Environmental toxins are everywhere. They’re in the air that we breathe, the soap we use to wash our dishes, even the mattress that we sleep on.

We are exposed to 6 million pounds of mercury and 2.5 billion pounds of other toxic chemicals every year. Over 80,000 chemicals have been introduced into our society since 1900, while only 550 of them have been tested for safety. Concerned? You should be.

A 2009 study by the Environmental Working Group (EWG) found 232 chemicals in the umbilical cords of newborns. These included lead, mercury, dioxins, PCBs, PBDEs, and BPA to name few; industrial compounds and pollutants that are known to cause everything from cancer to cognitive and behavioral impairments, endocrine system disruption, cardiovascular abnormalities, diabetes, asthma and obesity.

Could your health issues be connected to an overload of toxins? Absolutely.

What to Do

The first step is to limit your exposure. Fortunately we have a choice in the food, water and products we consume. Use these simple tips to choose toxin-free.

Eat organic food as much as possible.

Pesticides, herbicides and insecticides found in conventional fruits and vegetables are known carcinogens. Go organic!

Ditch commercial animal fats and farm-raised fish

Commercial animal fats are high in dioxins, a chemical compound known to increase risk of cancer, reproductive and developmental disorders and liver damage. Farm-raised salmon is the most dangerous source of PCBs, a chemical that was outlawed decades ago for its risks of cancer and impaired fetal development. Eat only organic, grass fed meats and wild salmon.

Use natural cleaning products.

These include laundry detergent, dishwashing detergent, disinfectants, window cleaner etc. VOCs (Volatile Organic Compounds), one of the chemicals in household cleaning products are known to increase risk of both heart and lung disease. Opt for natural cleaning products.

Use natural self- care products and cosmetics.

This includes shampoo, hair care products, face wash, soap, lotion and cosmetics. The scalp and skin are an excellent medium for absorption. Make sure you’re not absorbing toxins. Pthalates, a group of “gender-bending” chemicals that block testosterone in the body are commonly found in self -care products and cosmetics.
Buying natural products is a fairly safe bet, but you always want to be sure they are free from:

  • sodium lauryl/laureth sulfate (SLS/SLES)
  • dioxane
  • diethanolamine/DEA
  • propylene glycol
  • parabens

Soaps should be triclosan-free and deodorants aluminum-free.

Get environmentally safe dry cleaning.

Tetrachloroethylene, also known as perchloroethylene or PERC, is a common dry-cleaning chemicalthat accumulates in fat, and may therefore stay in the body for a long time. It has been linked to increase risk of cancer. Use environmentally safe dry cleaners or air your clothes out for 3 hours before bringing into your house.

Limit plastics.

Plastics contain BPA (Bisphenol-A), a chemical that is known to disrupt estrogen in the body. One large study showed that people with higher amounts of BPA in their urine had higher rates of diabetes, heart disease and liver toxicity. BPA may also be linked with reproductive disorders, learning or behavioral problems, altered immune function, breast and prostate cancer, risk of obesity and premature puberty in both genders.
Do not use plastic baby bottles or plastic water bottles. Store food in glass or other plastic free tupperware. Never microwave food in plastic. Especially avoid plastics with the number 3, 6 or 7 on the bottom—these are the most dangerous. Limit canned food as BPA is also found in the lining of canned food.

Invest in a new mattress.

Unfortunately the mattress that we sleep on 8 hours every night may be one of the most toxic things in our house. Mattresses are high in PBDEs (already banned in Canada and Europe), antimony and fomaldehyde. Antimony is a heavy metal potentially more toxic than mercury, while formaldehyde is known to cause cancer. Opt for an organic mattress or one that uses Kevlar instead of flame retardants.

Say adios to mothballs.

While it’s a real bummer when a moth eats through your favorite shirt, it’s worse to get health issues from these common chemicals found in mothballs (that have been outlawed in Europe since 2008). Paradichlorobenzene has been found to cause cancer in animals. Another chemical, naphthalene can damage red blood cells, stimulate nausea and vomiting after prolonged exposure. Try a DIY mothball- place a few drops of citronella or sandalwood and lavender on a square of cotton and place in your clost

Do not drink tap water.

Chloroform, fluoride and other disinfection byproducts (DBPs) are extremely dangerous. Chloroform can cause reproductive damage, cancer, birth defects, dizziness, fatigue, headache, liver and kidney damage. Fluoride negatively impacts endocrine function, thyroid, increases risk of bone fractures and can lower IQ. Drink filtered (not in plastic bottles) or spring water.

Source: http://www.scientificamerican.com/article/newborn-babies-chemicals-exposure-bpa/