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The amount of highly toxic chemicals with which our society is saturated is almost inconceivable.

It’s hard to understand why we would actively choose to pump our environment full of health-destroying poisons. And ignorance can no longer be blamed—the writing is on the wall.

But, since this is the kind of world in which we live, our only choice is to educate ourselves, to leverage this knowledge so that we can live healthy lives, and to spread the word—so that we can begin to change the way things are done.

The following list outlines seven of the most noxious and ubiquitous endocrine disruptors in industrial society, as well as ways to avoid them.

As you’ll see, hormone issues are just the tip of the iceberg. In fact, these chemicals are linked in some way to nearly every major health problem our society faces—so you would do well to heed the suggestions that are provided.

Glycol ethers are present in many paints, cleaning products, brake fluid and other car parts, and even cosmetics. Studies have linked them in a wide array of health issues, including infertility, birth defects, various cancers, blood abnormalities, lowered sperm count, asthma, and allergies.

Always do your homework and read labels before purchasing cleaning products and cosmetics. Some “green products” actually still contain toxic substances, despite their convincing labels.

To play it safe, learn to make your own non-toxic cleaning products. It’s way easier than you think!

Organophosphate pesticides are some of the most common pesticides in use today. Many studies have demonstrated that they adversely affect brain function, fertility, testerone levels, and thyroid function. This should come as no big surprise, given that they were originally developed for use by the Nazis as neurotoxic chemical warfare agents.

That’s right: we use chemical warfare agents on our conventional crops. Don’t believe the claims that these chemicals affect the nervous systems of insects but not those of humans.

Instead, just be sure to buy organic, non-GMO produce, or grow your own if possible!

Atrazine is another widely used chemical in industrial agriculture (it’s used as an herbicide on corn crops). Its effects on hormones are so detrimental that it can turn male frogs into egg-producing females! And here’s the worst part: it’s a pervasive drinking water contaminant, and therefore quite difficult to avoid (unless you take the proper precautions).

First and foremost, get yourself a high-quality water filter that certifiably removes atrazine. And don’t think you’re safe with bottled water: some brands contain atrazine and other pollutants.

Steer clear of conventional corn (even some organic corn is treated with herbicide, so be careful). Remember that even organic corn can contain mycotoxins, so make sure you know your source (or just limit your consumption of corn).

Dioxin is a poisonous industrial byproduct that’s gotten a lot more press, so you may have heard of it. There’s plenty of propaganda out there that’s designed to downplay its toxicity, though, so you may not be as familiar with its negative effects: decreased sperm count and sperm quality, infertility, severe immune suppression (with the potential for auto-immune disease), and cancer.

Dioxin sticks around and accumulates in the body for a very long time, so it’s best to avoid it to begin with. While it’s very difficult to remove completely from your life, eating fewer animal products will help considerably (because meat, fish, eggs, and butter are most likely to be contaminated).

And because you may already have an accumulation of dioxin in your body, consider practicing a detoxification regimen on a regular basis.

Flame retardants contain nasty chemicals called polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDE’s), which adversely affect hormonal and cognitive function. And they seem to have contaminated pretty much the entire planet—one study even found significant levels of the chemical in women’s breast milk.

The use of some PBDE’s has been discontinued, but they’ll continue to persist in the environment for decades (and thus continue to contaminate animals and people). Furthermore, equally toxic flame retardants are still used in couches, bedding, mattresses, draperies, carpets, and other seemingly harmless household items and furniture.

Consider replacing your toxic furniture, and at the very least, install a HEPA air filter in your house.  

Phthalates cause adverse hormonal changes, lower sperm count, less mobile sperm, birth defects, and premature cell death (especially in testicular cells). And if that’s not bad enough, they’ve also been linked to diabetes, obesity, and thyroid dysfunction.

Here’s the first rule of thumb when it comes to avoiding pthalates: try to stay away from plastic. Food containers, children’s toys, and plastic wrap with a #3 recycling label are all offenders.   

Many plastic products claim to be safe, but remember that it’s always a good idea to avoid plastics whenever possible. Even if something is labeled as “BPA-free” or “phthalate-free,” it still could contain all sorts of nasty chemicals that manufacturers are not yet required to tell you about (or that we haven’t yet learned are dangerous). Better safe than sorry!

