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Toxins Are Everywhere — I'm Not Kidding



My friend Su asked me why she got the breast cancer while she thought she had been eating the right foods--lots of vegetables. I didn't have the answer at that time and won't have the correct answer for her now or later because most cancer and other diseases (i.e., heart disease or type 2 diabetes) can take decades to develop. Recently, I've been reading a book called "Never Be Sick Again" written by Raymond Francis. I think he has summarized it well for the causes of the degenerative diseases (including cancer) we people living in 21st century are suffering from. He states that there is only one disease: cellular malfunction. Cellular malfunction has only two causes: deficiency, cells not getting what they need, and toxicity, cells poisoned by something they do not need.

Over the last one hundred years (especially after WWII), we have introduced tens of thousands of man-made toxins to our environment. Our bodies are not genetically designed to deal with these levels and types of toxins that are accumulating in our tissues. There are 42 billion pounds of chemicals the United States produces or imports each day. That's 140 pounds per person (National Pollution Prevention and Toxics Advisory Committee, 2005). The chronic effects of bioaccumulating these chemicals inside our bodies have not been well studied except some specific ones as described in this article. Their long term impacts to our body health have been very difficult or impossible to demonstrate especially when the industry has conflicting interests.

In a 2005 study by the Environmental Working Group (EWG) that umbilical blood from ten babies born in U.S. hospitals during a two-month span. What they found is heartstopping: The cord blood contained an average of 200 chemicals and pollutants commonly found in the home, including mercury, flame retardants, perfluorinated chemicals (from nonstick surfaces and carpet), plasticizers (PVCs), pesticides, and wood preservatives--many of which may cause cancer, are toxic to the brain and nervous system, and are linked to birth defects or abnormal development in animal tests.

No wonder the following statistics show us these alarming facts [2, 4]:


  • The incidence of childhood cancers jumped almost 27% between 1975 and 2002.
  • In 2005, 6.5 million children under age 18 had asthma, an increase of more than 200% since 1980.
  • The percentage of children diagnosed with allergic dermatitis increased more than 300% from the 1960s to the 1990s.
  • Diagnoses for Autism and Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) have jumped almost 400% in the last 20 years.
  • In the 19th century, less than 1% of all deaths in the US were caused by cancer. Today, more than 4 in 10 people will develop cancer in their lifetime, and 1 in 4 will die from cancer.

The American Cancer Society estimates that 75% of cancer is due to environmental factors, not genetic inheritance. Joseph D. Beasley, M.D., Ph.D. said that "Our health is threatened not only by individual chemicals-deadly or toxic-but even more by the overall chemical load that the human organisim now has to sustain." A study conducted by B. H. Ershoff (published in a 1976 Journal of Food Science) that examined three different FDA-approved food additives: an artificial color, an artificial sweetener and an emulsifier. When fed one at a time, these food additives caused no readily observable side effects in experimental animals. But, when two of the additives were consumed at the same time, the animals became sick. When all three were combined, the test animals died in less than 2 weeks [4].

Not all toxins affect all people in the same manner. Each of us has unique tolerances and susceptibilities to toxins. Toxin levels that can put one person into overload might not be particularly serious or even noticeable for someone else. Genetic predisposition, nutritional status, stress levels and lifestyle all influence toxin levels. Some people like Raymond Francis are more sensitive to chemicals and are more vulnerable than others. He almost died of chemical toxicity by a prescribed drug. For average people like us, we should play safe than sorry. We should try to minimize our exposures to environmental toxins and maximize our bodies' detoxification systems.  If you want to try out some detox diet, I strongly recommend you the Swiss Detox Diet, a meal plan designed by Dr. Rau[8].

In this article, I have summarized all known or potential toxins found from several books that I have read. I sincerely hope people will be more aware of all these hazardous chemicals surrounding us in our daily life. Wish you all can lead a healthier life for the rest of your lives.

