Your Body’s Toxic Load — Its Sources and What You Can Do

Photo: Thanks to Camila Cordeiro on Unsplash!

By Marcel Hernandez, ND

Although this article will give you information that will help you protect yourself and stay healthy, it’s got to be a little disheartening.

Marcel Hernandez, ND

After reading what I have to say, you may find  yourself wondering, “Why is this happening? Isn’t it obvious that what we’re doing is unsustainable – in fact, just plain nuts?”

Those of us who practice conscious, healthy living are constantly astounded by the rampant, ongoing, morally felonious assaults on our planet and our physical health by the corporate profiteers.

Now, that’s quite a statement! Is it true? Consider:

  • Over 90,000 chemicals are perfectly legal for commercial use in the US – and they are all essentially unregulated.
  • These chemicals generate almost a trillion dollars in revenue for the companies that manufacture them. Most of them are used in products that form part of our daily lives.
  • Most of these chemicals have had virtually no safety testing.
  • These “everyday” chemicals are found in food, plastics, furniture, food wraps, cookware, cans, carpets, shower curtains, electronics, and even shampoo. We are virtually inundated by them.
  • Cosmetics are among the worst offenders, with more than 13,000 chemicals used in the products we rub on our bodies.
  • Endocrine disruptors are ubiquitous, and as a result puberty is occurring at ever-younger ages. In 2010, the average age at the onset of puberty was 10.5 years for girls – that’s six years younger than in 1860 when it was 16.6 years.
  • In a 2005 study, an average of 200 industrial chemicals and pollutants were found in the umbilical cord blood of infants born in the US.

Among the most damaging chemicals are:

Organophosphate pesticides. These neurotoxic poisons were first used in chemical warfare in the early 20th century. Today, they make up more than half of the pesticides used in the US; and, as you might suspect, our foods are saturated with them, even though children exposed to higher levels of these pesticides have been found to experience above-average rates of ADHD.

Phthalates. These chemicals are used to soften plastics and bind scents and chemicals. Phthalates can be found in shampoos, conditioners, body sprays, hair sprays, perfumes, colognes, soap, nail polish, shower curtains, medical tubing, IV bags, vinyl flooring and wall coverings, food packaging, and coatings on time-release pharmaceuticals. Exposure to phthalates has been associated with lower IQ.

Polybrominated diphenyl ethers. These flame-retardant poisons can be found in televisions, computers, insulation, and foam products including children’s toys and baby pillows. Exposure to these chemicals has been associated with thyroid issues.

Air pollutants. Air pollution from burning fossil fuels is, not surprisingly, associated with a number of respiratory conditions. However, these pollutants may also include nitrogen dioxide, formaldehyde, and benzene, all three of which are known to be carcinogens with systemic effects. Chronic exposure to air pollutants has been associated with lower birth rates, premature births, and congenital heart defects.

Lead. Because lead was used in gasoline and paint into the 1970s, our environment is still polluted with residues from its use. Although no longer used in gasoline and paint, it can still be found in our water and soil, and in older homes with leaded paint on their walls. Unfortunately, it is still used in industrial paints, car batteries, automotive wheel-balancing weights, and other products. Lead exposure has been associated with ADHD, lower IQ, and developmental delay.

Mercury. Mercury is extremely neurotoxic. Mercury is released into the environment with the burning of coal and oil, and is found in thermometers, light bulbs, and older-model clothes dryers and washing machines. Mercury in the environment can make its way into fish and shellfish. Shark and tilefish have higher concentrations of mercury than other fish. Studies have shown that pregnant women exposed to mercury may give birth to children with impaired memory and reduced ability to focus.

Polychlorinated biphenyls. Although banned by the EPA in 1977, in the mid-20th century thousands of tons of polychlorinated biphenyls were released into the environment and can still be found in the food chain. Polychlorinated biphenyls have been used as coolants, and as lubricants in electrical equipment because they are good insulators. These chemicals are associated with cancer, impaired motor skills, and short-term memory impairment in children.

In this article I’ve told only part of the story. It is virtually impossible to write comprehensively about chemical toxicity. I haven’t even included information on the toxicity of glyphosate in Monsanto’s notorious Roundup herbicide.

What Can We Do to Protect Ourselves? As conscious consumers, we can protect ourselves by keeping informed, by learning to avoid obvious sources of contamination, and by practicing periodic detoxification.

Interested in a detox protocol? Give us a call to discuss your situation and make an appointment. We’ll help you evaluate of your body’s toxic load and draw up a personally feasible detox program.

To learn more about Dr. Marcel’s work, click HERE.

 

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