What you don’t know won’t hurt you.
Not only is that old idiom ignorant, it’s potentially dangerous. That’s especially true when it comes to toxins.
Having a healthy concern over the toxins that exist in the foods you eat and the cleaning agents or hygienic products you use every day is a good thing. When it comes to what you put in your mouth or on your skin, what you don’t know can kill you.
The Truth About Toxins
Every day, we’re exposed to a host of chemicals, pesticides, fumes, and personal products that can poison the brain and body. Toxins can be absorbed through the skin (when you rub in a cream), ingested (when you eat or drink), or inhaled (when you breathe). When absorbed into our bodies (via our nose, mouth, and pores), these toxins can negatively affect the brain and every part of the body.
Our biological systems eliminate toxins (through enzyme processing mainly by the liver, kidneys, and skin), but when those natural detoxification processes are overwhelmed major problems can develop. Toxic effects on the brain include poor memory and concentration, erratic behavior, word confusion, mood issues, headaches, vertigo, and cravings.
Where Do Toxins Hide Out in Your Home?
Let’s look at some examples of where you can be exposed to toxins in your house.
The average American woman uses about 12 personal care and cosmetic products daily. The average man uses about 6.
Certain toxic chemicals routinely included in these products are easily absorbed into your skin and transported to every organ in your body. That means while you’re trying to look good on the outside, you may be poisoning yourself on the inside.
Some toxins are obvious, like the aluminum in deodorants. Others, like titanium oxides that make creams white, have more recently been found to have toxic effects. Exercise caution with the personal care products you use and evaluate how toxic those products are with apps like Safe Cosmetics.
Do a bathroom cleanse and throw out all toxic products. Do the same for your kitchen.
To assist you in this effort, download the Think Dirty app, which rates household and personal care products on a scale of 1-10 (10 = the most toxic). Scan all the products in your house and pitch everything that’s toxic to your health.
The app also recommends cleaner alternatives that you can purchase at a health store or order right online.
In the U.S., our homes are often built of wood and drywall rather than the stone or brick, as is more common in Europe. Mold and fungi thrive on drywall, wood, and other soft materials.
Mold flourishes in dark and moist environments. A small drip from a leaky toilet, shower, or sink is all it takes to create a major mold problem.
A roof leak may initiate a mold problem. If you see a stain on the ceiling or wall, it’s a good bet there’s a hidden mold growth behind it. Mold also can lurk behind the walls of a shower, as well as in air ducts, crawl spaces, attics, basements, and other areas inside your house.
If you suspect that you’ve been exposed to mold, it’s essential to remove yourself from the environment until it can be cleaned up. Mold exposure (also called mycotoxin exposure) can be toxic to brain function, including memory and other cognitive functions. If you develop signs of possible mold exposure, such as sneezing, coughing, watery eyes, and skin irritation, make an appointment to see a mold specialist right away.
In many cases mold, carbon monoxide inhalation, or other toxins can damage the brain and result in decreased neurological function including memory loss, noticeable personality changes, and difficulty concentrating. Toxic exposure, and its effects on the internal structure of your brain, can be debilitating over the long-term.
Smoking, alcohol, and drug abuse increase your risk for memory problems. Recent studies confirm there’s no safe level of daily alcohol exposure – for some people, even one beer or glass of wine a day can damage their brain. Research demonstrates that smoking marijuana can negatively affect the hippocampus, a brain region crucially involved in learning and memory.
Toxic brain exposures, as from alcohol abuse, are also linked to accelerated mental decline. Alcohol can kill brain cells, shrink the brain over time, and increase the risk of long-term memory loss. Alcohol can impair blood flow to the brain and its use is linked to gut issues, nerve pain, and liver problems.
Aside from all the physical damage it can do to the body, alcohol can impair decision-making, make a gentle person aggressive, and is a major cause of incarceration and financial problems.
