Are These Everyday Chemicals Making You Sick?

Chemicals have become part of our everyday life. They are on and in our food, in our water, the air we breathe and the products we use.

When we clean, we use harmful chemicals to kill as much bacteria as possible, whether that bacteria be good or bad for us. When we eat or drink something, the containers are often made with chemicals that seep into our food and can negatively impact our health and the health of our families.

It can be a bit overwhelming when you think about it, but luckily there are steps that you can take to limit your exposure and help your body clean out the toxins that you can’t avoid.

In this post, you’ll learn…

  • What kind of toxins you breathe in on a daily basis
  • Toxins that are found in everyday products
  • Chemicals that are found in the foods you eat
  • What you can do to avoid these chemicals

 

WHAT TOXINS ARE WE BREATHING IN?

One way toxins get into our body every day is through the air that we breathe. With all the pollution that we as a society produce it is no wonder that we are increasingly seeing the side effects of too many toxins entering the body. All that pollution and all the chemicals from the factories that produce the products we enjoy and the lifestyles that we lead all have to go somewhere and those pollutants that are in gas form end up in our air, the same air we breathe in.

 

Common pollutants that we breathe in on a daily basis include:

  • Carbon Monoxide – This colorless, odorless, and tasteless gas is a common pollutant that when inhaled can lead to fatigue, reduced brain function, impaired vision, dizziness, headaches, nausea, confusion, and it can even be fatal at high levels. This gas can come from several sources including gas stoves, tobacco smoke, car exhaust, boilers and furnaces, and gasoline-powered equipment [1].
  • Lead – While the levels of lead in the air can vary from one area to the next, it can be a common pollutant that causes adverse effects on our nervous system, kidney function, immune system, reproduction and development, and the cardiovascular system. When lead is taken into our lungs, it is distributed throughout your body where it remains and settles into our bones. It can come from waste incinerators, utilities, and lead-acid battery manufacturers [2].
  • Ozone – Ozone is a gas that is found in the upper atmosphere and down at ground level and can have negative effects on our health, such as chest pain, coughing, throat irritation, and airway inflammation. It gets into the air we breathe through car exhaust, power plants, industrial boilers, chemical plants, and refineries [3].
  • Particulate Matter – This is a mixture of pollutants such as dust, dirt, soot, or smoke, and liquid droplets and can have adverse effects on your heart and your lungs. It gets into the air through construction sites, automobiles, fires, dirt, and power plants [4].
  • Sulfur Dioxide – Sulfur dioxide is the pollutant we should be most concerned about as it is continually on the rise and can have a negative effect on both our own health and the environment. It mainly impacts our lungs and our ability to breathe, causing coughing and tightness in the chest. It is also what makes up the majority of Particulate Matter in the air. This gets into the air as a by-product of burning fossil fuels and power plants [5].

Perhaps one of the most unfortunate things about the pollutants in the air is that we cannot simply avoid them. Unlike food or products, we cannot just choose to use something natural that doesn’t add to the problem.

Yes, you can decide to use natural products and live a lifestyle that doesn’t contribute to these pollutants, but that in of itself does not keep you from inhaling them. Instead, it would take a massive collective effort to rid of our air of chemicals… if it is possible at all.

Since we can’t avoid these chemicals altogether, the best solution is to make sure you are detoxing on a daily basis, and you are helping your body get rid of these toxins. While our body does detox on its own, it still needs the added support, as provided with a supplement like Detox Organics. When you use a supplement that promotes true detoxing, it supports your liver so that it can actually remove these toxins from your body.

 

ARE CHEMICALS HIDING IN MY HOUSEHOLD PRODUCTS?

While we breathe in so many chemicals on a daily basis, we also use products on a daily basis that may be harming our health.

Luckily, unlike the air that we breathe, we can choose what products we use on a daily basis and can limit our intake of chemicals.

Many of these chemicals are found in the packaging of our foods and in the everyday cleaning products we use.

