Welcome back to the discussion about toxins. For those readers that missed the previous article, “War on Toxins Pt 1”, I have details listed at the end of this article, of how you can find it online, if you’d like to read it too.
The problem with toxins, is that they’re not going away anytime soon. This is why it’s so important that we learn where the most detrimental toxins are creeping into our lives, homes and body systems. Then we can take action to eliminate as many areas of exposure as possible.
Since the early 1900's over 80,000+ synthetic chemicals have been introduced into our society. The big problem is that, only roughly, 550 have ever been tested for safety with humans. The country’s main chemical safety law, the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA), needs a serious overhaul. As it currently stands, industrial chemicals do not have to be tested for safety before they are put on the market, into our household cleaners, or into our beauty products. Regulators, doctors, environmentalists and the chemical industry all agree that this is a major flaw. Here’s where they don’t agree- they can’t decide who should have to prove or disprove safety of the new chemical.
Currently, the burden of proof rests almost entirely on the Environmental Protection Agency, where staffs are small and government funds have been cut. The scary reality is that under the current law, a company can create any chemical cocktail that they wish. Then they have to apply for EPA approval of their new chemicals. They are seldom required to provide any safety information stating that it’s been proven to be safe for human use. The EPA only has 90 days to review the new chemical to determine safety or object, if further safety data is needed to be acquired. If the application hasn’t been responded to or suspended within the 90 day timeframe, then it’s automatically given the green light. (Government and 90 days… hmmm… I have a bad feeling about that!) Something tells me that it’s not working out so well for our protection but probably working out just great for the big chemical companies and their thousands of new chemical applications submitted annually. To make matters worse, the TSCA has not been substantively updated in 45 years! (That’s since the 70’s, folks!) In addition to that frightening fact, when the TSCA was formed, in 1976, nearly 62,000 chemicals were already on the market and they were simply “grandfathered” in. Lucky us.
Considering the gaps in laws, regulation and corporate greed, is it really any wonder that we are experiencing more illness in this country than ever before? We are being silently and invisibly bombarded daily. We cannot assume that just because it’s “been approved” to be on our store shelves, or in our health and beauty products that it’s ever even been tested for safety.
In this article, let’s look at toxins that are disruptive to the endocrine system, commonly referred to as endocrine disruptors. But first, let’s go over a quick review of the endocrine system, to better understand why it and why protecting it matters. The endocrine system is made up of various glands which tell our cells what to do; when and how to grow or when it’s time to perform a specific function, etc. Without our endocrine glands and the hormones they release our cells wouldn't know when to do their important jobs. Consider these glands and their hormones like the CEO’s and district managers of many body functions/organs. The hormones get sent out by the glands to be the bossy messengers and to get other necessary jobs done. You can imagine why it’s so important to protect this system so it can function properly.
Digging a little deeper, let’s quickly review the glands in the endocrine system so that it’s easier to understand their main roles.
Our Pituitary gland is the “master gland”, tucked in the brain and is only about the size of a pea. It may be small in size but its function is huge! It makes and releases a bunch of hormones that control other glands and body functions- primarily cortisol, growth hormones and metabolism.
Our Thyroid gland is located in the neck and shaped like a butterfly is responsible for the hormones that help you stay alert and full of energy. It also regulates metabolism and healthy weight.
Our Adrenal glands are really important to your body in times of trouble. They kick into action anytime we are under stress or sick by releasing adrenaline which gives us a shot of quick energy or extreme strength in times of emergency or stress.
Our Pancreas is our largest endocrine gland. It’s about 6 inches long and sits behind the stomach. It’s responsible for releasing digestive enzymes and the hormone insulin, which regulate and stabilize blood sugar levels.
Last but not least are our reproductive glands, ovaries in women and testes in men.
Our endocrine system does an amazing job of making sure that hormones are released in just the right amounts at just the right time.
I think once we consider our endocrine system and the important jobs it performs, it’s easy to recognize (or connect the dots) or begin to understand where to look when things aren’t functioning correctly. There are a lot of people dealing with issues today that might be linked with a malfunction of the endocrine system as a root cause. I am hopeful that better understanding what the endocrine system does, will motivate us to take active steps to reduce the amount of chemicals that create disruption and confusion.
