Did you know that environmental toxins can cause cancer? These toxins are both natural and manmade that are equally capable of disrupting your health and sensitive biological functions.
In this article, we will discuss the potentially dangerous effects of these environmental pollutants, and how to minimize its exposure so that you and your family can remain healthy.
But before we do that, let us discuss what environment and man made toxins really are. The naturally occurring toxins include – lead, mercury, cadmium, radon, and benzene. There are also manmade chemicals such as BPA, pesticides, and phthalates.
When our bodies are exposed to these pollutants, it can lead to grave health risks. Some of its ill-effects include the following:
- Cancer caused due to exposure to radon, benzene, and formaldehyde
- BPA, pesticides, and phthalates act as endocrine disruptors
- Exposure to lead, mercury and cadmium can lead to organ failure
We all know the lead that is found in old paints as well as pipes installed in old structures is toxic. Mercury and cadmium are also well known toxins that cause damaging effects to our bodies.
While these environmental toxins are recognized, there also others out there that are readily available in the environment and remain unregulated. We will discuss these popular toxins that you are exposed to on a daily basis and how you can reduce your exposure to them.
This endocrine disruptor is a compound that is commonly found in food packaging materials made of polycarbonate plastics and epoxy resins. They are even used in baby bottles, water supply lines, water bottles etc. When exposed to BPA, you are vulnerable to the risk of obesity, infertility, anxiety, hormonal imbalance, breast cancer, low testosterone, and prostate cancer.
BPA exposure happens when the chemical is released from the plastic/resin product into food and drinks when the containers are washed or heated.
Did you know that the highest consumers of BPA are infants and kids? According to a survey, 93% children above 6 years had significant levels of BPA in their urine! While this is certainly worrisome, the good news is that BPA can exit from the body quickly if you make some simple lifestyle changes.
To reduce BPA exposure, you can:
- Limit the use of plastic containers that have #3 and #7 mentioned on the bottom
- Avoid using plastic food containers to heat your food in microwave
- Don’t wash plastic containers in dishwasher
- Replace canned foods with freshly cooked meals
- Choose glass and porcelain containers over plastic cups
- Use BPA free baby bottles
These chemicals are used in agriculture to kill or repel certain types of pests. However, these synthetic toxins seep into the soil and then into our foods. Since most food manufacturers use pesticides, people are exposed to small doses of these chemicals in their lives through their diet. According to research, the farmers that use pesticides in their agricultural practices have experienced increased instances of headaches, insomnia, neurological disorders, dizziness, and fatigue due to high exposure. In fact, there are also studies claiming that regular exposure to pesticides can increase your chances of Parkinson’s disease by 70%! Well, if toxins cause illness, is a question you had on mind, we hope you got the answer.
To reduce the pesticides exposure, you can:
- Wash all your fruits and vegetables vigorously before consumption
- Consume organic produce over conventionally produced vegetables and fruits
- Grow your own veggies
This colorless chemical is used in building materials and manufacture of household items. It is also found naturally in the environment produced by organisms as part of their metabolic process. There are many government agencies that recognize formaldehyde as a carcinogen.
At your home, this toxic substance can be found in pressed-wood products such as plywood, and other products like glues, adhesive, cigarette smoke, certain types of fabric etc. Additionally, it is also used as a disinfectant, fungicide, and a preservative in medical laboratories. According to research, staff exposed to formaldehyde is susceptible to cancer and leukemia.
You can reduce or prevent its exposure by:
- Using exterior-grade products in your home
- Maintain ventilation and controlled indoor temperature
- Keep humidity levels in check
- Use natural plants inside home to clean indoor air
While there are many more toxins out there that are exposing you to a health risk every day, these are some common ones that can be easily controlled by making conscious decisions. You can prevent a lot of toxin exposure by simply living a natural lifestyle and preventing the use of synthetic chemicals.