(By Heather Morgan) It’s that time of year again. As we near grape harvest, the vineyards are being sprayed all over the Valley, mostly at night, when we are asleep. Have you ever thought about what they are spraying and what that might do to your health?
Sulfur compounds and glyphosate herbicides are common during growing season, and when we add those to the host of other chemicals we are exposed to in our daily lives this can become quite a burden on our livers, and even put our health at risk for disease.
As a health coach and educator, and person who is sensitive to environmental toxins, I have studied the impact of these chemicals and more on human health, and more importantly, how to protect ourselves from over exposure of these chemicals.
Could it be that toxins in your food, air, and water could be slowly accumulating in your body? Well, according to the Collaborative on Health and the Environment (CHE) and the World Health Organization (WHO), environmental toxins are indeed affecting our health. According to Health Realizations, July 2014, there are eight top environmental toxins that are having a negative effect on our health:
Bisphenol-A: Used to line cans, in plastic bottles, pacifiers and more. These have been discovered to mimic the female hormone estrogen and may affect fertility.
Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs): Gasses emitted from paints, carpeting, air fresheners, and other building supplies; known to cause cancer.
Phthalates: Chemicals in soft plastics, such as plastic baggies and food storage containers, as well as in some personal care products. Studies show it may cause reproductive and developmental harm, and cause damage to kidneys, the liver, and central nervous system.
Organophosphates: Widely used pesticides linked to cancer, decreased male fertility, and Parkinsons disease.
Perflourinated Chemicals (PFCs): Used in non-stick pans and wrinkle free clothing, PFC’s have been linked to cancer.
Brominated Flame Retardants: PBDEs are neurotoxic, and exposures in utero may cause future sexual, learning, behavioral and thyroid problems in the offspring.
PCBs: Industrial chemicals that have been banned in the United States for decades, but still exist in the environment, including the food chain, such as farm-raised fish. They have also been linked to cancer and fetal brain development.
Mercury: Exposure is primarily through eating fish, but exposure can also happen through silver, dental fillings, pollution and vaccinations.
Our exposure to environmental toxins has greatly increased over the past 50 years, and disease has been on the rise. There are, however, things we can do in our daily lives to protect ourselves from excessive damage caused by these toxins:
1) Don’t spray herbicides and pesticides in your garden. Keep it organic.
2) Shop locally and eat organically. Support the farmers who care enough about your health to avoid the harmful chemicals. The farmers market is a great place to find fresh, local and organic fruits and veggies.
3) Ditch the plastics in your kitchen. Storage bags and containers made of plastic replaced with glass containers and drinking bottles.
4) Change out your cleaning products and home fragrances to natural products. You may pay a little more, but it’s an investment in your health.
5) Use natural brands when it comes to personal care products.
6) Detox your body 2-3 times per year by doing a liver cleanse. To join my next community cleanse feel free to send me an email.
7) Drink plenty of clean sourced, spring water (preferable from a glass bottle). Ideal amount for proper detoxification is 1/2 your body weight in oz. of water per day!
8) Sweat! Exercise daily and break a sweat. Be sure not to shower with toxic chemicals afterwards, when your skin cells are wide open.
It’s important to protect your cells and your delicate neurological system. Minimizing your toxic exposure is important for living a healthy life. I hope these tips help you get started. Making these few changes should help to reduce exposure and help you to live a healthier life in this wonderful valley of ours.
Heather Morgan, MS, NLC is a health educator and coach. Contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org