Toxic chemicals are all around us. Chemicals in food, water, air and in our bodies from products people eat, drink, breathe, slather and spray on their bodies via personal products and cosmetics, and used throughout our homes every day via cleaning products.
Blood, urine and hair samples provide ample evidence of how our health and bodies are negatively affected by more than 144,000 man-made chemicals added to the American food supply today. Commonly referred to as food additives, artificial flavors, flavor enhancers, dyes and preservatives, chemicals are wreaking havoc on the human body and our health.
Our bodies are not meant to be exposed to the degree of chemical poisons and food additives that we’re exposed to every single day. Children are suffering greatly from food additives and harmful chemicals they are exposed to before and after they’re born, as studies prove these harmful chemicals cross the placenta barrier and remain active in the fetus, and after birth.
“There must be something in the water”. Umm, yeah, but these harmful chemicals aren’t just in the drinking water coming from the tap, these chemicals are on and IN the foods and beverages you and your family are likely consuming every day, as well as in thousands of personal care products consumers use daily.
Chemicals in Food, Water and Our Bodies
Most of us are exposed to pesticides, herbicides, growth hormones, antibiotics, plasticizers and toxic chemicals several times a day in our so-called modern food supply. Regardless of how far away you live from chemically treated farm fields, the chemical toxins still find you, by hitching a ride home on your food. Research studies show that more than half of the most commonly used pesticides are known endocrine disruptors. Meaning that the foods, beverages and personal products you’re buying can be contaminated with toxic chemicals that mess with hormone function, with negative cumulative effect on your health.
Any bodily system controlled by hormones can be derailed by endocrine disruptors. The body’s endocrine system regulates many of the body’s functions, including growth, development and maturation, as well as the way various organs operate. The endocrine glands (including the pituitary, thyroid, adrenal, thymus, pancreas, ovaries, and testes) release carefully-measured amounts of hormones into the bloodstream that act as natural chemical messengers, traveling to different parts of the body in order to control and adjust many life functions.
Exposure to endocrine disruptors can occur through direct contact with pesticides and other chemicals, ingesting chemically contaminated water, chemically altered foods, processed foods and beverages, chemical-laden personal products, or through the air.
The New York Times article, entitled “How Chemicals Change Us”, had this to say:
“Scientists are observing with increasing alarm that some very common hormone-mimicking chemicals can have grotesque effects. A widely used herbicide acts as a female hormone and feminizes male animals in the wild. Thus male frogs can have female organs, and some male fish actually produce eggs. In a Florida lake contaminated by these chemicals, male alligators have tiny penises.
These days there is also growing evidence linking this class of chemicals to problems in humans. These include breast cancer, infertility, low sperm counts, genital deformities, early menstruation and even diabetes and obesity.” [Emphasis Mine]
Of course, Big Chem says all this is sensationalist nonsense. However, science experts that know how dangerous and harmful these chemicals are have been taking steps to protect themselves and their families. Are you?
On Sunday, November 27, 2011, 60 Minutes aired a segment called “The Flavorists: Tweaking Tastes and Creating Cravings”. Full video playback shown below, or just read the full transcript here. Morley Safer interviewed scientists who work for the largest flavoring company in the world, Givaudan, a Swiss company of 9,000 employees in 45 countries. Cameras were allowed access in some facilities, in search of natural flavors which the scientists would then recreate and modify in the laboratory. Creating flavors that are “so stimulating they hijack our brain…” according to David Kessler, MD.
Source of Chemical Endocrine Disruptors
The most common endocrine disruptor chemicals:
- Bisphenol–A (BPA): A synthetic substance widely used to make polycarbonated plastics found in food and drink containers, the lining of tin cans, toys, baby bottles, dental sealants, flame retardants, and plastic wraps. This chemical easily leaches out into food and water.
- Phthalates: Synthetic substances added to plastics to make them softer, more flexible and resilient. They also extend staying power. They are found in IV tubing, vinyl flooring, glues, inks, pesticides, detergents, plastic bags, food packaging, children’s toys, shower curtains, soaps, shampoos, perfumes, hair spray and nail polish.