Potential (or Known) Toxin Where it's found? Why it's harmful?
Pesticide

  • Atrazine (weed killer). Found in drinking water or brought in to the house on your clothing and shoes

  • Hexachlorobenzene (HCB). Once used as a fungicide for use on seeds and in soil. Main dietary sources of HCB are fish, meat, and milk.

  • DDT. Banned in the US since 1972. But, it's still used in some other parts of the World.




  • Atrazine can cause gonadal abormalities in amphibians.

  • The half-life of Atrazine in soil is 13 to 261 days

  • HCB has a half-life of 50 days.

  • Eating HCB-treated seed grains can result in a disease syndrome that included sensitivity reactions to sunlight and effects on the nervous system.

  • A high incidence of stillbirths and high infant mortality was observed in women exposed to HCB during gestation and lactation.

  • DDTs were known to poison both wildlife and the environment and also endanger human health.
Phthalates

  • Found in consumer items, including personal care products, detergents, and soaps. It gives personal care products a silkier feel, keep nail polish from chipping, and help fragrance last longer.

  • In the things made from PVC (i.e., polyvinyl chloride--#3 containers) plastic in which it is used as plasticizer: vinyl flooring, adhesives, building materials, plastic bags, food packaging, garden hoses, inflatable recreational toys, blood-storage bags, and intravenous medical tubing.

  • In a 2002 report by the EWG, phthalates were found in nearly three-quarters of the 72 personal care products it tested. The number of brands that listed the ingredient on their label? Zero. That's because the hundreds of chemicals that go into making a fragrance are considered "trade secrets" and don't have to be identified on the packaging: the label can simply say "fragrance."

  • Exposure can occur through direct use of products that contain phthalates and through eating and breathing. Phthalates are metabolized and excreted quickly from the body, but we experience new exposures many times each day.


  • Animal studies show that fetal exposure to phthalates causes developmental toxicity in the male reproductive system.

  • In baby boys who were exposed in the womb, researchers have seen an association between high levels of maternal phthalate metabolites -- seen in about 25% of US women -- and effects on the measurement of an important health-related marker known as anogenital distance.

  • Researchers have associated high levels of phthalates with lower sperm motility in adult men, and one study has correlated phthalates with abdominal obesity and insulin resistance in men.

  • Has been linked between high exposure to these chemicals in utero and male reproductive birth defects.




Parabens (preservative)


  • A family of preservatives used a lot in personal care products

  • Variations include methyparaben, propylparaben, or butylparaben

  • Kill bacteria, giving the product a prolonged shelf life




  • In one study from Brunel University in England, it is linked with the possibility that male babies exposed in utero could have lower sperm counts.
  • Another recent British study found traces of parabens in the breast cancer cells of women.
  • Various parabens have been shown to damage deep layers of the skin worse than severe sunburn, which causes the skin to age prematurely and even cause cancer.
Propylene glycol ( chemical additive)

  • Petroleum and mineral oil, both derived from fossil fuels, are common basic ingredients in cosmetrics, particularly lotions, foundations, cleansers, lipsticks, and lip balms.


  • Propylene glycol carries moisture in cosmetics, while petroleum distillates, possible human carcinogens, are found in several U.S. brands of mascara and other products.
Talc


  • Used in baby powder




  • Talc can irritate the lungs when inhaled and there is evidence that talc may be contaminated with traces of illness-causing asbestos.
Synthetic Chemical Suncreen

  • Many suncreens contain phthalates, parabens, and other estrogen-like compounds.




