Reducing Chemical Exposures

Reduce your chemical exposures — Everyday airborned, household, and toiletry chemicals that are prevalent and disruptive. 

“The human cell is an antenna for the outside world. It takes the signals from the environment and turns it into biology. It turns it into life. The cell is responding to environmental signals.” saying from Dr. Jeffrey Bland.

Here is my google experience when I googled:

Question: What Is a Chemical?

Short answer: Everything is a chemical.

Long answer: A chemical is any substance consisting of matter. This includes any liquid, solid, or gas. A chemical is any pure substance or any mixture. It doesn’t matter whether it occurs naturally or 

is made artificially.


Water is a chemical. The artificial flavoring vanillin is a chemical, but so is real vanilla extract.

Salt is a chemical. Technically speaking, so is a chunk of your computer. A chemical can often  be broken down into components, as is true with your computer. However, people generally use the term ‘chemical’ to refer to a substance that appears homogeneous or the same throughout its structure.


If anything made of matter is a chemical, then phenomena that aren’t made of matter are not chemicals. Energy is not a chemical. So, light, heat, and sound are not chemicals. Thoughts, dreams, and gravity are not chemicals.

My definition of a chemical?  Xenobiotic.  A substance that is changed by man to a non-natural state that is foreign to our bodies or an ecological system. 

I have a lot of bad news coming up!  However remember … We are NOT sitting ducks, we have immune and digestive systems that can help us detox chemicals and resist disease from some chemical exposures.  

Auto immune diseases are rarely caused by a single incident, they are usually spurred by a combination of genetic tendencies (that we have power to change due to epigenetics), stress, poor sleep, toxic burden, and processed foods.  

To prevent disease we need to find a balance in life — due to the current state of corporate domination in our government we can’t rely on the government to protects us from chemicals.   Instead we need to mount our own devices to limit our exposures.

Then live a lifestyle of prevention.  It’s what I call the 4 Pillars of health — you get these right and your body can detox and digest and protect you much better even if you are exposed to chemicals.  If you are stressed out, not sleeping enough, and eating processed foods you are much more likely to have complications from chemical exposures.  Four Pillars:

  • Food
  • Sleep
  • Exercise & Detox
  • Stress management

Manmade Chemicals are more prevalent than they ever have been in our history.  We are all literally like the test mice that are subject to all our scientific tests — chemicals are being used without adequate testing — WE ARE THEIR TEST SUBJECTS  . . . we are not faring well looking at our rates of cancer and auto-immune diseases; first they doubled, then they tripled, and are still increasing.  

Autoimmune and other diseases such as cancer are rarely from ONE factor, these develop over time from a “perfect storm” mix of factors.  One of these factors is often toxic load.

Autoimmune disease is described as an immune dysfunction or as the immune system attacking the body. 

It’s not attacking your own body. What it’s attacking is misshapen, or changed, or damaged human cells that our body does not recognize as us. 

A lot of the diseases — and suffering that are occurring these days isn’t because there’s something genetically wrong with folks. It’s because the environmental signals have changed the shape of our own cells, the behavior of our own cells; which in turn confuses the immune system.  What is damaging our cells so the body can not even recognize them? Manufactured chemicals. 

Chemicals are driving our disease rates much higher!

We are the waste removers — or the detox-ers for the chemical industry as well as their test subjects.  These chemicals need detoxed from the environment; as they pass from our foods and environmental exposures to our body, we stress our liver and kidneys — among other body systems —  detoxing; we are also like the trees and the plants having to deal with toxic burden and clean it up through our body.  I guess its only fair.  

The poor animals and insects are more exposed than we are — at least we can filter our drinking water, they cannot.  

Since 1970 the World Wildlife Federation has noted at 57% decrease in all wildlife — both land and sea!

Yes that’s less than half of the fireflies, fish, butterflies and bees, birds — our pollinators … they are dwindling! More than half of every animal has died off . . .  What do you think is killing off the animals?

Don’t blame all the growing waistlines in the world to overeating … Do you know our body will store fat to tuck these harmful chemicals away in where they do less damage?  Some of the chemicals are so harmful our body does not even want to be exposed to it so our body will store it in our bones and fat!  Yes FAT your body will make fat to store toxins tucked away, isolating them from the rest of your body.  

  • When you start to lose fat these toxins get into your blood stream where you have to detox them and you don’t feel good — which many times interferes with the process of trying to lose weight.

Maybe a sign of our growing waist lines is not only due to our SAD (Standard American Diet) food problems but also the isolated storage of chemicals in fat tissue.  Maybe the chemical companies should be paying us rent!

Since WWII we have approved 85,000 chemicals — thats a lot of toxic substances.  About 3000 of these are manufactured in high volume.  The American Academy of Pediatrics article showed us that in the year 2010 we had imported or produced 74 billion pounds of chemicals in the U.S. per day!! When you do the math, that’s 250 pounds per person per day of chemicals. We’ve drastically increased the production and distribution of synthetic chemical compounds on planet Earth.

