Introducing Toxins 101: Each month I will dive deeper into different categories of toxins: with how to identify them, which ones you should probably stop using and safer alternatives to consider.
The first category of toxins I’d like to start with is pesticides. Here are some quick stats for you:
- We have been farming for over 10,000 years but pesticides have only been used since the 1940s (all foods prior to this were “organic”)
- 5.6 BILLION POUNDS of pesticides are applied globally each year (1 million in the US alone) to farms, forests, golf courses and lawns
- Pesticides have been measured in over 95% of humans because many (including long-banned DDT) are extremely persistent in the environment and are still being found in breast milk today!
- Pesticides are “fat-loving” chemicals meaning they get stored inside the fatty issues in our bodies + in animals
Types of Pesticides:
Without getting too “sciency” on you, the main classes of pesticides + examples of each are:
- Herbicides: weed killers, RoundUp, Spectracide, Preen
- Fungicides: Round Up, Daconil, BioAdvanced Fungus Control
- Insecticides: Insect killers, Ortho Home Defense, Bug Foggers, Butter Backyard Bug Control
- Rodenticides: Rodent Killer, Bait Block
I think this is important to point out, as most people think pesticides are just plant-based, but these are also the insect and rodent sprays you use outside AND inside your homes.
Side Effects of Pesticides
- Reproductive Issues: Fertility issues in both men + women, increased risk of miscarriage and pre-term births
- Birth Issues: Fetal brain damage, low birth weight
- Children’s Issues: Autism, poor attention in children, decreased cognitive skills for children with prenatal exposures, early onset of puberty, reduced IQ, ADHD, neurobehavioral developmental issues
- Leaky Gut: Gut inflammation, disrupted gut microbiome
- Diseases: Parkinson’s, Diabetes, Alzheimer’s, Chronic fatigue, Chronic kidney disease
- Cancers: Testicular cancer, breast cancer, leukemia & lymphoma
Glyphosate- What You NEED to Know!
Here’s some good news- many different classes of pesticides have been banned over the past few decades as research began to discover all of the negative side effects. There is one still used daily that is arguably one of the WORST for our health and is likely responsible for many of the conditions people experience today: GLYPHOSATE.
It was brought into use in the 1970s, but in the 80s was actually classified as a carcinogen (aka cancer-causer) by the EPA and in the 2000s was patented as an antibiotic…why it is still being used is beyond me.
Glyphosate, known in stores as “RoundUp” is used on all NON-organic crops both in the US and globally (2 BILLION pounds used each year). This doesn’t just mean fruits + veggies- this means all wheat, soy, canola, cotton, beans, and sugars grown too. It has been found in high amounts in products like oatmeal, cereal, pastas, even TAMPONS- aka you need to pay attention to organic in more than just produce.
What Harm Does A Little Glyphosate Do?
Here are just some of the issues glyphosate can cause:
- Hormone disruption (sex, adrenal + thyroid hormones)
- Gut damage: Acts as an antibiotic in the gut, creates leaky gut, and eradication of “good” bacteria in your gut
- Liver issues: depletes the liver’s antioxidant (glutathione) making it harder for you to detoxify in general
- Depletes minerals: binds (chelates) to god minerals like zinc, copper, manganese, calcium + magnesium, making them unable to be absorbed
- Inflammation (aka oxidative damage in the body)
- Brain toxicity
- Growth of breast cancer cells
- Neural tube defects in babies
- Neurobehavioral disorders, including ADHD + Autism
- Increased risk of miscarriage and pre-term births
- Chronic kidney disease
RoundUp formulas can also contain many heavy metals (arsenic, chromium, nickel and lead) in addition to glyphosate, making it a toxic cocktail from hell.
How to Avoid Glyphosate + Other Pesticides?
There are many ways to avoid the use of glyphosate in current products, but due to cross-contamination in our water supply and the half-life of glyphosate, we can be exposed (even AFTER a farm stops using) for up to 30 years. Despite this, there are many measures that can be taken to help us keep it out of our bodies as much as possible:
- Filter your water: see my previous post on water here
- Buy organic produce: and make sure you wash it prior to eating!
- Buy organic animal products: non-organic animals are fed non-organic feed whose pesticides end up being stored in those animals fatty tissues + meat…and then we eat those.
- Buy organic feminine care products: glyphosate was found as a contaminant in 85% of tampons tested!
- Use binders (supplement): designed to help pull glyphosate out of your body
- Free website to Search Glyphosate Free Products
- Use better companies + natural alternatives in and out of your home:
Remember- Avoidance is the First Step to Detox!
If you have been considering detoxing your body and/or transitioning to a healthier lifestyle, avoidance of toxins is one of the first places to start- it’s like trying to drain a bathtub but never turning off the faucet…if you don’t limit exposure, no amount of liver cleansing or heavy metal detoxing will officially “fix” you over time.
This process of identifying toxins may not sound as fun or cool as “detoxing” but ultimately it will pay off in the long run to learn more about each of these categories and how to best avoid them and find better alternatives!