  • Synthetic chemical sunscreens may indeed help prevent a sunburn, but they do not prevent skin cancer-in fact, they may even promote it. Researchers at the M.D. Anderson Cancer Center in Houston cite: "There is no substantial evidence that sunscreen protects against any of the three forms of skin cancer." (p. 369, "Never be Sick Again" by Raymond Francis)
Hair Dye


  • Ammonia found in oxidation dyes

  • Lead found in progressive dyes

  • Coal tar found in permanent coal-tar dyes




  • One recent University of Southern California study found that women using permanent hair dye at least once a month for a year or longer more than double their risk of bladder cancer.
  • A study, from the Yale University School of Medicine, found that long-term use of permanent hair dyes may increase risk for non-Hodgkins lymphoma.
  • Permanent coal-tar dyes found in 71 common hair dye products tested by the EWG have been linked to some types of cancers (Coal tar is also found in some dandruff shampoos.) In particular, watch out for FD&C blue #1 and FE&C green #3.
Nail Polish


  • Contains formaldehyde (reponsible for the eye-watering fumes), acetone, and phthalates (make polish chip-resistant)


  • See Phthalates (banned from cosmetics in EU)

PBDEs
(flame Retardant)


  • PBDEs (Polybrominated Diphenyl Ethers) were added to upholstered furniture, mattresses, carpet padding, vehicle upholstery, and electronics

  • People are primarily exposed to PBDEs in their homes, offices, and vehicles.

  • The flame retardant known as Deca remains on the market for use primarily in electronics. Scientists are concerned that Deca breaks down to form the types of PBDEs already taken off the market.


  • In test animals, PBDEs cause an array of health effects, including thyroid hormone disruption, permanent learning and memory impairment, behavioral changes, hearing deficits, delayed puberty onset, decreased sperm count, and fetal malformations.

  • Known to affect brain and nervous system development.


Bisphenol A (building block for polycarbonate plastic and epoxy resins)


  • Found in canned foods lined with epoxy resin[10].

  • Found in food and berage containers made from polycarbonate plastic (i.e., baby bottles, sippy cups, water cooler jugs, and hard, clear, reusable polycarbonate drinking bottles)

  • Some dental sealants and composites




  • Dozens of animal studies suggest it disrupts the endocrine system at the low levels of exposure.
  • Scientists note how recent trends in human disease relate to adverse effects observed in lab animals exposed to low levels of bisphenol A. Specific examples include: prostate and breast cancer, urogenital abnormalities in baby boys, a decline in semen quality, early onset of puberty in girls, Type 2 diabetes, obesity, and neurobehavioral problems such as ADHD ( attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder).
  • A recent study from Tufts University revealed BPA can mimic estrogen and mess with reproductive growth.
  • May interfere with normal hormone function, making obesity more likely.
Perfluorinated Chemicals (i.e., PFCs - PFOS and PFOA)


  • Resist grease, water, and stains and extremely persistent.

  • Used in products like Teflon, Scotchgard, Stainmaster, and GORE-TEX.




  • New epidemiological studies suggest that material exposure to perfluorinated chemicals may lower a baby's birth weight.
  • PFOA has been listed by the EPA as a "likely humn carcinogen."
  • When nonstick pans reach very high temperature--and tests prove they do--the coating breaks apart and emits potentially cancerous particles and gases that are linked to eye and respiratory inflammation.
Polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs)

  • Farmed salmon have been shown to have higher concentrations of pollutants--up to 10 times more PCBs--than wild.
  • In Canada and US, freshwater fish are reported to be the major accumulators of PCBs.
  • Recycled paper is found to contain PCBs.
  • Widely used in industrial compounds before it was banned.


  • Can cause long-lasting developmental delays in children exposed prenatally (and PCBs can linger in human fat for years)

  • PCBs have a half-life of 10 years


PBBs
(polybrominated biphenyls)


  • A fire retardant
  • In 1972, in Michigan, PBB was accidentally added to some animal feed and caused many people to become sick


  • Symptoms include numbness, balance problems, nausea, stomach problems, changes in appetitie, irritability, and headaches
Asbestos


  • Sprayed on the ceilings of old house
  • Found in crayons and chalk as a contaminant of talc
  • Can still be found in some old houses in insulation around pipes and furnaces and on walls and ceilings (especially as sprayed-on material) and drop-ceiling panels.


