Last week we looked at food and water. Both absolutely critical components to be mindful of, in order to remove toxicity from your life and reduce the chance of nasty diseases. Today we’re shining the spotlight on everything else. What toxins are you exposed to in your sleep? What are the top household toxins? Are your beauty products beautifying the outside and poising the inside? Which commonly ingested toxins are linked to brain diseases and cancer? And even what gym exercises increase your toxicity! So read on to Upgrade Your Health by Reducing Your Toxic Load - Part 2: The Environment.
N.B. Much of this information I took from Paul Chek’s Holistic Lifestyle Coach - Level 1 manual so if you are interested in this then do check that out.
Most cookware leaches toxic metals into foods. Particularly copper, non-stick, aluminium and plastic. Plastics don’t just leach BPA but also BPS, Phthalates and parabens into food and water. Plastics are massively responsible for the estrogenation of society impacting male and female fertility, painful menstruation, gynecomastia (man boobs), increased likelihood of breast cancer, weight gain and depression. Anthony Jay covers all of these in detail, with many references, in his recent book How Estrogenics Are Making You Fat, Sick.
Teflon (non-stick) coatings are a total nightmare as you can see in the documentary The Devil We Know . The story is focused on the DuPont factory that makes the key ingredient in Teflon. In the movie a local farmer’s cattle began dying off. Then neighbours began reporting that their children's teeth were turning black and children started being born with deformities. One man relates how at least fifteen of his DuPont work colleagues all died of cancer.
Beauty and Cleaning Products
Most commercial, non-natural, cleaning and beauty products contain similar compounds that increase your toxic load and create even more work for your liver and organs of detoxification.
Parabens increase the shelf life of beauty products and are found in shampoos, conditioners, makeup, toothpaste, lubricant, shaving gel, moisturisers and sunscreens. They also cause food allergies , are endocrine disrupting , create hormonal imbalances in pregnant women , damage sperm and are prevalent in virtually all cancer tumors.
Phthalates are found in plastics, nail polish, fragrances, hair sprays and deodorant. Like most plastics they are endocrine disruptors , particularly for men , connected with diabetes , obesity in children and have links to ADHD , altered thyroid function , breast cancer , decreased motor and mental development in children.
Aluminium is absorbed into the human body via deodorants, food packaging, food additives, kitchen utensils, medications (antacids, antiulcer, aspirin, vaccines), cosmetics, canned drinks, aluminium foil and drinking water, particularly tap water.
The official consensus is that most ingested or topically applied aluminium will leave the body in the feces or urine. Nevertheless some aluminium does pass the blood-brain barrier and is lodged preferentially in the brains of Alzheimer's patients. Additionally aluminium increases estrogen-related gene expression in human breast cancer cells. Also a small percentage of people have contact allergies to aluminium and experience itchy red rashes, headache, muscle pain, joint pain, poor memory, insomnia, depression, asthma, irritable bowel syndrome, or other symptoms.
Along with phthalates and parabens we also have BHA and BHT (lipsticks and moisturizers), Coal tar dyes (hair dyes), DEA-related (soaps, cleansers, and shampoos), Formaldehyde-releasing preservatives (cosmetics, resins, flooring, toilet bowl cleaners), PEG compounds (cosmetic cream bases), Petrolatum (moisturisers and hair products), Siloxanes (cosmetics, hair products, deodorant creams), Sodium laureth sulfate (cosmetics, shampoos, shower gels, facial cleansers, dish soap) and Triclosan (antiperspirants/deodorants, cleansers, and hand sanitizers). Each one of these, individually, has direct negative consequences on your health and increases your toxic load. Combined they just multiply that effect.
There’s not much we can do about the air outside unless we move out of the city and into the countryside. But there are major things we can do to reduce the toxicity of the air we do control. For example toxic chemicals in common household cleaners (often in the form of fumes) are three times more likely to cause cancer than other air pollutants. Commercial household air scenting chemicals are very toxic and dangerous. They should be completely avoided. Air pollution kills more people every year than automobile accidents. In the US, the typical American home has chemical contamination levels seventy times greater than levels found in the air outside! I suspect that is pretty similar to Singapore and these days the average person spends up to 90% of their time indoors.
Aircon Units and Mold
In Singapore we use a lot of air conditioners. If these are not cleaned regularly then they build up dirt and mold inside the units to be dumped into your bedroom every time they are turned on. Additionally as Singapore is wet and humid, mold is a very serious problem and is commonly found on any organic surface (cloth, leather, wood etc.). Mold is often the root cause of many difficult to diagnose and treat autoimmune conditions.
The quality of Singapore air is quite low. A combination of one of the world’s largest shipping ports kicking out tons of low grade diesel fumes, the pollution from the refining plants, and the humidity and lack of wind trapping the air in Singapore. This could be one of the reasons why respiratory problems are so high in Singapore. Pneumonia kills 20% of Singaporeans as opposed to only 4% of UK based citizens. Pneumonia is essentially a failure of the immune system to clear debris from the lungs.
There are many scientific studies that claim that EMFs are safe. There are several that claim they’re not. So who to believe? Well the World Health Organisation added them to their list of class 2b carcinogens back in 2011 joining Aflatoxin, Chloroform, Acetaldehyde and HIV. So you can draw your own conclusions on that.
Sunlight is absolutely critical for Vitamin D intake and is one of the easiest and cheapest ways to reduce disease by boosting your health, happiness and longevity. However, too much sun will burn your skin and create DNA damage that could lead to skin cancer. Using sun creams (which are toxic in themselves) can prevent burning but still allow the ultraviolet rays that cause DNA damage! So sun creams are a double toxicity whammy.
And lastly, we look at movement. But how can this be toxic? Surely all movement is good right? Well not exactly. Overdoing it by overtraining produces large amounts of lactic acid which is the body’s way of generating extra energy in a pinch. This is when you “feel the burn”! The problem is that this extra lactic acid is a metabolic waste product that needs to be handled by the liver. On top of all the other things that the liver is doing this can be an unnecessary burden. Particularly when engaging in body building type exercises which will have you “feeling the burn” with each successive exercise to achieve your desired look.
So that wraps up part 2 of our series on Upgrade Your Health by Reducing Your Toxic Load - Part 2: The Environment. Next week we'll work out how (A) properly detox in the short term, (B) over the longer term and (C) how to stop toxifying ourselves in the first place. I hope you're looking forward to it as much as we are!
Check out the final part here: Upgrade Your Health by Reducing Your Toxic Load - Part 3: Detoxification
To Your Health, Happiness and Longevity,
The Levitise Team
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