A toxin is a poison or chemical that is known to adversely affect the body. In modern society we are surrounded by toxins. There are chemicals in our water. Our food contains toxins from the chemicals used to grow or prepare it, other food sources contain hormones and still others are so heavily processed that chemicals and additives are needed to preserve the food. The air we breathe is polluted with toxins from factories and cars. Furthermore, the products we clean our homes with are packed full of chemicals that can harm us if inhaled or ingested (do they expect you to hold your breath while cleaning?).
All these enter our body by being ingested, inhaled or are absorbed through our skin and are harmful to us. It should interest you that the world today is more toxic than ever before. I find it sad that with all our technological advances nothing has yet been invented to protect our bodies and our environment from the onslaught of poisonous substances that are slowly killing us.
It is believed that when these toxins hang around in our lymph nodes and fat cells they can cause all sorts of health issues and prevent us from functioning at our best. Theoretically our body is supposed to be able to process and eliminate these substances through the kidneys and liver in the form of sweat, urine and feces, but since we are literally being bombarded with toxins from all sides it’s hard not to wonder if perhaps the body doesn’t need a little help getting rid of them.
Below are some of the common toxins we encounter on an everyday basis.
- PCBs (polychlorinated biphenyls)
- This industrial chemical has been banned for decades, yet is a persistent organic pollutant that’s still present in our environment.
- Found in farm-raised salmon. Most farm-raised salmon are fed meals of ground-up fish that have absorbed PCBs from the environment.
- According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), 60% of herbicides, 90% of fungicides and 30% of insecticides are known to be carcinogenic. In the U.S. pesticide residues have been detected in 50-95% percent of foods.
- Found in fruits, vegetables, commercially raised meats, and insect sprays.
- These chemicals are used to lengthen the life of fragrances and soften plastics.
- Found in plastic wrap, plastic bottles, plastic food storage containers. All of these can leach phthalates into our food.
- VOCs (Volatile Organic Compounds)
- VOCs are a major contributing factor to ozone, an air pollutant.
- VOCs tend to be even higher (two to five times) in indoor air than outdoor air, likely because they are present in so many household products.
- Found in drinking water, carpet, paints, deodorants, cleaning fluids, varnishes, cosmetics, dry cleaned clothing, moth repellents, air fresheners.
- This highly toxic, yellow-green gas is one of the most heavily used chemical agents.
- Found in household cleaners, air when living near an industry (such as a paper plant) that uses chlorine in industrial processes.