Reducing Exposure to Toxins

By definition a toxin is a poison and it is safe to assume that exposure to toxins in no way benefit health.

Reducing exposure to and avoiding toxins in your daily environment is one of the smartest decisions a person can make towards maintaining your health and preventing disease. This is because while your body’s liver and other organ systems were created to neutralize and expel chemicals from your system, it was made to perform these functions in a natural environment, against natural toxins- not synthetic ones that now infiltrate our culture’s every walk of life. (2)

When you put things into your body that don’t occur in nature, the body has to use more complex mechanisms to get rid of them and becomes over burdened with these tasks. Once these chemical toxins enter your body through the skin, digestive system, or respiratory tract, they can interfere with just about every bodily function you perform.

To limit your exposure to these poisons, it takes knowledge and awareness and scrutiny of choices you make on a daily basis. According to the EPA, since WWII over 80,000 chemicals have been introduced into the market place. Today over 1500 new chemicals are introduced each year and only 10 of the 1500 are tested for safety levels.

A great example of the enormity of our pollution problem is that "more than 4 billion pounds of pesticides are used annually in the United States. That equates to just over 10 pounds of pesticides for every man, woman, and child. The average home contains an estimated 100 pounds of hazardous material. That’s 3 to 10 gallons of chemical waste per home." (2)

The most common areas these poisons are found in your daily life is in your food, water, air, personal care products and household cleaning products. Therefore, prioritizing your attention on “greening” these areas of your life is highly recommended.  Paying close attention to labels is key.

Places to Reduce Toxins in your Life:

