Whether we like it or not, despite the progress made in terms of hygiene and living comfort, it is difficult today not to come into contact with many pollutants that are toxic to our bodies.
Mostly the result of industry and intensive agriculture, they are unfortunately carried all over the world by winds, ocean currents and rivers. We breathe them, we drink them, we eat them. Today it is no longer necessary to prove this, many studies have shown the perverse effects of these substances on human health (infertility, increased cancer rates, early dementia, autism, general decline in IQ, various birth defects in some cases, etc…).
Not everyone is sensitive to them in the same way. If these products have an impact on our health, detoxification cures can be useful. However, here are some basic terms to learn how to detect these slow poisons and avoid them if possible.
The most dangerous toxins are heavy metals (lead, mercury, cadmium, arsenic, nickel, aluminium, etc.). They can be present in our food, in the air we breathe (exhaust fumes, industrial fumes, cigarette smoke, volatile compounds in buildings.) and in certain medicines.
They can neutralize certain normal enzymatic reactions in our body. Some attribute to them the origin of various degenerative diseases that occur with age, such as Alzheimer’s with aluminum or mercury. The evidence is still controversial, but there are scientific studies that show links between certain degenerative diseases and high levels of heavy metals, such as mercury and diabetes.
In any case, their toxic effects are known and proven. It depends, of course, on their concentration in our bodies.
We must know how to avoid them and help the body get rid of them. The most common poisonings are those involving mercury, lead and aluminum. There are various medical approaches and special nutritional techniques that help to eliminate heavy metals.
Pesticides, insecticides, fungicides
Thousands of different products are used in intensive agriculture to produce the fruits, vegetables and grains we consume. Many of them affect our hormonal functions, especially those similar to estrogen. DDT (now banned, but unfortunately still used), DDE, lindane, can block androgenic hormones and promote cancer in women.
Studies have shown that high doses of xenoestrogens, such as organochlorine pesticides (methoxychlor, lindane, etc.), can cause reproductive changes in animals.
By 2015, 91% of rivers and 70% of groundwater are polluted by pesticides, according to the French General Commission for Sustainable Development. Over 140 international studies have established the presence of pesticides in our bodies.
The quantities of pesticides that must not be exceeded in tap water have been increased by the health authorities. For example, in 2012, by raising the thresholds, the consumption of 3/4 of the water that had become unusable could be re-authorized.
For information: several studies have shown that wine is even more polluted than tap water.
These are dyes, preservatives, flavor enhancers, emulsifiers, texturizers, etc. While some of them are harmless, even natural, others are known to be carcinogenic, such as inorganic phosphates.
They have been more carefully controlled by legislation in recent decades, but we must remain very vigilant and it is ideal to avoid them as much as possible.
Cleaning agents and toxins in hygiene products
They can be toxic when they come into contact with our skin, which absorbs them and releases them into our bloodstream. They will then damage our liver, which is responsible for their excretion. This includes laundry detergents, but also detergents that we swallow when they leave residue on dishes or cups that have not been washed properly.
Alkylphenols (surfactants contained in detergents or shampoos) can also disturb reproductive functions through their estrogenic effect.
Deodorants often contain aluminum. Soaps and other detergents contain lauryl sulphate. 40% of beauty care products contain at least one endocrine disruptor according to the 2013 Noteo study. Cosmetics contain many endocrine disrupters: parabens, cyclopentasiloxane etc…
Plastics and all other pollutants
Bisphenol A is obtained from many plastic and PVC compounds, especially when exposed to heat. It is present in plastic bottles and trays. It is an endocrine disruptor with “estrogen-like” effects. Studies have also shown that it prevents the body and treatments from fighting cancer cells.
So be careful with electric kettles, water bottles that stay in the sun, plastics that are heated in the microwave, etc. Many countries have recently removed plastic from baby bottles. Japan has removed them from food packaging and containers, which is good for public health.
And the others…
For the record:
- The drainage from farm animals that pollute the water table,
- Antibiotics, hormones and other drugs administered to farm animals (cattle, poultry and fish),
- The processed drugs we release with our feces that are resistant to sewage treatment plants. Thus we find in tap water and rivers and then in the sea: paracetamol, chemotherapy, hormones, Prozac°, etc.
- Chemical fertilizers (including nitrates), which are unfortunately found in most waters today, even in spring waters,
- The volatile organic compounds we breathe in modern buildings. They are diffused through paint, carpets and floor or wall coverings: Formaldehyde, xylene, toluene, benzene, trichloroethylene, chloroform, ammonia, acetone… the list is long.
- Let us not forget the dioxin produced by certain factories and incinerators, the PCB (pyralene), which has not been present since 1980 but is still present on almost all of our planet and is found in the meat of animals at the end of the food chain (large fish, meat animals, poultry, dairy products…)
- And genetically modified agricultural products (GMO)
How can toxic products and environmental pollution be avoided?
Drinking clean water
Most taps provide water that exceeds the permitted limits for pesticides, to name but a few. Bottled water in plastic bottles also contains endocrine disrupters of plastic. It is no longer uncommon to find spring water (or even minerals) containing nitrates.
It is therefore ideal to filter your water with an efficient and high quality system (activated carbon filter or reverse osmosis).
Eat organic foods
Avoid in particular the following non-organic plants that tend to carry more pesticides: cucumbers, tomatoes, zukini, peppers, celery, spinach, apples, peaches, raspberries, strawberries, citrus fruits, and grapes.
The following products (even if not organically grown) would be less exposed to pesticides: asparagus, avocados, eggplants, onions, sweet potatoes, cabbage, sweet corn, peas, melons, mushrooms, grapefruits, kiwi, mangoes, papaya and pineapple.
Note that pesticides are mainly concentrated in the peel of fruit and vegetables. Unfortunately, it is also the skin, which contains many antioxidants, vitamins and minerals.
Use simple, natural, non-toxic hygiene products.
Ventilate your living space
Air circulation prevents the concentration of volatile toxins in the air we breathe. They come from fireproof paints, floor and wall coverings, fabrics and varnishes for furniture, etc. Indoor green plants can also make an active and beneficial contribution to improving the air.
Finally, we must not forget electromagnetic pollution. It is odorless and colorless, but sometimes very present in our environment, and its effects on health are widely recognized. This naturally affects antennas and transformers, power lines, telephones, computers, microwave ovens, etc.
Getting rid of pollutants: Is this possible?
Supporting the body, especially the liver, in its detoxification work, as well as the excretory organs is one way to reduce our xenobiotic levels. The various detoxification techniques can be helpful in this respect. Some are more specifically aimed at eliminating xenobiotics, these toxins that come from our environment.
For some, such as heavy metals, there are specific detoxification techniques. For example, chelating products such as chlorella, coriander, activated carbon, clay… or EDTA or glutathione injections etc. can be used. Sweat can also eliminate a large number of them.
Today, all these pollutants are everywhere and it is difficult to avoid them all. Without making it an obsessive-compulsive disorder the main thing is to be aware of them and pay attention to them in order to reduce the amount of pollutants absorbed by the body. It therefore seems relevant for the most exposed people to do the above-mentioned detoxification remedies from time to time.