I will start with just a few reasons as to why you want to avoid sources of these chemicals and find or make as many of your own clean toiletries and household products as possible — motivation to act!

Our testing base for chemicals is based on an antiquated NOEL based risk assessment for synthetic chemicals — this system needs to be updated. 

NOEL = No Observable Effect Level, basically a chemical is put in a petri dish with some cells . . . when the cells die then it was too much of a particular chemical and the recommended dosage is calculated from there.  The testing does not look at mixing chemicals for testing or ho

w quickly one is able to detox them or fluctuating levels of tolerance.

  • It is based on short term observations only!
  • What happens in a petri dish is very different than what happens in a human body.
  • Tests only one chemical at a time (like you will only ever be exposed to one at a time!)
    • The body burden of these toxins act synergistically to cause physiological dysfunction — this means when several toxins are mixed in our body at the same time they react differently than one at a time and have a higher likelihood of causing harm and leading to chronic illness. Assessing the carcinogenic potential of low-dose exposures to chemical mixtures in the environment: the challenge ahead.
      • Combining chemicals does make them more dangerous.  There was an assessment by the National Food Institute at the Technical University of Denmark found that even small amounts of chemicals can amplify each other’s adverse effects when combined. As reported by the Institute:  “A recently completed, four-year research project on cocktail effects in foods… has established that when two or more chemicals appear together, they often have an additive effects. This means … small amounts of chemicals when present together can have significant negative effects.  National Food Institute March 19, 2015
      • Research published in the journal Carcinogenesis also found that chemicals deemed “safe” on their own can cause cancer when combined, even at low doses, with researchers noting, “Our analysis suggests that the cumulative effects of individual (non-carcinogenic) chemicals acting on different pathways, and a variety of related systems, organs, tissues and cells could plausibly conspire to produce carcinogenic synergies.” Carcinogenesis 2015 Jun;36 Suppl 1:S254-96 
      • We would agree that chemicals need to be tested with each other before they are released as safe; however the U.S. National Toxicology Program data suggests testing the interactions between just 25 chemicals for 13 weeks would require 33 million experiments and cost $3 trillion.
      • Jonathan Latham, Ph.D., co-founder and executive director of the Bioscience Resource Project, pointed out that even if such experiments were possible, it’s likely that no chemical would be deemed truly “safe.”
        Independent Science News May 16, 2016
  • Assumes linear dose-effects of toxins (ex. more = more harm)
    • Smaller amounts of chemicals are more harmful than large exposures. The body will recognize large amounts and mount some protection.  Small amounts go untreated by the body and build up over time in the tissues where they lead to chronic diseases.
  • Assumes everyone has similar sensitivity, metabolism and elimination of the chemicals. While the human body can metabolize chemicals, in certain doses (specific for a given chemical and the body it is in), the problem is that the exposure is often greater than the amount that can be readily metabolized and the chemical accumulates in the body until a noticeable reaction presents itself. 
    • Everyone is different in how they metabolize and excrete these toxins.  Some people do it efficiently and some will struggle keeping their toxic burden higher leading to more health problems.
    • Ignores when there are windows of vulnerability (for ex. puberty, gestation, infants, etc.)

Did you catch the part — If we could test the effects of chemical cocktails — like we are all being currently exposed to — no chemical would be deemed safe.  

Chemicals companies do NOT have to prove that chemical is harmful before it gets released — we are the ones who have to mount the complaints after years of suffering or many deaths occur from the chemicals.   What typically happens is smart chemists will develop a new product, see that it has useful properties, put it into consumer goods, and then the chemical gets disseminated into the marketplace where it gets used.  Typically (according to history) 10, 15, or 20 years later (or more) we realize the chemical is quite harmful and has caused much suffering of our population.

All these products and all these chemicals are innocent until proven guilty.  We are all test experiments for the chemical industry. We are also their detox-ers … and worse yet we pay for the tainted products we use while we dispose of their chemicals for them. 

What we do know is that exposure to synthetic environmental toxins is widespread, increasing and lifelong at this point.

  • Lifestyle, diet and nutraceuticals can enhance detoxification to prevent disease and restore health.

Three things you can do right now to detox or avoid exposures:

  1. Avoid exposures … This is the main focus of this big topic, read on!  Making your own toiletries and household cleaning products is a good start.

    Most common areas of chemical exposures:
    Industrial chemicals which lead to air pollution and water pollution.

