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The Toxic 12

The world we live in is an inadvertently constant exposure to unlimited toxins attesting you don’t have to live next to a toxic site to be exposed. It is from the food you consume to your regular hygienic routine. It is from the lounger you enjoy and the carpet on your floors. These are but a few of verified points of contamination.

In a study done by Dr. Philippe Grandjean of the Harvard school of Public Health and Philip Landrigan of the Icahn school of medicine, they establish the alarming effects of chemical exposure on the human brain with a heightened risk to the unborn child. The doctors call it the “silent pandemic”. A pandemic because there is a rising number of children suffering from neurotoxicity -damage to brain development with little in the way of a definitive diagnosis.

This kind of exposure to natural and artificial toxic substances has also been linked to the alteration of normal functioning of the nervous system. Doctor Philippe’s research is one of the recent studies that have once again established this cause of concern. The study names 12 toxins frequently present in our daily lives as the greater cause of Autism Spectrum Disorder, ADHD and Lower IQ levels:

Manganese: Mostly found in stainless steel and soda cans. Used to protect metal from corroding and has been associated to lower IQ scores

Lead: Found in gasoline, house paints and sometimes in children toys. The levels vary by agency and type of exposure. Although consumer product safety commission has significantly lowered the levels that can be used, there is no agreement on what constitutes a safe level exposure. Exposure to lead can affect nearly every system in the body.

Toluene: Affects the nervous system, eyes, skin, respiratory system, liver and kidneys. Used to make nylon and plastic soda bottles, also as a solvent in paints, metal cleaners, nail polish, shellac, glues and adhesives. Exposure is by breathing it in, getting it on your skin, splashing on your eyes or swallowing it.

Fluoride: Occurs naturally in most water sources. High levels connected with significant lower IQ levels. It may also affect fetal brain development and behavior

Chlorpyrifos, DDT/DDE: Pesticides banned in most parts of the world but are still used in many lower-income countries. Have been said to have a possible connection to Alzheimer’s disease

Tetrachloroethylene (PERC): Often used in dry cleaning fabrics and has been linked to cause hyperactivity

Polybrominated Diphenyl Ethers (PBDEs): Often found in food and can be passed to a baby through breast milk.

Arsenic: Commonly found in water supplies as it enters the water table though the soil. It is also used in bronzing and pesticide production. When absorbed it can reduce cognitive function in school children and cause neurological diseases

Mercury: Initially used in thermometers and as a laxative by industries but has found its way to fish. Affects the neurological development of a fetus, slows down kidneys if absorbed in large quantities and may cause Pituitary/Thyroid dysregulation

Ethanol: Used in medical products, industrial solvents and alcoholic beverages. Also associated with neurological disorder

Polycholorinated Biphenyls (PCBs): Mostly used in insulation, carbon copy and engine coolant.

While avoiding these chemicals can be challenging given their prevalent nature, reading product labels, avoiding certain foods and a little change in lifestyle can go a long way in keeping you healthy. Engaging in a detoxification program constantly can also ensure you rid your body of most of these chemicals to a desirable non-toxic level.



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