In addition to these common household toxins and substances, here are other harmful elements to keep an eye out for when purchasing food, personal care items, or household cleaning products…
10 of the Worst Toxins You Should Remove from Your Home
Acrylate comes from acrylic acid and can be used to form plastics. Acrylates are commonly used as adhesives for artificial eyelashes and nails. Exposure to acrylates comes primarily from inhalation or skin contact and may cause severe eye, skin, and throat/respiratory reactions – all of which can lead to serious, long-term health problems.
Aluminum is one of the most abundant metals and is found in a wide array of household items, such as cooking utensils, baking trays and foil, cosmetic products, deodorants, and processed foods such as frozen pizzas. Sadly, even fresh fruits and vegetables may contain trace amounts of aluminum if the soil in which they were grown has high aluminum. Aluminum in the diet, and/or entering our tissues from deodorants, can accumulate in the kidneys and is linked to toxic effects on the brain and body.
Formaldehyde is a colorless chemical that has a strong odor and is often used in manufacturing processes. It can be used in adhesives, solvents, and bonding agents for many products such as paint and wallpaper, foam insulation and synthetic fabrics, plywood and particle board, and cosmetics and hygiene products. Formaldehyde-based products are combustible, so take caution when burning them.
Many products list “fragrance” on the label, but most don’t identify what ingredients are in the fragrance. Fragrances can be found in deodorant, soap, shampoo, body wash, lotion, makeup, skin scrubs, and, of course, perfumes and colognes. Fragrances typically contain solvents (concentrates of non-edible plants) and other chemicals to help the scent last longer, yet are linked to serious health problems and may be the culprits in the chemical allergies so many people experience.
Lead is a highly toxic metal that can negatively affect the nervous system and every organ in the body. Lead can be found in some paints, art supplies, toys, and lipstick. When 30 of the top lipstick brands were tested, lead was found in over half of them.
This ingredient helps filter UV light and derives from benzophenone, a possible hormone disruptor. Oxybenzone is found in certain sunscreen products and may cause skin allergies or other concerns. It can accumulate in the blood and kidneys and may be toxic to liver cells.
Parabens are chemicals that have been used as preservatives in many processed foods and household products since the 1920s. These chemicals can be found in makeup, sunscreen, deodorant, toothpaste, shampoo, and even vitamins, supplements, and medications. These low-cost preservatives can be endocrine disruptors and have been linked to reproductive and weight issues.
Phthalates are chemical “plasticizers,” substances added to plastics to make them more flexible and less brittle. Exposure to phthalates can come from PVC toys, vinyl shower curtains, vinyl upholstery, floor tiles, food wrap film, and personal care products such as moisturizers, perfumes, eye shadow, nail polish, liquid soaps, and hair sprays. These chemicals are endocrine disruptors that may damage the immune system, kidneys, liver, lungs, and reproductive system over the long-term.
Polyethylene glycol (PEG) compounds are derived from petroleum and are used as softening and thickening agents. They can be found in skin creams, personal lubricants, toothpastes, baby wipes, and other personal care products. Common side effects to PEG exposure include vomiting/nausea, rectal pain, dizziness, chills, hunger and thirst, and sleep issues.
Triclosan is an antimicrobial agent found in many soaps, detergents, toothpastes, deodorants, creams, and color cosmetics. It’s estimated that 75% of the U.S. population has been exposed to this compound in consumer and personal care products. Triclosan may have a negative impact on thyroid function, may create potential antibiotic resistance, and may cause pregnancy problems.
The more exposure you have to the everyday toxins mentioned above, the more your chances of developing long-term mental or physical health issues.
To minimize your exposure to toxins, it’s a good idea to ditch personal care and cleaning products that contain harmful ingredients. Use apps like Safe Cosmetics and Think Dirty to purge your home of toxic products.
Remember, what goes on your body goes in your body, so do everything you can to remove toxins from your life.
Purge products with these harmful toxins from your home and keep an eye out for them when purchasing food, personal care items, or household cleaning products:
- Polyethylene glycols
At BrainMD, we’re dedicated to providing the highest purity nutrients to improve your physical health and overall well-being. For more information about our full list of brain healthy supplements, please visit us at BrainMD.
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