    • These are hard to avoid, the best you can do is try to keep your indoor air us unpolluted as possible by not using chemicals in your house; it is actually better to open your windows than trap household air in.  Also get a good air filter for your bedroom.  
    • Food preparation byproducts — from herbicides and pesticides all the way through the manufacturing process of foods (plastic exposures included).  
      • EAT ORGANIC.  Learn to cook and hopefully enjoy it! Know your Farmer.  Buy local.  Grow your own food.
    • Personal care products – more on this coming.  These are quite toxic.  Don’t put anything on your skin you would not eat.
      • What you put in your mouth your livers has to filter; while your skin is a good barrier, it 
         as pores and what gets through your pores gets direct access to your blood stream without filtering. 
    • Metals (lead, mercury, etc.) – While some of these are hard to avoid you can reduce your exposures by talking to your dentist (don’t go to a dentist who uses mercury!  It is even in the air at the dentist office), filter your water, know your source of  ish, and check your cosmetics (Manufacturers put lead in lipstick and foundations.   
    • Pharmaceuticals – While sometimes necessary, you want to reduce pharmaceuticals and ideally not take any.  They make your liver over-work to remove them from your body.  Most times there are “easy” lifestyle changes you can make to reduce or remove your meds
    • Electro-Magnetic fields – This one is fairly new on my radar and I am following the research.  There are many researchers at this time very concerned over 5G.
    • Stress and emotional trauma (internal chemicals) – Stress management techniques, exercise, yoga, breathing, meditation, and Vitamin P (Pleasure!).  Do something fun everyday. 
  2. Drink Water!  Filter your water, and avoid water in plastic bottles.  I have a whole house filter for all my water use plus a berkey water filter in my kitchen for drinking and food preparations.
    • Drink half you body weight in ounces each day.  This will help your kidneys detox chemicals.  Or a quick no math option:  fill 2 one quart mason jars with water and drink them each day. Drink half of one when you wake up, one full  quart during your work day, and the final half quart in the evening.  Or at the very least, check your urine — if its clear you are well hydrated.
  3. Exercise, sweat, and get sun exposure most every day … And love your liver. These are all ways your body detoxes.

Other tips:

  • Eat cooked Cabbage foods.  Cabbage foods provide us with glutathione, a major detoxer! When you eat cabbage food you detox through your urine much better reducing your chemical load and disease risk
  • Fermented foods (in moderation and if tolerable) — those little bugs help us detox plastics and herbicides and pharmaceucticals and digest. 
  • Add power foods to your meals to increase anti-oxidant activity — for example seeds over your salads and veggies, sprouts added to foods, herbs and spices adde to your meals.
  • Nutraceuticals 🙂  Teas and herbs, smoothies and juices.  These are foods that have a high nutritional density that are loaded with anti-oxidants that aid in detox and immune support.
    • Medical definition of a Nutraceutical: A food or part of a food that allegedly provides medicinal or health benefits, including the prevention and treatment of disease. A nutraceutical may be a naturally nutrient-rich or medicinally active food, such as garlic or soybeans, or it may be a specific component of a food, such as the omega-3 fish oil that can be derived from salmon and other cold-water fish.  Nutraceuticals in my world look like:  
      • Turmeric and ginger tea with a little black pepper, along with an adaptogenic herb like ashwagandha, black seeds, seaweed and echinacea … or any combination of the above.
      • Fresh aloe from my aloe plant, any of these seeds (rotating) :chia seeds, black seeds, flax seeds, sesame seeds, hemp seeds.  Sometimes I add spirulina, I put this all in 1-2 oz. of some brine from something I fermented along with a little kombucha 🙂  Sometimes I will also put this all in my nutribullet with a cucumber and stalk of celery.

Why do some people retain more toxins than others or are more sensitive?  Total toxic load minus ability to bio-transform and excrete toxins due to:

  • Poor elimination. We have to take out the trash … A healthy elimination is 1-3x daily.  If you are not going to the bathroom at least one good time daily you want to address this!  Sometimes its as easy as increasing your water intake and/or fiber intake.
  • Genetic predisposition to not detoxing well. You can find this out from genetic testing. If you are positive for a genetic snip that predisposes you to being a poor detoxes there are steps you can take to mitigate this (MTHFR SNPs).
  • Chronic inflammation — which could be from many factors — and maybe if you catch these factors early enough they will not lead to chronic inflammation:
    • Intestinal dysbiosis 
    • Nutrient deficiencies 
    • High sugar diets, low in nutrients and protein
  • Oxidative stress! What exactly is oxidative stress?  Things that create free radicals in your body. Examples are; high sugar diets, fried foods, natural and artificial radiation, stress, toxins in air, food and water; and miscellaneous sources of oxidizing activity, such as car exhaust, pollution, chemical perfumes used in dryer sheets, etc.
    • 1:1 hand combat! – Anti-oxidants from foods will combat these free radicals.  Anti-oxidants vs. free radicals = your level of oxidative stress!
    • You want more anti-oxidants than free radicals.  If it is the other way around you will age sooner (signs for many first appear in your skin) and have higher risk of all diseases.
    • Studies showing the harmful effects of frying meat are countered by adding a slice of avocado.  EAT VEGGIES!  Keep in mind this slice of avocado’s anti-oxidants will go toward combatting the frying of meat and will not counter any free radicals already in your body … so along with that slice of avo add some onion, lettuce, tomato, red pepper ….

