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Toxics in our environment

Friday 28 th March 2014

We live sorrounded of chemical products. They can be found in most of kitchens, bathrooms, bedrooms, offices, cities, villages, food, medicines, etc. Luckily our body holds several mechanisms for detoxification that allow preserving life despite these agressions. But the detoxification pathwaty in some individuals (persons or animals) is blocked, and then the toxics are accumulated in the body and they cause the most dreadful diseases.  So then, how can we avoid these products as much as possible?

The most dangerous toxics are heavy metals (mercury, lead and cadmium), because in contrast to some metals that can have beneficial effects at low dose, living beings can’t metabolize heavy metals, and they should be completely removed from the body.  (1)
Acute intoxications have a devastating effect on health, but they can be detected quite easily and then quickly going to the hospital to remove this product from the body. But chronic intoxication at low and silent dosis is difficult to detect, cause chronic diseases and cancer, and the substance is really difficult to take them out of the body, because it has been stocked in different tissues like the brain, thyroid, liver, bones, etc.
Another possible frequently polluted product is tap water, because it’s consumed in a considerable daily amount and because we use to trust on the depuration process to remove all the contamination. But this is not always the case. Some cities in Switzerland, such as Bern, the following contaminants have been found: mesophile aerobic germs, traces of pesticides and benzotriazol, a corrosive substance (2). So one can imagine what kind of pollution can contain tap water in other cities from more polluted countries: traces of all kind of medicine, heavy metals, pesticides, endocrinian disruptors, …
The european “REACH” legislation requires to the industry to proof the innocuousness of their chemical products. 30.000 out of 100.000 substances identified will be tested in next 10 years, which means that in next 30 years we will still don’t know the possible toxicity of all the 100.000, without taking into account the new substances that will appear, or the substances that won’t be submitted to test because of their small production, or the doubtful objectivity of the results… (3)
In any case, if a suspicion about a chronic intoxication is raised, then some tests can be made in order to verify it. Also tap water can be analysed, as well as air.

Toxics can be the origin of diseases of any kind. Some examples are:
  • Neurological and degenerative diseases: developmental disorders, autism, hyperactivity, dyslexia, dyspraxia, alzheimer, parkinson, epilepsy, schizophrenia, memory loss, behavioural disorders, …
  • Cardiovascular diseases: heart failure, coronary artery disease, hypertension, atherosclerosis, dysrhythmias, …
  • Auto-immune diseases: multiple sclerosis, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, lupus, Guillain-Barré syndrome, Hashimoto thyroiditis, type 1 diabetes, celiac disease, …
  • Endocrine disorders: early puberty, reproductive disorders, premenstrual syndrome, early menopause, acne, …
  • Allergy: asthma, hay fever, eczema, food allergy, …
  • MCS (Multiple Chemical Sensitivity)
  • Cancer
Several research show the link between some chemicals with some diseases, for instance:
  • Plastics (BPA, phthalates): endocrine disruptor (fertitily, breast cancer, etc.)
  • Pesticides, insecticides, fumigation: MCS
  • Aluminium: alzheimer, macrophagic myofasciitis
  • Mercury (amalgams, vaccines, etc.): cancer, autism, parkinson, multiple sclerosis (hepatitis B vaccine)
  • Colorants: ADDH
  • Electromagnetism: electromagnetic sensitivity

PTFE: perfluorooctanoic acid
APFO or C-8: ácide perfluoro octanico
BPA: bisphenol A
PBDE: polybrominated diphenyl ethers
PVC: polyvinyl chloride

Following, some of the toxic products you can more frequently find in our environment.