Some shampoos, conditioners, and other personal care products also contain pthalates (adding them to products that contact the skin seems to be the height of stupidity, but go figure). Avoid any products that list them as an ingredient, and any products that list “fragrance” as an ingredient, as they’re usually just trying to hide pthalate content.

Perchlorate is a rocket fuel additive that also just happens to be in most of our milk and produce, according to collected data from the Environmental Working Group.

In case you still need to be convinced of its toxicity after hearing that it’s a component of rocket fuel, here it goes: perchlorate disallows proper absorption of iodine by competing with it. Iodine defeciency leads to thyroid dysfunction, which is linked to staggering number of diseases and health conditions.

Because many people are already defecient in iodine, the presence of this toxin in our environment makes it even more important to supplement with iodine (sea kelp is one of the best sources).

Using a high-quality water filter will help remove perchlorate, so that your body can more easily assimilate the iodine with which you provide it.

In the liver, glutathione binds to toxins before they’re excreted, which is an important step in getting them out of your body

Glutathione and Detoxification

Glutathione is critical for detoxification in the liver (you know, the thing that actually helps you detoxify, unlike weird footpads and lemon juice cleanses). In the liver, glutathione binds to toxins before they’re excreted, which is an important step in getting them out of your body.

In fact, the detox power of glutathione is so powerful that it’s used for people who overdose on Tylenol (acetaminophen) and have to go to the hospital to detox. In that case, the person gets an IV with another amino acid that helps their body make glutathione, called N-acetyl cysteine (NAC). The NAC increases their body’s production of glutathione, which helps their liver get rid of the acetaminophen.

Glutathione is also be very important for helping your body get rid of toxins in your food and environment. For example, one study found that in people who eat a lot of fish, the total amount of mercury the people retained in their bodies was related to genes regulating glutathione synthesis. The more glutathione people made, the less mercury they retained.

>>>Korfactor Liposomal Glutathione is the most absorbable and highest quality that we have found.


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Toxic-Home

Last week we went to look at some homes for sale in our neighborhood.  We walked into one home where I immediately felt I could not breathe.  The air was full of odors from “perfumed” air fresheners and odor eliminators.  After 5 minutes in this house I had to leave… I developed a severe headache and felt I was being asphyxiated.

It occurred to me how many people are using these kinds of products in their homes, with NO idea of how toxic they are!!

People are not aware that in their own homes, they are living among toxins on a daily basis.

Many of the seemingly innocent household necessities are actually potent toxin sources: our appliances, furniture, building materials, cleaning products, cosmetics, and more are all suspect.

Combined with naturally existing toxins (such as mold, fungi, pollen, and dander), all of these offenders can transform your home into a health-sapping minefield. And these nasty toxins can have staggering effects on your health, ranging from suppressed immune function (which leads to more frequent illness) to asthma, heart disease, and cancer.

This phenomenon is so prevalent that there’s actually an official name for it: toxic home syndrome. One researcher says that it “occurs when individuals and families are exposed to a potent mix of airborne pollutants within the home arising from poor ventilation, causing respiratory and skin diseases to occur more frequently.”[1] It’s estimated that tens of millions of homes are victims of it (and that’s almost certainly a conservative estimate).

The home has long been the ultimate symbol of security, a safe and sacred space protected from the chaos of the outside world. But an increasing number of scientists are starting to agree that toxic home syndrome is real.

As crazy as it sounds, mundane tasks like cooking, doing laundry, watching TV, or sleeping in your bed may be dramatically increasing your risk of serious illness and decreasing your life expectancy. In fact, one study conducted in Europe estimated that household pollution could be linked to an annual loss of more than two million healthy life years in the European Union alone.

However, by learning about the most dangerous household toxin sources, you can give your home a detoxifying makeover, so you can rest assured that it’s a safe and healthy place.

The hidden killers unveiled

Research has revealed a startling fact: the air inside an average home contains more than 900 chemicals, the vast majority of which can have deleterious effects on your health.

