February 16, 2023
Toxins are all around us, yet there are measures we can take to reduce our exposure. The recent horrific train derailment in Ohio certainly has brought hazardous materials into the spotlight. Vinyl Chloride and Benzene and other similar substances are dangerous health harming chemicals none of us should be exposed to, yet they’re used commonly in everyday products. The more we know, the better chances we have to protect our loved ones as well as our own health.
Hazardous Spill or Event
With a case involving a substantial hazardous event, like the train derailment in East Palestine, Ohio, it is best to leave the area and take your animals with you. Avoid contact with the air and water until enough time has passed that the hazardous substances no longer pose a threat. Travel to a safe place, well outside the perimeter of the epicenter. As long as odors remain in the air, it is not safe to return. Do not assume the water is safe to drink, cook with, or bathe in. Use filtered or bottled water, seek fresh air and oxygen, and avoid vegetation grown in contaminated area. To facilitate healing and purge toxins: take extra supplements like magnesium and selenium, full spectrum minerals, vitamin c, a quality probiotic and glutathione, quality fish/omega oils, chlorophyll like spirulina or chlorella, eat leafy dark green vegetables and cilantro, drink ample filtered water and drink organic herbal teas, spend time in infrared saunas and take mineral foot baths, meditate and get a daily dose of nature therapy as well as animal therapy if possible. And lastly, don’t forget to laugh. Laughter is good medicine.
Here’s a brief recap to shield your family from toxins in your daily life:
Water: always make sure your drinking filtered water. Cook with it as well. As much as possible avoid straight tap water, not only can you be picking up heavy metals from the water lines, but there are multitudes of health harming contaminants in tap water. Try to give your pets filtered water as well. FYI, Boiling water does not remove contaminants, boiling only kills bacteria and can inactive viruses and protozoa. A good water filter will eliminate contaminants as well as bacteria and viruses, etc.
Air Pollution: Breathing in fresh air is vital for our well being and a healthy respiratory system. Oxygen is life. Contaminated air, however will interfere our pursuit of health and happiness. Keep your home and office ventilated with fresh air, avoid dust, mold and mildew, dampness indoors. Improve the indoor air with air filters like HEPA or Molecule, frequent vacuuming (preferably with a HEPA filter), damp dusting, cleaning with nontoxic cleaners, and furnishings made with natural materials.
Air Fresheners and Deodorizers: many popular brands from sprays to cute little rearview mirror decorations contain endocrine disruptors, neurotoxins, and substances like dichlorobenzene that suppresses the body’s innate cancer cell eliminating power –what’s known as Apoptosis! In a modern world riddled with carcinogenic substances, who can afford to sacrifice their apoptosis power? Always choose natural scents and real essential oils, be selective with what you have around you.
Cleaning Products: if you choose truly nontoxic products or make your own with vinegar and baking soda and essential oils, you’ll avoid a heap of health harming aromas and substances hidden from plain view. Seventh Generation makes products that are a safe bet all the way around. Many commercial brands contain ethylene glycol, benzene, phthalates, toluene, formaldehyde, ethylene glycol, and other carcinogens and neurotoxins. Problematic products to Avoid include: window cleaners, pine sol, magic eraser and similar brands, disinfectants, products labeled as antimicrobial, bleach, anything containing ammonia, nanoparticles (these have no safety testing yet and are completely unregulated), chlorine, silver polish. For more information, check out this cleaning product database from Environmental Working Group.
Dish soaps, laundry detergents and Shampoo: Common popular brands typically contain phosphates that contribute to toxic algae blooms and dead zones, which devastates marine animals and aquatic life. Additionally, there are numerous other unsavory ingredients in common brands that worsen water pollution, and trigger substandard human health and animal disease.
Furnishings, Carpet, Flooring, and Window Treatments: The more you can avoid these substances the safer you will be: polyvinyl chloride (PVC), vinyl, mdf board, particle board, styrene and Styrofoam, plastic, UV coatings, as well as anything claiming to be: stain resistant, wrinkle free, nonstick. These types of products contain Carcinogens, Neurotoxins, Endocrine Disruptors and Reproductive Toxins.
Hazardous Substances: if you’re using cleaning products or construction materials with noxious odors make sure to have a window open. If the toxic odors are outdoors, find safety indoors. Try to reduce use of these substances as much as possible. Common household items that contain toxins and require ventilation include broken CFL or LED bulbs: immediately leave room for at least 15 minutes to let mercury, arsenic, lead and other hazardous toxins settle. If possible wear a mask or ventilator and vacuum, rather than sweep up broken pieces.
Flea and Tick Pet Collars: These are loaded with pesticides, toxic for both your pets, children and yourself. Better bet is to use diatomaceous earth (food grade) and give your pet a good bath.
Sunscreen Sprays: Almost all of the popular sunscreen sprays contain Benzene, a potent carcinogen for which there is no safe level of exposure. It’s derived from petroleum and lurking in many skin care products! Best bet for safe sunscreen are to seek those containing a mineral zinc base.
Personal Care Products: Opt for natural formulas that contain zero parabens, heavy metals, or toxic substances. One of my favorite places to quickly check the goodness of a product is here with EWG’s Skin Deep database.
Food and Beverages: if you choose organic you truly reduce your pesticide exposure as well as contribute to earth friendly farming. Pesticides are not only responsible for killing bees and pollinators but also putting us all on the edge of extinction. These chemicals also notorious carcinogens, neurotoxins, reproductive toxins, and endocrine disruptors.
Meat and Dairy: When we have the opportunity to purchase from local and small, sustainable farms, we say no to factory farming, animal cruelty and confinement, as well as all the toxic waste these farms add to our drinking water supplies. Such toxic waste from CAFOs (concentrated animal feeding operations) is causing the spike in antibiotic resistant bacteria and all sorts of other health troubles, not to mention contributing to toxic agricultural run off. Needless to say, all animals deserve to enjoy the outdoors and experience fresh air and exercise, even those raised for food. Consider your choices and where your food comes from. Together, our purchases can influence even the big fast food restaurants to source their meat and dairy from small farmers who care about animals. Such a shift will improve the fate for many farm animals now and well into the future. When in doubt, just say no to factory farms.
In addition to forming better shopping habits that support health both for people and planet, we can push for better regulations for Industry. If we could ban all these toxic substances and eliminate them from the products we buy, imagine how much healthier we’d all be. Water pollution would be a thing of the past and air pollution dangers would go to a minimum. But alas, we live in a world fueled by corporate profits and untrustworthy lobbyists. In such a scenario, our purchasing power sends the greatest signal.
If you have the strength and ability to write letters, make calls or send emails. please contact those in office. We must override the lobbyists and push for better train and transport safety. Labeling of hazardous substances wherever they’re used or transported is not optional. Modernizing train braking systems is common sense. Making the world safer and healthier for all is everyone’s duty, industry does not get a waiver. Any politician supporting industry negligence must be removed from office permanently.
Stay tuned for my upcoming books discussing these issues in more detail.
In the meantime keep well and filter your water.
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