It’s been estimated that there are more than 24,000 toxins that you are exposed to on an almost daily basis. Most of these toxins pose very little health risks, especially in small amounts. However, no one knows how these toxins affect your health over the long term.
There are some toxins that do pose a more significant threat. Here are 7 toxins that are known to create a health risk, and they’re all around you.
Bisphenol A (BPA)
BPA is a chemical that is use in the making of polycarbonate plastics and epoxy resins. It is commonly found in plastic water bottles, baby bottles, food containers, plastic wrap, and even in the lining of food cans. It is also found in some dental sealants and composites.
A study by the CDC found that BPA was present in the urine of 93% of test subjects 6 years and older. A 2011 study found the toxin in 96% of pregnant women.
BPA closely mimics the structure of the hormone Estradol. It binds to the same estrogen receptors, and it activates those receptors.
Bisphenol A has been linked to damage of the endocrine system in both men and women. It has also been linked to negative effects on the brain and prostate gland of fetuses, infants, and children.
Parabens are a man-made preservative that is used to prevent the growth of fungus and other microbes in many cosmetics and personal care items.
It is considered a hormone disruptor, and it’s use was first linked to cancer in animals. Then in 2004 a “Journal of Applied Toxicology” released a study that showed the presence of parabens in the tumors of women with breast cancer.
Parabens are known to have weak estrogen-like characteristics, and estrogen is known to play a role in the formation of breast cancer tumors.
Sodium fluoride is typically found in tap water, dental fluoride treatments, and toothpastes. To date, the US is one of the few developed countries that add fluoride to their drinking water.
Sodium fluoride has been shown to weaken the integrity of bones, and it has also been linked to the formation of some cancers. The National Academy of Science reported that fluoride affects the brain, thyroid gland, and blood sugar levels.
According to toxicologist Dr. John Doull, former chair of the National Academy of Science’s review on fluoride, the debate over the safety of fluoride is far from settled. Dr. Doull is quoted as saying “we have much less information than we should, considering how long it has been going on.”
Phthalates are chemicals that are used in the production of plastic to keep the material flexible. It can be found in many flexible plastic items around the home, as well as nail polish, vitamin coatings, and personal care and cosmetic products.
The effects of phthalates on human health are not fully known. There are currently studies by several government agencies, including the FDA, the National toxicologies Program for the Evaluation of Risks to Human Reproduction, and the National Institute if Environmental Health Sciences.
National Institute for Health has phthalates listed as "reasonably anticipated to be a human carcinogen"
Perchorate is a strong oxidizer that is used in the production of rocket fuel, as well as some bleaches and fertilizers. It’s presence is wide spread in ground water, soils and plants. It has been found in all levels of the food chain, including organic crops.
Medically, perchorate has been used to treat hyperthyroidism. It blocks iodine from entering the thyroid, which slows the production of thyroid hormones. Uncontrolled, it’s presence can block these hormones, harming the proper development in children. Women who were treated with perchlorate are at a greater risk of giving birth to children with lower IQ levels.
The EPA lists perchorate as a “likely human carcinogen.”
The most common of the toxic metals in our environment are mercury, aluminum, cadmium, lead and arsenic. These metals can be found in dental amalgams and vaccines (mercury), and medications, cosmetics, and skin care (aluminum). These toxins have also been found in cookware, processed flour, and even cheeses.
Metal toxicity has been linked to many neurological diseases including Parkinson's Disease, Lou Gehrig’s Disease, autism, multiple sclerosis, and Alzheimer’s Disease.
Volatile organic compounds (VOCs)
VOCs are chemicals that are released into the atmosphere as gases. They are a by=product of some production processes, and are also found in hair sprays, perfumes, paints, and cleaning products.
Beyond the obvious health risks of nose, eye, and throat irritations, they have also been linked to headaches, damage to liver and kidneys, loss of coordination, and the formation of some cancers.
There is much that still isn’t known about the affects of all the toxins you are exposed to on a daily basis. What most nutritional experts agree on is that a proper diet is essential to keep your immune system functioning at it’s best to help counteract the negative affects of a toxic environment.