Here’s some of the most worrisome toxin sources that add to this chemical soup…

Mold proliferation. Mold spores thrive in damp, stagnant places. If allowed to flourish, mold in your home can become a massive impediment to your health. Be especially protective of your bathroom and other areas where moisture often collects. Use mold-resistant shower curtains (and replace them often). Conduct routine mold inspections; check under shower moldings, under the sink, and other tucked away areas, and replace any areas of the room that have been mold-infested. Prevent further mold growth by assuring good ventilation.

Natural allergens. Like mold spores, natural allergens like pollen and dander are bound to make their way into your home. The key is to minimize their effects upon your health by properly ventilating your home, minimizing your use of carpets and rugs (which are a perfect habitat for allergens), and cleaning regularly (make sure you really ventilate the house whenever cleaning, or you’ll just stir up all the toxins rather than eradicating them).

Poisonous gases. A surprising number of noxious gases can get trapped in poorly ventilated homes. Some of them are natural, like radon, which is highly radioactive; it’s released from the Earth’s soil and seeps into your house and even into your water supply. Others are a product of household items, building materials, and everyday processes, like carbon monoxide (which is released through cooking, heating, smoking, incense and candle burning, and every other kind of combustion). Paint, building materials, and furniture materials also often “off-gas” all sorts of toxic chemicals, including lead, formaldehyde, nitrogen dioxide, and acrolein. If at all possible, replace lead-based paint with certified lead-free paint, purchase furniture that hasn’t been treated with flame retardants, and replace outdated (and most likely toxic) building materials with green materials.

Toxic household products. Industrial products are riddled with toxins of all sorts. I’ve written in detail about many of these toxin sources here, here, and here—bedding, cleaning products, dryer sheets, wrinkle-free shirts, and everything in between all contain volatile organic compound.

While outfitting your entire house with toxin-free products can be a huge task, doing so can also be immensely beneficial to your health—so take it one step at a time. Don’t try to take shortcuts, but just replace all these unhealthful household items at whatever pace works for you.

And speaking of short cuts…   

Air fresheners are not the answer

As awareness around the importance of good house air quality has increased, so has the demand for effective air freshening methods.

While the right air filtration system can be incredibly helpful, it’s very important to acknowledge that the same cannot be said for chemical air fresheners—they are a huge part of the problem, not a solution to it. In fact, they’re arguably one of the worst offenders of all in the “toxic household products” category.

Air freshener products like Febreze and Glade are packed with health-disrupting chemicals that, according to the Environmental Working Group, can cause asthma and other respiratory issues, skin problems, reproductive dysfunction, immune suppression, and cancer. And on top of all that…they’re terrible for the environment.[2]

Febreze is classified as an air freshner, created by Proctor & Gamble. It reports to work by “trapping” odor molecules in a donut-shaped chemical.

The first thing that is really important to understand: the product does not remove odor molecules and it doesn’t clean the item it comes into contact with.

The odor molecules are still there. Your nose just can’t perceive them because you smell the chemical product instead.

That alone should be your first warning. We know inhalation of any chemicals is dangerous, and several of its ingredients listed below are known to irritate the lungs…but this is a chemical whose entire purpose is to be inhaled!

Unfortunately there is not much data being shared on Febreze and their many products, but the Environmental Working Group (EWG) did conduct a test for the ingredients of one of their products, Febreze Air Effects.

Shockingly, P&G only disclosed THREE ingredients in this product, but the EWG…they found 87 chemicals in total!

For lots of tips on how to clean and freshen your home in a safe, sustainable, and healthy way, see my article on green cleaning products, as well as the EWG’s Guide to Healthy Cleaning.

Make home healthy

It may be some time before our society mends its toxic ways. In the meantime, though, you can at least turn your home into a healthy island in a sea of environmental toxins.

By making smart product choices, ensuring proper ventilation, and cleaning regularly, you can ensure that your home remains a safe and health-supporting haven, despite the constant assault of toxins that you may have to bear outside its protective walls.

 


References

[1] http://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-2920391/How-AIR-house-making-ill-drying-washing-using-gas-cooker-15-million-homes-affected-Toxic-Home-Syndrome-increases-risk-heart-disease-cancer.html

[2] http://www.ewg.org/guides/cleaners/1659-FebrezeFabricRefresher

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