It’s a toxic world we live in. According to the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) and the US National Toxicology Program (NTP) there are over 900 identified potential cancer causing toxins in our environment. This is not to mention the literal tens of thousands of chemicals our bodies are exposed to everyday, that may not cause cancer specifically but harm our bodies in numerous other ways.
We are exposed to toxins every day from :
- Lifestyle factors (nutrition, tobacco use, physical activity, etc.)
- Naturally occurring exposures (ultraviolet light, radon gas, infectious agents, etc.)
- Medical treatments (chemotherapy, radiation, immune system-suppressing drugs, etc.)
- Workplace exposures (chemicals in printing ink, photocopiers, fumes from car exhausts, industrial carpets, cleaning products etc.)
- Household exposures (cleaning products, body care and hair care products, carpets, polishes and furniture finishes, water supply)
For any particular person, the risk of developing cancer or other health issues as a result of exposure to toxins depends on many factors, including how they are exposed to a toxin, the length and intensity of the exposure, and the person’s genetic makeup.
There is no longer a pure, uncontaminated place on this planet. Even Antarctica, considered one of the most pristine environments on earth, has documented levels of persistent chemical pollutants like pesticides, industrial chemicals, flame retardants and heavy metals like mercury and arsenic.
With this in mind, we have two choices. We can allow toxins to accumulate in our bodies and deal with the problems when they arise; or we can be proactive and do what we can with the knowledge we now have, to minimise our exposure and enhance our body’s means of getting rid of the stuff it doesn’t need. A regular “spring clean” or detox is like a maintenance check for our body, mind, lifestyle and environment.
Detoxing or cleansing is simpler and easier than you might think. Fortunately we are all unique and there is no such thing as a one size fits all solution for detox or your health. This is why its best to talk to your naturopath for a tailored and supervised program to help you get the best results in line with your specific health needs.
In the meantime here are 3 things you can do now to reduce your exposure to toxins:
- Filter the water you drink, even if it’s tank water. If taking water to work or school, use a stainless steel or glass water bottle rather than plastic.
- Exercise to work up a sweat most days. Sweating is a form of detoxification.
- Replace hair and body products with toxin free alternatives. For example, coconut oil makes a great hair moisturiser and can be used to make an easy deodorant. Plant based shampoo and conditioner comes in all types. We have a selection of our favourites in store at Brisbane Natural Health.
Anne-Marie McDonald B.