 

Although this is not a complete list of chemicals that invade our homes, here is of some of the most common:

  • 2-Butoxyethanol – This compound is found in conventional household cleaners and can have adverse effects on your family’s health and can contribute to narcosis, pulmonary edema, and severe liver and kidney damage. It can also cause skin and eye irritation and is considered to be hazardous [6]. This is one chemical you are better off avoiding, but don’t look at the ingredient list for it as the EPA does not require it to be listed on a product’s ingredient list. Instead, go for an all natural cleaner or try vinegar and water as an alternative when cleaning surfaces and mirrors. You can also try a mixture of vinegar and baking soda for sturdier surfaces when you need to scrub deep.
  • Ammonia – This is a traditional cleaner that is used to polish bathroom fixtures, sinks, and glass. Unfortunately, all this cleaning could lead to bronchitis and asthma [7].
  • Chlorine – This substance is found in cleaners, such as bathroom cleaners and laundry whiteners. It can also be found in our drinking water, which is a disturbing thought as too much chlorine can cause issues with your respiratory system and even disrupt your thyroid [7, 8]. When cleaning, a better alternative is to use baking soda and/or vinegar, which can also be used to whiten your clothes.
  • Phthalates – We all like a house that smells nice, but be careful because too many of those fragranced products we use around the house, including air fresheners and dish soap, and are known endocrine disruptors. This toxin can be brought into the body through inhalation and direct contact, as it is absorbed into the body and organs through the skin [9, 10]. One way to avoid this is to steer clear from products that include the word “fragrance” on the bottle, as this normally is a sign of phthalates. If you are looking to freshen up your home and make it smell nice try using all natural essential oils in a diffuser. Your home will smell wonderful without the harmful effects of dangerous chemicals.
  • Perchloroethylene (Perc) – This substance, often found in carpet cleaners and used by dry cleaners, is a neurotoxin that can cause dizziness and loss of coordination. Luckily the EPA has recognized it as being toxic and has slowly started to phase it out, at least within residential buildings, with California going even further with the goal of eliminating it by 2023 [11, 12]. As an alternative to traditional carpet cleaners check your local natural market for all natural alternatives and avoid traditional dry cleaners.
  • Sodium Hydroxide – When your drain is clogged your first instinct is to go to the store and get a drain cleaner which often contains sodium hydroxide or lye. This substance, if consumed or inhaled, can cause a sore throat, skin irritation, or even burns upon contact. It can even cause vomiting, low blood pressure, and vision loss [13]. Instead, try using vinegar, baking soda, and a snake drain to help unclog your drains.
  • Triclosan – This highly effective anti-bacterial is found in conventional dishwashing detergents, disinfectants, and hand soaps that are labeled “antibacterial.” One of the most dangerous, and frightening, aspects of triclosan is that it is often overused and creates drug-resistant bacteria, while at the same time providing no evidence of making up safer or healthier [14, 15]. To limit or avoid these products stay away from anything labeled antibacterial and by all natural products with short ingredient lists. Much like our supplements, a short ingredient deck is ideal and can be directly attributed to the quality and how healthy it is.
  • Quaternary Ammonium Compounds (QUATs) – We all like our clothes and sheets to be soft, but sometimes it isn’t worth the risk and exposure as most common fabric softeners contain QUAT, an antimicrobial that is also found in many cleaners around the house. Much like triclosan, this compound is also promoting the growth of drug-resistant bacteria and can also cause contact dermatitis, an allergic reaction that affects the skin. There it is also thought to be linked to the development of asthma [16]. A great alternative, again, is vinegar, which is an all natural softener that will also clean your clothes. Plus, when added to your wash, it will help to remove harmful soap residue.
  • Bisphenol A (BPA) – You’ve probably have heard of BPA, or at least seen all the labels that claim their product is “BPA free.” It is found in so many common plastic items that we use on a daily basis, including water bottles, DVDs, and a variety of sports equipment. It can also be found in items such as baby bottles, sippy cups, canned food, and snack containers, specifically if it was bought before 2011 [17]. When you use items that contain BPA, you run the risk of adverse health effects, including an impact on your endocrine system, metabolic disease, neurological effects, cancer, and can cause fertility issues, including higher rates of miscarriage [10, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22]. To make sure you are avoiding BPA as much as possible ensure that the items you are buying are labeled “BPA-free” or that you can confirm that BPA is not used in the production of the product.