  • Could cause fatal lung cancer


Mercury


  • Found in fish foods

  • Organic mercury compounds (the most toxic form of metal) were used after 1914 and into the 1960s as a treatment to prevent fungal infections in cereal grains to be used as seeds.

  • In people, the metal is almost completely absorbed from the gut and crosses both the placenta to the fetus and the blood-brain barrier, which is supposed to protect your brain.

  • Silver amalgam dental fillings have about 50% mercury


  • Can upset normal fetal brain growth

  • Two common pollutants in fish food--mercury and PCBs--are linked to learning and memory problems in children, thyroid problems, and possibly cancer.

  • Mercury has a half-life of 70 days.

  • Victims can develop slurred speech, disturbances of vision and hearing, difficulty swallowing, paralysis, convulsions, and death.

  • In people, numness in the limbs and around the mouth was followed by difficulty with hand movements and general incoordination.
Lead


  • Found in older houses with lead-based pipes.
  • Found in now-banned leaded paints and gas
  • Found in lead solder in canned foods.
  • Found in ceramic glazes.
  • Found in vitamin products.


  • lead is a potent neurotoxin that accumulates in soft tissues and bone over time.


Cadmium


  • We concentrate cadmium through industrial processes, in batteries and electroplating, and as a contaminant in other metals we use.




  • Cadmium attacks the kidneys.
  • Can develop a severe, very painful, and often fatal disease of the bones referred to by Japanese as itai-itai (ouch-ouch) disease.
  • Cadmium has a half-life of 30 years.
Food additives


  • MSG

  • Artificial sweetneners.

  • Nitrates. Tokeep cured and processed meats looking red and juicy.

  • BHA (Butylated hydroxyanisole). Keeps oils from going rancid.

  • BHT (Butylated Hydroxytoluene). A preservative

  • High-fructose corn syrup




  • MSG can cause some people from headaches to shortness of breath to changes in heart rate (these occur because MSG directly attacks neurons, and at high doses can even kill nerve cells).
  • Saccharine hasn't been shown to be safe for pregnant women. And aspartame has been linked to cancer in animal studies[17].
  • Nitrates are possibly carcinogenic.
  • BHA is listed as a probable human carcinogen by the Department of Health and Human Services.
  • Animal studies have linked high-fructose corn syrup to diabetes and high cholesterol.
Cleaning Products


  • Ammonia. A staple in bathrooms and kitchens.

  • Chlorine. A component of many bleaching products.

  • Lye. Used in drain and oven cleaners, detergent, pool cleaners, metal polishers, and soap.

  • Fluoride. It is more toxic than lead and only slightly less toxic than arsenic. Note that fluoride has never been approved by FDA.




  • Ammonia contributes to respiratory issues, perhaps worse.
  • Chlorine can turn into highly hazardous chemicals when interacting with other substances. It's the number one household chemical involved in poisoning.
  • Chlorine is harmful if inhaled
  • Lye can irritate skin and eyes and lye fumes can corrode respiratory passages.
  • Overdose of fluoride can cause dental and skeletal fluorosis.
  • Fluoride bioaccumulates in the body and has been found to damage teeth, bones, kidneys, muscles, nerves, genes and immune function.
SLES (sodium laureth sulfate) SLS (Sodium lauryl sulfate)

  • Foaming agents in shampoos, bath bubbles, bar soaps, as well as laundry and dishwasher detergents

  • Also make skin more permeable.




  • They can interact with other product ingredients to form carcinogens.

  • When these toxins--sodium lauryl sulfate, sodium cetyl sulfate and sodium laureth sulfate--are placed on the surface of the body, they can cause eye irritations, skin rashes, hair loss, scalp flaking similar to dandruff and allergic reactions.
VOC (Volatile Organic Compounds)


  • Chemicals that are carbon-based and easily evaporate in the air-- a phenomenon known as "off-gassing."

