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Is Your Body a Toxic Waste Dump?


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The media is sounding the alarm about Zika virus, but the environmental toxins that we’re exposed to on a daily basis are a much bigger threat to our health—and our children’s health. Learn 3 ways that you can protect yourself and your family.

wellness mama water filter
Environmental toxins such as pesticides affect our bodies more adversely than even the Zika virus. istock.com/fotokostic

Over the last several years I’ve written extensively about the importance of nutrition, physical activity, sleep, stress management, social support, play, and a sense of purpose to our health and well-being.

Why are these factors so important? Because they are the primary drivers of chronic disease, which is by far the leading cause of death in the industrialized world. If you’re interested in prolonging your lifespan, the name of the game is, quite simply, avoiding chronic disease for as long as possible.

There’s another major factor that contributes to chronic disease that I haven’t written as much about yet I’ve come to believe is every bit as important (if not more so, in some cases) than those I just mentioned above: environmental toxins.

In a recent article in The New York Times, Nicholas Kristof points out that we’re exposed to hundreds of these toxins on a daily basis, most of which are completely invisible—and either ignored or underappreciated by the conventional media and medical establishment:

Scientists have identified more than 200 industrial chemicals—from pesticides, flame retardants, jet fuel—as well as neurotoxins like lead in the blood or breast milk of Americans, indeed, in people all over our planet.

These have been linked to cancer, genital deformities, lower sperm count, obesity, and diminished I.Q. Medical organizations from the President’s Cancer Panel to the International Federation of Gynecology and Obstetrics have demanded tougher regulations or warned people to avoid them, and the cancer panel has warned that “to a disturbing extent, babies are born ‘pre-polluted.’”

They have all been drowned out by chemical industry lobbyists.

These lobbyists have been so effective over the years that our current laws permit companies to introduce new chemicals into our environment (which inevitably end up in our food, air, and water) without any testing to show that they are safe.

In other words, chemicals are “innocent until proven guilty.”

That’s bad enough. But even when the chemicals are proven guilty, or at least strong concern about their effect on our health is raised, nothing happens.

Americans have over 200 toxic chemicals in their blood. Learn 3 ways to protect yourself and your family.

The chemicals Kristof mentions above are perfect examples. BPA, pesticides, flame retardants, and other chemicals that are commonly found in our food, food packaging, clothing, furniture, and household materials have been linked to numerous diseases in adults, and most disturbingly, lifelong developmental changes in children.

Yet these chemicals continue to be used, and the media gives very little attention to the problem. From the same article:

Americans are panicking about the mosquito-borne Zika virus and the prospect that widespread infection may reach the United States. That’s a legitimate concern, but public health experts say that toxic substances around us seem to pose an even greater threat.

“I cannot imagine that Zika virus will damage any more than a small fraction of the total number of children who are damaged by lead in deteriorated, poor housing in the United States,” says Dr. Philip Landrigan, a prominent pediatrician and the dean for global health at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai.

“Lead, mercury, PCBs, flame retardants and pesticides cause prenatal brain damage to tens of thousands of children in this country every year,” he noted.

Kristof argues that we need a new public health revolution with the goal of protecting babies and children from the harmful effects of these toxic chemicals.

I couldn’t agree more.

As a parent and a clinician, I’m deeply concerned about the effect of toxins on our children’s health.

We need laws that protect our kids, not corporations. Companies should be forced to prove that a chemical is safe before introducing it—instead of using our children as unwitting test subjects in an uncontrolled, society-wide scientific experiment.

In the meantime, what can we do as parents to protect our kids (and ourselves) from exposure to these chemicals? Here are the three most important places to start:

  • Eat real, organic food. This means avoiding chemical additives in processed and refined foods, pesticides in conventional produce, and antibiotic residue in conventionally raised animal products.
  • Use natural personal care products. What we put on our skin may be even more important than what we put in our mouth when it comes to toxins.
  • Reduce exposure to toxins in your home. The Environmental Working Group has a great “Healthy Home” checklist, which includes suggestions like storing food in glass or stainless steel instead of plastic, using natural laundry detergent, and avoiding vinyl shower curtains. I’ve also written about the importance of testing for mold in your home if you suspect you may be exposed.

