In today’s heavily industrialized world toxins are unavoidable. Every day you are being bombarded by tens of thousands of toxic chemicals, in your homes, jobs, the food you eat, the water you drink and bathe in, and even the air you breathe. Here are a few startling statistics:
- Up to 100,000 chemicals have been introduced into the environment since the 1940s
- The environment is flooded with billions of toxic compounds annually, and at least 72 million of them are recognized carcinogens, meaning agents directly involved in causing cancer.
- 74 billion (with a “b”) pounds of chemicals are produced daily in the US alone.
- An average of 212 different chemicals can be found in an individual’s body, and most disturbingly 208 carcinogenic toxins or more have been found in the umbilical cord of innocent newborn INFANTS!
- Up to 7 different types of pesticides are found in each person’s urine every time they go to the bathroom! These toxins have a great potential to damage the mitochondria, diminishing cell function, and creating mutations in genes that can lead to cancer. It is estimated that 95% of all cancers are related to toxins in some way, including infections!
- ALERT: Per the National Cancer Institute, in their Cancer Statistics Review from 1975 to 2011, thyroid cancer has increased 116%, lymphoma 79%, testicular cancer 60%, post-menopausal breast cancer 22%, childhood leukemia 82%, childhood brain cancer 39%, and overall cancer in children has increased 30%. Moreover, 1/3 of America’s population suffers from chronic disease.
- Now chronic disease is the #1 overall killer in the nation. It is certainly not coincidental that environmental toxins keep rising, along with the rates of conditions and diseases in the present era.
Toxins are poisonous substances, and when they make their way inside your body, a lot of them end up being stored in your fat cells, as well as connective tissues, organs, skeleton, and other tissues like the muscle. The more toxins you accumulate the more acidic and inflamed the body becomes. Toxic acidic waste winds up clogging your body’s detoxification systems and leads to a great deal of preventable issues that put the body in a disease state. Even though some of us can metabolize and eliminate toxins better than others hinged upon our diet, lifestyle, genes, and location, we are all at high risk and should be mindful, taking precautionary measures! The environment has filled up with toxins at such an exponential rate that the body cannot possibly adapt, especially when compounded with poor nutrient composition. Nowadays many of us take in up to a MILLION toxins or more a day that enter through the skin, lungs, and mucous membranes pushing toxins down into the stomach and intestines, through the food, the water, chemical beverages, prescription drugs, internally produced pathogenic by-products.
The number of toxins that we are exposed to is a considerable problem, but the situation becomes far worse when the body’s detoxification organs are damaged and not functioning at full capacity. The average Westerner has some type of digestive issue stemming from poor toxic food choices and stress, preventing the proper evacuation of toxins through the bowels. When the colon becomes chronically inflamed the intestinal lining can be breached allowing toxins to re-enter the bloodstream stressing the liver. The excessive use of sugar, other acid forming foods and improper hydration damage the kidneys preventing optimal toxin release through the urine. Most people do not partake in a consistent fitness regime preventing the release of toxins through the sweat.
The liver just doesn’t produce enough enzymes or contain the methyl groups necessary to release such a diverse array of built-up toxic chemicals. The excessive amount of toxins end up circulating throughout the body, increasing fat to store the toxins, congesting and acidifying the lymphatic system(which makes up the majority of the extracellular fluids that surround the cells), and toxins also collect in low circulating areas like the joints leading to increased acidity and inflammation like with arthritis. Even worse, toxins can settle in the more vulnerable overworked organ tissues like the pancreas and thyroid sparking a highly damaging inflammatory situation often times from your own immune system reacting to the invading toxins. Basically, your body is turned into a rent-free storehouse for these foreign poisons!
We live in a toxic world, “the only thing we can do is keep our self-healing mechanisms strong, and in order to do that we need to keep our self-healing mechanisms clean.” -Dr. Edward Group
Now let’s take a close look at the various forms of toxins, where they come from, how they get into the body, and what we can do to avoid them.
Some of the most common highly problematic environmental toxins that we all encounter on a daily basis from air, water, food, plastic containers, pesticides, etc. are known as synthetic xenoestrogens. They are also referred to as endocrine disrupters, meaning they can be problematic for your endocrine system. The endocrine system consists of glands that secrete hormones such as male and female sex hormones, thyroid hormones, and pancreatic insulin, as well as the receptors that recognize and react to these hormones. These toxic compounds have the ability to mimic human estrogen, a naturally produced hormone (more prevalent in females).
