A new book offers advice on how to avoid the worst of some 80,000 synthetic chemicals we are routinely exposed to and, when we do absorb them, how best to flush them out of our systems. The book is called Toxin Toxout and is written by two Toronto environmentalists who used themselves and friends as guinea pigs for their popular experiments.
Hormone disrupters linked with cancer
They focused on the most dangerous chemicals, most of them hormone disrupters or substances that have been linked with certain cancers. Parabens and phthalates are found in many personal care products. They looked at pesticides, heavy metals and pollutants that are in the air.
“It does turn out that many of the pollutants of greatest concern in the world today don’t come from big polluting factories, though that does remain a problem,” says co-author Rick Smith. “A lot of the chemicals that are increasingly linked to breast cancer, to prostate cancer are in the consumer products that we use every day and we absorb these chemicals in our bodies and there are health consequences as a result.”
Experiments showed chemicals discharged from the body
Nine children volunteered to help with the research by eating regular foods for a period of time, and then eating only organic foods. The levels of pesticides in their urine went down by two-thirds, says Smith. Some adults switched to “green” hair care and cosmetic products and their discharge of parabens and phthalates dropped by over 80 times, he adds.
Avoid coming into contact with toxic chemicals in the first place by buying “green” products, advises the book. Secondly, it advises flushing the toxins out of the body by exercising and sweating, which apparently discharges more of certain chemicals than does urinating.
Detox remedies “just don’t have that great an impact”
And don’t bother with commercial detox methods, says Smith. “A lot of these alleged, quick fix detox remedies just don’t have that great an impact,” he says. “They’re probably not harmful, but they’re likely not the most effective thing in the world.”
“Don’t get freaked out,” Smith adds. It is difficult for people to realize that they are exposed to a lot of chemicals that are not adequately tested he says, but there is good news. Large corporations like Procter and Gamble, Johnson and Johnson and Walmart are talking about reducing or eliminating some of these synthetic chemicals in their products.
“Consumer action does matter, progress is happening,” says Smith.