I’ll be writing more on this subject in the future because I’ve become increasingly convinced that it’s a significant—and underrated—cause of chronic disease, and a threat to our children’s future.

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Join the conversation

  1. A wonderful water filter that is recommended by many in the functional medicine community is Berkey. It is an affordable stand alone gravity filter that will remove most toxins but still leave the beneficial minerals. It comes in several sizes and you can get filters to remove fluoride. The resulting water tastes so amazing!!!

    • We love the Berkey water filters. We use one whenever we travel, but notice that over time (say a trip of 2 wks or more where we are filtering all our water), that our minerals do start to deplete despite manufacturer claims. We bring along a little bottle of mineral drops and add a drop or two to each batch. Then we are fine.

    • We’ve used these for over a decade, and the water quality is superb. One of the most insidious sources of toxins is the drinking water that is highly treated and fluoridated. We try to keep our exposure to it to a minimum.

      • Unfortunately, most water filters do not remove fluoride, which requires a separate bone char or alumina filter. There are some relatively inexpensive countertop or under-the-counter multiple-filter systems that accomplish this. I use a three-stage filtration system from PureEarth Technologies that has a carbon filter and a KDF (copper/zinc alloy) filter, as well as a bone char fluoride filter. They leave beneficial minerals intact while removing (in addition to fluoride), chlorine, chloramines, heavy metals, chemicals, VOCs, etc. and are NSF-rated. To know what to filter out, you really need to know what’s in your water supply. Municipalities are required to produce a yearly analysis of their water (available as a PDF). E.g., some use chlorine, others chloramines — a different filter is needed if you want to remove these dependent on which is in your water. A general use filter like Berkey is certainly better than nothing, but to do a more thorough job a little research is required as well as a more sophisticated filter system.

  2. I would love to know how to get tested for lead, mercury, pesticides and other toxins. Then would love to learn about how to get rid of the stuff. thx.

    • You can go to a functional medicine doctor in your area and ask to be tested. They have biomedical tests that they use to determine your environmental toxicity and heavy metals etc. I am loaded with mercury. I am considering having my amalgam fillings out but it will cost $8,000 when all is said and done. That is way too steep.

      • I recently had 12 amalgams removed for less than half that amount in Washington state. May be worth looking around!!

    • I recently had a hair analysis which showed I have lead in my body at the 95th percentile. My blood test shows a low blood lead index, so lead ingestion is likely not a problem now as apparently the blood shows fairly recent lead ingestion, while hair shows past ingestion. However, I need to get rid of my toxic load. My naturopath had recommended chelation, and I’m not sure yet what my GP will recommend. I’m thinking of suggesting trying Bentonite Clay Baths as a first treatment as I think that they may be safer than chelation. Has anyone had any experience with Clay Baths?

  3. Does anybody know what could lead to thyroid problems? And is there a natural protocol to wake it up and make the hormone produce good conversion from t4 to t3?

  4. They are priming us so that when a vaccine is developed, we will flock to get it.

    For the most part, Zika sounds no worse than a cold. They also suspect Zika IS NOT responsible for those birth defects. It is just a way to spread fear and promote vaccines.

  5. I’d love to know, aside from these things, how I can support mine as well as my family’s ability to detox. We’ve just moved into a newly built home and I know there are toxins and off gassing. I’m making myself crazy with worry and if I could just do something that would help us detoxify I would feel better! Thanks, Chris!!

    • Abby,
      You can detox you house as well. Studies including those done by NASA found certain house plants remove home toxins.

