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Your Environmental Toxicology Report

From eNewsletter 1/20/2020

DID YOU KNOW that adherence to a healthy lifestyle (equal to or more than 2 healthy lifestyle components) is associated with lower risk of colorectal polyps?

According to a European Journal of Clinical Nutrition study, components most strongly associated with lower odds of colorectal polyps were maintaining a healthy diet and abstinence from smoking.


Bonnie and Steve: Assessing and addressing your environmental toxicology, or your toxic load, is one of the main tenets to begin this new decade. Here's why:

JAMA Internal Medicine study suggests higher exposure to pyrethroid insecticides was associated with a higher risk of death from all causes or cardiovascular disease over 14 years of observation. PREVENTIVE TIP: Eat organic.

A JAMA Pediatrics study found that maternal exposure to specific persistent pollutant mixtures may reduce fetal growth, and this association is apparent even at low levels of exposure. PREVENTIVE TIP: Eat organic.

Research presented at American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists 2019 Annual Meeting suggests that common chemicals affect reproductive health. For example, lifetime and uterine exposure to bisphenol A (BPA), a compound frequently used in plastics and food packaging, has the potential to affect female organs and fetal brain development.

Occupational exposure to BPA has also been shown to cause sexual dysfunction in men, and the endocrine-disrupting chemical plays a role in the obesity epidemic. 

Other compounds include flame retardants, phthalates, and bisphenol S, the BPA replacement commonly found in products labeled BPA-free. The lead researcher was surprised to discover how high her own levels of bisphenol S were when she had her urine analyzed. PREVENTIVE TIP: Decrease exposure by not microwaving food in plastic containers, eat freshly prepared food with a lot of organic fruits and vegetables, and when you buy furniture, ask if it is treated with flame retardants.

Personal care products such as shampoos, conditioners, moisturizers, cosmetics and other personal care products often contain toxins. PREVENTIVE TIP: Switch to certified organic and/or homemade personal care products. Cut down on the number of personal care products you use every day. Avoid antibacterial soaps, wipes and sanitizer gels.

Your drinking water may be contaminated with atrazine, glyphosate, arsenic, perchlorate and/or fire retardant chemicals. PREVENTIVE TIP: Filter your water, both at your tap and your shower/bath if possible, using a high-quality water filtration system.

Fish contaminated with high levels of mercury and other heavy metals disrupt hormonal balance. Shark, swordfish, king mackerel, marlin, sea bass and tuna (except for skipjack and Tongol) are among the worst offenders. PREVENTIVE TIP: Farmed fish is higher in contaminants and are better off avoided. Farmed salmon is the worst in this regard. Your safest and healthiest options include smaller fish such as sardines, anchovies, mackerel, herring, and other fatty fish such as cod and wild-caught salmon.

Plastic containers and bottles may contain BPA or other endocrine-disrupting plastic chemicals that can leach into your food, especially if the plastic is heated. Nonstick, stain-resistant and water-repellant surfaces have been linked to thyroid disease, infertility and developmental and reproductive problems. PREVENTIVE TIP: Use glass containers and ceramic and enameled cast iron cookware, both of which are durable, easy to clean, and are completely inert. Eschew any aluminum lined or plastic containers of any kind whenever possible. Use wood, glass, stainless steel, or silicone.

Commercial solutions used to clean your floors, toilets, oven, windows and more typically contain industrial chemicals that may throw your hormones out of whack. Many toxins also lurk in fragrances, and this applies to personal care products as well. PREVENTIVE TIP: Use green cleaning products or create your own cleaning products using different combinations of vinegar, baking soda, essential oils and even coconut oil. Avoid scented products, including air fresheners, scented trash bags and so on.

Fire retardant chemicals are often found lurking in household dust as they shed from treated furniture such as couches, mattresses and carpet padding. PREVENTIVE TIP: Buy "green" nontoxic furniture, mattresses and building materials whenever possible. Use a HEPA filter for your vacuum. When mopping and dusting, use a wet mop or rag to avoid scattering the dust.

Ink cartridges, toners and other solvents common in office environments are another common source of environmental toxicants. PREVENTIVE TIP: Handling such products with care and minimize your exposure as much as possible.

Thermal paper used for cash register receipts typically contain BPA, and research shows handling this type of paper for just five seconds was enough to transfer BPA onto a person's skin. PREVENTIVE TIP: Use BPA-free paper or paperless receipts via email or text message. Avoid carrying receipts in your wallet or purse, as the chemical can transfer onto other surfaces. Wash your hands after handling receipts and currency.

Other ways to prevent toxic load buildup:

  • Drink green tea

  • Hydrate optimally with filtered water

  • Exercise and sweat regularly (avoid exercising in environments or conditions with heavy traffic, smog, or other air pollutants)

  • Install high-quality air filters in home and vehicles; change regularly

  • Limit vehicle idling

  • Eliminate the use of pesticides on your lawn

  • Use paints with low volatile organic compounds (VOCs)

  • Utilize electric over gas-powered tools and appliances when possible

  • Add air cleansing plants indoors and plant trees and other foliage around house and in yard


Obesogens are molecules that inappropriately regulate lipid metabolism and adipogenesis (fat production) to promote obesity. For most of the world, obesogens are omnipresent. There are several categories of obesogens that have been defined, which include all that have been listed above in this article, plus:

  • Cigarette smoke

  • Air pollutants

  • Food additives

  • Pharmaceutical drug classes: Insulin, Oral Nasal Decongestants, Protease inhibitors, Atypical antipsychotics, Anticonvulsants and mood stabilizers, Hormones, Antidepressants

  • Individual drugs: too many to name but drugs like blood pressure meds and oral steroids

PREVENTIVE TIP: The less adipose (fat) tissue, the less your obesogen load. Adhere to all the preventive tips listed above, with a special emphasis on exercise and keeping good muscle tone.

Assessment and Therapies to Rid Yourself of Toxicants

A genetic screening is essential to see where certain mutations in the methylation and other detoxification cycles could make the effects of toxicity worse. 

If you currently have, or have had, dental amalgams, your toxic load must be assessed.

If you have conditions related to environmental toxicants to which have been resistant to multiple treatments, you need to screen for toxicants.

Three ways to screen for toxicants:

  • Hair Analysis (for heavy metals only)

  • Blood test

  • Urine metabolite test

Therapies to rid yourself of toxicants (these only should be done under the auspices of a knowledgable health professional):

  • Far Infrared Sauna

  • Fiber

  • Activated Charcoal

  • Sulforaphane

  • Activated B12 (Adenosyl/HydroxyB12) and Folate (Methyltetrahydrofolate)


This article is reserved for NCI Well Connect Members. You can get this article by signing up here. You can get our free eNewsletter by signing up at the top of our website.

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