
- get rid of the toxins that are inside our body, and
- keep outside toxins from coming in
Endocrine Disrupting Chemicals
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) estimates that there are over 87,000 chemicals currently in widespread use today. And of these, 62,000 are small enough to cross cell membranes. Basically what it all boils down to is that we are TOXIC. Sadly, the trend in chronic illness has not only affected adults, but it is now affecting our children, pregnant mothers, wildlife, and the food we eat. The World Health Organization (WHO) and the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) released a document in 2012 which provides the global status of scientific knowledge on exposure to and effects of endocrine disrupting chemicals (EDCs):
“We live in a world in which man-made chemicals have become a part of everyday life. It is clear that some of these chemical pollutants can affect the endocrine (hormonal) system, and certain of these endocrine disruptors may also interfere with the developmental processes of humans and wildlife species.”
The National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (an NIH affiliate) has an amazing page dedicated to endocrine disruptors:
Endocrine disruptors are chemicals that may interfere with the body’s endocrine system and produce adverse developmental, reproductive, neurological, and immune effects in both humans and wildlife.
The polycyclic hydrocarbons (DDT, dioxin, 2,4,5-T, 2,3-D, PCB, and PCP), which are components of various herbicides and pesticides, are one example of chemicals that are now found in virtually all human fat tissues measured. These “endocrine disrupting chemicals” that travel into our bodies via nose, mouth, and skin can end up taking up residence inside our bodies if we are not detoxifying properly.
Learn more about household chemicals and:
- Reproductive and Developmental Toxicity
- Allergies and Irritation
- Accidents: Burns and Poisonings
Known Environmental Toxins
The Collaborative on Health and the Environment’s website is an amazing tool for my patients who have been diagnosed with medical conditions/diseases. It is a toxicant/disease database. You can browse by disease category, disease, or toxicant to find the studied cause-effect relationship.
The following carcinogenic (cancer causing) environmental toxins are currently FDA approved for one reason or another. Thank you SaferChemicals.org and Washington Toxics Coalition for the wonderful information that you provide the public!
- Bisphenol A (BPA)
- Heavy Metals
- Hexavalent Chromium
- Methylene Chloride
- PCBs and DDT
- Perfluorinated Compounds
- Persistent, Bioaccumulative and Toxic Chemicals (PBTs)
- Toxic Flame Retardants (PBDEs)
- Toxic Flame Retardants (TDCP and TCEP)
- Tricholoroethylene (TCE)
- Vinyl Chloride
US Government and Environmental Toxins
I’m amazed (okay, not really) that the US Department of Health and Human Services as well as the Federal Emergency Management Agency, and our beloved Cleveland Clinic deem these toxins unsafe (see above), yet they are still used every day in our homes, our lawns, in the food we eat, at our work places, around our young children, animals, and pregnant mothers. And to make bad matters even worse, here is a 2014 Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) drafted document that shows in 1997 there was a Presidential Executive Order-13045 signed by former President Bill Clinton SEVENTEEN years ago:
Requiring all federal agencies to assign a high priority to addressing health and safety risks to children, coordinate research priorities on children’s health, and ensure that their standards take into account the special risks to children.
Further, right around the same time, the FDA approved the safety of genetically modified organisms (GMOs). Hmmm, crops that are resistant to Monsanto‘s RoundUp, a PESTICIDE. Most of us don’t know that our food supply is heavily sprayed with this pesticide, and I mean HEAVILY SPRAYED.
I’m gonna go ahead and say that I really don’t know what the government’s stance on environmental toxins is.
If you’d like to see what the CDC reports say regarding environmental toxins:
The American Cancer Society and Environmental Toxins
On the American Cancer Society’s website:
Cancer is caused by changes in a cell’s DNA – its genetic “blueprint.” Some of these changes may be inherited from our parents, while others may be caused by outside exposures, which are often referred to as environmental factors. Environmental factors can include a wide range of exposures, such as:
- Lifestyle factors (nutrition, tobacco use, physical activity, etc.)
- Naturally occurring exposures (ultraviolet light, radon gas, infectious agents, etc.)
- Medical treatments (chemotherapy, radiation, immune system-suppressing drugs, etc.)
- Workplace exposures
- Household exposures
Here is the complete list of known environmental carcinogens (have been studied and proved carcinogenic) – scroll down to “Known Human Carcinogens”
How Toxic is Your Zip Code
If you’d like environmental toxin information for the county that you live in (and the factories/companies/corporations that are emitting the toxins):
- Scorecard – The Pollution Information Site and type in your zip code and click “Get Report.”
- My Environment (EPA) and type in your address, zip code, city, county, or park name.
What I Can Do To Protect My Family
I am so happy you asked! Here are my “3 Pillars Of Health“:
- Take out the trash.
- Give the body what it needs.
- Get out of the way.
“Taking out the trash” is my way of saying detoxify! And in order to detoxify correctly, we need to look at the following:
And remember, the easiest way to detoxify yourself and family is to limit your exposure to toxins the best you can!
- Whole Body Detox
- Household Chemicals
- Personal Care Products
- Pesticides and More
- Children’s Items
And I’d like to mention again that it is impossible to keep away from all toxins, however we can try and limit our exposure to them the best we can! For more ways to continue on your detox journey, also try:
- US Department of Health and Human Services – Household Products Database
- Federal Emergency Management Agency – Household Chemical Emergencies
- Cleveland Clinic – Household Safety (Household Chemicals Chart: Whats in my House?)
- Environmental Working Group – Guide to Healthy Cleaning
- Presidential Executive Order-13045 – signed 1997
- EPA Children’s Environmental Health – drafted document, July 2, 2014
- WHO State of the Science of Endocrine Disrupting Chemicals – 2012 (Summary or Full Version)
- Scorecard – The Pollution Information Site
- Washington Toxics Coalition
- The American Cancer Society