Xenoestrogens are major contributors that can lead to a damaging situation known as estrogen dominance. These toxic substances hog up cell receptor sites, potentially causing major imbalances, and contributing to higher acidic inflammatory conditions in the body.
Upon entering our bodies, these imposters latch on to our cells’ receptors, blocking natural estrogens’ from attaching and disrupting cellular communication. The normal signal can then fail to transpire so the body can’t respond properly. Being that these chemicals are so biochemically close to natural estrogens, estrogen levels can increase dramatically or be blocked completely throwing off the bodies hormone balance. Natural estrogens, as we know, play a very important role in controlling growth and development (puberty, hair, skin, nails, bones, menstruation, male and female libido and mood.), so miscommunication and imbalances can have drastic consequences.
When you are continuously exposed to toxins that mimic estrogens like mercury, pesticides, BPA, etc., the liver has an extremely hard time breaking down or methylating the excessive estrogen mimicking compounds. These toxic substances then end up circulating through the system and increasing your risk for diseases like estrogen induced cancers. Xenoestrogens can wreak havoc on your body systems making you more susceptible to developing a vast array of diseases and conditions from low sperm count, infertility, weight gain, and painful periods, to thyroid disorder, heart disease, Endometriosis, Parkinson’s, and reproductive cancers like breast, uterine, ovarian, and prostate.
Dr. Veronique Desaulniers, D.C., breast cancer conqueror, Author, Physician, & lecturer expressed her concerns about environmental xenoestrogens in the October 2015 video documentary series ‘The Truth About Cancer’, making this statement “Look at what we are exposed to, the chemicals, the pesticides, the herbicides, the heavy metals, the metals in our teeth, the anti-perspirants. Those metals are actually classified as metaloestrogens and mimic and stimulate estrogen production in the body. If a woman has a problem metabolizing or breaking down her estrogens properly than the more aggressive estrogens will circulate in the body. There is a way to support that methylation process that the doctors don’t even talk about.”
According to a report by the International Federation of Gynecology and Obstetrics (OB-GYN), chemical exposures from pesticides, air pollutants, and plastic chemicals represent a major threat to human health and reproduction. An Endocrine Society task force, comprised of experts in hormone related issues, has issued a scientific statement on endocrine-disrupting chemicals, noting that everyone needs to take proactive steps to avoid them.
Phthalates, as well as bisphenol-A (BPA), the majority of which can be found in plastics of all kinds, can be absorbed internally, through your skin, and via air. Phthalates used to make vinyl flooring have also been found to steer pregnant women towards high blood pressure and heart disease.
According to the report “Exposure to toxic environmental chemicals during pregnancy and breastfeeding is ubiquitous and is a threat to healthy human reproduction.” With all the warnings and concerns lurking about these days regarding xenoestrogenic toxins, including their link to cancer, it would be wise to avoid them as much as possible. You can minimize your exposure by avoiding drinking out of or storing food in plastic containers, as well as enacting a proper more intensive cleanse at least bi-annually.
Keep in mind, hormones work in small doses, so endocrine disrupters can display adverse effects at much lower doses than a toxicity. Being that estrogen hormones are already present in a normally functioning body in adequate volume, increased exposure to even small amounts of synthetic xenoestrogenic compounds can interfere with the proper functioning of the endocrine or hormone system.
Countless scientific evidence emphasizes the destructive effects that xenoestrogens and other environmental contaminants present in the human body. Xenoestrogens can damage female reproductive organs, with the potential to cause endometriosis, polycystic ovarian syndromes, infertility, fibroids and cancer. Uterine fibroids, for example, can be initiated through exposure to xenoestrogenic compounds that can enhance or block the effects of estradiol, a powerful estrogen sex hormone, as they bind to receptor sites. They can initiate a shift from healthy estrogen by-products processed in the liver, to cancer producing estrogen metabolites.
Authors from a population-based case–control study ‘Organochlorine Pesticides and Risk of Endometriosis’: investigated endometriosis risk in relation to environmental exposure to organochlorine pesticides (OCP’s). Endometriosis is considered an estrogen-dependent disease. “In our case-control study of women enrolled in a large health care system in the U.S. Pacific Northwest, serum concentrations of β-HCH and murex were positively associated with endometriosis. Extensive past use of environmentally persistent OCPs in the United States or present use in other countries may affect the health of reproductive-age women.”
