Over 50 years ago, in her book, Silent Spring, biologist Rachel Carson brought awareness to the chemical contamination of the earth and the impact that many of these chemicals have on human health. Since then, according to a report prepared by Environmental Defense entitled Toxic Nation: A Report on Toxins in Canadians, in the last 50 years, the global production and use of chemicals has increased; more than 80 000 new chemicals have been created worldwide.
Many of these chemicals have been determined to impact our health in a variety of ways. Studies demonstrate that chemicals in our environment affect our body’s biochemistry. Toxins are present in our air, water, food, and soil and can be found in our everyday life in cleaning products, cosmetics, body products, clothing, furniture, carpeting, toys, jewelry…the list is endless. Essentially, exposure to toxins is unavoidable.
The fact that toxins surround us seems overwhelming and often leaves us feeling helpless. The reality is that it’s impossible to avoid toxins completely, but the good news is that every little bit that we do to help our families and ourselves does make a difference.
As a first step, start by doing an assessment of toxins in your home and at work. Do this by making a list of all of the potential sources of toxins in your environment. Once this is done, make a commitment to eliminating the toxins one at a time starting with the easy things like cosmetics, body products, cleaning supplies, and processed foods and work towards eliminating as many things as possible over the next 2-3 months.
Part 2 of this article outlines ways to support your body’s detoxification pathways in order to reduce the effect of toxins on your health.
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