Each persons risk factor is individual:

  • How much of the toxin are/were you exposed to?
  • Is it Over a period of time?
  • Does your lifestyle make you more susceptible?  processed foods, stress, lack of physical exercise.
  • Do you detox well?

I would like to share some general symptoms that can help you identify if are carrying around a toxin overload.  While the end result of accumulated exposures over time can be auto-immune diseases and/or cancer — before they develop you will have symptoms — you can prevent the disease by eliminating your exposures (the best you can!) and learning how to support your body in detoxing.

These tips come from Aviad Elgez, ND.  He was on the Functional Forum (April 2017) with these tips.

#1 & 2 Problematic exposures are indoor air toxins such as Solvents (as in cleaning products — both residential and commercial) and Mold.  

Both solvents and mold will present with brain fog, balance problems, neuropathy (nerve pain).  

Mold includes the above symptoms AND also you may be constantly congested or repeatedly get Upper Respiratory Infections.

A tip to know if your problems are from Solvents or Mold is to go away for a week or two — these symptoms are not persistent and will clear up if you go on vacation — unless you are exposed there too, for example some mattresses contain solvents.

And a food note 🙂  Cabbage foods help us pee out pollution, you will actually process more pollution and put it out in your urine. 

#3 Problematic exposure is to Mercury / heavy metals

Mercury toxicity will present with mood; irritability and anxiety, and muscle aches and pains.  These will be problematic — constantly underlying and interfering with your day to day life.  

They are persistent and will not go away even if you go on vacation since the mercury is stored inside your body . . . it goes with you . . .  

If you suspect mercury overload there are foods and supplements that help you detox it, you need to do this with the aid of your doctor because chelators are usually used here and they can also bind and remove nutrients you need.

Most importantly remove your exposures:

Check what fish you are eating (tuna and swordfish are some of the highest in mercury) 

Double think about vaccines

check your mouth for amalgam fillings and most importantly check your dentist office — always choose mercury free dentist offices.  

And do the best you can to get clean air …  If you live in a coal mining area you are predisposed to mercury in your air — and if you happened to grow up in a house that used a coal stove for heat (I did) you had an even higher exposure.

If you are interested in genetic testing the infamous MTHFR test will tell you if you have a genetic SNP or two that interferes with detoxing.  This SNP interferes with your glutathione pathways — which is your body’s potent detoxifier.  

Heavy metals are particularly hard to detox with this SNP and will accumulate in your body over time leading to increasingly worse symptoms.  

  • MTHFR mutations reduce your ability to clear heavy metals
  • Heavy metal toxicity is often a root cause of autoimmune disease, especially Hashimoto’s, Scleroderma, and Rheumatoid Arthritis (according to FMx Dr. Amy Myers)

If you have this genetic SNP remember you have tremendous control over how your genes will express this — diet and lifestyle play a huge role on how your genes effect your health. 

#4 Top exposure is to Pesticides (more on these below!)

Symptoms of chronic pesticide exposure are hard to pinpoint as it may take years of exposure until you start feeling symptoms.  Here are some signs to watch for along the way: 

Frequent headaches, fatigue, weakness, dizziness, restlessness, nervousness, perspiration an/or nausea (your body trying to detox), diarrhea, loss of appetite, loss of weight, thirst, moodiness, soreness in joints, skin irritation, eye irritation, irritation of the nose and throat.

These tend to be chronic since we carry these around in our body too; and are especially problematic during pregnancy.  

Chronic Pesticide exposures lead to depression, Parkinson’s, Autism, ADHD, and other learning disabilities.  Farmers especially are having these afflictions including tremors, Parkinson’s and dementia. 

If you struggle with mood/depression, focus or learning, or are told you have ADHD … this may be a sign you need to have less pesticides in your life.

#5 Toxic exposures are to PCBs (plastics) and pthathlates.  More on this following.

These are endocrine disruptors, If you have a high exposure to endocrine disruptors you may notice symptoms like sleep disorders, weaker immune system (frequent colds and illness), reproductive problems, depression, neurological problems and increased heart disease risk factors.

These carry the greatest risk for cancer and auto-immune diseases — and birth defects.

These will persist since the toxins accumulate in our bodies.  You can test for exposure levels.

Note; one of the most toxic burdens mentioned above as #1 is indoor air pollution — both home and work.  We can control to a certain extent some of our indoor air pollution especially in our houses.  It is actually pretty easy to make all your own cleaning products, here’s a link: True Green Cleaning

Other ways to clean your indoor air:

Diffuse essential oils 🙂  Essential oils in the air are very effective at removing microbes and bacteria.

Look into an air filter — at the very least for your bedroom.  I have an Air Doctor.

Open Windows – allow air to ciruclate!  Don’t seal your house so tight.  When I used to live in Central PA I kept 2 windows in my house slightly open all year round.