      Spider plants are the best for helping to remove formaldehyde which is common in homes, off gassing from the glue in anything made with particle board including furniture, shelving, closet organizers etc. even those with environmentally “green” approval status from the US gov’t – yes particle board reduces the cutting down of trees but it’s toxic. Formaldehyde can off gas for YEARS and comes from other home items as well.
      Spider plants also help remove benzene, and carbon monoxide. Mother-in-laws tongue plants and Golden pathos also help remove formaldehyde. (Philodendrons are good at removing toxins but are poisonous to people and pets, even if you keep out of reach they can drop leaves.) Other home toxin absorbing plants can be found online.

      • HI, I was investigating helpful houseplants. I came across a study, I think it was one of the NASA sponsored ones, saying yes they remove some pollutants from the air, but were found to release other pollutants back into the air … these were traced back to the chemicals in the soil and the plastic in the pots holding the plants … remember to hold the world of us close while we sort all this out. warm Aloha, Sam

    • Same here, moved from a moldy apartment to a new apartment which gave me even more health issues – turmed out to be EMF polluted. I should just build my own home – every freaking house has issues!

  6. I adopted my daughter as an infant, and since then she has had bags under her eyes all the time. I am told it is probably environmental allergies. I only used organic products on her and try to give her an excellent diet. I am concerned that perhaps there is something in our carpet or air ducts that is causing the problem. Should I get an air purifier for her room or something? Its often the worst in the morning.

    • Defined get an air purifier of salt lamp for her room. My son has autism & his doc said we should have one for his room.
      Try adding a probiotic for infants too. If no improvement consider testing for food intolerances or doing an elimination diet. Dairy is a frequent culprit.
      Good luck!

    • Michelle,
      Please see my post under Staci’s below. This will be much better than an air purifier for your daughter. Especially if it’s worse in the morning. 3 people in my extended family are using Chrisal Probiotic mist on our bedding, carpet and upholstered furniture and are very pleased with the morning allergy relief. It’s very affordable as a concentrate you mix in a spray bottle of water. We use the “no scent” version of “StaBiotic Mist” (formerly called BioMIst which might still be the name on the label when the bottle arrives). You lightly spray every day for the first 7 days then every 3 days thereafter. However, please note we have to spray every 2 days – the directions say it continues to work for up to 3 days but not for us, in fact my mom who has the worst allergies has been misting her bedding every day but is glad to do it.

      If your daughter is very sensitive and this doesn’t give her enough relief, you might consider getting a small hand held fogger and spraying the probiotic solution into your vents with the fan turned off.

      Good luck!

      • You know, this might seem radical, but we eliminated dust allergies in the bedroom by simply getting rid of the mattress and getting an inflatable one. Yes, you need to replace them more frequently than the regular kind, but they are dust free and do not absorb anything. Putting dust mite covers on the pillows helped too, as well as frequently replacing them.

        Overall, the cost is lower and the relief from allergies is priceless.

    • Hi Michele,
      I started out with an Austin Healthmate+ that removes toxic chemicals. It does very well. I also have (2) IQAIR’s -(one on each floor) Swiss made – the best and AIR PURA is another good brand. You might call someone to check your air ducts/AC unit, etc. to make sure nothing is growing up there. Which kind of laundry detergent are you using? There are toxic chemicals galore in these products. Also, you might check at her school to see what kind of cleaning products are used in the classroom. If they are toxic ones, you might convince the school to change to unscented eco-friendly cleaning products. If you live in an area where you can open your windows and get fresh air in the house, that would be great. Stay away from new carpets, and in time, maybe you can take the carpet out and replace it with a certified green guard wood or a tile with non-toxic grout from greenbuildingsupply.com. You can also purchase safe(r) paints from this place. Finally, it could be a food allergy… But, I’d start out by getting a good air purifier in her bedroom.

