How to Reduce Toxin Exposure and Create a Cleaner Environment
As I discussed in last month’s blog post, a very real (and scary!) factor that is negatively affecting our health are chemicals in our environment.
These are known as Endocrine Disruptors, or chemicals in our environment that alter hormones and their functions. Research has shown they produce adverse immune, neurological, reproductive and developmental effects in our body and also to the environment.
A recap of the Top 12 Chemicals to Avoid:
BPA: Bisphenol-A, a synthetic chemical found in all plastics, can linings, resins, paper receipts etc.
Atrazine: Found on conventional corn crops and in water supplies
Glyphosate: Also known as “Roundup” weed killer, this toxin is used in conventional farming & has been found in conventional produce, corn, soy, vegetable oils, and even packaged foods such as cereal! It is found in most packaged/processed foods or those containing GMOs.
Phthalates: found in plastics, skin care, beauty, self-care products etc. Most commonly labeled as “fragrance”.
Parabens: group of chemicals found commonly in skin care products: soaps, lotions, makeup, deodorants, etc.
Sodium Lauryl Suflate (SLS): hair products and laundry detergents
Perfluorinated Chemicals/PFCs: used on teflon non-stick cookware & microwave popcorn bags
Heavy Metals: Arsenic, Mercury and Lead have all been found in major water supplies, food such as conventional seafood, silver fillings, and paint
Antibiotics and Hormones: Found in conventionally-raised meat supply (poultry, red meat, etc). They are given to the animals to increase their growth & decrease rate of illness due to non-ethical conditions of the farm.
Triclosan: Found in soaps, hand sanitizers, cleaners, even toothpastes. This is a common ingredient in anti-bacterial products.
How can we avoid our exposure to these toxins and decrease the health risks associated?
Follow the 4 Rs: Recognize, Remove, Reduce and Replace
The first step is awareness of your toxic exposure. Many people have no idea how many chemicals that are in their everyday life. Start a list and write different categories/rooms of where you might have hidden toxins. Examples might be: beauty products, self-care and hair products, cleaning supplies, kitchen items, your office etc. From here, a simple place to start is to take one category at a time.
This is the ideal solution; no one should be exposed to these dangerous chemicals! While this might be the obvious answer, it is not always easy or even realistic for some. There are some things that are out of our control (like environmental pollution) or things that we can’t avoid completely. However, we CAN reduce the amount of exposure and swap out the toxic products for cleaner and safer alternatives.
Reduce & Replace
Below we have provided tips and ways to make more informed and safer decisions regarding your health. All the small lifestyle habits and choices you make add up, in a positive or negative way. Choose to take advantage of the options you do have to improve your health and reduce your exposure to chemicals.
Top online resources include the EWG & ThinkDirty. Here you can find specific guides to overhauling any aspect of your health, such as water filters, natural beauty products, safe cell phone use etc.
Tips to Clean Up your Environment:
- Use bamboo/wood cutting boards in place of plastic.
- Cook with wood or metal utensils, not plastic.
- Buy reuseable mesh drawstring bags to store produce instead of plastic ziplocs.
- Store food in glass or ceramic containers/dishes versus plastics.
- Use stainless steel or ceramic pots and pans instead of Teflon/non-stick cookware.
- Avoid drinking from plastics. Switch a stainless steel or glass bottle.
- Invest in a quality water filter. There are many options; the top is reverse osmosis or a countertop system like Berkey or Aquatru.
- Choose organic produce whenever possible. Refer to the Dirty Dozen and Clean Fifteen Lists on EWG.org.
- Avoid all GMO products; top foods include grains, wheat, corn, dairy, packaged foods like chips, bakery goods etc.
- Read labels. If choosing a boxed/packaged item, choose ones that are certified Non-GMO and Organic.
- Only buy top quality animal products. Don’t be fooled by the label “Natural”, as it is not regulated by the FDA. Choose meat and animal products that have been: grass fed, antibiotic and hormone free, organic and locally raised if possible.
- Opt for a flouride-free toothpaste (such Schmidts or Tom’s)
- Use toxin-free hair products (shampoo, conditioner, dry shampoo etc.)
- Invest in quality skin care (cleansers, moisturizers, etc)
- Opt for a mineral based sunscreen (such as zinc oxide)
- Switch to chemical free makeup & beauty products
Living Room & Bedroom:
- Turn off your Wi-Fi at night to reduce your EMF (Electromagnetic fields) exposure.
- Use certified pure quality essential oils (such as Doterra or Young Living) as an air freshener or room spray. They can also be used for cleaning!
- Use 100% soy or beeswax candles that do not contain any artificial fragrances or carcinogenic paraffin.
- Use cleaning products that are free of fragances & chemicals. Our favorite brands are: Seventh Generation, Branch Basics & Dr. Bronner’s.
- Consider making your own cleaning products or even self care products. Many are easy to make, using essential oils, white vinegar, etc.
As you can see, there are many ways that you can avoid chemicals & alternatives to improve your health. The first step is awareness & starting with one area at a time!
Do you think some of your health issues and symptoms could be related to environmental toxins?
Are you ready to make a change to a non-toxic lifestyle but unsure where to start?
We can help here at Whisper Health!
If you or loved ones are dealing with chronic health challenges, or are looking to heal your body and improve your health using a root cause, whole body approach, I would love to chat with you!