  • Agricultural Animal Chemicals such as growth hormones, antibiotics, vaccinations. Choose organic meat and dairy products which are free of antibiotics and growth hormones or know the source and practices of the farms you buy from.
  • Agricultural Crop Poisons such as pesticides, herbicides, fungicides, chemical fertilizers. Consider eating organic fruits and veggies or use this list to find conventionally grown produce containing the least amount of pesticides. Choose natural alternatives when gardening for fertilizer, weed and pest control.
  • Antibacterial Cleaners and Soaps according to the American Medical Association not only kill bad bacteria, but also many good bacteria which we live in harmony to keep germs and other bacteria at bay. If your family is generally healthy, there’s no need to use potentially toxic “antibacterial” products. (4)
  • Carpeting inside our homes and offices can emit or off-gas some 200 volatile organic compounds, toxins, or chemicals (VOCs) . Look for green labels, air out new carpet before installing, open windows, vacuum and deep clean regularly.
  • Cigarettes and Cigarette Smoke Toxins should be avoided.
  • Cosmetics and Toiletries are unregulated and commonly made from poorly tested chemicals. Makers may use almost any ingredient they choose and the FDA doesn’t require safety tests or recall harmful cosmetic products. Avoid aluminum deodorants, fragrance, hair sprays, sunscreens, insect repellent and refer to the cosmetics safety database to find products free of poisonous chemicals, especially those known or suspected to cause cancer.
  • Cookware. Teflon and non-stick cookware when overheated can emit toxic fumes. Use safe cookware such as glass, stainless steel, or enameled cast-iron instead.
  • Dental Toxins. Consider using alternatives to metal dental fillings as most contain dangerous metals. Consider alternatives to root canals.
  • Drugs / Pharmaceuticals. Most drugs (recreational and prescription) are toxic to the liver and kidneys in addition to generating negative side effects. Work with your physician to reduce or replace prescription pharmaceuticals with safer natural alternatives. Reduce or eliminate alcohol consumption.
  • Environmental Pollutants such as industrial wastes, chlorine, fluoride, auto exhaust, solvents, ethylene chloride, etc. Avoid places and situations where these are present.
  • Fire Retardants. Repair or replace worn out foam items, avoid fire retardants on mattresses especially for infants. Avoid citrus soft drinks containing brominated vegetable oil (BVO).
  • Food Allergies which are unique to you.  When you ingest certain foods you are having a violent immune reaction to them.  Get tested for and remove all food allergies from your diet!  IgE and IgG allergy testing can be done through your doctor. You may also use muscle testing for a baseline with one or our recommended Nutrition Response Testers.
  • Food Processing Chemicals such as ripening sprays, chemical additives, waxes, and preservatives. Consider eating organic fruits and veggies and wash your fruits and veggies well before preparing or consuming.
  • Fried and Fatty Foods, rancid oils and hydrogenated oils. Long-lasting cancer-causing pollutants like dioxins and PCBs accumulate in the food chain and concentrate in animal fat. Hydrogenated oils are present everywhere in foods and the World Health Organization tried to outlaw this toxic ingredient decades ago due to its poisonous effects. Keep away from these food items.
  • Genetically Modified Organisms (GMO) and products from animals which have been fed GMOs. The American Academy of Environmental Medicine (AAEM)’s official position on GMOs is that they “have not been properly tested and pose a serious health risk” based on existing animal studies. Corn, soy, canola, cottonseed, sugar, potatoes, squash, cottonseed oil, papaya, tomatoes, beef and dairy products are among the most likely to have been genetically modified AND ARE NOT LABELED AS GMO. Buy these items organic even when they are listed as just one ingredient on a label. Educate yourself more about GMOs here and please join the petition to require the FDA to label GMO's here.
  • Household Cleaners. Investigate less toxic alternatives and read labels. Use vinegar in place of bleach, baking soda to scrub your tiles, and hydrogen peroxide to remove stains. (4)
  • Mental and Emotional Toxins produce chemicals inside your body. Keep your stress to a minimum. Avoid chronically negative and toxic people.
  • Microbial Compounds such as parasites, bacteria, yeast, fungus, viruses, mold and the toxic substances produce. Reduce exposure to toxins of this nature with common precautions when traveling, always washing hands, not touching your face with your hands, washing your food and knowing where your food comes from, consider alternatives to root canals, do not take prescription antibiotics unless absolutely necessary, consider herbal antibiotics when fighting infections and consume good probiotics to keep your gut flora healthy and strong.
  • Paint, like carpeting, can emit or off-gas volatile organic compounds or chemicals (VOCs). Utilize no or low VOC paints, open windows and air out newly painted areas.
  • Plastics should be avoided as they contain BPA and phthalates. Do not drink out of a plastic water bottle (use glass water bottle or a steel water bottle). Always choose glass over plastic containers or those labeled BPA free. The numbers found on the bottom of the plastic container 1,2,4,5 = GOOD and 3,6,7 = BAD. Purchased canned goods labeled BPA free as most are lined with plastics and ensure any paper cups you drink from are not plastic lined.
  • Radiation and Electromagnetic Fields (EMF). Reduce exposure to microwave transmitters, cell phones, microwaves, laptops, TV’s, irradiated foods (wheat), x-rays, and radiation treatments. Use a head set with your cell phone.
  • Refined and Processed DEAD Foods such as sugar, soft drinks, cookies and candies. Avoid these as they contain many of the toxins already listed above, including GMO sugar beets or corn syrup, and are extremely toxic to the liver.
  • Tap Water is known to contain over 200,000 toxic substances and only around 90 are regulated. Filter your tap water (drinking, shower, bathing) to reduce exposure to (at a minimum) chlorine, flouride, and lead.  Reverse Osmosis seems to be best and if you can't afford a filter, your local Vitamin Cottage/Natural Grocer provides filtered water at 25 cents per gallon (bring your own container or buy one).
  • Unclean Air. Acquire a good air filter, open the windows when you can and change your furnace filter regularly. Ensure your furnace is always in good working order.
  • Vaccinations. Vaccinations contain chemicals and ingredients which are toxic to humans such as formaldehyde, mercury and aluminum. Educate before you vaccinate "because there is nothing sensationalistic or conspiracy based about the actual physical science" (1) behind them.  Many people do not realize that vaccines are also made with food proteins, including eggs, chicken, beef (bovine), pork (porcine), cow’s milk (bovine casein), gelatin (bovine and porcine) and yeast. Vaccine ingredients include some of the most common food proteins to which children (and adults) are allergic. Get yourself and your children tested for food allergies before receiving vaccines.

Don’t be fooled by a label’s claims that a product is “safe”, “green”, “gentle”, or “natural”. Use cleaning supplies certified “Green Seal” or “EcoLogo”. Watch and read the warnings before you buy and do not buy use product with cancer warnings (carcinogenic) or ingredients with “PEG", “-eth”, PTFE” or “perfluoro” in their name as those toxins!

Avoiding Toxic Ingredients:

