More than 80,000 chemicals are currently used in the United States. Surpringsingly, most of them have not been tested for their effects on human’s health. In a study done in 2009, the Environmental Working Group analyzed the cord blood of 10 newborns, finding that all of them had a high numbers of chemicals. Close to 300 different chemical compounds were identified, including more than 180 potentially harmful to our health.
Our exposure to those harmful chemicals starts in our mother’s womb!
Why is this important? We are not talking about accidental exposure to toxic doses of environmental pollutants but we are talking the very slow but constant accumulation of toxins, chemicals, pesticides in our body after years and years. This very slow and gradual accumulation may lead to the onset of diseases decades after the initial exposure. It is important to avoid chemicals and toxins during all stages of life.
Where could I be exposed to these harmful compounds?
Unfortunately everywhere: in the air we breathe, in the water we drink and in the food we eat.
Since these substances gradually accumulate in my body, how can I reduce my exposure to these harmful substances?
The first and most important step to take is to reduce/avoid ongoing exposure. What is the point of trying to detoxify your body if you continue to be exposed to the same “poison” over and over?
What do I need to avoid?
Here are some of the most common toxins encountered in our everyday life: endocrine disruptors, heavy metals and pesticides
Let’s do it!
In order to help your body begin to effectively deal with your present toxic load (and to prevent it from getting greater), you can consider doing this:
Start with your DIET :
- Avoid the 12 MOST toxic fruits and vegetables (Dirty Dozen list from EWG) use organic varieties of these instead. Post on refrigerator. https://www.ewg.org/foodnews
- Freely eat all of the 15 LEAST toxic fruits and vegetables (Clean Fifteen List from EWG).
- Do not eat any FARMED or ATLANTIC salmon – this is the most toxic food you can currently eat. If it just says “Salmon” it is Atlantic.
- Freely eat ALASKAN salmon (available fresh only from June until October), canned and frozen Alaskan Salmon available year round.
- Alaskan/Pacific salmon will ALWAYS be labeled as King (Chinook), Red (Sockeye), or Silver (Coho) Salmon. If that distinction is NOT GIVEN, it is farmed salmon being passed off as Alaskan. http://www.vitalchoice.com
- Avoid the fish with the highest mercury content (shark, swordfish, king mackerel, tuna, orange roughy, marlin, Chilean bass, lobster, halibut, and snapper).Look at http://www.seafoodwatch.org/consumers, consumers guide
- Eat the fish with the lowest mercury content (Clam, Ocean perch, Alaskan salmon, tilapia, founder, sole, and catfish).
- Choose wild, grass-fed meat that has been pastured, and free of harmful hormones or antibiotics http://www.eatwild.com/products/california.html
- Eat only organic milk, dairy products (especially butter), eggs, and olive oil
- AVOID all sugar – sugar reduces the ability of your liver to clear toxic compounds out of the blood stream (in addition to all the other bad things it does for your body).
- Avoid storing, cooking, heating food in plastic containers or Styrofoam containers (they contain endocrine disruptors such as Phthalates and BPA. Those chemicals can leach into the food you eat especially when hot.
- Avoid also canned food (the lining of the can inside is usually made with phthalates), consumed food stored in glass containers.
Then look at the chemical hidden in your PERSONAL CARE PRODUCTS
Use natural based healthcare/beauty products ex. Deodorants, shampoos, toothpaste. You can also look at the skin deep database from EWG: https://www.ewg.org/skindeep
- Discontinue use of products that contain: Benzoic acid, BHA, BHT, DMDM hydantoin, fragrances, dyes, perfume, imidazolidinyl urea, sodium lauryl (laureth) sulfate, nonylphenol ethoxylates, phosphates, anything ending in “paraben”, polyethylene glycol and anything ending in “eth”.
- Tom’s of Maine, Burt’s Bee’s, JASON, Juice Beauty, DeVita, Nature’s Gate
- Check out your personal care products at https://www.ewg.org/skindeep
- Use non-scented laundry detergent and avoid use of dryer sheets unless specified natural. (E.g. ECOS, Seventh Generation, BioKleen, Meyers, TJ’s Brand). Avoid commercial brands that say “scent free” unless they are listed above.
- Consider looking at cosmetic brands such as 100% Pure, Crunchi, Dusty Girls, GIA minerals, Hynt beauty, Ilia Beauty, Kjaer weis, Lili Lolo, RMS beauty, Root pretty, Vapour Organic Beauty, W3ll People, Zuzu Luxe
- Skincare products: Acure, Dr Bronner’s, Josh Rosebrook, Kahina Giving Beauty, Kosmatology, Leahlani Skincare, Laurel Whole Plant Organics, Live inspired Organics, Marie Veronique, May Lindstrom, Maya Chia Beauty, Osmia Organics, True Botanicals
- Lip Balms : Henne organics, Hurray Lip Balms, Kari Gran Lip Whip
- Hand creams: 100% Pure, Osmia Organics, Shea terra organics, Zoe Organics
- For gluten intolerant patients check all food labels and healthcare/beauty products to make sure they are free of gluten.
- This is most important for healthcare products that are used in or/around the mouth or used liberally on skin of body.
Finally, remove chemicals and toxins from your house:
- Don’t wear shoes indoors.
- Replace your home air filters every 8-12 weeks (monthly if >1 animal in home) with
- high quality pleated filters (rated MERV 7-9).
- Limit mobile or cordless phone usage. When using be sure to:
- Use speaker phone or headset
- Use protective SAR case that does NOT decrease the reception. Lower the reception bar, the more the phone emits radiation. Good reception = Less Radiation
- Use text feature rather than phone feature
- Allow the phone to “answer” before putting up to ear
- Do not keep on body. If on/near body, put into “Airplane Mode”
- If using it as alarm clock, put into “Airplane Mode”
- Memorize 5 telephone numbers stored in your mobile. Be sure to choose ones that
- would be needed in case of an emergency.
- Have dry-cleaning air out in the garage or car trunk for at least 7 days before bringing them into the house.
- Do not smoke or let allow anyone to smoke indoors. If you do smoke, let’s work on a plan to help you quit.
- Consider replacing your carpet or vinyl flooring with tile, stone flooring, safely treated wood (e.g. Bamboo, maple, oak).
- Replace vinyl shower curtain with cloth/nylon curtain.
- Room air purifier w/ HEPA filter – the best is IQ-Air, Blue Air or Austin. Make sure you get one with enough CFM (cubic feet of air purified each minute) to clear the air in your bedroom at least once every 30 minutes.
- Highly chemically reactive, those exposed to chemicals on the job, or those who are frequent flyers, get a personal Wein air purifier.
- Clean water is also important, consider drinking purified water (reverse osmosis), and avoid drinking bottled water in plastics. Use only glass or stainless iron water bottle
- Water filtration systems suggested: New Wave Enviro, Akai Ionizer from High Tech Health, Berker Water Filter.
- Shower filters : New Wave Enviro, Rainbow’s bath Ball (replace it often) removes the chlorine
If you want to learn more about environmental health and how to effectively clean your body from harmful chemicals, you can schedule a consultation with Dr. Jean-Marc Sobczyk MD, ND our environmental medicine specialist at Akasha Center for Integrative Medicine. To make an appointment with him please call 310-451-8880 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org