According to Dr. Emily Marquez, an endocrinologist and staff scientist for Pesticide Action Network, “Organochlorine pesticides can last for decades in the environment, and health impacts of these chemicals continue. However, OCP pesticide hexachlorocyclohexane (HCH), while targeted for global phase out, is still in use in the United States in pharmaceutical products and is a breakdown product of lindane, commonly found in soaps, lotions and shampoos. However, FDA has failed to take action to remove products containing lindane from the marketplace, despite a successful state-level ban that’s been in place in California since 2001.”
Our innocent children are also being adversely affected as xenoestrogenic exposure which has been implicated in the early onset of puberty in females, mostly delayed male puberty, as well as very embarrassing breast development in boys. Xenoestrogens, often referred to as “gender benders,” can be up to 100 times more powerful than natural estrogens produced in the body.
Per Craig Alter, MD, professor of clinical pediatrics at The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, “Of every 15 kids who come to me with concerns about early puberty, one is a boy and 14 are girls. “It is almost all a phenomenon of girls.” A longitudinal study conducted in 2010 by Frank Biro, MD, examined the early onset of breast development in girls. 1,239 girls were enrolled in this trial from ages 6 to 8. It was reported that by age 7, 10.4% of white, 23.4% of black non-Hispanic and 14.9% of Hispanic girls had achieved breast budding (Tanner stage 2 development). By age 8, 18.3% of whites, 42.9% of black non-Hispanic, and 30.9% of Hispanic girls had entered this stage. The study concluded that the number of 7 and 8 year-old girls with breast development is higher than any studies performed on girls born 10 to 30 years prior.
In 1900, the average age that girls entered puberty was 14.2. So even though there may not be a direct link between endocrine disrupters and early onset of puberty, mostly because the use of steroids and growth hormones in conventional animal products, as well as high rates of obesity make it harder to pinpoint, increased environmental estrogenic toxic exposure, as well as animal models that show these compounds cause early pubertal onset and reproductive problems are proof enough!
As far as prenatal exposure, xenoestrogens can pass through the mother to the developing embryo, causing numerous problems to the offspring. This is one of the many reasons why this website stresses the vital importance of prenatal cleansing.
A 2008 study (Hanson & Gluckman) revealed that even at low exposure levels, environmental toxins that disrupt the endocrine system during early years pose a risk of chronic disease, such as metabolic syndrome or cardiovascular disease, later in life.
Another study (Jacobson et al. 1985), as far back as 30 years ago, mind you, showed that exposure to intrauterine environmental toxins, like polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), has delaying effects on the infants’ central nervous system, impairing visual recognition and memory. The most critical stages of fetus development happen when the fertilized egg divides, including brain development. Hormonal communication interference in utero can have incredible adverse effects on brain maturation leading to neurodevelopmental disorders like reduced IQ, ADHD, and autism. The growth and development of fetus’s and embryos are immensely controlled by the endocrine system leaving them at the very least more vulnerable to exposure with potential apparent or subtle lifelong health challenges and/or reproductive abnormalities.
According to a GreenMedInfo.com summary “Fetal exposure to low doses of the xenoestrogens bisphenol-A in the female mouse has a long term adverse effect on the genital tract and hypothalamic-pituitary-gonadal axis in female mice.” Alterations in the genital tract of female offspring are revealed during adulthood.
So to all of the women out there that are trying to become pregnant in the near future, it would be a very wise and responsible choice to do a full body cleanse prior to conception. In this very toxic world, prenatal Cleansing gives you the peace of mind and confidence that you are doing your best to eliminate the chance for birth complications. You’re not only protecting your unborn child’s best interest, but also increasing their likelihood for a healthy future, while at the same time maximizing your own health potential!
Yet not only are children and females at risk, males are also in danger of course. Xenoestrogenic toxins can create imbalances and deteriorate the male reproductive organs, resulting in low sperm count, sperm abnormalities, prostate problems, and testicular cancer.
According to (Toppari et al.1996), the semen quality has declined, and the incidences of testicular cancer, defects in the reproductive system, and reproductive disorders, have increased. These occurrences have been related to abnormal unbalanced estrogen levels, traced back to the womb or early childhood, from common environmental contaminants that possess high estrogenic activity.