CHEMICALS IN OUR FOODS

If you remember our previous blog, we talked about pesticides and one substance in particular that is especially harmful to children and was just given the green light to continue to be sprayed on our food.

Many of the foods we give our family every day have chemicals added to them to make them taste better, more addictive, and have a longer shelf life, with no regard to human safety.

 

Other than pesticides, here are a few additional chemicals added to foods that should be avoided:

  • Artificial Colors and Sweeteners – It seems like artificial colorings and sweeteners are in everything that we consume and the effects can be pretty harmful, including obesity, cancer, headaches, lower brain activity in children, and the development of ADHD [23, 24, 25, 26]. In fact, artificial colors are deemed to be so dangerous many countries all over the world currently ban their use.
  • MSG – MSG, or monosodium glutamate, is the sodium salt of a glutamic acid, an amino acid, and is used by many companies to intensify flavoring. While this substance may flavor food, it can have some nasty side effects, including obesity, hormonal issues, and the development of Alzheimer’s [27, 28, 29].
  • High Fructose Corn Syrup – This is another type artificial sweetener, and we tend to see it in everything. In fact, the average American gets more of their calories from high fructose corn syrup than any other source, so it’s no wonder that it has a direct link to obesity, diabetes, and metabolic syndrome [30, 31, 32].
  • Butylated Hydroxyanisole (BHA) – This preservative is meant to stop food from spoiling and giving you food poisoning, but instead it harms your body in other ways as it is has been shown to be an endocrine disruptor [33].
  • Sodium Nitrates and Sodium Nitrites – These two compounds are preservatives that are found in bacon and lunch meat and can be picked up right at your local grocery store. Unfortunately, it is thought to be linked to metabolic syndrome, diabetes, and colon cancer [34].
  • Brominated Vegetable Oil (BVO) – This is another substance that is banned in many countries, but it can still be found in several citrus-flavored drinking, including Mountain Dew, Squirt, Fanta Orange, Sunkist Pineapple, Gatorade Thirst Quencher Orange, Powerade Strawberry Lemonade, and Fresca Original Citrus. The reason BVO has been banned in over 100 countries, including throughout Europe and Japan, is because it has been shown to cause thyroid issues, cancer, autoimmune disease, organ damage, ulcers, memory loss, and congenital disabilities [35, 36, 37, 38].

The best way to avoid these substances that are added to foods is to avoid processed foods altogether and to stick to whole foods. Food that is natural and organic, with no additives, with help you maintain your health and even help you achieve your goals.

The food industry can be complicated and knowing what to eat to stay healthy can be confusing. The best way is to have a nutritionist help you figure out what you should be eating, and you can do this by getting on a Custom Meal Plan, where every meal is planned out for you by someone who knows what is going into these foods. Plus it is based on all the food you love so that you won’t be stuck on a boring plan with boring food.

HOW TO AVOID CHEMICALS

You can avoid some chemicals by using natural, organic products, whether it be cleaning products or the food you consume.

Unfortunately today, it is pretty impossible to avoid all chemicals and all pollutants, and they do end up in our body one way or another. On the bright side, our body can be pretty efficient in getting most of these toxins out, and we can even support our liver and digestive system to help rid your body of harmful chemicals.

You can do this through maintaining a proper diet.

When you get on a Custom Meal Plan, you are sure to be eating foods that are healthy for your body. Plus is will also help you reach any health or fitness goals you may have, whether you want to lose weight, build muscle, or just maintain a healthy lifestyle without the hassle of navigating the massive food industry.

Another other way is to be sure you detox. And no, detoxing is not the trendy teas and laxatives that are on the market today, but rather a way of using food, especially superfoods, to help support your body’s natural functions and help your liver clean out the toxins that build up in our systems. Using a product like Detox Organics, which contains 26 different superfoods in it, is a delicious and efficient manner to support your body’s natural ability to get rid of the toxins we take in through our environment.

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