250 pounds per person/day of toxic chemicals are dumped in the US. We are surrounded by toxins to the point that upon birth, a newborn baby is already born having over 180 toxic chemicals in their body.
Toxins can take many forms – heavy metals, air pollution, foods, pesticides…
You do not have control over your neighbor’s truck spewing out exhaust fumes, but you do have some control over your own home environment. This is your area of focus to lower your body’s burden that will make a huge impact on improving your health.
Here are a few household toxins to be on the lookout for:
Aluminum can be found in virtually every bathroom or kitchen in the country. It is in most deodorants that are applied directly onto your skin every day, and it can be found in many cosmetics. It is also in the aluminum foil that you probably use to protect your food from burning or to make cleaning the grill or pans easier for clean-up.
Problem: Aluminum is a neurotoxin that accumulates and doesn’t readily move out of the body.
It breaks down when heated, and very small particles get into your food. Imbed video of Aluminum breaking down.
If you are intentional, there are a couple of easy ways to purge aluminum from the body though.
Hot tip: Drink silica-rich mineral water.
Silica binds with aluminum, making it easier for the kidneys to filter it and get it out of your body. A study showed that after 12 weeks of drinking silica-rich water, aluminum levels dropped up to 70%.
Another hot tip: Epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG), an active ingredient in green tea, has also been shown to improve mortality statistics. Three to four cups a day was cited as the ideal amount to reach maximum benefits.
Problem: If you have chlorine in your water, as so many people do, Chlorine binds onto thyroid receptor sites, negatively affecting the functioning of your thyroid.
Hot tip: Get a chlorine shower filter.
Another Problem: What can happen when shower heads get dirty? It’s scary how items that are supposed to clean us can be loaded with things that harm us, and shower heads are no different. Mycobacteria can live in your shower and can cause non-tuberculous mycobacterial lung infections through inhalation. *
Extra hot tip: Research showed that acetic acid (aka vinegar) while non-toxic to humans was a powerful disinfectant against drug-resistant tuberculosis bacteria in addition to mycobacteria that was disinfectant-resistant.**
Plastic food containers
Problem: Plastics can leach out toxic chemicals into the foods or liquids that you are ingesting.
Rethink putting anything hot like coffee into cups with plastic lids or containers made of plastic. Also, do not reheat ANYTHING you eat in a microwave.
Not so fun fact: Many people are aware of the harmful effects of BPAs and have turned to BPA-free products. One of the favored replacements was BPS. This appears to have similar risks, yet it is not as well-known.
Rule of thumb: The closer something is to nature, the more likely it is to be the healthier option.
Hot tip: Replace that old Tupperware with glass. Glass is inert and will not leach any chemicals into your food or liquids.
Problem: Cleaners are notorious for containing multiple toxins and are responsible for many calls to poison control every year. But you don’t have to accidentally ingest it or have an overdose for your body to have a reaction. Many people are unaware that their bodies are spewing out antibodies to these toxins unless there is an obvious reaction like a skin sensitivity. But if you clean up your cleaners, you will eliminate toxins throughout your house.
Hot tip: With just a little extra elbow grease, you can easily use non-toxic, affordable alternatives with commonly found ingredients like
vinegar, ammonia, or baking soda.
Check it out: Be on the lookout for my blog this spring on Green Cleaning Formulas, or pick up a copy of my best-selling book The Autoimmune Fix. All of these cleaners can be found there, too. These are easy DIY formulas that will change the way you clean. They only take a minute to make, are inexpensive to create, and protect your body from toxic burden.
Parabens are preservatives that give your products a longer shelf-life. Many items if they did not have parabens would be refrigerated to extend its life. You find it in many health and beauty products to minimize bacteria.
Problem: Parabens mimic estrogen; therefore, they disrupt your hormone system. It has been associated with breast cancer. Whatever you apply to your skin, can immediately be absorbed into your bloodstream within seconds.
Hot tip: Read labels carefully. If you see the word paraben in an ingredient, avoid it. Look for products that are paraben-free, or better yet, use DIY health products instead.
Problem: What you wash your clothes in, your sheets in, your towels in most likely contains toxins, unless you are actively seeking out non-toxic options. Your skin is in constant contact with these toxins.
Hot tip: MyGreenReFills is a company that offers a subscription service that delivers one bottle of laundry detergent that you can refill month after month.
This socially conscious company uses all non-toxic ingredients.
Volatile Organic Compounds (aka VOCs)
Problem: In the first 3 months, the carcinogenic toxins cause off-gassing that you breathe in. This can be from furniture, paint, carpeting, or new construction. These VOCs pose inhalation health risks in new residences and homes recently renovated.
Hot tip: Get a good air filtration system and open your windows to create airflow and allow for better ventilation. Add a fan to add even better movement of air.
These are only a few of the many toxins that lurk in your home. Whether you breathe them in, absorb them through the skin, or ingest them through food or drink, they enter your body where they begin to do harm. But when you implement systems changes within your house, you have incorporated a means towards constantly improving your health without much effort. Little by little, as you make more changes, your house becomes a safer environment to live in for you and your family, as well as friends and neighbors who visit.