Chemicals are found everywhere; in our food, in our water, and in the air we breathe, plus through our skin ( this is one that many people forget about). With this, the three basic exposure pathways include inhalation, ingestion, and skin contact.
Most of these chemicals put our body organs in overdrive ( immune system working hard and the liver & kidneys to get them out), which can cause chronic stress leading to inflammation. The body does this mostly as a short-term protection, yet, over time, inflammation can cause some profound effects in the body and initially, we don’t even realize it as the body will adapt and adapt until it maladapts.
Well, the sad news, toxins are basically everywhere; a few examples include:
- Air pollutants: ozone, soot, dust, smoke, carbon monoxide from cars, formaldehyde from household products, cigarette smoke, mold, lead, benzene, and radon
- Personal care products: synthetic chemicals ( BPA and phthalates) are found skincare products, deodorant, toothpaste, and cosmetics
- Water: heavy metals: aluminum, cadmium, fluoride, and lead
- Food: pesticides, herbicides, GMO foods, food preservatives like teflon, and the common weed killer, glyphosate, is now found in foods we eat
( a little trivia: The Who ( World Health Organization ) states that chemicals are a contributing cause to over 100 diseases).
( side note: the body gives us many signs and symptoms so being aware of how your body feels, talking to your doctor and ordering blood work will help prevent any chronic disease that may be developing).
The great news is that we can control a lot of our exposure to outside chemicals and support our body in detoxing them out of our body.
The issue with food has a lot to do with what is sprayed on them and on their growing soil. Also, GMO seeds play a role. The best place to go to learn more about the foods to 100% purchase organic is the EWG. Here is their link. They also have a great app that you can use while shopping.
Unfortunately, a lot of seafood contains high levels of mercury ( salmon, swordfish, tuna, and mackerel). I purchase all of my seafood from Vital Choice. Here is a link for you to do some shopping.
Common chemicals we may find in our tap water includes; chlorine, fluorine, hormones, pesticides, heavy metals. Although they may be in low levels, but if we are drinking this water every day, over a longer period, we may see some chronic health issues.
There are a few home testing kits you can use to test your water ( I event used any so I am unsure which brand to recommend) or you can call a private company or your local water supply.
Living in a city with more car pollution, chemical plant pollution and heavy pesticide spraying can really harm the air we breathe. You can check out how your city ranks by traveling over here.
Having an air filter in your house and workspace can be extremely beneficial, giving your lungs a break. I suggest the Alen air filters.
For the last year, I have dove into this subject. I realized that our skin absorbs a great deal of what is applied to it, yet I hadn’t looked into the impact it has on our health. It’s BIG.
KEY TAKE HOMES
- Choose organic foods as much as you can.
- Purchase a water filter or buy filtered water.
- Get an air filter.
- Purchase personal care products from conscious companies. I highly recommend Beautycounter as they ban 1500 chemicals from all their products that are associated with a disease.
- Support your liver ( where you detox): with antioxidants ( lipoid acid and glutathione), botanical herbs like milk thistle and dandelion ( drink Traditional Medicinals Detox Tea), and consider castor oil packs.
- Sweat: Exercise and get in saunas regularly.
- Get a good night sleep: use blackout curtains and strive to go to bed and wake up at the same time every day. The body likes structure.
( which will most likely be future posts)
Stress – chronic: learn the best ways for you to react better to stress with meditation ( Headspace app), exercise, yoga
Food sensitivities: find out what your body is sensitive too. Contact me if you are interested in learning the lab I recommend.
Parents.com wrote a great article listing a few chemicals to look for and how to avoid.