We have to face the facts, we are surrounded by a LOT of toxins. Now yes, we have always been surrounded by various toxins; smoke, poisonous plants, bugs and creatures, volcanic gases, and many other environmental toxins, but we have had those with us since mankind evolved, and are in many cases just a part of nature we have to face. Many of these obviously are not good for us for sure, but we are now facing a very new, very modern problem, man-made chemicals and toxins not natural to the environment. Plastics, industrial oils, radiations, and fumes.
The catch is many of these chemicals are legal and all too common part of our lives; pesticides, herbicides, petrol, machinery fumes, power radiation, artificial sweeteners, plastics, air fresheners, cleaning supplies, laundry soaps, EMF’s and magnetic radiation. Even artificial light sources are now being considered being toxic in some cases. People who support these chemicals, and down play their importance argue that “they are legal, in small amounts, and many do not have proof that they are in fact toxic”. And in many cases they are right from their point of view. But what they are ignoring is that we don’t have long term studies as these are relatively new to us, and the bigger danger is we don’t know now how these interact with each other. We are literally living in a test tube waiting to see the result of the tests.
Legal But Kinda' Deadly
In a new study, scientists simulated real life exposures to a mix of legally allowed levels of a number of toxins, and what they found was: chemicals at low levels deemed safe by regulators for each individual substance are toxic when present in mixtures.
The experiment looked at chemicals commonly found in foods and the environment and used real life simulations of the amounts we would ingest in normal daily life.
Rats were given water with various levels of carbaryl, dimethoate, glyphosate (one of the most widely used vegetable pesticides), methomyl, methyl parathion, triadimefon, aspartame (NutraSweet/Equal sweeteners), sodium benzoate, calcium disodium ethylene diamine tetra-acetate, ethylparaben and butylparaben (found in shampoos, cosmetics and soaps), BPA (from plastics, canned foods), and acacia gum in their drinking water for a period of 6 months.
The control group on the other hand received chemical free water mixture.
Mixtures were administered containing each chemical in the following doses to each treatment group:
- Low dose: a quarter of the EU acceptable daily intake (ADI, the level that is supposedly safe to ingest over a long-term period) - Medium dose: the same level as the ADI - High dose: five times the ADI.
In relation to the animals' body weight gain, major increases (above 10%) were observed in all male groups relative to controls throughout the 6 months follow-up period.
Modest increases were observed also for the females of the medium and high dose groups, although an increase above 10% was observed only in the high dose group at 6 months.
Adverse effects were observed in liver parameters, especially at the low dose and affecting mainly male rats.
Non-linear dose responses were observed for most of the endpoints studied, meaning that the toxic effect did not increase in line with the dose, but lower doses had a more toxic effect.
Overall, the results suggest that exposure to low doses of the chemical mixture might induce liver damage as a result of the combination of different toxic mechanisms. Male rats appeared to be hard hit even in the low dose groups, possibly because of the affects on testosterone, as many of these toxins are considered Xenoestrogens.
So, how do we reduce our toxic load without becoming a Chemophobic and moving to a cave in the mountains? Below are some of my simple suggestions. I have written about these in great detail many times, so I won't be going over each one in detail, instead I'll just be giving you suggestions on how to cut them down.
1. Cut down on plastics. Try storing foods in glass jar and bottles. Use glass Tupperware’s, and freeze or heat foods in glass containers.
2. Get rid of the cheap Teflon: Use good quality stainless steel, cast iron, ceramic and copper pots and pans. Look for ones that say; Teflon free, No Lead, No cadmium, No PFAS, , PFTE’s, or PFOA’s
3. Use natural cleaners: For daily cleaning, nothing beats vinegar, water, baking soda, and lemon. You can also use essential oils. For laundry, you can try out some soap nuts, all natural and go right into the compost after the 165 washes a pound gets you. For your body, use simple, old fashioned plant based (olive or coconut) Castile soap. You can get ones scented with essential oils such as the line by Dr. Bronner.
4. Freshen air naturally: A simple solution to Glade is essential oils and water in a spray bottle. You can also use some vinegar in the bottle too. Another great way is the use of a non-heat based air diffuser.
5. Clean air naturally: Plants are best to use here. Unlike even the best air cleaner, plants actually destroy the offending toxins, not just catch them. Look up NASA’s top 10 list of plants for air care.
6. Freshen materials naturally: Use the same idea as above for a replacement of Febreeze, or spray your clothes in the dryer. You can also add drops of essential oils onto a facecloth and use instead of laundry sheets. You can also sprinkle baking soda onto carpets, leave for 20 minutes and vacuum up.
7. Soften clothes naturally: While we are talking about laundry, you can soften clothes naturally by using organic wool dryer balls. And again, vinegar and baking soda come to our rescue. Why don’t we just do vinegar and baking soda for everything? It would be a much cleaner world.
8. Cut down on the e-pollution: Face it, electricity and wifi are awesome. But we can definitely keep our distance. Keep your bed at least a foot from the walls, chairs away from large appliances. Turn your phone onto airplane mode at night, and if possible, turn off your wifi router. Also, don’t use dimmer switches, they can create a feedback called dirty electricity.
9. Leave shoes outside: In Asia shoes stay outside the home. Why? Research has shown us 85% of indoor toxins are brought in through the shoes. *Interestingly this has been a part of Asian culture for hundreds of years, not just in the recent years science discovered this, hmmmmm….
10. Use natural cosmetics: Cosmetics, both men’s and women’s contain way too many chemicals to even start to go over. The best advice is use sparingly, and look for natural sources ones. There are many new companies making healthy cosmetics now. Simplest advice? Try to cut down, and go organic and natural.
11. EatCleaner: While organics are an option, even they use natural pesticides. I prefer to make sure you clean your fruits & veggies, use a veggie brush, and use a green cleaning product like EatCleaner.
There you go. With these simple changes, you can really cut down on your toxic load, and do both your body and home a favor.
Live Stronger, Longer and Better.