How to cut your exposure to chemicals
Q: I’ve recently become aware of just how many chemicals we’re exposed to on a daily basis. I would like to reduce this formy health and the health ofmy family, particularly mychildren. Your thoughts on this are appreciated. – Liz
It is unknown exactly how many synthetic chemicals exist in the world today, but the Chemical Abstracts (CAS) Registry currently lists more than 100 million chemicals, most of which are not tested for long-term human safety.
Chemical overexposure has been linked to developmental issues, obesity and many global diseases as a whole. The World Health Organisation estimates that 4.9 million deaths and a quarter of total disease burden can be attributed to ‘‘modifiable environmental factors’’.
Furthermore, when your liver is burdened from trying to process foreign chemicals, it can contribute to weight gain, fatigue, food intolerances, reproductive issues and other conditions such
as chronic fatigue syndrome.
However, there are some simple steps you can take today to start reducing your chemical load:
Take your shoes off before entering the house – our shoes can accumulate synthetic chemicals, which are best left off the carpets and outside the home.
Use reusable BPA free water bottles and BPA free tinned food (if you use tins).
At home, store things in glass rather than plastic.
Never heat plastic. This means not putting it in the dishwasher, too. Even if you commit to implementing just a few of the above points, it can help reduce your chemical load and positively impact your health in the long run.
This is just a small snapshot of how synthetic chemicals can impact our health, but remember you are in a position to vote with your wallet for the type of future you want.
Dr Libby is a nutritional biochemist, best-selling author and speaker. The advice contained in this column is not intended to be a substitute for direct, personalised advice from a health professional.