When the news reporter announces that the outdoor air quality is code orange or red, we all pay attention. However, did you know that according to the EPA, indoor air quality is 5 to 100 times worse than outdoor air quality? The great news is… it’s an area that we (for the most part) can control.
Here are 12 hormone-altering chemicals and simple ways to reduce our exposure.
BPA – imitates estrogen – Avoid canned foods. Say no to receipts. Avoid plastics marked with “PC” and recycling #7.
Dioxin – Effects both reproductive system and immune system – Choose organic meat and dairy products, particularly fats like butter and cream.
Atrazine – Feminization of male frogs. This herbicide turned male frogs into females.- Avoid non-organic corn. Use a water filter.
Phthalates – Linked to lower sperm count. – Avoid plastic containers and plastic wrap made from PVC. Look for phthalates-free personal care products.
Perchlorate – A component in rocket fuel that competes with the nutrient iodine needed by our thyroid gland for proper metabolism and brain development in infants and children. – Avoid unfiltered water. EWG says drinking reverse osmosis water will reduce exposure and use a sea salt with iodine to boost iodine levels.
Fire Retardants -PBDE’s – They imitate thyroid hormones and disrupt their activity. – Use a vacuum with a HEPA filter. Buy 100% natural children’s clothing. Take caution when replacing carpet and foam pads which may contain PBDE’s.
Lead – Long list of negative effects on nearly every organ and system in the body. Considered very damaging. – Avoid anything with lead especially crumbling paint. Use a good water filter.
Arsenic – low amounts can interfere with the normal hormone functioning in the glucocorticoid system, which is a fancy name for the system that helps regulate blood sugar levels. Linked to weight gain, immunosuppression and insulin resistance. – Use a good water filter.
Mercury – Unborn babies are most at risk since it can interfere with brain development. It is also known to bind directly to the female hormone that regulates menstrual cycle and ovulation. – Avoid sushi and look for wild salmon and farmed trout.
Perfluorinated chemicals (PFC’s) – Found in non-stick cookware. The food might not stick to the pan but the PFC’s will stick to you. Found to effect thyroid and sex hormone levels. – Avoid non-stick pans and stain and water resistant coatings on clothing, furniture and carpets.
Organophosphate pesticides – These were first developed by the Nazi’s for chemical warfare, but thankfully never used. Unfortunately, American scientists used them to develop a long list of pesticides that target the nervous system but it also interferes with and lowers testosterone levels. – Buy organic produce. Don’t spray pesticides in your home.
Glycol Ethers – Common solvents in paints, cleaning products, brake fluid, and cosmetics. Glycol Ethers are linked to shrunken testicles, and lower sperm counts as well as respiratory distress in children. Avoid products with the two ingredients for starters: 2-butoxyethanol (EGBE) and methoxydiglycol (DEGME).
The sad truth is that we are exposed to more toxicity in one day than our grandparents experienced in their entire lifetimes! Illness and diseases are indisputably on the rise, despite all the modern technology and available resources so we have to ask ourselves the question… “What’s changed?” and become our own advocate. Once we understand that there’s an elephant (called toxic exposure) in the room and he’s not leaving on his own we can take active measures to reduce our exposure wherever we can. We can at least kick this elephant out of the house and reclaim our space!
I’m so impressed with Young Living’s purity of products and committed to toxic free living. I represent them because they operate with the highest of standards. It’s the company that my family trusts and I love that they are continuing to build their line of completely safe household products. So many people already love the Thieves line of household products, and they’ve recently added dish soap, laundry soap and fruit and vegetable wash too. (Makes me so happy!) I buy all my Young Living products for 24% off retail and can easily show you how to get them at wholesale cost too. For more information come to one of my upcoming classes listed in the front; visit my website: www.babystepseo/u/kristin; or you can drop me an email: thehealthrevOILution@gmail.com. I would love to visit with you anytime.
I know I’ve thrown a LOT of details and information at you so I want to leave you with the reassurance that little by little, step by step, one product at a time is how we will win this war and protect our families.
Until next month, live well!