10 Environmental Toxins That Can Put Your Healthy At Risk
Are you concerned about your exposure to environmental toxins?
Many common chemicals that virtually all Americans are exposed to each day have the potential to cause health problems, either physical or mental.
Around a half million children born in the US each year are diagnosed with autism, attention deficit, mental retardation, dyslexia, and other neurological disorders.
Within the past 50 years, over 80,000 new chemicals have been introduced into the air, water, and into our homes. The majority of which have not been tested for human safety.
Environmental Toxins and Disorders – Genetic or Epigenetic?
Outside influences can affect gene expression. The effects are positive, other times they’re negative. These influences are called epigenetic.
Depending on the individual’s genetic makeup, a combination of environmental toxins and genes may produce disorders like autism or ADHD. An increase in chemical exposure boosts the odds that a disorder will result.
HPV Chemicals are Everywhere
Three thousand of the chemicals people are regularly exposed to are high production volume (HPV) chemicals, as determined by the EPA.
We all come into contact with HPV chemicals on a regular basis. They are used in millions of consumer products: detergents, cosmetics, toothpaste, and all sorts of food packaging.
Each American has detectable levels of nearly 200 of these environmental toxins in his or her bloodstream.
Very few of these environmental toxins have been tested for human safety, so their effects on humans are relatively unknown.
And unless they are specifically tested, their impact on human health and development will remain a mystery.
That is until a toxin’s adverse effects become apparent in everyday life. Such was the case with lead. It was used from the 1940s to the 1980s, and millions of children were exposed to it from sources like lead paint and gasoline. This exposure resulted in lower cognitive function in many children.
Below is a list of 10 common chemicals that are suspected of causing neurological problems in children, including autism, ADD, and low IQ. They may also increase the risks of cancers and other diseases.
Although we now use unleaded gasoline and paints, until 80s lead-containing dyes was a standard in manufacturers paints. If you live in a house that was built before that time, you should have it tested for lead exposure. It can cause miscarriage and adverse effects on every system in the body.
If you add up the fact that the indoor air is usually three times more polluted than the outdoor air, you’re basically trapped in an unhealthy environment. Try to keep your windows open as much as possible or think smart and use technology like air sanitizers to clean the indoor air of your home.
We are exposed to this metal mostly through fish consumption. But that doesn’t mean you should stop eating fish! Instead, choose ocean varieties that are high in selenium, like salmon, tuna, and sardines. The fatty acid found in fish is essential for a developing brain and eyes.
Low levels of this omega-3 are often found in women who suffer from postpartum depression.
3. Polychlorinated Biphenyls (PCBs)
PCBs were manufactured until 1979, but they are still being used and disposed of illegally. They don’t break down well, so they stay in the soil and water for a long time and travel long distances. Although people usually consider seafood to be a source of high PCBs, there is a significant amount contained in meats, plant foods, and dairy, as well.
4. Organophosphate Pesticides
Although being banned, an organophosphate pesticide called chlorpyrifos is still found in the brains of children who were exposed to this chemical while in the womb. High levels of chlorpyrifos were found in samplings of their umbilical cord blood. Although a behavioral effect hasn’t been determined, their brains are structurally irregular.
5. Organochlorine Pesticides
These highly toxic pesticides are used around the world. Some pesticides of this sort, like DDT, are banned in the US, though.
6. Endocrine Disruptors
Plasticizers (like BPA), pesticides, and pharmaceuticals interfere with the system of glands that secrete hormones.
For pregnant women who care about the long-term health of their kids, endocrine disruptors pose the greatest risk during organ and nervous system development stages. Fetal exposure to BPA could increase a child’s risk of developing breast cancer in the future.
7. Automotive Exhaust
Car exhaust contains a high concentration of harmful chemicals like lead, formaldehyde, and benzene. Known carcinogens, endocrine disruptors, and neurotoxins are constantly released into the air from this source.
8. Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons (PAHs)
A group of over 100 chemicals fits in this category. They are formed in the incomplete burning of coal, oil, gas, and garbage. Other substances, like tobacco and charbroiled meat, also contain PAHs.
PAHs are carcinogens, but they are still used in some medicines. They are also used in the production of plastics, dyes, and pesticides.
9. Brominated Flame Retardants (BFRs)
Flame retardants are used in electronics, furniture, and clothes. Not much is known about the effects this chemical has on people. Animal studies have shown that exposure can affect neurobehavioral development and thyroid levels. Researchers have found BFRs in human breast milk.
10. Perfluorinated Compounds (PFCs)
PFCs are the chemicals used to create Teflon coated cookware and Scotchguard products. Some food packages use PFCs to become grease resistant, like pizza boxes and microwave popcorn bags.
These chemicals are used in shampoo, dental floss, and denture cleansers. The production, use, and disposal of these compounds are unregulated.
The most common chemicals are found in foods, cosmetics, soaps, clothing, the ground that you walk on, the air that you breathe–there’s no escape from environmental toxins in today’s world.
It sounds like a doomsday message, but knowledge is power.
We should all be aware of the dangerous poisons that we have been forced to eat, drink, and breathe…not only so that we can do our parts to make changes, but also to avoid these toxins in our own lives–whenever possible–for the benefit of future generations.
You can do your best to avoid toxic exposure. Create your own natural home cleansers, drink purified water, and choose organic foods whenever possible. Reduce your use of plastics, and be aware when you shop for new products that could contain one or more of these environmental toxins.
What are you doing to avoid any or all of the above toxins and to live a healthier and greener life? If you have tips or ideas please share them in the comment section.
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