Endocrine disruptors — Plastics and Personal Care products


I want to look at plastics; they are ubiquitous.  Plastics are in our water, in our blood, in food, in our fish, in our sea salt, in our cosmetics … plastics are pretty much everywhere and this is leading to harm.

The effects of plastics have gotten to me.   My second son was born with hypospadias — the main cause of hypospadias is plastic exposure … back in the 80s and into the early 90s before I knew better, I took food to work with me and microwaved it in plastic containers . . . I happened to work at a day job though my pregnancy with my second son eating food from microwaved plastics frequently 🙁  Now I know better — not only do I avoid all plastics as much as I can in my life I also avoid microwaves (they do molecularly change food more so than other cooking methods.  Other cooking methods only change the surface molecules, microwaving changes the molecules all the way through).


The real problem with plastics and other chemicals?  ENDOCRINE DISRUPTiON

An endocrine disruptor is defined as “an exogenous chemical, or mixture of chemicals, that interferes with any aspect of hormone action.” 

Hormone means to send out a message (as in from one cell to another).  Hormonal comes from the greek word horman, which means to set in motion.  So hormones send out a message, causing a hormonal response that sets something in motion.

Think of hormones in our body as little messengers that carry messages from one cell or organ to another to tell our body what the cell needs or what it needs to do.  Anything that would interfere with this signaling will interfere with your endocrine or hormonal system therefore disrupting health.

One of our most common endocrine disruptors?   Plastics. Especially for women.

One of the most prevalent way plastics interfere with our hormones communicating their messages are through estrogen.  Plastics especially BPA can mimic effects of estrogen and interfere with cellular signaling.  Plastic molecules are similar enough to estrogen molecules to be able to attach themselves to estrogen receptors on the cells.  What happens then?The plastic molecule does not “tell” the cell what it needs to do therefore interrupting the bodies processes of growth, repair, regeneration, and detoxifying.  Since women have more estrogen than men women have to be especially careful with plastics and all known endocrine disruptors.

Plastics — phthalate — have most recently been discovered to also interfere with insulin receptors.  They can attach to insulin receptors and thereby prevent insulin from getting into the cell … so what does your body do?  Release more insulin which raises insulin levels causing … Insulin Resistance.

Exposure to BPA suppresses the release of adiponectin, a hormone that increases insulin sensitivity.  BPA could lead to insulin resistance and increased susceptibility to obesity and metabolic syndromes.  BPA has also been shown to affect the pancreas, thyroid hormone pathways, and brain functions.”

There have also been some evidence pointing to another issue about how plastics (and other toxins) are increasing obesity — Your body tries to hide it by tucking it away in fat so it can not circulate in your bloodstream where it causes damage.  You will store extra fat to carry this chemical if you get a lot of it in your blood stream.

This fact makes it harder for obese people to lose weight, as they shed fat the toxins get put back into the blood stream where they make you feel worse until your liver and kidneys are able to detox it.  This is one of the reasons s-l-o-w weight loss is better.

More than 90% of people tested in US have measurable BPA in their bodies.  Children and women are the most susceptible.

  • Scientists have discovered people with the increased levels of BPA in their urine had twice the risk of having a high body weight — those with even higher levels had 5x the risk of being obese.  
  • Higher levels of urinary excretion of BPA linked to heart disease,  diabetes, liver inflammation, cancer, thyroid disorders, obesity, infertility. 
    “The authors theorized that BPA could both accelerate girls’ pubertal development and weight gain during their pre-puberty years.  They noted that exposure to BPA suppresses the release of adiponectin, a hormone that increases insulin sensitivity.  BPA could lead to insulin resistance and increased susceptibility to obesity and metabolic syndromes.  BPA has also been shown to affect the pancreas, thyroid hormone pathways, and brain functions.”

Endocrine disruptors are present in all chemical products, including and not limited to:  

  • Plastics
  • Pesticides & herbicides
  • Triclosan found in antibacterial soaps
  • many solvents and cleaning products
  • household items like bath mats, 
  • fire retardants
  • stain resistant coatings and products like Gore-Tex
  • automotive products
  • bleach
  • paints
  • detergents
  • spermicides
  • cosmetics
  • soaps
  • surfactants like SLS used to make soaps bubbly
  • lubricating oils
  • nail polish
  • mercury amalgams
  • teflon coatings
  • personal care products with parabens in them
  • It’s found in currencies throughout the world (thats money!)
  • cash register receipts and anything printed on thermal paper.
  • Unfiltered tap water can also be a hormone disruptor because our water supply can contain estrogen from excreted medically prescribed hormones, pesticides, and multiple other endocrine disruptors.

The two worse offenders:

BPA – Bisphenol A –  Makes plastic hard.  Found in plastics and lining of canned goods, dental sealants, plastic containers, plastic silverware, etc.  Used in epoxies, shellacs, polycarbonates, etc.  BPA has been linked to an increase in breast and prostate type cancers due to their endocrine disruption.  BPA has also been linked to brain development in the womb.