Product Chemical
tins, plastic containers, pastic wrapping food transfer: BPA, phtalates (plastic), lead, cadmium
Teflon pans food transfer: APFO
Aluminium tools and pans, aluminium foil food transfer: aluminium
dishwasher soap formaldehyde (traces in dishware)
microwave oven escaping microwaves, modified food protein, release of dioxins, polyethylene terpthalate (PET), benzene, toluene, and xylene by the plastic containers
plastic and paper tea cups tea transfer of chlorine (box), BPA (plastic)
house cleaning products glycol ethers
Alkylphenol ethoxylates
Quaternary ammonium
Product Chemical
shower curtains vapours : PVC, phthalates, lead, cadmium
cosmetics, soaps, perfumes, dyes, nail polish, deodorants phthalates, parabens, sodium-laureth-sulfate, propylen glycol, formaldehyde, squalene, mercure, triclosan, BHA, fragrances, oxybenzone
deodorants aluminium
Bedroom, living-room, office:
Product Chemical
computers, portable, mobile phones, tv, electronics… electromagnetic pollution, environment: PBDE
Product Chemical
paints and varnish vapours: APFO, lead, cadmium, arsenic, formaldehyde
energy-efficient light bulb, fluorescent tubes vapours if broken: mercury
vinyl floor carpet vapours: phthalates, lead
carpets, curtains, mattress vapours: APFO, PBDE, formaldehyde
battery environment: mercury, lead, arsenic
wood furniture vapours: formaldehyde
fumigate vapours: formaldehyde
insect spray pyretrinoides
wall paper vapours: lead, cadmium, phthalates
Product Chemical
gas from transport lead (until 1971), cadmium
pneumatic’s particles cadmium
petrol benzene (vapours) , nanoparticles
incinerator, crematorium mercury,dioxines
aeroport kerosene, acustical
Product Chemical
Fertilizer mercury, cadmium
Pesticides, insecticides cadmium, mercury, arsenic (until 1940)
Product Chemical
“Light” products Aspartame
Candies, chewing-gums, etc. Colorants (E102-E155)
Chinese restaurant, instant soup,
Restaurantes chinos, sopas de sobre, bouillon cube
Glutamate (E620-625)
Processed meat E230, E251, E252
Fruit and vegetables Pesticides, insecticides
Meat, milk Hormones, antibiotics
Big cold fatty fish (tuna, salmon, shark, swordfish ) shelfish mercury
Margarines Trans fats
Grains (mostly corn and soya) GMO
Tap water Chlorine, lead (old houses), heavy metals, pesticides, medicines
Bottled water and drinks, tinned food, baby bottle BPA, antimony, urane, acetaldehyde, cadmium
Barbecue transfer of arsenic, insecticides from wood
New formed en food:
Product Chemical
products submited to high temperature: chips, french fries, coffee,  toasts, biscuits, breakfast cereals, burned barbecue meat acrylamides
smoked saumon, smoked bacon Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons (PAHs)
pre-packed foods that have undergone heat treatment (coffee and small jars of baby food) furane
School, toys and other products for kids:
Product Chemical
Highlighters, glue solvents (trichloroethane, toluene, xylene), heavy metals, aldehydes, phenols,chlorinates, aniline
costume jewelery cadmium
plastic toys (PVC) BPA, phthalates, lead, cadmium
makeup lead, nickel, cobalt, chrome
Product Chemical
heartburn aluminium
vaccines mercury, aluminium, squalene, polysorbate, antibiotics, formaldehyde, gelatin, contamination of virus
amalgams mercury
eye drops mercury
essential oils formaldehyde (vapours)
Product Chemical
cloth formaldehyde (vapours)
deodorants, sprays, perfumed candles, essential oils, electronic diffuser formaldehyde (vapours), benzene
degreaser, dry-cleaning, paint-stripper organic solvents (chlorinated)
cigarettes nicotine, carbon monoxide, benzene, formaldehyde, cyanide of hydrogen, cadmium, arsenic, cyanidric acid, mercury, DDT, methanol, polonium 210, toluene, formic acid, nitric acid, clorhidric acid, etc, etc.
smell of new car formaldehyde (vapours), vinyl chloride
Advices to reduce the exposition:
1.- Air out the house every day, more frequently at hot temperatures.
2.- Avoid high temperatures or very wet ambient in closed spaces (car, house, etc).
3.- Choose wood products with a free-formaldehyde label.
4.- Wash clothes, blankets, tablecloth, etc. when they are new before first use.
5.- Avoid places with smoking pollution.
6.- Choose paints and vanish with low volatile compounds content.
7.- Avoid consuming any product that emanates strong smell, even if it’s a good smell, such as essential oils, perfumes, deodorants, cosmetic…) and evidently, bad smells (car petrol, paints, glue, etc).
8.- Buy organic products, avoid pots and pans made of Teflon and aluminium.
9.- Use only glass containers for food and liquids if possible, avoid plastic, cardboard , aluminium foil, tins, etc.
10.- Avoid grilled and smoked food.
11.- Rinse well all the dishes after going out of dishwasher.
12.- Minimise hygiene and cleaning products: water is usually enough. You can add some lemon juice, vinegar or bicarbonate of sodium for house cleaning.
13.- Filter tab water, I advice a reverse osmosis system.
14.- Avoid chlorinated swimming-pools.
15.- Clean grease and rests of other food off the oven to avoid smoke, otherwise the food cooked in the oven will be smoked, which contains PAH toxics.
To know more I recommend:
(1)    “Les effets du Mercure sur notre Santé”, Bernard Windham.
(2)    “L’eau est le miroir du monde où nous vivons”, Bon à savoir, mai 2011
(3)    “Purifiez votre eau de table”, Nadette & Richard Haas
(4)    Environmental Working Group, http://www.ewg.org/consumer-guides
(5)    Maurice Rabache, “Toxiques alimentaires”, Libra
(6)    Dr. Claudia Miller's QEESI Questionnaire, http://www.chemicalsensitivityfoundation.org/chemical-sensitivity-questionnaire.htm
(7)    “La composition des vaccins”, Dr-Jean-PILETTE
(8)    Association Toxicologie Chimie, http://www.atctoxicologie.fr/

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