Environmental Toxicity: What You Should Know About It

We live in a highly industrialized society where we are exposed to pollutants and harmful toxins on the daily. It is our unquenchable thirst for progress and development that we knowingly subject ourselves to environmental toxicity. Toxins are present everywhere. It is in the air we breathe, the food we consume, and the water we drink. Everyone is at risk of ingesting harmful pollutants – not just children or the elderly. If your immune system is not in tiptop shape, then you are at a heightened risk of contracting diseases such as chronic fatigue, autoimmune diseases, and even certain cancers.

What is Environmental Toxicity?

Environmental toxicity is caused by a combination of different elements, some of which we use for our daily living. Food preservatives, household cleaning products, plastics, and even cigarettes are some of the most common pollutants we regularly use. Heavy metals, hydrocarbons, and other chemicals are also dispersed through our waterlines and atmosphere making it even easier for toxins to spread to the food we eat. However, of all these, biotoxins are of utmost concern for The International Center for Health and Wellness as these biological elements are able to produce toxins that directly damage our bodies. They are also very hard to detect and treat. Lyme Disease from tick bites, Ciguatera from contaminated fish, and Pfiesteria from water borne algae are just some of diseases caused by biotoxins.

A 2014 research by The University of Pennsylvania found that toxic pollutants indeed play a role in neurological defects in both children and adults although exact exposure levels are hard to quantify. Air pollution from factories, car fumes, and other machinery can potentially cause neuroinflammation as well as alter the immune system’s responses. Moreover, it was found that mercury and lead could potentially increase oxidative stress or the imbalance between free radicals and antioxidants in the body.

Symptoms to Look Out For

People who contract some form of disease caused by environmental toxins may exhibit symptoms such as fatigue, sensitivity to light, joint pains, diarrhea, numbness, and disorientation among others. Some of these symptoms are also seen in other common ailments, making ruling out of diseases a tad difficult for health professionals.

Despite the overwhelming amounts of toxic substances scattered around us, the complex organs in our bodies such as our liver and kidneys still work tirelessly to eliminate toxins. It is also because of the prevalence of many kinds to pollutants in our environment that our bodies may not be able to keep up. Due to this, some may experience Multiple Chemical Sensitivity (MCS) or the extreme sensitivity to different types of pollutants. People suffering from MCS experience symptoms such as headaches, rashes, and asthma from exposure to even the most common of chemicals such as perfume or cigarette smoke, as published in the Health Library of Johns Hopkins Medicine.

Toxic build up in our bodies may be reduced by choosing to be healthy and changing some of the lifestyle aspects that we might have been so used to doing. Drinking plenty of water and increasing fiber intake are advisable as well as choosing organic options not just for food but also for regular household items such as soaps and cleaning products.

Citations and references:

  1. International Center for Health and Wellness LLC. What is Environmental Toxicity? Retrieved from https://fibromyalgiafortmyers.com/service/environmental-toxicity/
  2. Liu J. and Lewis G. (2014). Environmental Toxicity and Poor Cognitive Outcomes in Children and Adults. National Institutes of Health. School of Nursing and Medicine, University of Pennsylvania. Retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4247328/
  3. McCampbell A. (2002-2018). What is Multiple Chemical Sensitivity? The Chemical Sensitivity Foundation. Retrieved from http://www.chemicalsensitivityfoundation.org/pdf/What-Is-MCS-by-Ann-McCampbell.pdf
  4. Johns Hopkins Medicine – Health Library. Multiple Chemical Sensitivity. Retrieved from https://www.hopkinsmedicine.org/healthlibrary/conditions/environmental_medicine/multiple_chemical_sensitivity_85,P00480
  5. Bradford, A. (2018, February 27). Pollution Facts & Types of Pollution. Retrieved from https://www.livescience.com/22728-pollution-facts.html
  6. Edited by: Lippman M. Environmental Toxicants: Human Exposures and Their Health Effects. Third Edition (Copyright © 2009). John Wiley & Sons Inc. Publication. Retrieved from http://web.as.uky.edu/Biology/faculty/cooper/bio350/Bio350%20Labs/WK10-Endocrine%20Lab/14042624-Environmental-Toxic-Ants-Third-Edition-Third-Edition.pdf

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