      • There is so much we can’t easily control in the way of toxic exposures (such as schools or neighbors spraying herbicides/pesticides, air pollution, cleaners, carpets, fragrances in stores, etc). but you can control what is in your home and make it a safe haven where your body gets a rest of today’s toxic world.
        I agree with John’s great suggestions. We love the IQAire Multi-Gas filter. It’s a big investment up front, but the filters don’t cost that much per year and our machines are like new after running continuously for five years. They have other units that are less costly but don’t filter out quite as much, but they may be suitable for your needs. We also have several Aller-Air filters and they are good, just not as good as the IQ Aire.
        You can also get an air filter to plug inside your car if you have to drive your daughter on the freeway or in pollution. I like the Aireox 22D for the car. You have to change the fllter once a year unless you drive in incredibly polluted areas and then maybe more often. Get rid of any of this hanging fragrance things for your car—they are really toxic and don’t let anyone spray “air fresheners” in your car.
        Back to the house tho, Create a toxin free sleeping oasis for the bedroom so her body has a good 8 hours a day in a toxin free environment. Ideally, this would include a chemical free bed and bedding, floor, curtains, and otherwise. Keep the room as free as possible of other objects besides the bed. We have two oasis rooms. They have tile floor with non-chemical grout sealed with liquid glass, unfinished aspen wood bed frame, organic futon in one room, natural futon with an organic wool topper over it to absorb fumes in the other, organic cotton bedding and curtains, plus the air filters,
        Pull the bed away from the wall 12 inches so she is sleeping outside the energy field created by wiring in the wall. The wiring is active even if nothing is plugged on or turned on unless you shut off the breaker. You can shut off the breaker at night if you want to go a step further in reducing electromagnetic radiation, (EMR) but make sure this doesn’t affect your smoke or carbon monoxide alarms.
        There are several types of EMF that can affect you and the more of these you reduce or eliminate, the better she will likely sleep and feel. If she can sleep on a bed with no metal in the frame, that helps, as the metal draws in one type of EMR. That’s why we went to an all wood frame. Getting rid of all electric appliances around the bed and ideally, minimizing them in the room will help too. A battery operated clock is ideal if you need one by the bed. Of course turn off all cell phones (or put in airplane mode) and if you can, your wireless router when she’s sleeping. (You can’t do much about your neighbor’s wireless coming in, but you can control yours).
        There is a type of EMR called dirty electricity, which is different than the EMR from the wiring in the walls. You can filter this out pretty easily with Stetzerizer filters. But, if you are going to do it, you will need to do the whole house or you will be pushing it from her room to some other room in your house. Doing the whole house pushes it back out on the line. It cost us about a thousand to put filters in our whole house, but we have a big house, lots of computers/electronics, and they will last forever. When we travel, we take 9 filters with us for the hotel room, so we can get a good night of sleep. You want your number on the Stetzerizer meter to be under 30 units. In many hotels, it’s 2000 or higher without the filters, and we had some numbers that high in our home. Also, getting rid of CFL light bulbs is another way to reduce dirty electricity. We had 22 of them and the night we removed them, we all started sleeping better, Even if you remove them all, dirty electricity can come in on the line to your house from your neighbors if they have them, so the Stetzerizer filters are a good idea. There is a new knock off brand of dirty electricity filters, something like Greenwave, but I haven’t tried them.
        If you have newer carpet, that could be a major problem. The most ideal would be to replace it with tile, even wool or bamboo carpet would be better. Watch for VOCs in the pad and check out felt pads, which don’t outgas. Some people have had good luck “outgassing” their carpet by using box after jumbo box of baking soda spread across the carpet each night to soak in toxins and vacuuming it up in the am, for months on end. Another option is ozoning, but you would need to do this when you are not home and air out the house after. Some people don’t tolerate being around any ozone molecules at all.
        Other things you can do are replace all cleaning and personal care products with non-scented, non-chemicals ones. Avoid those scented plug-in units like Glade like the plague. We like 7th Generation Free and Clear and keep our house completely fragrance free.
        Of course, make sure your water is good quality, food is good quality and you are not tracking toxins like pesticides into your home (we have mats by the doors and leave our shoes there because so many people spray pesticides and herbicides around here). Eliminating foods that are sprayed with glyphosate (RoundUp) might also make a big difference. Unfortunately, this is no longer just GMO foods like corn, soy. It’s now sprayed on a lot of conventional products that are not GMO, such as wheat, lentils, barley, etc. You can google for a list, but I think I read it’s about 50+ foods.
        Hope you and others might find some of these suggestions useful. They have all been really helpful for us. Good luck.