As we have become more aware about the dangers of BPA, manufacturers are mixing up even worse concoctions to replace BPA …  An alphabet soup of bisphenols are on its way … we already have in use  BP-AP, BPF, BPS, BPP, BPM, and many more …

These other bisphenol may be even worse than the BPA they are replacing — they stay in your body longer and cause more DNA damage.  Bottom line avoid any bisphenol!

Bisphenol have soaked into our food supply; the NY State Dept. of Health Researches latest reporting showed 75% of the foods they sampled contained an assortment of eight different bisphenols.  

Canned foods and processed foods being the worst offenders. 

For example, macaroni and cheese was sampled and it turns out almost all of them had phatalates in them! Not because manufacturers are putting plastic in our food … although they do sometimes … but from the dairy in the cheese that was stored and shipped in plastic, and the hoses the milk runs through in the factories, inks on packaging materials, adhesives, sealants, and gaskets, and coatings … 

Phthalates make plastics pliable. … and is used to coat medicines . . . found in hair spray, nail polish, plastic food containers, and vinyl.  

Phthalates are linked to cancer, obesity, allergies, and asthma as well as ADHD, and birth defects like hypospadius.

Avoiding Plastics – we can identify them thanks to recycle numbers 🙂

Since the are so ubiquitous and we may not be able to eliminate all our plastics initially we can start by reducing the worst offenders.

Notes from on plastics and their corresponding recycle numbers:

#1 – PET (Polyethylene Terephthalate) – 1x use drinking bottles, thin plastic.  If used more than once they leak chemicals, may be a safer option for one time use … However one time use plastics causes a huge environmental concern.

#2 – HDPE (High-Density Polyethylene) – Think milk jug, detergent and oil bottles,  toys . . .

#3 – PVC (Polyvinyl Chloride) & Phthalates — Plastic wrap type of plastics, blister packaging, floaties, etc. — PVC is dubbed the “poison plastic” because it contains numerous toxins which it can leach throughout its entire life cycle.

#4 – LDPE (Low-Density Polyethylene) — Squeezable bottles and shrink wraps

#5 – PP (Polypropylene) — Has heat resistant qualities, think plastic mugs, yogurt containers, lids, wrappers inside of boxes like cereal, etc.  — however do not heat food in them or they can leach plastics!

#6 – PS (Polystyrene) – Styrofoam — AVOID STYROFOAM! Because polystyrene is structurally weak and ultra-lightweight, it breaks up easily and is dispersed readily throughout the natural environment. Beaches all over the world have bits of polystyrene lapping at the shores, and an untold number of marine species have ingested this plastic with immeasurable consequences to their health.      

Polystyrene may leach styrene, a possible human carcinogen, into food products (especially when heated in a microwave). Chemicals present in polystyrene have been linked with human health and reproductive system dysfunction.

#7 – BPA, polycarbonate, and LEXAN — a catch-all category for all other plastics.  Think baby bottles, teethers, sippy cups, water cooler bottles, etc.   Of primary concern with #7 plastics, however, is the potential for chemical leaching into food or drink products packaged in polycarbonate containers made using BPA (Bisphenol A). BPA is a xenoestrogen, a known endocrine disruptor.     

  • A new generation of compostable plastics, made from bio-based polymers like corn starch, is being developed to replace polycarbonates. These are also included in category #7, which can be confusing. These compostable plastics have the initials “PLA” on the bottom near the recycling symbol. Some may also say “Compostable.”
  • #7 plastics are not for reuse, unless they have the PLA compostable coding. When possible it is best to avoid #7 plastics, especially for children’s food. PLA coded plastics should be thrown in the trash and not the recycle bin or your compost! Some PLA compostable plastics will break down and leave behind harmful chemicals.

Plastics with the recycling labels #2 and #4 on the bottom are safer choices and do not contain BPA.  Although #1 plastics should NOT be re-used or they do leach chemicals, I don’t recommend single use plastics due to the burden they place on our trash and recycling systems.

Tips on how to avoid plastics

  • Use glass instead of plastic for leftovers and foods.
    • How do you jar a head of lettuce?  wrap vegetables in a dishtowel first, then put in a plastic bag.
  • Cheese is best stored in a glass jar, however all the glass jars don’t fit in my cheese drawer. My solution; wrap my cheeses first in parchment paper, then in plastic or paper bags.  
  • Don’t drink anything hot through a plastic lid — take note when you get a hot beverage out!
    • In addition if you put a plastic lid on a hot beverage condensation forms on the lid, the condensation then becomes saturated with the plastic chemicals and drips back into your beverage.
  • Straws have been banned now, but still worth noting:  Don’t drink through plastic straws. And they are a problem in our oceans as well.  
  • Avoid canned goods, there are “BPA-free” cans now but these newer options are still problematic —best options is to go glass and MAKE IT YOURSELF.
  • Avoid polyesters.  These are made from plastics.
    • And when washed the fibers break off and float in our water ways where they burden fish and other wildlife.
  • Buy food sold in glass or waxed cardboard cartons known as Tetra Paks.
  • Don’t use plastic baby bottles, cups, dishes, or anything marked with a 7.
  • Don’t microwave food in plastic containers!  EVER!  Better yet, don’t microwave anything.
  • Don’t take receipts from stores — they are lined with plastic.
  • Avoid anything anti-bacterial.  Not only are these endocrine disruptors — they are contributing to the anti-biotic resistant problem!
  • Use wood or bamboo cutting boards instead of plastic.  Wood and bamboo are naturally anti-microbial.  It is plastic that harbors pathogenic bacterias.