- PBDE’s (polybrominated diphenyl ethers): Found in flame retardants used on furniture, curtains, mattresses, carpets, television and computer castings. Categorized as a persistent organic pollutant (POP), this substance is stored in animal fats and thus found in dairy products, meat, fish, and human breast milk, and has been banned in several countries. It has also been detected in house dust.
- PCB’s (polychlorinated biphenyls): Another group of highly toxic synthetic chemical compounds found on the list of POP’s, once used widely as insulation fluid in electrical transformers, lubricating oil in pipelines, and components of plastics and mixed with adhesives, paper, inks, paints and dyes. Since 1976 PCB’s have been banned in new products, but they are highly stable compounds that degrade very slowly, and these chemicals still persist.
- Dioxin: Dioxin is a general name applied to a group of hundreds of chemicals that are highly persistent in the environment. The most toxic compound is 2,3,7,8-tetrachlorodibenzo-p-dioxin, or TCDD. Dioxin is formed as an unintentional by-product of many industrial processes involving chlorine such as waste incineration, chemical and pesticide manufacturing, and pulp and paper bleaching. Small molecules are diffused into the atmosphere, then land on soil, where they are eaten by soil microbes. From there they pass up the food chain into meat, fish, and dairy products and breast milk. We absorb 90% of the dioxin in our bodies through food sources, though you won’t find it listed on any label. Levels have been decreasing since the 1990’s with environmental measures, but it is still probably the most prevalent toxic chemical in our environment.
- Pesticides and herbicides: In particular, atrazine, simazine, and heptachlor and other organophosphates and organochlorines have been found to be toxic to the nervous system and to show damaging reproductive (e.g., decreasing sperm motility) and developmental effects.
- Heavy metals: Cadmium and arsenic are two heavy metals in widespread use whose endocrine disrupting mechanisms of action have been described. Mercury and lead are also implicated, and more studies are underway on heavy metals.
- Fluoride is “an endocrine disruptor in the broad sense of altering normal endocrine function”, involving your thyroid, parathyroid, and pineal glands, as well as your adrenals, pancreas, and pituitary, according to the 2006 report by the National Research Council of the National Academies. Source: Dr. Mercola and Paul Connett from the Fluoride Action Network.
Fluoride Facts Hits Mainstream! “If the scientific link between fluoride exposure and a noted decreased in IQ is a conspiracy theory, then perhaps the Harvard researchers who just confirmed such a link should be tarred and feathered by the ‘evidence-based’ medical media. In a telling review of a variety of studies that have demonstrated just how significantly fluoride can damage the brain and subsequently your IQ, Harvard University scientists stated ”our results support the possibility of adverse effects of fluoride exposures on children’s neurodevelopment.”’ American Dental Association, take THAT! The Truth about Fluoride is coming out and the genie isn’t going back in the bottle.
Chemicals in Our Bodies
Surely you’ve seen the news headlines. Arsenic in Chicken. Arsenic in Apple Juice. Lead in Lipstick. Pink Slime in Meat. Flame Retardant in Butter. The list goes on.
While the chemical industry isn’t too concerned about the known and unknown harmful cumulative effects of chemicals in our bodies overall, growing numbers of consumers are paying very close attention and greatly reducing the chemical exposures they and their children are being exposed to. With their wallets.
“When in doubt, leave it out” refers to consumers who have made the personal and informed choice of no longer purchasing and using toxic chemical products in and on their bodies and in their homes, as well as no longer buying chemically-loaded processed foods and beverages for their families. How much of your grocery money is spent on those inner aisles of “food” vs the outer aisles, the fresh produce section, your local farmers market (or your own backyard garden), etc?
Think of all the personal care products that you smear, spread and spray on your body that are chemical concoctions made in a lab, readily absorbed through the skin. Chemical soaps, shampoos, conditioners, body lotions, deodorants, makeup, nail polish, sunscreen, hair spray, perfumes, colognes, hair dyes, facial moisturizers, etc. Read the ingredient labels. Learn to understand what each of those “I can’t pronounce it” ingredients listed actually are. Aspartame? Don’t get me started…
It should come as no surprise as to why so many consumers have begun canning and preserving foods at home the “old fashioned way”, growing their own fruits and vegetables in their backyard organic garden, are making their own chemical-free natural soaps and personal care products, as well as chemical-free household cleaning supplies. I get it. I really “get it”. Do you?