    • For one,I’d get rid of that carpet!I can’t imagine what’s living in it.Install a natural product like wood,cork,ceramic tile or old fashioned mamoleum .I have these products in my home plus a heat recovery system.We get air from the outside constantly.Most homes are contaminated with out gassing from furniture etc.

    • Michelle,
      Andrada is right about food intolerances. People with environmental allergies often have hidden food intolerances, which contribute to the overall allergy/sensitivity load. The elimination diet recommended by the Institute for Functional Medicine (IFM) is one you can trust and can be pulled up online. The IFM recommends removing a more comprehensive list of common food culprits than some other elimination diets do, so success is better. However, some foods cause silent damage with no noticeable symptoms. If you do go with allergy/sensitivity testing it needs to be done by a functional or other holistic practitioner. A conventional practitioner may be covered by insurance but their tests are inaccurate, and they don’t tell people to avoid foods unless they have an acute reaction such as hives or swollen throat.

      Regarding your carpet, you shouldn’t have to get rid of it if you use the Chrisal StaBiotic Mist which does an excellent job of controlling both bacteria and allergens, including bacteria from dust mites – a common source of indoor allergies.

    • Michelle,
      Even organic products can contain chemicals that can cause harm. Anything that has water as an ingredient has to contain a preservative (organic lotions, body wash, liquid soap, shampoos etc). Some people are intolerant of these kinds of chemical preservatives.
      Fragrance is a huge contributor to chemical sensitivities. So far, only around 400 out of the 4000 or so chemicals that go into fragrances have been tested for human toxicity.
      Fragrance is in everything form laundry detergent, room freshers, personal care products, candles and household cleaning products.
      I make my own soap, shampoo, moisturiser, balm, laundry soap, toothpaste, and household cleaning products. I have eradicated fragrance and other harmful chemicals from our home, as my youngest developed eczema at an early age.
      When I started researching the products that I was using at the time, I was astounded to discover that the preservatives that are in so many of them, can actually trigger skin conditions like eczema – even the so called eczema treatment creams and cleansers.

    • Is she a mouth breather at night? Try taping her lips closed with micro pore tape. Nasal breathing is physiologic breathing, mouth breathing is stress breathing. We get better oxygenation and form nitric oxide when nasal breathing. If she cannot nasally breathe consider enlarged tonsils and adenoids. Mouth breathing wil result in incorrect jaw development. High palate and narrow arches and crowding.. During the day at rest lips should be sealed

    • Michelle, This may sound silly but I am 66 and have always had bags under my eyes even as a child. You can see them even in my baby pictures. I’m an Aquarius and many have bags under their eyes. I have guessed more Aquariuses than I can tell you simply because they have bags under their eyes. It was very annoying in my younger years when people kept asking me “Didn’t you get enough sleep last night, you have bags under your eyes”. Try not to make this child self conscious.

    • Hi Michele,

      I had sleep issues for the past 12 years of my life, and have now finally gotten them under control. I would have to write a whole book to tell you all the issues that were causing my sleep problems, but I think that you can start with the environment. Maybe sleep in another place for a couple of days. Maybe a hotel (a clean one) and see how she reacts.

    • She may do better sleeping in a room that has no carpet. The bed mattress and pillow should be zipped into covers that contain any allergens. The idea is to minimize dust mite exposure and make it easy to clean up any allergens (dust, pollen, etc).

    • Adding to John’s comment, one thought it to get your ducts cleaned by a company who will do a ‘high tech’ clean consisting of scrubbing them, vacuuming with a hepa vacuum (or truck that exhausts the air outside), and disinfecting with a plant based product that is toxin free. Look for NADCA accreditation when looking for a company to do so. The product that I have used for this when I’ve had it done is ‘benefect’, but perhaps a hydrogen peroxide spray might also work. All the best!