  • VOC fumes come mainly from synthetic materials like plastic and polyurethane, paints and varnishes, and cleaning products.

  • These toxic gases include formaldehyde from carpets and furniture, benzene from wall coverings, and xylene from computer screens.




  • Some VOCs are linked to everything from neurological and organ damage to cancer.
  • Recent Australian studies correlated VOC exposure in the home with a higher incidence of asthma.
  • VOCs are the most common indoor air contaminants.
  • VOCs can make your eyes and throat hurt and sometimes set off an asthma attack.
  • In the long term, they may cause cancer.
Indoor Polluted Air (inside home or car)


  • Natural gas appliances release toxic gases, including NO2, CO, and small amount of the natural gas itself.

  • Multiple sources of air pollutants: new carpets, new paint, household cleansers, furniture, mattresses, copy machines, printers, electronic equipment, dry cleaning, newspapers and magazines.




  • Indoor air can be far more polluted than the air outside; in fact, it's as much as two to five times worse, according to the EPA.
  • Toxicity from indoor air pollution produces a wide variety of symptoms, including anxiety, depression, fatigue, headaches, poor concentration and mental acuity, and bodily aches and pains.
  • Victim's symptoms include immune suppression, respiratory problems, coughing, throat irritation, headaches, insomnia, nausea and fatigue.
  • Debra Lynn Dadd, in Nontoxic and Natural, wrote about a 15-year study of housewives in Oregon. Women who stayed home all day had a 54% higher death rate from cancer than women who worked away from home.
Triclosan


  • The main ingredient in most antibacterial and disinfectant soaps and sprays



  • Triclosan is related to dioxin, which can form when tricolsan is mixed with water and exposed to sunlight.
PCE (Perchloroethylene)


  • dry-cleaning fluid



  • highly toxic and carcinogenic
  • EPS list it as a hazardous air pollutant in 1997
PAHs (Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons) and HCAs (Heterocyclic Amines)


  • Charred meat can contain them.

  • Experiments at Lawrence Livermore Laboratory showed that a well-toasted bread had 20% of the cancer-causing activity of a well-done hamburger.


  • Can increase the risk of some cancer, according to the National Cancer Institute.

  • HAAs (heterocyclic aromatic amines) are potent carcinogens and even minute amounts of them can damage your DNA.
PCP (Pentachlorophenol)


  • Comes from a family of chemicals used as wood preservatives because they can kill so many life-forms (bacteria, insects, fungi, plants)

  • When it does enter the food chain, it is from animals raised on treated wood shavings or in treated wood buildings.


  • PCP is poisonous to people in high doses, some low-level effects that people have associated with it are probably the result of contamination with dioxins.

  • The worst effect of the PCP itself is probably a musty odor.

Dioxins (Polychlorinated dibenzodioxins and ploychlorinated dibenzofurans)


  • Are really an extended family of more than 200 compounds with no commercial uses.

  • Enter the environment and the food chain from incineration plants, high-temperature industrial processes, the pulp-and-paper industry, and traffic exhausts.

  • Most human exposure to dioxin (80% to 100%) through food, mostly fish, and some through meat and milk.

  • Paper products are not naturally white. White paper is bleached with chemicals that leave behind residues of dioxin. Such residues are found in coffee filters, paper towels, toilet paper, napkins, facial tissues, diapers, and lunch bags.


  • 17 of these compounds are toxic.

  • In animal tests, they cause cancers and affect the reproductive and immune systems.

  • Can lead to Chloracne , measurable disturbances in peripheral nerve function, fatigue, and liver toxicity.


Prescribed or Non-prescribed Medicines


  • Aspirin

  • Acetaminophen

  • Antibotics, NSAIDs, and Steroids
  • As pointed out in [5], Dr. Healy concluded that "Whether it's a new or old drug..., the very effect that brings a benefit can also bring a measure of harm."