(Auger et al.1995) found a diminution in the motility and percentage of normal sperm in fertile men over a 20-year period, indicating damage of spermatozoa formation and development. It was also noted that paralleled with environmental pollution, testicular cancer has also risen in the past decades.
The following are some common toxins (xenoestrogens) with estrogenic effects on the body:
- Pesticides: found in conventional fruits and vegetables, and commercial meats. More on pesticides here.
- Bisphenol A (BPA): organic compound found in hard plastics and 75% of cans. National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES III) conducted by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) found detectable levels of BPA in 93% of 2517 urine samples from individuals six years and older.
Like other xenoestrogenic compounds that negatively affect male and female reproductive systems, unborn children can also be effected post-pregnancy. One study found that mothers with the highest levels of BPA had offspring with decreased lung function, 14.2% decrease on average. Another study found that children exposed to BPA in the womb were more likely to develop incessant wheezing by age 5.
A 2010 pub med study in collaboration with National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) concluded “Higher BPA exposure, reflected in higher urinary concentrations of BPA, is consistently associated with reported heart disease in the general adult population of the USA.”
Frederick vom Saal, a veteran researcher of BPA at the University of Missouri-Columbia stated “To date, there have been around 1,000 animal studies on BPA, and the vast majority show that it causes or is linked to many health problems, from alterations in fertility to increased risk for cancers and cardiovascular problems to impaired brain development.”
Also (BPS) is a new compound recently discovered sometimes used as a replacement for BPA and may be just as toxic or even more so. AVOIDING plastic altogether is the only way to evade these toxic substances!
- Phthalates: compounds that extend the life of fragrances and soften plastics. They can be highly damaging to the endocrine system and are found in plastic products, cosmetics, deodorants, baby products, soaps and lotions.
- Polychlorinated biphenyl (PCB’s): toxic environmental contaminants found in farm-raised salmon and are used as coolants, insulating fluids and pesticide extenders. They can impair brain development in the womb and can lead to cancer. Alex Stone lead chemist on an Ecology project stated “Although PCBs were banned for most uses in 1979, they are often inadvertently produced at lower – but still problematic – levels during manufacturing processes,” Stone said. “Concentrations in each product are low. However, the large number of products that contain PCBs add up to significant releases to the environment. … A lot of the PCBs we were dealing with 40, 50 years ago are the same PCBs we’re dealing with today because they stick around for a very long time,” Stone said. “Part of the reason we were concerned about this issue is it’s sort of a new source. New PCBs are unexpectedly being added to the existing PCBs, so rather than resolving our problems, we’re continually making new PCBs and adding them to the environment on almost a daily basis.”
- Dichlorodiphenyltrichloroethane (DDT metabolite dde): chemical compound used as insecticide, found in aerosols, petroleum distillates and smoke candles. Although levels have declined since it has been banned more than 40 years ago traces can still be found in most all humans tested. DDT exposure has been implicated in male infertility, miscarriages, premature birth, child developmental issues, nervous system disorders, liver damage and many cancers.
- Mold and fungal toxins: these toxins can lead to asthma, heart disease, cancer, diabetes, multiple sclerosis, gut issues, cognitive dysfunction, and autoimmune disorders. They are found mostly in peanut and corn products, coffee, commercial milk, wheat, alcoholic beverages and contaminated buildings. A pH balanced body does not provide a favorable environment for mold and fungus to survive.
- Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs): They majorly contribute to ozone (an air pollutant) and can lead to headaches, memory, visual and respiratory problems, and cancer. They are found in drinking water, deodorants, cleaning products, air fresheners, paints and carpets. When exposed to these chemicals in our home (benzene, ethylene glycol, formaldehyde, methylene chloride, tetrachloroethylene, toluene, xylene, and 1,3-butadiene) they “off gas” into the air and may or may not contain odors. Most studies that have been conducted involved only one VOC, the effects of these chemicals in combination can be far worse.
- Asbestos: Insulating material that has been associated with mesothelioma and lung damage. It is found on floors, ceilings, water pipes and heating ducts.
- Chloroform: compound used to make other chemicals, which can lead to cancer, liver and kidney problems, birth defects, reproduction impairment, and headaches. It is found in the air, food and sometimes added to water.