And remember Studies have shown kimchi helps us detox BPA and some pesticides … so eat your kimchi … and of course sweat everyday to help detoxify.

It is not just plastic that are the problem here, the problem is all the chemicals that interfere with our body’s communication system — our hormones.  These little messengers need to be able to attach to their receptors to communicate.

Another area of high exposure to endocrine disrupting chemicals:  Toiletries and personal care products.

This is an area where we can greatly reduce our chemical load.  Personal care products are some of the most toxic.  Do you know that the average woman who uses cosmetics, lotions, lip stick, fingernail polish, hair gel, etc. walks out the house in the morning with over 60 known carcinogenic chemicals on her body (!) And over 500 chemicals in general. These chemicals interfere with our bodily processes — especially our hormones.  

Here is a nice starting point and a relatively easy way to reduce your chemical exposure.

Lets start with an easy one; deodorant.  Most commercial deodorants contain parabens (known carcinogenic) and aluminum (anti-perspirants) which are connected to Alzheimers, Aluminum Chlorohydrate collects in soft tissues.

And shaving mixed with deodorant chemicals increases your risk:  The final conclusion from this study reads: 

In conclusion, underarm shaving with antiperspirant/deodorant use may play a role in breast cancer. It is not clear which of these components are involved. Reviewed literature insinuates absorption of aluminium salts facilitated by dermal barrier disruption. Case-controlled investigations are needed before alternative underarm hygiene habits are suggested.

If you want to save yourself those exposures just try this:

Homemade Deodorant

Lets look at tooghpaste, most Commercial toothpastes contain:

  • Fluoride – fluoride when ingested actually causes more harm than good, it leads to bone weakness, Lower IQ, (and some studies have found a link between fluoridated water and arthritis) and tooth decay! 
  • Many toothpastes contain plastic micro-beads that get stuck under your gums and cause infections.  
  • Artificial sugars — Most toothpastes have artificial sugars.
  • Sodium Lauryl Sulfate (SLS) – is a foaming and degreasing agent that is made from coconut oil—it is highly processed.  There is much debate about its safety; this is what I have learned “The real problem with SLS is that it is too strong a cleansing agent which too easily strips oils from skin and hair. Because SLS is so cheap and makes such great bubbles, manufacturers tend to use a lot of it in anything that foams or bubbles, the results could be skin irritation. 
  • Most toothpastes also destroy your mouth micro-biota — those good bugs in our gut we are learning about are also in our mouth and on our skin.  Most dental products kill them off.  And we now know that mouth infections are directly linked to heart health.  Good reasons to make your own toothpaste that supports the mouth micro biome and does not contain any harmful effects.

Homemade Toothpaste 

For body care … I will share a little secret … I don’t use soap. Nor do I make my own with lye. I am not so sure about lye, even though “they” say it is safe, I am leery since when handling it you can’t touch it or inhale it as it will burn …. 

So I use:

1 quart sunflower or sesame oil to 30 drops lavender oil and just rub rub rub it in under the shower.  

Many times in the shower or bath I feel like I need to scrub, I make several body scrubs; 3 of which I have made up and ready to use at any time; one is coffee based (used coffee grounds), one is Dead Sea salt based with rose and cinnamon, and the other is sugar, honey, and vanilla bean based. 


Commercial lotions need preservatives — these preservatives add to your toxic load — pure oils are filled with medicinals.  Commercial lotions are also filled with petroleum based oils which disrupt hormone function leading to breast, prostate, and other cancers.  Oils nourish our skin, and massaging the skin is very good for us too:

  • Massaging oils onto your skin calms your nervous system, the skin has over 20 million sensory neurons.
  • Massaging your skin releases oxytocin in to our blood stream . . . this is the LOVE hormone responsible for bonding, loving, caring, and sharing attitudes improving our behaviors and moods 🙂
  • Rubbing oils into your skin, known as abhyanga in Ayurveda is good for the lymphatic system helping our body move toxins out while transporting fats and other nutrients.

In addition massaging oils on our skin even improves the benefits by nourishing our skin microbes, they feed on oils and fatty acids, so oiling our skin feeds our good microbes . . . we want our skin microbes to hang out with us longer! Here is why:

  • Skin Microbes reduce skin infections — this is why dry skin is more prone to infection.
  • The good microbes block bad bacteria from getting into our skin protecting us.
  • ANTI-AGING!!  Both carrier oils and essential oils heal our skin and keep us looking younger, part of this is because the essential oils also heal us from the inside out.  If you want beautiful external skin, then focus on your internal skin lining your gut and other vessels — the health of the internal skin determines the health of our external skin.
  • And we have evidence showing that our skin microbes can communicate with our gut microbes improving over all immunity.