  7. Thank you for a great article! What would you recommend for water purification? It os a great concern of mine…..

  8. What about water in and on our skin? Our skin is the largest organ we have. I bought REAL high-Tech water purifying water pitchers and Shower water purifiers!!! Feel better with more energy!!

  9. I cannot agree more – I taught a class at Natural Grocers just last night on how to make your own personal care products. I did not have any major health concern that I was aware I had just decided that I wanted to age better which brought me to the conclusion that I needed to reduce my toxic exposure. At that time I had a perfume addiction and now knowing what I know about perfume I have decided to make my own. I am super passionate about this subject and have recipes in my book if anyone is interested. I make 95% of my personal care products minus mascara and eyeliner which I am working to perfect and about 75% of my household cleaning products. I feel the best I have felt in a while with the changes I have made. I encourage you all to do whatever you can to reduce your toxic load it does make a difference. Love what you do Chris – thank you for your passion. Cheers, Nanette Achziger

  10. Since it is our very own human population that uses these everyday chemicals for thousands of reasons, no one wants to be politically correct in the globe for fear of retaliation by our very own God. However, it is indeed our very own God that even in the bible, who wanted us to be good stewards of the earth. We have failed as a human population in general at doing what God really wanted us to do, just as in times of Noah! God gave us the dominion over the animals and many things on earth. We are afraid to indulge in reverse vasectomy a & tubal ligations, which would allow people to have a child only when they can afford it. Instead, we have put our money into sexual operations that can change our sex, and many other things. Until people of more authority than myself are able to start writing , researching and BEING GOOD STEWARDS OF THE EARTH, we will continue to go down this road, as the very toxins we speak of are more than we can tolerate as there are Mor people and we have an almost uninhabitable earth. So I ask the so called good doctors/Christian/ and many of our best writers/politicians/; etc. to open their eyes to the fact that God would smile and be happy if He knew we are trying to use the powers He gave us in being good Stewards Of Our Earth ! Written( by Vina Schmitt this morning: Feb 17th, 2016

  11. Chris,
    I would love to hear your thoughts on water purification and how you address it in your home? Ive been following you since the early Healthy Skeptic days and have always appreciated your input / advice. In these past few years I’ve turned much of my health problems around following your suggestions, but I always come back to the water. It is so elemental to health! There’s nothing better than guzzling a jug of water after a good workout or taking a long hot bath on a cold night, but there’s always that concern about exposure to toxins. I’m about to own my first home and could really use your advice on tap water concerns / filtration systems. I think many of us would really appreciate an article with more comprehensive advice on water. Thanks for all you do!

    • Chris, ditto. I have reverse osmosis but I hear that it ruins the structure of water, so you can’t easily get hydrated.

      • You must mean deionization. If your reverse osmosis system is capable of splitting water molecules… you have solved our energy crisis.

      • If you use reverse osmosis. Simply add a pinch of Himalayan salt in your water to keep the minerals and you are good to go.

  12. Am very interested in this as a Spanish friend (30yrs old) of mine with Poly Cystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS) is figuring the cause. One possibility is toxic exposure of her Mother in pregnancy. The theory is that damage is done to the developing ovaries pre-birth which does not show till puberty, when the egg matures for ovulation but does not actually pop out of the ovum. The effects of this is hormone imbalance giving several side effects, inc excessive hair loss, acne, and heavy periods. This view was put forward by Dr John Lee who was a hormone specialist.

  13. 8 months ago I completely changed my lifestyle – made big dietary changes (organic, no sugar, gluten, grains, am working on the dairy) and store as much as possible in glass, avoid plastic grocery shopping bags and try to use organic shower gel and hand wash (just to start off). My overall health has definitely improved.
    Love your passion Chris and thankyou for the invaluable information you provide to help us with our chronic health problems 🙂

  14. Thank you for the advice on avoiding toxins. Should people be testing themselves and taking corrective action for toxins already in their bodies? If so, what tests should be done? Are any of the so-called detoxification programs worthwhile, or is it just snake oil for the fearful?

