How to cut your ex­po­sure to chem­i­cals

Marlborough Express - The Saturday Express, Marlborough - - CONVERSATIONS -

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

A:

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.

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