Staying Safe From Environmental Toxins
Practical advice on reducing your exposure to cancer-causing chemicals and radiation
In 2018, nearly 10 million people died of cancer, and in the US, it’s the second leading cause of death. However, the impact of these statistics is often lost to a state of hopelessness. We are continually told that just about everything causes cancer, from engine exhaust to plastic water bottles to plastic friendship bracelets.
Let’s see if we can sort this out, and along the way, provide some practical tips to deal with the environmental toxins that may cause cancer and steal our health in many other ways. A good place to start is with radiation poisoning.
That Cell Phone Problem
The relationship between cancer and cell phone use is often looked upon with skepticism.
Perhaps such apathy is because scientific evidence about the cause-and-effect relationship between cell phones and cancer has not attracted the attention of the mainstream media? Perhaps, since telecommications companies have spent billions of dollars on their development, we assume that cell phones are safe? Whatever the excuse, cell phone abuse can make you sick, perhaps even kill you. Just ask Devra Davis.
Devra Davis, PhD., MPH. is the former Director of the Center for Environmental Oncology of the University of Pittsburgh Cancer Institute. Davis has led the charge in educating the general population about the dangers of cell phone use. She testified before a United States Senate committee panel on the subject and wrote a book for the general public called The Disconnect: The Truth About Cell Phone Radiation.
Davis says the challenge public health officials face in educating the public about the dangers of cell phone use is that it takes so long to develop symptoms. Evidence of this can be found in the high number of people who developed brain cancer from exposure to radiation from an atomic bomb. Often it took these individuals 40 years to display symptoms. Thus, in the next 20 years, we will to see a dramatic increase in brain cancer.
It’s true that cell phone companies include safety instructions with their products. These instructions usually state that the phones should not be pressed against the ear except in emergencies, as this will increase radiation exposure. Davis is especially concerned with children using cell phones, as their thinner skulls cannot block the radiation as well as adults.
In addition to brain cancer, cell phone use reduces sperm count and adversely affects the health of sperm by damaging its DNA. There is also the issue of driving while texting, as government accident records suggest that driving while texting is equivalent to driving drunk.
What can you do? First, pick up a copy of Davis’ book as it gives many practical suggestions on reducing your exposure to cell phone radiation. In the meantime, here are four do’s and don’ts of cell phone use that will make a difference according to Money Life:
- Use a headset. Using a speaker, hands-free device, or earphones when speaking on a cell phone distances it from the body and head and minimizes your exposure to radiation
- Keep it away from children. Studies consistently show that children are especially vulnerable to the effects of cell phone radiation. Generally, the younger the child, the more at risk they are.
- Carry a cell phone in your pocket. Even when a cell phone is not in use, it emits radiation.
- Leave a cell phone on your nightstand. You may be sleeping, but your cell phone is busy emitting radiation
Now let’s turn our attention to chemical toxins.
The Chemical Dilemma
A chemical toxin is a foreign substance that causes harmful effects on the body, and the average American is exposed to about 80,000 chemicals in their lifetime. Not all of these chemicals are safe or harmful, as there are many variables to consider. For example, most people can tolerate caffeine well, but for those who cannot metabolize it well it could be considered a toxic substance.
Besides cancer, toxins can have many other unwanted effects. Just ask Mark Schauss.
Mark Schauss, MBA, DB, is considered an expert on how toxins affect our body, how to reduce our exposure to these harmful chemicals, and which detoxification methods work and which do not. He examines this topic in detail in his book, Achieving Victory Over a Toxic World.
One of the possible adverse effects of exposure to toxins it that they can cause the body to lower its internal temperature (hypothermia), reducing how many calories you burn and thus contributing to weight gain. Schauss says the American Medical Association considered lowering the average healthy body temperature from 98.6 degrees to 98 degrees because so few people now have a temperature of 98.6 due to this hypothermia.
Schauss says toxins can also play havoc with hormonal balance, making it difficult for us to lose weight and stay lean.
Schauss says toxins can increase estrogen production in females and lower testosterone in males, making it difficult for both sexes to lose unwanted fat once it develops. He adds that the increase in estrogen causes girls to physically mature early, which can have many unwanted effects. He says a psychologist who told him he had worked with girls as young as nine years old who had become pregnant. “This is extremely disturbing because these girls are unable to handle pregnancy, either physiologically or mentally,” says Schauss.
It’s not possible to completely shield us from all harmful toxins, but in his book, Schauss discusses ways to reduce our exposure to toxins along with explaining detoxification methods. Here are a few dos and don’ts.
Wait two days before wearing clothes that were dry cleaned. Allowing dry cleaned clothes to air out for a few days reduce the amount of toxins the clothes will carry from the dry-cleaning process.
Get tested. Schauss recommends getting tested to determine what toxins are in your body. Among the tests commonly used include blood, urine, stool, and hair. Schauss stresses that before a woman gets pregnant, she should get tested to remove toxins that may be harmful to the baby, even resulting in obese infants. “Researchers are finding that there has been an alarming increase in the number of obese, breast-fed babies,” says Schauss. This is not just a question of kids eating poorly.”
Heat or microwave anything stored in or covered with plastic. Toxins from the plastic will enter your food from this common practice.
Use air fresheners. Schauss says one of the chemicals commonly found in these products is linked to the development of autism. In the 70s, the CDC estimated that one out of every children has an autism spectrum disorder. In 2018 that ratio was 1 in 59, and now that ratio is 1 in 40!
Regarding the value of nutritional supplements in protecting us from the effects of environmental toxins, Schauss discusses the use many supplements for this purpose. One that he endorses for this purpose is vitamin C, which is contained in our Immune Support Cocktail. Another tool is the regular use of an infrared sauna, which is especially useful for removing heavy metals from the body.
Radiation and chemical toxins are a consequence of our modern lifestyle. Follow the guidelines presented here and work with healthcare professionals to develop a lifestyle to reduce your risk of exposure to these environmental toxins and create a personal detoxification plan to help you achieve optimal health!