If you’re reading this, you likely have some idea that toxins in our environment + homes can impact our health- but did you know:
- According to the NIH only 5-10% of cancers can be attributed to genetics – the remaining 90-95% is due to environment and lifestyle.
- The CDC has found that over 200 man-made chemicals have been found to be inside of us.
I could go on with a lot more statistics, but I hope just these small statistics open up your eyes to the fact that ignoring what is in our environment is likely killing us (slowly).
Toxin Testing Looks at High Doses, Not Daily Exposure
Most people believe that very small amounts of exposure to harmful chemicals are totally safe and are too small to have any kind of health effect. While this is true for many chemicals, or exposures, it’s not 100% true for every kind of chemical. The main issue here is that toxicology testing is primarily designed to look at high dose exposures and doesn’t investigate the long-term effects of low dosing, aka the kinds we get on a daily basis.
Additionally, chemicals that mimic our natural hormones (called endocrine disruptors) can in fact be even more harmful at extremely low doses simply because our endocrine system responds to natural hormones in the body at similarly low levels as the toxic ones.
What Matters Most is the Sum of All Parts
Think through your day- you wake up, brush your teeth with toothpaste, use mouthwash, wash your face with soap, put on lotion/serum, put on makeup, shave, use aftershave, put on deodorant, wash your hair with shampoo + conditioner, use perfume/cologne, put on clothes washed in detergent + dried with a dryer sheet, walk out into your house where you have plug-in scents in every room, consume processed foods coated in plastic, drink water out of a plastic bottle, stop for coffee on your way to work and drink out of a plastic container, go to work where everything is sprayed with sanitizer and disinfected constantly, get lunch in a takeout container, get in your car with an air freshener, go get your nails done, go to a park that was recently sprayed with pesticides, get home, burn a candle, drink inorganic wine, wash your face and put on different types of creams/serums, and go to bed.
This example may seem dramatic, but its intention is to highlight all of the possible exposures to chemicals we have on a daily basis. When you look at them all together, this becomes more about making sure you have a clean toothpaste or deodorant. It becomes about the things you can control and trying to make those as low-toxin as possible.
Toxins Are Unfortunately Unavoidable
Trust me, I have my days where I’m depressed that it seems like EVERYTHING is toxic and thus “why bother” but the reality is that any small step you take reduces your toxic load. We can’t control what pesticides our neighbor puts on their lawn or what they spray at the playground, but we can control all the choices we have at home.
What You Can Do Today
Here are a few small steps you can take today to already reduce your toxic load:
- Remove all perfumes, scented candles, plug-ins and air fresheners: Anything with a fragrance contains Phthalates which are known hormone disruptors. These impact glands like the thyroid and all fertility processes.
- Switch all containers from plastic to glass or stainless steel: This includes your tupperware, water bottles, mixing bowls and baking utensils. Plastics leach chemicals that also impact our hormones.
- Remove your shoes when entering your house: This stops the dirt that carries pesticides + herbicides from coming into your home and ending up in your air + house dust.
- Vacuum + wet dust frequently: Similar to the above, the more frequently you clean the less likely particles will end up in your body.
- Open your windows often: This increases airflow which will help you move out those hormone disruptors located in your air out of your house and thus out of your body.
- Switch your cleaning products: Last month I did some slides on better cleaning product options- or head to my shop page to see links with discount codes for better soaps, laundry detergents and more.
- Stop using hand sanitizers + antimicrobial wipes/sprays: These kill off both the bad AND good bacteria in your body, leading to issues down the road. Instead, simple handwashing or soap/water will do just fine!
- Look into filtering your water: My free water guide will help you determine what’s in your water and how to best choose a filtration system.
Low-Tox Living is a Journey, Not a Destination
Just like our health journey, we all will never be 100% clean-living. When we travel, we’ll have to use a plastic water bottle. Or, you may have a tough day and lighting a candle may give you emotional support- I get it.
The biggest thing to remember is again that ANYTHING YOU DO TO LIMIT YOUR TOXIC EXPOSURE IS BETTER THAN NOTHING AT ALL. And if you need help on this journey, shoot me an email I’d be happy to support you!