Toxic Environmental Chemicals: Ways to Reduce Exposure and Improve Health

Posted on 7/29/2013 by Dr. Adrian den Boer
Categories: chemicals, detoxification, environment

More than 80,000 chemicals exist, most of which have never been fully tested for their toxic effects on our health and environment (NRDC, 2013).
Folks, these manmade chemicals are not without dire consequences. Medical doctors and scientists have studied, analyzed, evaluated, and concluded that there is a connection between our health and the use of everyday common household cleaning items (Neighborhood Network, 2002). 
In fact, just this morning, I was engaging with one of our patients dealing with prostate cancer. On his blood work, I noticed right away the proper liver enzymes were tested and were very elevated, which is most commonly the result of pesticides or heavy metals.
This was a very important clue for this patient! I immediately requested a heavy metal toxicity test to be completed as soon as possible, since it could be a major contributing factor to his cancer.
From heavy metals to genetically modified foods to molds, it is overwhelming to think of all the toxins we face daily.
However, even eliminating some of the major chemicals in your everyday life can make a huge difference in your health for the long-term!
These are some of the common environmental toxins that we recommend our patients avoid:
PDEs:  Flame retardants
BPA:  Plastics, lining cans in canned goods, baby bottles, Starbucks cup topper, etc.
PFOA:  Non-stick cookware
Acrylamide:  From high-heat cooking, carcinogenic, do not heat oil to smoke point or char on a grill                               
Heavy Metals:  Mercury, lead, cadmium, arsenic…. 
Vitamin Additives:  Synthetic ingredients, empty fillers, FD &C dyes
MTBE:  Gasoline additive, now out of use but is not clearing in the environment
Petroleum:  A solvent for cleaners that leaves unhealthy fumes
Phosphates:  Used in laundry detergents, contributes to water pollution, currently outlawed in Michigan
Air Deodorizing Sprays:  Contain volatile organic chemicals that contribute to air pollution
Chlorine and Household Cleaners
Radon:  Colorless radioactive gas that is naturally occurring, can be found in homes
Pesticides:  Particularly on foods, can be on organic foods due to over-spray
Personal Hygiene Items:  See Healthy Hygiene class
Dusts and Molds
Phylates:  Endocrine disruptors found in toys, hairspray, fragrances, shoes, etc.
Genetically Modified Foods
Unfiltered Tap Water:  Heavy metals, fluoride, etc.
Food Additives:  MSG, trans fats, artificial sweeteners…
Other tips to avoid as much exposure as possible include:
1) Use baking soda and vinegar and/or castille soap for a powerful, natural, chemical-free option to eliminate grease, animal accidents, mold, rust, and other stains.
2) Eat a wide variety of organic produce whenever possible, especially when eating the “Dirty Dozen.” (Refer to the Environmental Working Group’s Dirty Dozen chart here).
3) Use glass storage instead of plastic.
4) Purify your water with Brita, Pur, Mavea, or Royal Berkey. Reverse osmosis systems are also ideal.
5) Detoxify properly and regularly. For 5 steps on how to detoxify the “DBC way,” refer to my blog post here.
Folks, remember that we need to do the best we can within the Law of Reasonableness. Every positive change made is for the better!
More than 80,000 chemicals available in the United States have never been fully tested for their toxic effects on our health and environment. National Resources Defense Council. 2013.
Neighborhood Network. Environmental Resource Directory for Home and Business. 2002.