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Last updated August 14, 2017, originally published September 12, 2008

By Andrew H. Jardine,
Associate Editor and Featured Columnist










We eat a little poison every day.  Sounds far-fetched, but researchers have
determined that almost all of us come into contact with substances which
are classified as toxins or contaminants in our daily lives. Toys, meat, dairy,
dry cleaning plastics, even the coatings of the pills we take as medicine
--these all contain tiny amount of contaminants. Little wonder, then, that
many lay people and a growing list of researchers have speculated that the
worldwide increase in cancer rates and other chronic diseases is linked to
our exposure to toxins.

The Body Burden of Chemicals

No problem if we only got one dose. But the problem is that we have toxic
exposure every day-- every single day of our lives.

This creates what researchers call a "bioaccumulation" or "body burden of
chemicals" which is producing some hard-to-explain trends in diseases and
annoyances.  Rises in stubborn acne that persists well into adulthood,
increases in autism, skin allergies, food allergies, stubborn irritable bowel
syndrome and nervous conditions-- all have seen spikes in recent decades.

As we wrote in
Toxins and Disease, many people who have exhausted
every other explanation, have started to take more control of detoxifying
their lives. This is large part explains the rise of organic food industry in the
US and Europe.

Here is a brief list of common toxins you are exposed to in daily life:

1.  
Bisphenol-A . Found in metal containers such as food cans and plastic
feeding and drinking bottles.  Think-- the bottle of designer water in your
refrigerator. Or the plastic jug of milk.  Think --the can of tuna fish used to
make your lunch.


























More than six billion pounds of bisphenol-A are produced each year.  95%
of Americans tested by the Centers for Disease Control now excrete it in
their urine.  

In laboratory studies, bisphenol-A alters egg development in exposed
fetuses and increases the risk of genetic damage in the next generation,
thus providing evidence for multi-generational effects.  In laboratory
animals exposure profoundly affects the male reproductive system, with
adverse changes to the testes, testosterone and sperm production.  It
increases prostate and breast cancer risk, alters brain development, and
causes earlier puberty and obesity. Researchers found that women with a
history of recurrent miscarriage had higher blood serum levels of
bisphenol-A than women with successful pregnancies.

2.
Pthalates.  Found in all kinds of plastics such as dry-cleaning plastic
bags, household paints, nail polish, glues, furniture strippers, petrol
fumes.  Think-- your shower curtain.  Think-- that cute red nail polish.  
Think--that lovely slate colored paint. Think-- the 2 suits you are picking up
from the dry cleaners.  These are organic chemicals found in plastics, and
have been found to have a disruptive effect on the endocrine (hormonal)
systems of men and women.

3.
Polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs). Found in flame-retardants
used in televisions and couches, associated with changes in male genitalia,
undescended testicals and other abnormalities.

4.
Animal vaccines, pesticides, antibodies, arsenic and dioxins. Found in
meat, dairy and many vegetables in the food supply.

5.
Polyvinyl chlorides (PVC, a form of pthalates).  Found in vinyl shower
curtains, fragrances, pill coatings.



Seen enough? Here are the
Top Ten Ways to Detoxify your life:

1. Air dry. Air dry your clothes as much as you can. Dry cleaning and dryers
at home release chemicals and activate chemicals in the fabrics as a part of
their cleaning process. If you use a dryer at home, try using cool air.

2.
Go Glass. Plastic bottles all leak in varying degrees. The worst offenders
leak polyvinyl chloride in toxic levels. So, avoid the plastic, even in your
bottled water if you can.

3.
Go clear. Avoid color and dyes wherever possible. That goes for softs
drinks, foods (red and orange dyes, green dyes are used extensively in the
food supply).  

4.
Give up the crunchy snacks.  Orange colored crunchy snacks contain lots
of dyes to make them that color. Then they are fried often in oils which are
themselves toxic.

5.
Red Meat.  You knew this was coming. Red meat, especially ground up
red meat, is a fertile breeding ground for E.coli and the opportunistic Shiga
gene. This is what caused the usually manageable E.coli bacteria to morph
into the deadly E.coli:157:H7 variant which killed those kids in the
Northwest 10 years ago.

6.
Skip a perm every now and then. Perms contain strong chemicals. They
seep into the scalp and accumulate in tiny quantities over time.

7.
Ease up on the wheat. Gluten, as has been widely known, creates
allergies and sensitivities in many people.

8.
Ease up on the Dairy. Same problem. Milk sensitivities and lactose
intolerance creates allergic reactions,
sleep problems and snoring in many
people.

9.
Easy on the Perfume and Cologne. When you are at home alone, go
natural. Perfumes, colognes often have contaminants.

10.
Eat Further Down the Food Chain. Plants are at the bottom of the food
chain. We humans are at the top. Animals that eat plants are in the middle.
When we eat animals that eat other animals that eat plants, we are taking
in 3 levels of bio-accummulation.  We get 3 doses of the accumulated
toxins of the plants (they get it from the soil), of the animal that ate the
plant, and then of the animal that ate the animal.

11. Water, Water, Water. As much as possible, steer clear of dyes and
colorings in drinks. Avoid colored soft drinks, for example, and instead opt
for fruit-infused water. Avoid
artificial sweeteners.

[Update:

Many foods contain trace amounts of metal,  particularly cabbage.
Cabbage
is so good at absorbing the toxic metal thallium that it is actually planted to
soak up the metal. Peel off the older leaves of the cabbage. These are the
ones that contain the most thallium a study has found.]

So, try to eat as close to a plant-based diet as you can. It just avoids a
couple of levels of toxicity.


Related Links
Sugar--The Disease Connection
Inflammation and its Role in Disease
Bowel Color--What It Tells You About Your Health
Tuna Calculator-How Much Tuna Is Safe to Eat?
Toxins and Disease
Natural Cleanses
Rocket Fuel Found in Baby Formula

Other Links You May Enjoy
The Only Type of Exercise That Reduces Your Waist
Ideal Breakfast to Control Diabetes
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Aerosol sprays increase the
chemical burden on your body.
Opt for herbal tea, lemonade or
water instead of soft drinks which
contain artificial colorings.
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