Why Detoxing Your Environment Is Important for Health and Weight Loss

Toxins are substances that can damage DNA. Toxins are all around us. They are found in products which we use, in the food we eat and the water we drink. They are also common in our environment.

Toxins have an immense effect on our health and on our weight because the environment of our cells creates our health destiny. [1]

In this article I’ll discuss how the toxins found in your environment can negatively affect your health and what you can do to avoid them.

Lead 

Lead used to be very common in the environment. It was found in is in many things around us like pipes, paint, gasoline, and emissions from factories until it was understood how toxic lead really is. 

Unfortunately, lead still exists in dangerous amounts in many areas, especially older and more impoverished communities. 

Lead affects the body slowly and unnoticeably, so if you occupy a building or home that is old, it can contain potentially dangerous amounts of lead. It is especially important for expectant women to be aware, as lead will affect the child’s mental development. [2]

Symptoms of lead poisoning are not noticed before the damage is done, so it’s vital to check your home for lead if it was built before 1978. Research also shows a connection between lead exposure and weight gain, especially obesity, and fat accumulation in the liver. [3]

There are many toxins used today that will probably in the future prove to be as dangerous as lead to our health, and that is why striving for a more natural lifestyle is always the best way to reduce toxic load.

Air Pollution

You probably know that air pollution is hazardous to health, but it’s much more hazardous than most people think, especially when you’re breathing polluted air often.

Heavy air pollution can cause a heart attack and stroke, especially in people who are at higher risk for these diseases. 

The toxic particles in polluted air irritate the lung tissue which causes inflammation that eventually may lead to heart disorders. [4] Furthermore, oxidative stress is a widespread cause of heart disease and occurs whenever the amount of free radicals exceeds antioxidant capacity, which is what happens with high levels of air pollution. 

Air pollution also harms the kidneys.

Furthermore, children attending schools close to high traffic roads showed lower cognition function. [5]

You should aim to limit your exposure to polluted air as much as you can. If you live in a location with high levels of air polution, you will want to limit any outdoor physical activity since aerobic exercise will induce inhalation of high levels of pollutants when performed in polluted places. [6]

Secondhand Smoke

Long-term exposure to tobacco smoke can also cause heart problems, respiratory infections, weight gain and even lung cancer. It makes avoiding secondhand smoke vital in maintaining health. [7] Moreover, research studies demonstrate that secondhand smoking is also associated with later obesity.

You want to make sure you don’t allow smokers who live with you to smoke indoors. 

Toxin Exposure at Work

Depending on your job, there may be harmful substances in the environment that cause many health problems. It is especially true for jobs like construction workers, hairdressers, and those working in beauty salons, and even for people working long hours in closed office environments. 

If you work with or around hazardous substances like chemical based hair or beauty products or toxic building materials, you need to make sure that every proper safety measure is carried out by your employer because the toxic environment can cause both short-term and long-term health issues depending on the substances in question.

For people based in office environments for long hours of the day, volatile organic compounds are ubiquitous in indoor environments. These compounds originate from building materials, cleaning materials, interior furnishing, printing and pesticide use. Breathing low level of volatile organic compounds for extended periods increases the risk of asthma, nausea, and headaches. While long term exposure may also result in cancer, kidney damage, liver damage and failure of the central nervous system.

Another common indoor toxic compound is the gas formaldehyde. Inhalation can cause nasal and lung cancer. Formaldehyde comes from pressed wood products, including particleboard, hardwood plywood paneling, and medium density boards. Apart from these sources, formaldehyde will come from water repellent sofas and carpets, cosmetics, deodorants, and fabric dyes. Formaldehyde is released easily at high humidity and warm temperatures. Ensure sufficient ventilation in your home and work area to avoid the unhealthy effects of these toxins.

Cleaning materials

Cleaning ingredients may cause acute, and immediate hazards including watery eyes, skin or respiratory irritation,  and skin burns, while other cleaning ingredients are linked with long-term chronic effects including the risk for hormone disruption and cancers.

The most acutely dangerous cleaning materials are drain cleaners, oven cleaners, and toilet bowl cleaners which I definitely recommend buying from natural companies such as Ecover and eco-friend.

Diethanolamine (DEA) and triethanolamine (TEA) found in cleaning products react to form nitrosamines which are carcinogens that penetrate the skin readily.

Alkylphenol ethoxylates (APEs) used in some detergents and cleaners are hormone-disrupting chemicals that interfere with the body’s natural hormones by either blocking or mimicking their actions causing infertility among men, increased birth defects, and increase the risk for cancers. These chemicals also lead to early or delayed puberty, preterm birth, asthma, and obesity. Check your local health food shop for natural cleaning and hygiene alternatives. Just remember that even if products are sold in the health food store doesn’t mean they are necessarily healthy and you should look at the product labels or ask for help from the shop employees.

Medications

In most cases, it has been found that the placebo effect is equally effective as most medications for chronic disorders that are taken, and for many medicines, the placebo effect is even more so than the proven benefit of the drug itself. Many medications also have side effects, and for some, they can become very toxic to the body and build up in tissues over time. About 300,000 people die each year in the US from the use of medications, so unless there is an emergency need for medication, try to avoid their use when possible and search for natural alternatives. This website is full of content for practically every disorder and has many healthy alternative solutions to help you solve your problems. And if you find that content is missing, please tell me and I will create the content for your condition.

Conclusion

Decreasing your exposure to toxins in your environment is vital for maintaining good health and your ideal weight. It’s just as important as making sure your food and water are toxin free. Aim to empower yourself to keep your body and environment healthy as this will help you make better choices for your well being throughout your life, keeping you healthy and providing you with wonderful longevity. 

References:

  • [1] Environmental toxins and your health. April 5, 2016.
  • [2] Late effects of lead poisoning on mental development. Randolph K. Byers, m.d.; Elizabeth E. Lord, Ph.D. Am J Dis Child. 1943;66(5):471-494. doi:10.1001/archpedi.1943.02010230003001
  • [3] Sun H, Wang N, Nie X, et al. Lead Exposure Induces Weight Gain in Adult Rats, Accompanied by DNA Hypermethylation. PLoS One. 2017;12(1):e0169958. Published 2017 Jan 20. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0169958
  • [4] Air pollution and health. Prof Bert Brunekreef Ph.D., Prof Stephen T Holgate MD. Available online 18 October 2002. https://doi.org/10.1016/S0140-6736(02)11274-8
  • [5] Sunyer J, Esnaola M, Alvarez-Pedrerol M, et al. Association between traffic-related air pollution in schools and cognitive development in primary school children: a prospective cohort study. PLoS Med. 2015;12(3):e1001792. Published 2015 Mar 3. doi:10.1371/journal.pmed.1001792
  • [6] Pasqua LA, Damasceno MV, Cruz R, et al. Exercising in Air Pollution: The Cleanest versus Dirtiest Cities Challenge. Int J Environ Res Public Health. 2018;15(7):1502. Published 2018 Jul 17. doi:10.3390/ijerph15071502
  • [7] Worldwide burden of disease from exposure to second-hand smoke: a retrospective analysis of data from 192 countries. Mattias Öberg PhD, Prof Maritta S Jaakkola PhD, Prof Alistair Woodward PhD, Armando Peruga DrPH, Dr Annette Prüss-Ustün PhD. https://doi.org/10.1016/S0140-6736(10)61388-8