Environmental Toxins – Are They Jeopardizing our Long-Term Health?
In our modern-day world it is impossible to avoid coming into contact with harmful environmental toxins. Cars and trucks continually pump pollution into the air and even our food supply is contaminated with pesticides. Chemicals are leached into food from their "hygienic" plastic packaging and several countries have banned bisphenol A (BPA) which is used in the USA to make polycarbonate plastic and epoxy resins found in everyday products in most homes.
These environmental toxins are not only jeopardizing our immediate health, but also our long-term health, according to a report from a government advisory panel affiliated with the National Institute of Health. In fact they conclude that "Americans are facing grievous harm from unregulated toxic chemicals" .
Common Health Issues Caused by Toxins
Environmental toxins are harmful to our body as they block the metabolic pathways. They prevent nutrients and oxygen from being absorbed and used by our cells which can result in headaches, fatigue and brain fog. Toxins may also manifest themselves in gastro-intestinal upsets, skin rashes, high blood pressure, allergies, breathing problems and weight gain as they prevent the body from properly metabolizing fats and removing waste from the body's cells.
Recent reports have also shown a connection between environmental toxins and Parkinson's disease, one of the most prevalent diseases in the USA with an estimated one million sufferers. Specifically, pesticides from farms and some genetic factors have been identified as catalysts for this debilitating disease, along with high manganese and copper emissions from steel factories.
How to Counter Harmful Environmental Toxins
Some people believe that Ayurvedic practices help to counter harmful environmental toxins. Treatments include high levels of hygiene emphasizing regular bathing and cleaning of the teeth, skin and eyes. It uses plant-based medicines and natural supplements such as cardamom and cinnamon in treatments and advocates sweating and steam-based treatments to open the body's channels and flush out harmful blockages.
Avoid all types of bisphenol A (BPA) products whenever possible. BPA is used primarily to make clear shatterproof plastics and has been declared by Canada to be a toxic substance. In the EU and Canada its use has been banned in baby bottles. It can be identified by checking the triangular recycle codes that are present on plastics and packaging. Within the recycle symbol is a number. Recycle codes 1, 2, 4, 5 and 6 are unlikely to contain BPA but codes 3 and 7 may contain it and are best avoided. If you feel strongly about getting BPA banned you may also want to write to your representative and demand they take action.
In the meantime, the best way to ensure a long and healthy life is by enjoying a healthy diet based on fresh fruits and vegetables (all thoroughly rinsed to remove any harmful pesticides) and by taking regular exercise. Daily supplements and vitamins also help the body to stay healthy by supporting a strong immune system to help counter environmental pollutants. Include supplements high in antioxidants.