- Chlorine: widely used chemical agent, which can lead to sore throat, respiratory, visual and skin problems like eczema. It also dries the skin and hair. Chlorine has also been referred to as a “choking agent” in vapor form like when taking a hot shower and linked to choking, rapid breathing, increased heartbeat, and in extreme cases even death. It is found in household cleaners, drinking and shower water, and air. Filtering your drinking water and shower water is a great way to limit exposure.
- Dioxins: compounds created after combustion processed with coal, wood and oil, and may be associated with cancer, skin, reproductive and developmental problems. They can also be found in commercial animal fats as they accumulate throughout the food chain and hide out in the animal’s fat cells then passed on to humans. Long term exposure can effect many organ systems including the reproductive and nervous system.
- Heavy Metals: metals prevalent in the environment and your food that can be very toxic to the body. (will be covered in next section heavy metals)
- PBDEs (polybrominated diphenyl ethers): a class of chemicals known as flame retardants. These highly synthetic chemicals are used in the manufacturing of electronics, furniture, upholstery, carpets, textiles, insulation, new cars, airplane parts, and even children’s clothes and strollers. You know that new car, new carpet, new furniture smell? This is known as “outgassing.” Even though that new smell may fade away, these vaporized toxic chemical substances are still being inhaled into your body for years after!
PBDE’s have been found to damage thyroid function in pregnant women and children, resulting in low birth weights and impaired neurological development, like lower IQ’s and hyperactivity disorders.
UC Berkeley researchers were able to link prenatal and childhood exposure to PBDE flame retardants. Authors Eskenazi, Jennifer and Brian Maxwell, Professor of Maternal and Child Health and Epidemiology in this 2012 study stated “This is the largest and most comprehensive study to date to examine neurobehavioral development in relation to body burden measures of PBDE flame retardants. We measured PBDEs both in the mothers during pregnancy and in the children themselves. It shows that there is a relationship of in utero and childhood levels to decrements in fine motor function, attention and IQ.”
Studies show that a whopping 90% of Americans have flame retardant chemicals like these in their bodies!
Industrial, agricultural and chemical companies have introduced many damaging xenoestrogenic toxic compounds, some known carcinogens, into our modern lifestyles. Many of them have been found to promote intestinal and hormonal imbalances in the body that lead to many adverse disease conditions. They can damage reproductive function in both males and females and lead to neurological and other complications in fetal development. Some of these substances (DDT & PCBs) have been banned in the United States due to their obvious side-effects, but still remain in our ground water and waterways, contaminating us. Yet the majority of them are still prevalent, basically every way we go.
You can’t avoid all xenoestrogenic toxins, but you can limit your exposure by purchasing organic food and skincare products, buying food and beverages in glass instead of plastic, and avoiding products that use flame retardants. Maintaining a pH balanced anti-inflammatory cleansing diet is the best way to keep these and other toxins from settling in the body. Many years ago when the environment wasn’t so polluted cleansing as OFTEN was not a prerequisite, but in today’s modern world doing a deep cleanse a few times a year is EXTREMELY important, especially for those whose detoxification systems are not as strong, which is most!
Auger, J., Kunstmann, J. M., Czyglik, F., & Jouannet, P. (1995). Decline in semen quality among fertile men in Paris during the past 20 years. New England Journal of Medicine, 332(5), 281-285.
Hanson, M. A., & Gluckman, P. D. (2008). Developmental origins of health and disease: new insights. Basic & clinical pharmacology & toxicology, 102(2), 90-93.
Jacobson, S. W., Fein, G. G., Jacobson, J. L., Schwartz, P. M., & Dowler, J. K. (1985). The effect of intrauterine PCB exposure on visual recognition memory. Child development, 853-860.
Toppari, J., Larsen, J. C., Christiansen, P., Giwercman, A., Grandjean, P., Guillette Jr, L. J., & Skakkebæk,N. E. (1996). Male reproductive health and environmental xenoestrogens. Environmental health
Boxe-Blaszczak, A. BPA Exposure During Pregnancy Linked to Lung Problems in Children. Live Science.
Spanier, A. et al. Bisphenol A Exposure and the Development of Wheeze and Lung Function in Children Through Age 5 Years. JAMA Pediatrics. 168.
QUOTE: The environment is flooded with billions of toxic compounds annually, and at least 72 million of them are recognized carcinogens.