    • For detoxification of heavy metals: a heaping tbsp of cilantro four times a week, some zeolite on those days, and either Terramin clay or diatomaceous earth. Also proctosol-c all seven days.

  15. I got the Think Dirty App for my iphone and I can check the toxicity of cosmetics, soaps, and shampoos with my phone as I shop. I think the app for androids is called Skin Deep.

  16. As much as it pains me to say so, I too have switched to bottled water… I have noticed for a while that when I drink a glass of tap water (maybe 6+ oz at once), I get a stomach cramp and sometimes a headache that will last several hours. And it has never quenched my thirst – for decades I have thought there is something strange about how thirsty I chronically feel, with no signs of any medical condition signaled by thirst (eg diabetes). Bottled spring water – with natural mineral content and 0ppm flouride – does not have these effects – my stomach does not hurt and my thirst is satisfied by a “normal” 8 or so glasses/day. I object on so many levels to having to buy water – it’s a public good and should not be making us sick – but it turns out to be one of the “small things” that has made a big difference on my healing path. I wish I could learn more about the subtle ways flouride, chloramine and other chemicals in “clean” tapwater are impacting health, but the medical literature is conflicting in this area.

  17. For a long time I sought the cause of my late-onset asthma, imagining I could uncover a single culprit. Approaching it as a cumulative response to environmental factors reveals a multitude of potential causes. Uncovering and removing those triggers incrementally is my work now. As I tell the extended family, learn from my experience. It could help your own children one day.

    Appreciate your great work and personal experiences.

    • Check out PeoplesPharmacy.com for articles on possibly healing asthma.
      The owner himself went with a protocol developed by David Hahn, MD. His book is on Amazon if you wish more info.
      It involved taking azithromycin (SP?) a much longer time and for a higher dosage than I would be comfortable doing so please do a lot of checking before attempting it.

  18. Chris,
    I felt my anxiety rising as I read this article as it is something I am terribly concerned about but feel completely helpless. I’m doing my best to decrease my son’s exposure to toxins but then he goes to karate and the fumes in the studio from the cleaning products are enough to knock me over. There is virtually no ventilation as it is in an office building with inoperable windows. The owner of the studio is a DOCTOR and will not take my requests to consider changing cleaning products seriously. There are hundreds of children exposed on a regular basis and there are always infant siblings present as well. When my son gets home from practice, I can smell the cleaners in his hair and on his clothing.

    I’m exhausted by people looking at me like I’m a nutter because I think this is cause for concern. In their defense, they likely are unable to smell the odors over their own haze of cologne, body products and laundry detergent.

    Is EWG the only organization trying to make change? What can we do as mere citizens?

    Thank you again for putting an emphasis on an issue that the large majority of society sweeps under the rug as they don’t want to deal with it.

    • Staci,
      You might be *very* interested in Chrisal Probiotic cleansers. They were a topic in the Evolution of Medicine Summit you can buy online – be careful with amazon due to possible storage or transport temperature extremes, I get them from ChrisalUSA. Everyone I tell who uses them loves them. If you give a bottle to the owner of your son’s karate studio to use in his home, he will be hooked and might consider using in the studio. Especially if anyone in his house has indoor allergies because the one called “Chrisal StaBiotic Mist” used as directed has VISIBLE results they will wake up with great relief from indoor allergies ($15 for long lasting concentrate, Be sure to choose “No scent”). If you hand him a bottle along with a copy of one of the hospital studies with remarkable results of pathogen control – especially the **Miami Jewish Hospital study on Chrisal probiotic sprays** it has many photos of microscopic pathogens… it FAR OUTPERFORMED CHEMICAL CLEANSERS IN ALL OF THE HOSPITAL AND FITNESS GYM STUDIES.

