Is Your Body a Toxic Waste Dump?

Humans take in toxins everywhere. You experience vision toxins from the images you see — negative, ugly, and disturbing images have an impact on the body and its reactions. Sound toxins, of unnatural frequencies, can throw off the natural balance of the body. The electromagnetic field around the body from satellites, radar, and technology affects your inside as well as your outside.

The foods you eat look appetizing, colorful, and smell divine — and much of that is just artificial flavors, coloring agents, additions, emulsifiers, preservatives, flavor enhancers, and reconstitutions, many of which are toxins.

Toxins come into your body at the rate of almost every breath you take in, and your makeup is miraculously designed to deal with them and eliminate the poisons from your body.

But your body can suffer overload or have trouble doing its miracle jobs and then it can suffer a breakdown from mild to severe. Depression, anxiety, irritability, sleep problems, aggression, and many cancers have all been linked to toxins in the body.

Secondhand smoke contains thousands of toxic chemicals, including: benzene, carbon monoxide, chromium, cyanide, formaldehyde, and lead. Evidence of the health hazards of exposures to secondhand smoke continues to grow. Recent studies have shown that even low-level secondhand smoke exposure during pregnancy can affect fetal growth.

Typical Body Toxin Issues

Everyday toxins known to be hazardous to your health are released into the air you breathe, the water you drink, and the food you eat. You probably have been ingesting these chemicals and other compounds for years. Many times you cannot see, feel, or even smell toxins in your environment, and you won't even feel their effects until you come down with a chronic condition after years of exposure.

A recent report by the Columbia University School of Public Health estimated that 95 percent of all cancers in the United States are the result of toxicity in diet and the environment. Besides this incredible increased risk of cancer, environmental toxins have been linked to many other conditions from neurological disorders such as Alzheimer's disease to chronic fatigue syndrome. The Collaborative on Health and the Environment has a database on their website that lists 180 separate diseases and conditions that are related to exposure to specific environmental toxins.

Dangerous levels of lead are present in the air, soil, and water. Even relatively low levels of lead exposure can be detrimental to brain function in children. And it is not only kids and developing fetuses that have health problems related to lead toxicity. Adults can suffer increased blood pressure and damage to the kidneys, brain, and nervous system, all from exposure to lead.

Following is a list by Dr. Joseph Mercola, a leader in the U.S. wellness movement, of some common toxic substances in the environment, their sources, and conditions exposure to them can cause. It certainly makes one feel unhealthy just to read these and think about them inside of your body:

  • PCBs (polychlorinated biphenyl): The use of PCBs has been banned in the United States. That is the good news; the bad news is that because it was used for decades it is still a very widespread toxin in our environment.

    Health risks: Cancer, impaired fetal brain development

    Major source: You might be surprised that a very common source of PCBs is farm-raised fish. Most farm-raised salmon are fed pellets made of ground-up fish that have absorbed PCBs and high levels of the chemical are then taken up by the salmon.

  • Pesticides: According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), 60 percent of all herbicides and 30 percent of all insecticides are known to be carcinogenic. There are some figures that estimate traces of pesticides in as much as 95 percent of U.S. foods.

    Health risks: (other than cancer) Parkinson's disease, nerve damage, miscarriages, and birth defects

    Major sources: Food, especially fruits, vegetables, and commercially raised meats, water (even bottled water!), and bug sprays

  • Mold and other fungal toxins: Over 30 percent of the population has allergic reactions to mold. Mycotoxins or fungal toxins can cause a range of health problems in sensitive people even in very small amounts. Molds and fungus may not be obvious around a household — even the cleanest of spaces can harbor them.

    Health risks: Cancer, diabetes, asthma, heart disease, multiple sclerosis, dementia

    Major sources: Residential contamination, and foods such as pea-nuts, wheat, corn, and alcoholic beverages

  • Phthalates: Chemicals that are used to lengthen the life of fragrances and make plastics stronger and more flexible. Phthalates are like chemical hormones that you may not want in your body.

    Health risks: Endocrine system damages

    Major sources: Plastics — primarily plastic wraps, plastic soda and water bottles, and plastic food storage containers

  • VOCs (volatile organic compounds): VOCs are one of the large contributors to global warming and depletion of the ozone layer, and are serious health risks.

    Health risks: Cancer, visual disorders, respiratory distress, and memory impairment

    Major sources: Indoor air, drinking water, and household products such as deodorants, cleaning fluids, and air fresheners

  • Dioxins: These are results of processes such as commercial or municipal waste incineration and from burning fuels.

    Health risks: Cancer, damage to the reproductive system, skin disorders such as rashes, discoloration, excessive growth of body hair, and mild liver damage

    Major sources: Dioxin gets stored in animal fat, and it is estimated that 95 percent of the beef in the United States is contaminated with dioxins

  • Asbestos: This is a general name for several forms of the mineral magnesium silicate. It has been used in industry for fireproofing, electrical insulation, building materials, and numerous other purposes. They are all fireproof, in different ways — some can repel heat, others absorb heat.

    Health risks: Mesothelioma (a form of cancer), scarring of the lung tissue

    Major sources: Asbestos was used as insulation from the 1950s to 1970s. When the material becomes old and crumbly it releases fibers into the air that can get breathed in.

  • Heavy metals: Metals, especially lead, arsenic, and mercury, are found all over the environment and can build up in the soft tissues of your body.

    Health risks: Cancer, Alzheimer's disease, head pain, cognitive difficulties, fatigue, neurological disorders, and decreased production of red and white blood cells

    Major sources: Pelagic fish, drinking water, pesticides, preserved wood and building materials, and dental work

  • Chlorine: Chlorine is a natural element. It is a yellow-green gas at room temperature. Under the correct pressure and temperature, it can be changed into liquid — as in the common household bleach, and in the disinfectant used in swimming pools.

    Health risks: Eye and skin irritations, asthma, and respiratory distress

    Major sources: Household cleaners and drinking water in small amounts

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