You are exposed to multiple kinds of toxins every day that can
make you sick. Inflammation, metabolic disorders like hypothyroidism and
diabetes, and chronic fatigue syndrome, fibromyalgia, cancer and heart disease
are linked to chemical toxins that are in products that you use all the time.
Toxins enter your body through the food and water you drink, the air you breath and the products that you put on your skin. For example, your morning routine - shampoo, conditioner, soap and body lotion - contains dozens of different chemicals that can make you sick. Learning about what products to avoid to reduce your exposure to these toxins will help you protect your health.
Toxins from a variety of sources have been linked to reproductive problems, diabetes, cancer and even obesity. Researchers and medical doctor's are now beginning to stress the importance of reducing your exposure to toxins to prevent disease.
One of the earliest examples of the link between toxins and disease was cigarettes. Tobacco smoke contains more than 7,000 chemicals, of which 70 are known to cause cancer. Yet, if you're old enough you may remember that for many years smoking was considered safe!
If you’ve chosen a path to a healthier lifestyle it’s probably mystifying to you that people voluntarily choose to smoke and risk their health. However, before you judge too harshly consider this – you are voluntarily exposing yourself to thousands of chemicals in the products you use every day.
Living a toxin free life is impossible today. Toxins
are in our air, water, soil and even the dust in our houses and you have no
control over this exposure. That doesn't mean there is nothing you can do to protect your health. You do have control over the toxins you introduce
into your life in the products you use.
Let’s return to the smoking example. The same carcinogens found in cigarettes are ALSO found in furniture, cosmetics, food and many other common products. For example:
So, if we recognize that the toxins in cigarettes impact our health and choose not to smoke, why are we not avoiding the same chemicals and health effects in other products. Shouldn’t that be an essential part of living a healthy lifestyle?
Even when a chemical is tested and determined to be safe for use in products, the testing is not done in the context of the chemical’s use. In other words, let’s say that a safe exposure level was determined for chemical A. Chemical A is added to a lotion and a soap that you use daily. You have now been exposed to double the amount that is considered safe.
Synergy, when the combined action of two things is greater than the sum of their effects individually, is also not taken into account when testing the safety of chemicals. With some chemical concoctions two plus two equals five. An example of this is the chemical cocamide DEA, used as a foaming agent in cosmetic products. It is a potential carcinogen in its own right but when combined with other chemicals it also produces cancer-causing nitrosamines.
Healthy living is about feeling good and staying healthy. Non toxic living for health is also about feeling good and staying healthy.
You know that a poor diet, lack of exercise, too much stress, and poor sleep habits can lead to heart disease, cancer, obesity, diabetes and a bunch of other health issues. Did you also know that exposure to toxins leads to heart disease, cancer, obesity, diabetes and a bunch of other health issues.
Our bodies are marvels of design. However, they were not designed to handle the amount and kinds of synthetic chemicals that we are exposed to every day. Our livers, which have the important job of breaking down toxins so that we can safely eliminate them, become overburdened and damaged. This allows toxins to build up in our bodies, especially in body fat, and damage cellular and organ function. By reducing your toxin exposure you give your body a chance to do what it was designed to do.
When we make major life decisions we usually weigh the benefits versus the risks. When we buy products most of us just consider the benefits. Things like shiny hair, fewer wrinkles and stain resistance are what we focus on. But the products we use come with risks - health risks.
Instead of weighing the benefits against the health risks, the question I always ask is - Are there non toxic alternatives that provide the same benefits as toxic products? Usually the answer is yes.
The only downside sometimes is cost. Organic food costs more than non organic, a stainless steel steamer costs more than one made of plastic. However, since good health is priceless, how can we put a price on protecting it?
In the table below I’ve listed 20 chemicals that we are often exposed to, and the known and suspected health effects of these chemicals. The information is based on animal and human studies of these chemicals gathered from a variety of scientific sources.