  • Some children taking aspirin can develop Reye's syndrome
  • Acetaminophen can cause kidney damage.
  • Medical journals acknowledge that prescription drugs are the 3rd leading cause of death in America (after heart disease and cancer).
  • One study found that in 1994 there were 2,216,000 hospitalized patients with various adverse drug reactions (ADRs) and 106,000 deaths from them.
  • Intestinal toxemia can be provoked by the abuse of antibiotics, NSAIDs, and oral steroids.
  • Members of COX-2 inhibitor family of anti-inflammatory demonstrated an unexpected increase in heart attacks, primarily in older patients [5].
aflatoxins( a mycotoxin)


  • Studies in the United States in the 1970s and 1980s found that 3/4 of all peanut butter samples tested had some aflatoxins.

  • Mold-infested grains, cottonseed, corns, peanuts, etc




  • Can cause liver cancer
  • Thought to play a role in suppressing immune systems in children in South Africa
  • Aflatoxins were implicated in Reye's syndrome
  • Fumonisins produced by the Fusarium species can cause kidney and liver damage in pretty well all the species in which they have been tested.
rBGH (Recombinant Bovine Growth Hormone)


  • Used to boost cows' milk output




  • Use of rBGH has been linked to breast and prostate cancers in animals.


melamine


  • Added to animal feed to boost protein content by some China producers




  • Ingestion of melamine may lead to reproductive damage, or bladder or kidney stones, which can lead to bladder cancer.
  • Melamine-contaminated powdered infant formula is a recent top news in China




Potential (or Known) Toxin What to do?
Pesticide

  • Filter tap water you drink.
  • Remove shoes to avoid tracking any pesticide contaminants into your home.
  • Vacuum, mop, and dust all surfaces weekly.
  • Eat organic foods which have less pesticide, herbicide, or fertilizer.
Phthalates

  • Avoid personal care products that use phthalates as an ingredient.
  • Avoid detergents, lotions, or soaps that use fragrance (dietyl phthalate DEP is an ingredient in many fragrances) as ingredient.
  • Don't use plastic containers in the microwave because it can cause phthalates in the plastic to leach into your food (note that phthalates are what make vinyl soft).
  • Stay away from PVC plastic in toys, shower curtains, floor coverings, and building material.
    • There are alternatives: Ethylene vinyl acetate, or EVA, which does not require a plastic softener; polyethylene that does not require phthalates

  • Paints and other hobby materials may contain phthalates as solvents, so use them in a well-ventilated area.
  • Avoid air fresheners--many brands contain phthalates.
  • Check out the EWG's "Skin Deep" report at ewg.org.
  • Use glass, stainless steel, ceramic, and porcelain for food storage
  • Use wax paper and butcher paper which are safer alternatives to cling wrap, which is often made with PVC.
  • For a list of companies that have signed on the Campaign for Safe Cosmetrics, see safecosmetics.org.
Parabens (preservative)


  • Choose paraben-free skin-care products.
  • Babies, children, or pregrant women should avoid them if possible.
Propylene glycol ( chemical additive)

  • Seek water-based formulas made with naturally derived moisturizers like shea butter and jojoba.
  • Choose natural oils like olive, almond, apricot kernel, and avocado. Or use vegetable glycerin, shea butter, or soy lecithin.
Talc


  • Avoid using talcum baby powder for bottom blotting-or any other purpose for young children.
Synthetic Chemical Suncreen

  • Raymond's personal choices are sunscreen products from Aubrey Organics.
  • Or merely sticking to the ancient Mediterranean custom of rubbing high quality olive oil on the skin.
  • Go to cosmeticsdatabase.com and click on sunscreens.
  • Avoid combination sunscreen/insect repellents: Sunscreens is most effective when applied every two hours, but replenishing insect repellent so often could lead to overexposure.
Hair Dye


