There’s toxins in our food, water, cookware & personal-care products…
Some people know. Some don’t. But, we are exposed to thousands of toxins daily, and the exposure doesn’t stop. Day-by-day, toxic ingredients in our food, water, cookware, personal-care products and even the air we breathe buildup in our lymphatic system and internal filtration systems. As a result, we as a Americans are experiencing high rates of obesity (nearly half of all Americans are obese) and multiple, associated comorbidities like high blood blood, diabetes, digestive issues, hormonal imbalance and more.
Detoxing is no longer a trendy thing to do. It’s a necessity if you want to keep your body as healthy and clean as you possibly can. Otherwise you will be dealing with an overwhelming health situation as you continue to age that most doctors aren’t trained to address, and many holistic professionals don’t know how to detox the body in a structured and integrated approach. Then there’s chronic illness sufferers who have MTHFR defects, and few providers know to to identify this genetic issue and full address it.
Start with a virtual health & nutrition consultation below:
What’s in your drinking & bathing water?
The EPA reported that over 84,000 known contaminants, such as chlorine, DBPs, pesticides, VOCs and lead, may be present in the water of US homes. Arsenic is a common contaminant since it’s found naturally in the earth’s crust. Reuters reports that southwestern cities like Los Angeles, Albuquerque, Scottsdale, and Tucson get their drinking water from sources containing arsenic levels that exceed what’s allowed by the EPA. Arsenic is carcinogenic.
Chemicals such as chlorine and chloramines used to treat our water contain a dangerous by-product known as disinfection byproducts (DBPs). New research links DBPs to cancer, as well as reproductive and developmental problems. Here are some of the most common contaminants found in city water:
- Disinfection byproducts (DBPs)—linked to cancer, as well as reproductive and developmental problems
- Chlorine and chloramines—known to irritate to the skin and respiratory system
- Volatile organic compounds (VOCs)—known to cause nervous system damage
- Trihalomethanes (THMs), including chloroform—linked to cancer
- Perchlorates—linked to thyroid and developmental problems
- Petroleum products
- Hormone mimickers
Well water isn’t without contaminants. The well you draw your water from is connected to channels of aquifers all over your area. While our soil does a good job of filtering out toxins before they reach these aquifers, many contaminants such as herbicides, pesticides, pharmaceuticals (via septic systems) make their way into the well water supply.
Toxins in Food that are Concerning
Consuming as many whole foods, and organic when possible, is going to significantly limit your exposure to toxins found within processed and packaged foods. It’s also important to check labels. An easy rule of thumb is if you don’t know what an ingredient is, or what it means, then don’t make the purchase.
Here are the top toxic additives to check for:
- Refined vegetable and seed oils: corn, sunflower, safflower, soybean, and cottonseed oils
- Bisphenol A and similar compounds
- Artificial trans fats
- Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons
- Coumarin in cinnamon
- Added sugars
- Mercury in fish
- Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs) – Much of the corn, soy, cottonseed, and canola grown in the US is made from GMOs. Look for GMO-free labels & avoid bio-engineered ones (these are GMOs).
- Pesticides – most fruits & veggies, so wash them properly with vinegar and hot water
- BHA (Butylated Hydroxyanisole) & BHT (Butylated Hydroxytoluene) – found in packaged and processed foods, so check the label
- Recombinant Bovine Growth Hormone (rBGH/rBST) – this hormone is fed to cows to increase milk production
- Dioxins – present in many ingredients in meat, diary products and fish
- Bisphenol-A (BPA) – found in food and beverage can linings, this hormone mimicker is suspected of promoting breast and prostate cancer, reproductive and behavioral problems, obesity, and diabetes
- Sodium Nitrite/Nitrate – used in deli foods like processed meats, these preservatives have been linked to cancer in some studies; nitrate is a common contaminant in drinking water
- Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons & Heterocyclic Amines – this forms when we consume grilled or charred foods
- Acrylamide – found in fried, starchy foods like french fries and potato chips, as well as grains cooked at high temperatures
- Artificial Food Coloring & Dyes – some synthetic food dyes have been linked to neurological disorders like ADHD.
