Harmful toxins are all around us. But where are they and more importantly how can we get rid of them? Environmentalist and co-author of Toxin Toxout Rick Smith breaks it all down for us.
In What You Eat
Pesticides found in fruits and vegetables are linked with general developmental problems with cognitive deficits in children, endorcrine disruption, asthma, reproductive problems, and diabetes.
In What you Drink
Only 13 per cent of the two million tonnes of plastic waterbottles are recycled! As these plastic bottles take centuries to decompose, the chemicals found in them slowly find their way to the soil and then back to us.
In What You Apply
Hairsprays, perfumes, nail polish and deodorants are some of the worst offenders. Most products have Phthalates and Parabens, which are hormone-disruptive chemicals.
In What you Breathe
The average citizen in an industrialized country spends 90 per cent of his or her life in enclosed spaces and 5.5 per cent of their lives in vehicles. This means we better watch what we inhale. Nasty volatile organic compounds and other chemicals evaporating from the adhesives, sealants and plastic bits in vehicle interiors can be equivalent to glue-sniffing. Stay away from those air-freshemers that mimic the 'new-car scent'.
Eat Organic and Eat your Veggies
Eat seasonal, local and organic produce and pick produce with thick skins like pineapple, onion, corn, and avocados. Pesticide residues in organic produce is significantly lower than in conventional produce. Also, try a vegetarian diet. Newer toxic chemicals (flame retardants like PBDE's) are transported by air and water and make their way into fat cells of wildlife like fish, moving up the food chain into humans.
Drink Tap Water
Public health officials and municipal governments everywhere work together to rigorously test our tap water supplies for hundreds of potential chemical contaminants on an everyday basis. You can also use a filter for your tap water, which is way better than drinking bottled water! Also, remember to drink lots to flush those toxins out.
Read Your Labels
Avoid personal care products that have the word 'fragrance' or 'parfum' and 'Triclosan' on the ingredient list. Also look for a 'paraben-free' logo. There is good news too: natural and organic cosmetics are growing at almost US $1 billion per year in North America, making natural products easily available to you.
Use low-VOC Products
Look for the 'low VOC' sign on any paint cans that you're picking up. Make sure your furniture and textiles are made from natural fibres. Re-upholster your furniture as soon as it begins to rip. Shop at retailers that have products that are free of PBDEs.
Adopt a Detox lifestyle
Sweating is one of our body's most basic natural detox methods so put those runners on and hit the gym. Or better still, try a sauna this weekend!