We all have small amounts of polluting chemicals in our blood. This is because the water and food supply is contaminated by the abundance of chemicals used in mass farming practices, pesticides, plastics, manufacturing processes, and personal care products such as deodorant, lotion, makeup, shampoo and shower gel. According to the Environmental Working Group, “Through Teflon’s use in hundreds of household products – carpets, clothing, food wrappers and many more – PFOA and closely related chemicals have spread to the remote corners of Earth, contaminating the blood of virtually all Americans and even passing through the umbilical cord to unborn babies in the womb.” Women, fetuses, and developing children can be particularly adversely affected by toxins because they interfere with the endocrine system, growth and development. Links have been drawn between different cancers and different toxins, over and over and over again. We also absorb and breathe in pollutants from the air. Our skin is our largest organ. Yes, it’s pretty upsetting, but stay with me. Knowing all this, you can take steps to reduce your exposure. You cannot eradicate it. And you probably wouldn’t want to give up cars, trains, planes, meat (for most people), non-stick pans, dishwasher tablets, fertiliser for your garden, cleaning detergents, make up, hygiene essentials and so on. We invented this stuff, damaged the environment, and now we can’t live without modern day ‘essentials’. But we can make more environmentally-friendly and more species-friendly choices, and there are hundreds of companies that have created more responsible options for us which have now become mainstream accessible options. (This would be a whole other blog in itself, but I name some brands in my resource list at the end). We have a responsibility as the most intelligent species on the planet to make the right decisions. It’s only when you start to address the problem of toxins in modern society, accept it and roll your sleeves up to do your bit can you really progress in your wellness journey. This has been the most recent realization for me and I’ve a ways to go but am slowly and steadily eradicating harmful substances from my life. And it feels good! You can bask in a small comfort if you are already eating well (which means you’re getting antioxidants and cleansing nutrients from your abundant diet!) because you have been giving your body some protection from the inside out.
"Women, fetuses, and developing children can be particularly adversely affected by toxins because they interfere with the endocrine system, growth and development."
• Buy organic wherever possible and wash all organic and non-organic fruit, veg and legumes thoroughly. • Search the ‘dirty dozen’ in terms of non-organic foods with the most pesticides (www.ewg.org lists them) so you can prioritize according to your budget. • Buy pans and cooking utensils labelled PFOA and PFTE free. • Ditch plastic water bottles and food containers and never microwave a plastic container - use glass instead. • Buy eco friendly / plant-based household products and cleaner cosmetics which have banned harmful additives such as parabens, sodium lauryl and laureth sulfates, and fragrance. • Deodorant and perfume - people often wear these every single day: go for plant-based deodorant (I like SmartyPits) and essential oils based scents (I like the Ambre range). • When in doubt, use a pure oil such as organic coconut oil as a moisturiser, or a pure clay as a cleanser! • We used to add spirulina to smoothies when we lived in London to give ourselves some extra help to rid toxins from the body in a highly polluted environment. • Sunscreen: look for a zinc based sunscreen without additives or fragrance. • Read. Every. Label. If you aren’t already, you must start today.