Cooking toxins into your food
A lot of cookware leaches the chemicals they’re made from into the food you’re cooking. Here are the toxins you’ve being exposed to:
- Teflon (PTFE)
- Perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA)
- BPA (endocrine disruptor)
- Brominated flame retardants (BFRs)
The solution here isn’t simple or affordable, but if you want to make real change in how and what toxins you’re being exposed to then use ceramic cookware, cast iron, glass containers, stainless steel, bamboo containers and cutting boards, use unbleached parchment paper when cooking (not aluminum foil).
Don’t forget about your personal-care products
Since 2009, 595 cosmetics manufacturers have reported using 88 chemicals, in more than 73,000 products, that have been linked to cancer, birth defects or reproductive harm.
Among the toxic chemicals that should be banned are:
- Formaldehyde, a known carcinogen.
- Paraformaldehyde, a type of formaldehyde.
- Methylene glycol, a type of formaldehyde.
- Quaternium 15, which releases formaldehyde.
- Mercury, which can damage the kidneys and nervous system.
- Dibutyl and diethylhexyl phthalates, which disrupt hormones and damage the reproductive system.
- Isobutyl and isopropyl parabens, which disrupt hormones and harm the reproductive system.
- The long-chain per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances known as PFAS, which have been linked to cancer.
- M- and o-phenylenediamine, used in hair dyes, which irritate and sensitize the skin, damage DNA and can cause cancer.
- Parabens are used to prevent microbial growth in products like shampoo, conditioner, facial creams, and lotions. They are known endocrine disrupters that can be absorbed through the skin and into your blood and digestive system. There, parabens can mess with your hormones, cause reproductive health problems, and even contribute to cancer development. For this reason, pregnant women and young children are most vulnerable.
- Both butylated hydroxyanisole (BHA) and butylated hydroxytoluene (BHT) are synthetic antioxidants used as preservatives in personal care products ranging from lipstick to makeup, sunscreen, deodorant, and many fragrances.
- Coal-tar dyes is used in shampoos, scalp treatments, and hair dyes, as well as soaps and lotions. Research shows that coal tar and its derivatives are known carcinogens and can lead to skin tumors and neurological damage when applied topically. Compounding the problem, sometimes coal tar is contaminated with heavy metals toxic to the brain.
- Diethanolamine (DEA) is widely used in cosmetics and household cleaning products to make them creamy or sudsy. On its own, DEA has been linked to liver tumors and cancers and tends to accumulate in water systems, posing problems to aquatic life within it.
- Dibutyl phthalate prevents polishes from becoming brittle. It’s also used in fragrances, where it doesn’t need to be disclosed by the manufacturer. Unfortunately for the end-user, this compound is an endocrine disruptor and can cause developmental problems for men like early puberty and other reproductive changes. As DEP is absorbed through the skin, it increases the chances that other chemicals will trigger genetic mutations like reduced sperm count and changes in the testes and prostate.
- Used as a preservative, formaldehyde and compounds that release it are common in shampoos, hair gel, body wash, nail polish, and even liquid baby soaps.
- Triclosan is an antimicrobial agent common in soap, detergents, toothpaste, and other personal care products.
- The FDA defines fragrance as a combination of chemicals that contribute to a product’s distinct scent. Over 3,000 chemicals are regularly used, and they can be made from a mix of petroleum or naturally derived ingredients, and most contain solvents, stabilizers, and other forms of preservatives.
- PEGS (polyethylene glycols) are petroleum-based agents commonly used in cosmetics as thickeners, solvents, and moisture carriers. You’ll most often find them in cream-based products and laxatives.
- More commonly known as petroleum jelly, petrolatum is added to personal care products as a moisturizer. It tends to melt at body temperature and forms a water-repellent layer on the skin, essentially locking in moisture.
- Sodium Laureth Sulfate is compound, commonly referred to as SLES, is a popular foaming agent in shampoos, facial cleansers, shower gels, and even dish soap.