Reduce health risks & protect your family by limiting your exposure to these top 10 common toxins…
It’s no surprise that we live in an increasingly toxic world. But did you know that in America there are over 80,000 chemicals that contaminate the air, water, and food supply?
Even more shockingly, many of them have NEVER been tested to find out the effects of long-term exposure in humans.
Here are the top 10 common toxins many of us are exposed to on a daily basis – plus some tips for avoiding them or reducing your exposure:
For many people, alcohol can be a part of a fun night out with friends, a way to relax after a long day, or even just a way to enhance the enjoyment of a good meal. However, it is important to remember that alcohol is a drug and, like all drugs, it comes with risks.
The dangers of alcohol include both short-term and long-term risks. Short-term risks include accidents, violence, and risky sexual behavior. Long-term risks include liver damage, cancer, and brain damage.
Fortunately, alcohol is one toxin that is fairly easy for most people to avoid. If you must drink, always enjoy in moderation, but it’s important to remember that alcohol is a toxin, so avoid it if you can.
2. Tobacco smoke
You probably already know that smoking is bad for you, but did you realize that tobacco smoke contains over 4,000 chemicals, including more than 70 known carcinogens? These chemicals – including tar, nicotine, and carbon monoxide – can damage your lungs and airways and increase your risk of lung cancer, heart disease, stroke, and other health problems.
While secondhand smoke may be a bit more difficult to avoid, in general, like with alcohol, this toxin is one that you can usually control your exposure to simply by quitting smoking.
3. Prescription and over-the-counter medications
You may think of medications as safe and good for your health, but in fact, they can also be dangerous. Many medications contain toxins that can build up in the body with long-term use and cause serious health problems. Some of the most common toxins that may be found in medications are mercury, lead, and pesticides (discussed in more detail below).
This one can be a bit more difficult to avoid, but by maintaining a healthy lifestyle, you can often minimize your need for medication. Do your best to avoid the long-term use of any medication if possible, as this is when these toxins can begin to accumulate in your body. Instead, reduce your risk of lifestyle diseases by getting plenty of daily exercise (which also helps remove toxins from your body), consuming a healthy diet, and avoiding the other items on this list whenever possible.
4. Artificial sweeteners
Artificial sweeteners are, by nature, artificial, and the chemicals they are made from can have some not-so-sweet effects on your health. Artificial sweeteners can cause side effects like headaches, dizziness, and nausea, and can be quite dangerous, especially for people with diabetes or other health conditions, which is ironic considering many diabetics have been taught that artificial sweeteners are a safer and healthier substitute for sugar…
Avoiding artificial sweeteners should be fairly easy as long as you remember to read labels and look out for them before you buy a product. Some common artificial sweeteners to watch out for include aspartame, sucralose, and saccharin.
5. “Silver” dental fillings – containing toxic mercury
Mercury is a metal that can be found in many household products, such as thermometers, light bulbs, and even the dental fillings in your teeth. While mercury has many uses, it can also be dangerous to human health.
Exposure to mercury can cause a range of health problems, including brain damage, kidney damage, and birth defects. Pregnant women and young children are especially vulnerable to the effects of mercury.
There are a few things you can do to avoid exposure to mercury, including avoiding eating large fish (such as tuna and swordfish), and having mercury fillings removed. Many dentists use a different material for filling cavities these days, but most older people still have some metal/mercury fillings in their mouths already. While you may not want to go get all your fillings removed at once, if you do need a filling replaced, be sure to ask for an alternative material that does not contain mercury.
6. Bisphenol (found in plastic bottles and containers)
Bisphenol A (BPA) is a synthetic compound that is used in the production of certain plastics and resins. BPA is found in a variety of consumer products.
BPA exposure can occur through diet, skin contact, and inhalation. The most common source of dietary BPA exposure is canned food.
BPA is a hormone disruptor, meaning it can interfere with the body’s natural hormones. Exposure to BPA has been linked to a variety of health concerns, including reproductive toxicity, cancer, obesity, and type II diabetes. The European Union has banned the use of BPA in baby bottles, and the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has banned the use of BPA in infant formula packaging.
Despite these bans, BPA remains a common ingredient in canned foods. In fact, a recent study found that BPA was present in the majority of canned foods tested.
The good news is that there are ways to avoid BPA exposure from canned foods. Look for canned foods that are labeled “BPA-free” or “no BPA.” You can also avoid canned foods altogether by opting for fresh or frozen options.
And always avoid heating food in plastic containers, as even those labeled “BPA-free” may contain harmful chemicals that can leach into your food.
7. Artificial fragrances (found in thousands of household products)
Artificial fragrances are made up of numerous chemicals that can be harmful to your health. Some of these chemicals can mimic hormones in the body and disrupt the endocrine system. They can also cause allergic reactions and respiratory problems. Artificial fragrances can be toxic to the liver and kidneys. They can also cause cancer, as well as less deadly but still unpleasant health concerns such as headaches, dizziness, and nausea.
Unfortunately, most household cleaning products, as well as many beauty and personal care products that you may be exposed to on a daily basis, contain these harmful fragrances.
The best way to avoid these common toxins is to use all-natural or homemade cleaning and personal care products that contain only natural fragrances such as essential oils.
8. Teflon substances used on cookware, furniture, and carpets
Teflon coatings are made of a synthetic fluoropolymer called polytetrafluoroethylene (PTFE). PTFE is a very stable material that is resistant to heat, chemicals, and wear. It is this stability that makes it ideal for use as a coating. However, when PTFE is heated to high temperatures, it can release toxic chemicals into the air. These chemicals have been linked to cancer, liver damage, and birth defects. Some evidence shows that even when used for non-cookware applications, the chemicals can be released into the air of your home over time.
To avoid these chemicals, avoid using “non-stick” cookware (cast iron is a great alternative choice), and don’t purchase “stain-resistant” materials (carpets, drapes, etc.) for use in your home, as these often are coated with Teflon chemicals.
9. Indoor and outdoor air pollution, including VOCs
Volatile organic compounds (VOCs) are chemicals that can be found in many household products, such as paint, cleaning products, and air fresheners. While VOCs have many uses, they can also be very dangerous for your health, and even when you can’t smell them, they may be circulating in the air inside your home. Learn more about VOCs and how to avoid them here.
10. Pesticides and herbicides (i.e. RoundUp)
Pesticides and herbicides are chemicals used to kill pests and weeds. They can be found in many household products, such as bug sprays, weed killers, and rat poison. While these products can be helpful in controlling pests, they can also be dangerous to human health.
Exposure to pesticides and herbicides can cause a range of health problems, including cancer, birth defects, and neurological problems. Pregnant women and young children are especially vulnerable to the effects of these chemicals.
The best way to avoid these common toxins is to avoid using any pesticides or herbicides around your home and yard, especially on anything you may be planning to eat. Instead, use natural and organic methods of pest control.
The Bottom Line
Obviously, reducing your exposure to toxins is a good idea, and avoiding the use of these 10 products will not only help to reduce health risks for yourself and your family, but will also help to reduce the amount of these common toxins in the environment at large, which is a win for everyone!