The Effects of Toxin and Pollutant Exposure

The exposure to pollutants is unavoidable. When we breath, it’s in the air. What we eat and drink and even the pans we use to prepare a meal are all contaminated by some form of toxic chemicals. And here’s a wake-up call: 70,000 new synthetic chemicals were introduced into our environment during the twentieth century and 80% of these new chemicals have never been screened for their effects on human health.

Pollutant overload is harmful to three of our most critical physiological systems – immune system, nervous system, and endocrine system. This exposure causes chronic illnesses, auto-immune disease, cancer, thyroid disorders, and hormone imbalance, to name a few.

If you wonder why you experience fatigue, migraine headaches, aches, and moodiness – you could be over exposed to toxins. We want to make you aware and uncover some of the sources of toxic chemicals in your life. First, let’s uncover the contaminants in food, water, and air.

Food Contamination:

  • Over 1 billion tons of pesticides are used in the US every year
  • These find their way into our food and water sources
  • EPA (environmental protection agency) survey shows that ALL commercially grown foods in America have pesticides in them
  • Animals crowded into feedlots are given antibiotics and treated with pesticides
  • These animals are given commercially produced foods that are treated with insecticides and herbicides
  • These toxins accumulate in the animal’s bodily tissues and are passed on to consumers
  • Food preparation, storage, and transportation also contribute to toxin exposure
  • Food additives include preservatives, flavorings, colorings and dyes
  • Bleaching of foods like French fries, is done with sulfuric acid and chlorine
  • Fungicides and fumigants are sprayed directly onto perishables to delay spoiling and to protect them from insects
  • Phthalates are synthetic chemicals that make plastic flexible. These toxins leach out of the plastic and contaminates food and drinks

Water Pollution:

  • Chlorinated city water contains 100-10,000 times as many synthetic compounds as natural spring water
  • We absorb more of these pollutants from bathing than drinking
  • Trihalomethane is a by-product from the chlorination process and is toxic to humans
  • Arsenic, mercury, and PCB’s (polychlorinated biphenyls) are also found in our drinking water
  • Fluoride is found in our drinking water and has been shown to destroy thyroid gland tissues

Air Pollution:

  • Adults inhale about three metric tons of air each year (4.3 liters per minute), so minute amounts of pollutants in the atmosphere can accumulate in our bodies over time
  • The increase of industrialization during the twentieth century significantly increased toxic emissions
  • Due to trade winds, pesticides sprayed to control grasshoppers in Africa have been detected 5 days later in Florida

It helps to understand that toxins are fat soluble, meaning they are stored in our fat. This allows them to remain in our bodies for many years or decades. So, with continued daily exposure to even small amounts, the total amount of toxins in our bodies gradually increases. Toxins are also stored in the fatty tissues of animals and therefore are in the animal products we consume. Now, let’s uncover the long-term effects of chemical exposure.

PCBs (polychlorinated biphenyls):

  • Widely used as lubricants, hydraulic fluids, inks, paints, varnishes, adhesives, pesticides to make wood and rubber
  • Due to harmful effects on our thyroid and other bodily functions, PCBs were banned in 1977, however they have remained in our soil and water sources and are still found in the fat of animals we consume (fish, meat, and dairy products)


  • Formed during the production of chlorine containing chemicals such as pesticides, plastics, paper bleaching, and diesel engine exhaust
  • These are also distributed throughout our air, water, soil, sediment, food and animals
  • Dioxins are the most hazardous chemical pollutants and have been linked to Hodgkin’s disease, non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma and soft tissue cancers
  • Dioxins disrupt thyroid, testosterone, and estrogen functions
  • Dioxins lower sperm count and suppress immune function

DDT (dichloro-diphenyl-trichloroethane):

  • Very potent insecticide
  • Was banned in America in 1972 after years of research that showed contamination of the entire world’s food supply, high levels in fatty tissues of animals and humans, genetic damage, cancer, and extinction of entire species
  • Despite the ban, America produced over 96 tons of DDT for export overseas in 1991 and DDT is still widely used to control mosquitoes in third world countries
  • DDT metabolites have a half-life of 57 years, meaning it takes 57 years for the body to completely rid itself of these toxins
  • DDT blocks testosterone receptors and interferes with estrogen hormones
  • Every man, woman, and child still have detectable levels of DDT

Phthalates (group of synthetic chemicals):

  • Annual worldwide production of phthalates is estimated to be about one billion pounds per year
  • Used to make plastics flexible
  • Also found in hairspray, dyes, cosmetics, adhesives, oily perfumes, and lubricants
  • These chemicals leach into food and drinks that are contained in plastics
  • Phthalates interfere with thyroid hormone metabolism and adversely affect testosterone function

If we consider our exposure to heavy metals, we can see the effects on the enzymes that are crucial to produce our mitochondria. Mitochondria is an organelle found in large numbers in most cells, in which the biochemical processes of respiration and energy production occur. Our body’s energy is particularly sensitive to the effects of heavy metals. And Finally, we’ll explore the sources and results of exposure to heavy metal toxins.


  • Found in paints, motor vehicle exhaust aerosolizes lead, batteries, vinyl, stained glass, bullets, and many imported products
  • Common source of lead poisoning is from old homes with lead water pipes
  • Found in calcium supplements made from bone meal and oyster shells and cigarette smoke
  • Lead is stored in our bones and teeth and has a half-life for elimination of 13 years
  • Has been linked to learning and reading disabilities, reduced memory, irritability, attention deficit disorder, hyperactivity, anemia, kidney damage, social and behavioral issues


  • Found in our food, water, soil, and air
  • It is the by-product of the smelting process for metal ores such as copper, lead, gold, zinc, cobalt, and nickel
  • The Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry estimates the average American’s dietary intake of arsenic is between 11-14 micrograms per day – this is from meat, fish, and poultry
  • Grapes and tobacco are frequently sprayed with arsenic-containing pesticides which also exposes human via tobacco products and wine
  • Arsenic accumulates in the hair, nails, skin, bone, GI tract and thyroid gland
  • Arsenic has also been found in our drinking water at high rates. These levels of chronic exposure resulted in increased risk of cancer.
  • The acceptable standard was lowered from 50 ppb to 10 ppb by the World Health Organization, but has yet to implemented across the US


  • Mercury ranks highly among the most poisonous threats to animal life
  • It is found in our air, food, and water
  • Annual worldwide emissions of mercury are estimated to be around 2,200 metric tons
  • Mercury in the form of thimerosal has been used as a preservative in vaccinations for decades
  • Mercury is particularly toxic to the nervous system, especially the developing brain
  • Link between Alzheimer’s disease and mercury exposure

We paint a dark picture, but now that you are aware of the sources of toxicity, there are steps you can take to lessen your exposure.

What you can do:

  1. Choose chemical-free cleansers such as dōTERRA® cleaning products, dish soap, laundry detergent, etc.
  2. Live fragrance-free
  3. Purchase organic foods and ingredients
  4. Thoroughly wash all purchased produce
  5. Drink natural spring water
  6. Take a daily binder supplement such as BioToxin Binder from CellCore or Bind from Systemic Formulas
  7. Get your levels checked – find the trigger and source of inflammation
  8. Learn more about how we diagnose and treat chronic disease>>
  9. Learn more about essential oils>>

If you are experiencing the symptoms of inflammation or would like to know more about your personal exposure to toxins, call us to schedule a blood test to check for levels of toxin poisoning. We’ll give you the resources and care you need.

Source: Hypothyroidism Type 2, Dr. Mark Starr

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