I recently read this article about TOXINS- here's some of the insert.
Results from a new study found that the average person ingests five grams of plastic every week—that’s about the size of a credit card. And it doesn’t stop with plastic. We’re exposed to hundreds of toxic chemicals every day.
For the most part, toxins are lipophilic, which means they are attracted to fats and accumulate in our fatty tissues, leading to inflammation and damage to our organs.
Unfortunately, toxins are all around us—it can feel overwhelming to think about how to address each and every toxic exposure. For me, it was easiest to start with where I was exposed the most.
Tips to Lower Your Toxic Burden Plastics
Bisphenol-A (BPA), a well-known plasticizer, is a hormone disruptor that's been linked to infertility, developmental abnormalities, thyroid disorders, obesity, and type 2 diabetes.
Here are some of my biggest tips on how to avoid it:
• Swap plastic water bottles for stainless steel or glass. This switch will save you from ingesting an extra 126,000 microplastic particles a year.
• Stay away from BPA packaging. Sources of BPA packaging include canned foods like soup, vegetables, beer, and soda. BPA-free isn’t much better either. BPS and BPF are often used to replace BPA and have the same adverse effects.
• Avoid temperature extremes with plastic containers. Hot or frozen conditions can cause the plastic to leach toxins into foods or beverages quicker than normal. To-Go containers are a big culprit, so try to discard plastic coffee lids or refill your coffee directly into a ceramic mug, move take-out food to a ceramic or glass dish quickly, and switch out any home plastic storage containers with glass (or avoid microwaving or freezing at the very least).
When you cut down on plastics, you’ll also lower your phthalates exposure, another toxin known to cause hormonal havoc. Phthalates are also associated with cancer, birth defects, thyroid issues, and more. And unfortunately, phthalates hide in less obvious places. Anytime you see the word “fragrance,” there are usually phthalates involved in making it.
• Stop using artificial fragrances. More and more evidence is showing the harmful effects of artificial fragrances found in perfumes, scented candles, and air fresheners, largely due to the phthalates used. Some even say that artificial fragrances are the new secondhand smoke.
• Try essential oils instead. As a natural way to freshen up your space (and yourself), diffuse essential oils and swap out your perfume or cologne for a few dabs of your favorite scent.
• Make the swap. Anything that states the word “fragrance” on the label should be swapped out for essential oils. The only exception is if the label states that the fragrance is “from essential oils,” “organic,” or “phthalate-free.”
In The Kitchen
We can’t talk about low-hanging fruit without mentioning the toxins in our food and kitchen. How you prepare your food and the overall quality of your food can have an impact on your total toxin exposure.
• Cook with stainless steel, ceramic, silicone, or glass. Teflon and non-stick cookware contain Perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA) and poly-fluoroalkyl substances (PFAS), which are known to cause cancer.
• Use a water filter. The Environmental Working Group’s (EWG) Tap Water Database is an incredible resource that provides a full report on the contaminants in your drinking water and recommends what type of filter to buy for your water and your wallet.
• Buy organic where you can. I understand that buying organic isn’t doable for everybody, but certain foods are more contaminated than others, like the dirty dozen.
Personal Care Products
Another primary source of toxins in our lives is personal care products. As a general rule of thumb, if you wouldn’t eat it, then you shouldn’t put it on your skin because everything gets absorbed into your body. EWG has a resource called Skin Deep Database where you can search thousands of cosmetics to see how they rank on the toxicity scale.
• Formaldehyde. The Campaign for Safe Cosmetics has a reference guide for products that contain this carcinogen. It’s hidden in various different ingredients, so be sure to use the guide to identify this sneaky toxin.
• Diethanolamine (DEA). Found in moisturizers, shampoos, and soaps, DEA is an irritant that affects the skin, immune system, and respiratory tract. It’s also been linked to cancer and birth defects.
• Parabens & phthalates. These are hormone disruptors that are known to cause cancer. Look for “paraben-free” and “phthalate-free” on the label.
>>You can’t eliminate all toxins, but you can reduce exposure. It simply involves some investigative work and switching to safer products when possible. Once you know what to look for, and what to leave out, you can live clean and green without much effort.