  • Aluminum and other heavy metals (mercury, arsenic, cadmium) are linked to nervous system and organ damage. Aluminum can be found in tap water, dental fillings, processed foods, antiperspirants, antacids, cosmetics, paper products, beverage cans, foil and cookware. Choose deodorant, or natural mineral salt stick over antiperspirants.
  • Amines are used in dyes, drugs and gas treatments.
  • Benzene is a recognized carcinogen (known to cause cancer). It is found in surface cleaners, laundry and dish washing detergents, surface polishers and found in general performance sealants (PVAC, butyl, vinyl, etc.), laundry starch preparations, lubricating oils, scatter rugs, bath mats and bath sets.
  • Bisphenol A (BPA) is found in hard plastics and the lining of canned foods, bottled water and is linked to cancer and hormone disruption.
  • Brominated Vegetable Oil (BVO) is a flame / fire retardant banned in other countries and found in some citrus soft drinks such as "Mountain Dew, Squirt, Fanta Orange, Sunkist Pineapple, Gatorade Thirst Quencher Orange, Powerade Strawberry Lemonade and Fresca Original Citrus." (5)
  • Butyl Cellosolve is a classified neuro-toxin (damages the nervous system and brain). It can be found in window cleaners and other all-purpose-cleaning products.
  • Chlorine is a recognized carcinogen. It is found in dishwashing detergent, bleach, tap water, laundry detergent, kitchen and all purpose cleaners, swimming pools, steam rooms and hot tubs.
  • DEA (Diethanonlamine) has known for carcinogenic affects. It is used to formulated in soaps, detergents, and surfactants and is found in over 600 home and personal care products such as shampoos, conditioners, bubble baths, lotions, cosmetics, soaps, laundry and dish washing detergents.
  • Ethylbenzene is another recognized carcinogen. It can be found in bathroom tub and tile cleaners, floor and furniture polish, laundry starch preparations, and rug upholstery cleaners.
  • Formaldehyde is a recognized carcinogen. It is found in furniture polishers, car cleaners, disinfectants, adhesives for particle board, rug and upholstery cleaners and toilet bowl cleaners. This is also an unregulated by-product of tap water disinfection.
  • Fragrance. Over 80% of the ingredients used under the label fragrance have never been tested for human toxicity (3). Toxic exposure to these chemicals cause neurological damage, multiple chemical sensitivity, allergic reactions, and increased immune response. “Fragrance” is found in just about everything including air fresheners, cleaning supplies, magazine ads, and personal care products.
  • Lead is a poison and neuro-toxin. It is often found in lipsticks, tap water, pipes, paints and coatings, eating utensils, cosmetics, spermicide, ammunition, batteries, ceramics, solder and fuel additives.
  • Parabens is a recognized carcinogen and hormone system disruptor. Parabens are a widely used synthetic preservative found in nearly 25,000 cosmetics and personal care products.
  • Perchloroethylene (PERC). About 95% of dry cleaning facilities use this toxic chemical as their primary cleaning solvent (4). PERC is a known carcinogen and exposure can cause dizziness, fatigue, headaches, sweating, liver and kidney damage. Utilize a green dry cleaner.
  • Perfluorochemicals or PFCs (PTFE or perfluoro) are extremely toxic and widely-used water, grease and stain repellents. They’re found in carpets and on clothes, on fast-food wrappers, microwaveable popcorn bags, and on the inner lining of pet food bags. Also known as Teflon®, Scotchgard™, Stainmaster® and Gore-Tex®. Skip non-stick and stain resistant to avoid these.
  • Petroleum Distillates (Petrochemicals) are found in furniture polish and cleaners, lubricating oils, pet flea and tick products and collars, petroleum products, floor and furniture polish, dishwasher cleaners, aerosol sprays, and laundry detergents.
  • Phenol is found in disinfectants, antibacterial, antiseptics, hard surface cleaners, paint and varnish removers, and synthetic resin and rubber adhesives.
  • Phthalates are recognized carcinogens and hormone system disruptors in soft plastics. They can be found in toys, food packaging, hoses, raincoats, shower curtains, vinyl flooring, wall coverings, lubricants, adhesives, detergents, nail polish, hair spray and shampoo.
  • Propylene Glycol is the main ingredient found in anti-freeze but is also found in many personal care products (3). Paints and coatings, floor wax, laundry detergents, pet food, tobacco, cosmetics, toothpastes, shampoos, deodorants, lotions, processed foods.
  • Sodium Lauryl Sulfate (SLS) is found in harsh detergents and nearly all toothpastes, many shampoos and bubble baths.
  • TALC is chemically similar to asbestos and known cancer causing substance. It can be found in many body and baby powders.

Reducing exposure toxins listed above is a great start to reducing your body’s toxic burden and therefore, increasing your body’s ability to function in a healthy manner.

To further optimize health, consider other Healthy Lifestyle Tips (link coming soon) which allow for enhance your body’s lymphatic, liver and other organ systems ability to cleanse.

For more info., please check out Are You Toxic?

Utilize our suggested clean and green living resources pages for incorporating cleaner choices in your everyday life.

(1) Dr. Tim O'Shea. Vaccination is Not Immunization.
(2) Cleanse Ultimate Inside-Out Approach. Better Nutrition Magazine Booklet. Gaetano Morello, ND. 2008
(3) Rub a Dub, Dub..Is cancer in your tub? Network News and Publications 2004.
(4) Environmental Working Group.
(5) "Burn Baby Burn",

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