      One of the Evolution of Medicine Summit talks featured “AirBiotics” Probiotic home sprays and cleansers, which are actually made by Chrisal and the same products in different packaging. (Chrisal charges the same as you would pay for any cleanser).

      They are completely safe and natural. My sister and I spray the StaBiotic Mist (the one with No scent) directly on our dogs each day so they stay clean and don’t smell, and my dog with allergies is scratching herself much less. Note the spray called “Allergy Free” is very expensive but we use StaBiotic Mist concentrate diluted in a spray water bottle does exactly the same thing for low cost.

      For people who want fragrance (I share your frustration in your 2nd paragraph Staci) the Chrisal has 2 different scents but I would only get scented in the all purpose cleanser if at all. Definitely get “No scent” in the StaBiotic Mist which is sprayed on bedding, upholstered furniture, clothes, directly on pets, etc. for allergies (and gets rid of pathogens and odors at the same time).

    • I would be very careful that you are becoming more concerned what others do than what you are doing for yourself and family.Your priority and the only thing you are able to really do about what you believe is right is for you and your family,you have no right to instruct others how thy conduct their lives,and you will certainly be creating a lot of lost energy and health balance by pursuing this line of action .

    • I feel for you. That is ridiculous. They are putting these children at risk for developing MCS, like I have. It’s no picnic. I know you feel you are between a rock and a hard place, but dont give up. Conventional doctors flat out reject anyone who attempts educating them about chemicals causing health problems. I’d find out the name of the cleaning products used there, look up the product’s MSDS (Material Safety Data Sheet) in order to see the warnings about ventilation, etc… and present your findings re: the toxicity of these products to the doctor. If he doesn’t listen then, you can consider finding your son an activity that will not expose him to the risk of breathing in these toxic chemicals. Finally, you can try to get other parents to sign a petition to have the doctor switch out to an unscented eco-friendly product. Strength and power in numbers. Good luck. PS. buy a non toxic cleaner and bring it in with you a long with the MSDS of the toxic cleaner. – maybe it’s just laziness not wanting to do the homework or be bothered with the change. Be proactive, don’t give up.

    • I too have a problem with anything perfumed being toxic apart from essential oil.
      People often want themselves and their hone to smell “clean” They don’t accept that it is a lack of smell which means clean.

  19. Great article, as usual. One of my biggest concerns with environmental toxins is water. I buy glass bottle spring water and mineral water for drinking and reverse osmosis for cooking. It gets expensive, and I also have concerns about water for showering etc. I’d love to get a whole house water filter system, but I hear so many pros and cons. It’s hard to know what is best to do.

    • For those who want a small, inexpensive reverse osmosis system:


      It attaches to your faucet. Keep it in the fridge when not in use. Takes about 30 minutes to fill a Brita pitcher.

      Consider also the meter – you can measure the total disolved solids (TDS) left in your water when you first start using the Watermaker, then measure as you continue to use it. When the reading goes up it’s time to replace the cartridge.

      Remember also to replenish minerals – I add Concentrace.

    • I have a water filter that is made just for the shower. It is by Aqua Sana. It helps so much. My husband would itch and burn before we bought it. I am a breast cancer survivor and will not do without it.

  20. I am 77, with MCS and COPD. As our neighbours burn wood all winter I have been researching ways to protect our health and home. Antioxidants, learning of air pressure factors, indoor and out, wind directions, walks in the fresh air and as much organic food
    as we can afford all help. Wood smoke is forty times more toxic than tobacco smoke ! We
    are trying to get the warning message out to everyone. Thank you for your excellent site
    and the constant useful information. Keep up the good work.
    Byron ., Ontario, Canada.

    • Byron, I’d be interested in what u learned about air pressure factors, inside and out, as u mention in yr post ^^ …. I’m 70, and both hubby and I struggle when the air pressure changes. Have tried to research this, but haven’t found much that’s useful. Tx much, Shana