  • Less is more!
  • Pregrant and nursing women should skip perms and single-process hair dyes to avoid passing chemicals to the baby.
  • Highlights are safer, since the dye coats the hair shaft and doesn't touch the skin.
Nail Polish


  • Opt for phthalate-free polish
  • If you polish at home, make sure it's in a well-ventilated space.
PBDEs
(flame Retardant)


  • Look for PBDE-free electronics and furniture.
  • Avoid contact with crumbling old foam from carpet padding, old mattress pads, and stuffed furniture.
  • Vacuum regularly.
  • For a list of PBDE-free products, see the Environmental Working Group's list at www.ewg.org/pbdefree.
  • Replace carpet with hardwood floors; avoid particleboard and pressed wood contain a mess of chemical finishes and glues.
Bisphenol A (building block for polycarbonate plastic and epoxy resins)


  • Limit the amount of canned food in diet. Many aluminum cans are lined with polycarbonate plastic.
  • Look out for the number 7 stamp in the recycling symbol on plastics. Most (but not all) number 7 plastics are made from polycarbonate.
  • Don't use heavily worn or scratched polycarbonate containers, as bisphenol A leaches more easily when the container starts to degrade.
  • Replacing polycarbonate containers with aluminum, copolyester plastic, or stainless steel (though make sure the container is not lined with bisphenol A-containing resin), like SIGG or Klean Kanteen.
Perfluorinated Chemicals (i.e., PFCs - PFOS and PFOA)


  • Avoid cookware with nonstick coatings
  • Avoid fast-food packaging and microwave popcorn bags because many are coated with perfluorinated chemicals to keep grease from soaking through
  • Avoid water-repellent jacket using PFOA
  • Opt for cookware made of stainless steel, cast iron and glass
Polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs)
Asbestos


  • Buy soybean and beeswaxs crayons and try "no dust" chalk.
  • Hire professional asbestos manage to tear down walls or redo an attic if your home built fefore 1973.
Mercury


  • Avoid large fish species; pick smaller fish such as sardines and mackerel
  • Be wary of bottom feeders such as losbters, mollusks, and their pals lurk.
Lead


  • Check out leadtesting.org
  • Check out lead test kits from leadtesttoys.com and leadcheck.com
  • Avoid hair color products with lead acetate and coal tar dyes.
  • Lead paint is banned in 1978, so homes built before then are more likely to harbor lead.
  • Wiping shoes on a mat and removing them at the door can cut lead dust by 60%.
Cadmium


  • Protect the environment: Recycle your electronics which contain toxic chemicals and heavy metals--flame retartants, lead, cadmium, and mercury.
Food additives


  • Avoid processed and packaged foods
  • Avoid cured and processed meats
  • Check out Center for Science in the Public Interest
  • Avoid BHA and BHT preservtives.
  • Use Stevia, a natural sweetener made from a herb, which is considered safer than the others.
Cleaning Products


  • Clean green and use Castile soap, baking soda, vinegar, and water.
  • Use green product with ingredients such as hydrogen peroxide or soap.
  • Dust with microfiber cloth. A new technology that uses no chemicals, microfiber cloths cling to dust and lint fiercely until washed.
  • Never mix ammonia with bleach which can create toxic fumes.
  • Never swallow toothpaste.
  • Avoid tap water if it's fluoridated or chlorinated.
SLES (sodium laureth sulfate) SLS (Sodium lauryl sulfate)
VOC (Volatile Organic Compounds)


