Toxins are all around us and it may take years to see their effect. Cancers, birth defects, autoimmune diseases and even damage to organs may eventually result. Depending on the study, somewhere between 75 and 95 percent of cancers are caused by lifestyle and environmental factors. We can avoid many toxins by making wise purchases and eating whole foods. Teaching your children how to enjoy whole foods is vital for longevity and health.
1. PCBs (polychlorinated biphenyls)–Risks: Cancer and impaired fetal brain development.
Sources: Farm-raised salmon and other farm-raised fish. Most farm-raised salmon, which accounts for most of the supply in the United States have seven times the levels of PCB’s as wild salmon. Farm-raised fish are administered antibiotics at higher levels than livestock.
2. Pesticides–According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), 60 percent of herbicides, 90 percent of fungicides and 30 percent of insecticides are known to be carcinogenic.
Ethan is concerned about the toxins in our food supply.
Pesticide residues have been detected in 50 percent to 95 percent of U.S. foods. Risks: Cancer, Parkinson’s disease, miscarriage, nerve damage, birth defects, blocking the absorption of food nutrients.
Sources: Food (fruits, vegetables and commercially raised meats and dairy products), and bug sprays.
3. Mold and other Fungal Toxins–One in three people have had an allergic reaction to mold. Mycotoxins (fungal toxins) can cause a range of health problems with exposure to only a small amount. Risks: Cancer, heart disease, asthma, multiple sclerosis, and diabetes.
Sources: Contaminated buildings, food like peanuts, wheat, corn and alcoholic beverages
4. Phthalates–These chemicals are used to lengthen the life of fragrances and soften plastics. Risks: Endocrine system damage (phthalates chemically mimic hormones and are particularly dangerous to children).
Sources: Plastic wrap, plastic bottles, plastic food storage containers. All of these can leach phthalates into our food.
5. Dioxins–Chemical compounds formed as a result of combustion processes such as commercial or municipal waste incineration and from burning fuels (like wood, coal or oil). Risks: Cancer, reproductive and developmental disorders, chloracne (a severe skin disease with acne-like lesions), skin rashes, skin discoloration, excessive body hair, and mild liver damage.
Sources: Animal fats: Over 95 percent of exposure comes from eating commercial animal fats, look for grass-fed, naturally raised, and organic animal foods instead.