  • Use natural, environmentally sound alternatives.
  • Air out your car immediately after you enter it especially when your car has been bathed in the sun for a while.
  • Open windows of your house to bring fresh air indoors in the morning.
  • Dry-cleaning should be removed from its plastic shroud and hung outdoors.
  • Before use, always wash new clothing, bedding, and drapperies to dissolve some of the finishing chemicals added during manufacturing.
  • Never burn pressure-treated wood, paticleboard, or plywood which contain toxic chemicals such as formaldehyde and arsenic in their preservatives and adhesives.
  • If buying new furnitures, avoid furnitured made from "manufactured" woods--pressed wood, plywood, particleboard, and chipboard. These contain glues that give off formaldehyde, a probable carcinogen.
  • Plants are our best air purifiers, producing oxygen and eliminating VOCs at the same time. Most effective are indoor palms, English ivy, ficuses, peace lilies, and chrysanthemums.
Indoor Polluted Air (inside home or car)


  • Anything that you can smell that is not a natural smell is probably toxic.
  • Replacing indoor gas-fired appliances with electric powered appliances.
  • During the first few months, try to leave a new car parked in the hot sun with the windows up to bake out the toxins.
  • Air out regularly.
  • New paint takes at least 2 months to reach reasonable levels of safety for most people, which is why it is best to paint only one room at a time and to close freshly painted rooms off as much as possible while they are off-gassing.
  • Do not sleep in a freshly painted room!
  • Always select building materials and furniture that are made from real wood or at least plywood, but not particleboard.
  • When you buy something new into your house, give it a chance to off-gas before you put it inside.
Triclosan


  • Learn more by going to beyondpesticides.org and searching triclosan.
  • Use old soap and water for eliminating germs instead.
  • Use botanical oils, such as lavender and thyme which contain antibacterial properties.
PCE (Perchloroethylene)

PAHs (Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons) and HCAs (Heterocyclic Amines)


  • Use less fatty meats, which don't drip as much onto the coals, causing smoke flare-ups (PAHs form in the smoke and are then deposited on the meat).
  • Put a layer of foil between meat and coals and cook at lower temperature (which reduces the formation of HCAs).
  • If served food that is black, cut off the blackened parts.
Dioxins (Polychlorinated dibenzodioxins and ploychlorinated dibenzofurans)


  • Use unbleached paper products.
Prescribed or Non-prescribed Medicines

aflatoxins( a mycotoxin)


  • Store your foods appropriately. Fungi and toxins they produce prefer warm, wet environments.
  • Most foods will support fungal growth and mycotoxin production, but damaged or stressed plants, as one might find after a drought, particularly various nuts, corn, and figs, are more hospitable to fungi than foods from animals.
  • Aflatoxins are also found in: cinnamon, cloves, and mustard, at normal levels; thyme, garlic, oregano, allspice, and anise at high levels; and foods that contain a fair amount of acid or that have had acid added.
  • If you bite into a nut and it tastes bad, spit it out.
rBGH (Recombinant Bovine Growth Hormone)


  • Buy organic dairy products

References

  1. Food, Sex, and SalmonellaWhty Our Food Is Making Us Sick by Dr. David Waltner-Toews.
  2. Healthy Child Healthy WorldCreating a Cleaner, Greener, Safer Home by Christopher Gavigan
  3. The Body Toxic: How the Hazardous Chemistry of Everday Things Threatens Our Health and Well-Being by Nena Baker
  4. Never Be Sick Again by Raymond Francis.
  5. Living TimeFaith and Facts to Transform Your Cancer Journey by Bernadine Healy, M.D.
  6. All news clips in Health/Toxic on EWG
  7. Healthy home tips on EWG
  8. The Swiss Secret to Optimal Health by Thomas Rau, M.D.
  9. Safer Shopping Tips
  10. Eating canned soup 'poses a chemical risk'
  11. How Toxic Is Your Office Space?
  12. Pesticides used in South American GMO-based agriculture: A review of their effects on humans and animal models
  13. Birth defects caused by glyphosate, Andres Carrasco (Talked at UC Irvine) 
  14. Excitotoxins, MSG and its hidden names
  15. Toxic Metal: The Health Dangers of Barium
  16. Cancer Risk Factors (Travel and Health)
  17. Aspartame (must watch)

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