Homemade Lotions and Body Oils 

Homemade body scrubs

Still want to use some of the manufactured toiletries?   Here are a few harmful chemicals to avoid to help you make buying choices that support your health and well being; check your labels of what you are using — if you see any of these chemicals I recommend trying one of the recipes above — save your skin and your body:

Toxic chemicals to avoid:

  • fragrance – used in body care hair care, perfumes —  Fragrance chemicals are very harmful in your body — try to avoid all fragrances.
  • hydroquinone
  • 1,4 dioxane
  • formaldehyde or formalin – in nail products
  • Toluene – in nail products
  • DBP Dibutyl phthalate – in nail polish
  • nitrosamines
  • ethylene dioxide
  • acrylamide
  • polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons
  • Parabens – propyl, isopropyl, butyl and isobutyl— are used in a variety of personal care products; antiperspirants and deodorants, lotions, sunscreens, moisturizers.  Tests have found esters of parabens in the underarm area close to the breast.  This region of the breast has the highest incidence of cancer.
  • Retinal Palmitate – or other retinoids in daytime skin care products
  • Triclosan – in liquid soaps — banned in 2016 by the FDA!
  • Triclocarban – in bar soaps
  • DMDM hydantoin in hair products
  • PEG – ceteareth, polythylene in hair products
  • Aluminum – in Deodorants

A great resource that evaluates body care products: 

Food chemicals= pesticides and preservatives 

This one can be really short, however I usually need more data to truly educate people that this statement is highly true; Organics are worth the extra time and expense.  Period.  You want organic produce.  

You may think buying organic is more costly if you just compare prices at the grocery store between organic and non-organic produce … this is not my idea of organic.  Nature’s Promise is not a very clean organic company in my opinion.  And chicken manure from non-organic farms is now allowed to be used on organic produce  … the government agencies that monitor this are so stupid they don’t realize that what the chicken is fed ends up in their manure?

And hydroponics are soon going to be allowed into organic. Hydroponics is chemicals and water …. Need I say more?

There is no substitute for knowing your farmer!

If you want organic produce that is more affordable find a CSA or local farmer.  If you need more information on this, contact me.  Most of these farmers sell higher quality vegetables at better prices than the grocery stores. And if it is more, it is still worthy your expense as they are more colorful and have better nutritional profiles  ….

Compare the fresh vegetables you get from your local farmer to the same vegetable from the grocery store, like carrots.  My experience is the carrots from your local farmers will be much tastier, brighter, in more colors, and fresher — and provide a lot more nutrition than grocery store produce. Your dollar more is well spent and will get you more food in the long run. And many CSA or local farmers will work with you and your budget, try getting your grocery store to do that. 

I am a modern day “gatherer”:  

  • I get my organic vegetables from my own garden and my friend who is a farmer (both my homes in PA and Maui I know my farmers and have a friendship with them)
  • I get my dairy from a local humane dairy
  • I get my organic sourdough only bread (NO yeast) from a local baker who buys organic ancient grains locally and mills them theirselves.
  • I get my eggs from a friend who has chickens that are named and loved.

And furthermore — you are not only eating organic for yourself, but for mother Earth!  Pesticides are harming our soils, poisoning our waterways, stripping away nutrients, eroding our top soil, and killing our pollinators. 

Here is some supporting education on why you want organic produce: 

Did you know a lot of pesticides come from warfare?  Here is the front page statement on 

Organophosphate insecticides, sometimes used in and around the home, are related to some chemical warfare agents, specifically nerve agents. That fact drives home the point that insecticides must be chosen, used, and stored safely.

This means that if you are eating foods that have been sprayed with organophosphate insecticides you are slowly poisoning yourself. 

organic produce has about 180 times fewer pesticides on them than conventional produce. 

Roundup VS DDT

Roundup is currently the most widely used herbicide/pesticide used today

DDT was used and promoted like roundup is today. We now know DDT is highly toxic and there are several studies indicating DDT has been connected to polio — and most likely the reason for the polio outbreak that now requires yet another vaccine.

kids used to play in the fog of DDT because they were told it was harmless just like monsanto claims with roundup.  Mothers powdered their pantry shelves with DDT because they were told it would keep bugs out of foods. 

And now we are doing the same with Round up.  Monsanto makes roundup to spray on their GMO produce — meaning GMO foods are directly sprayed with these poisons because they are genetically modified to not die in the presence of these chemicals. 

Is this alarming to you?  GMOs were never tested before they got FDA approval.  Monsanto hired lawyers who know the system and managed to get GMO foods approved under the GRAS category which means Generally Recognized As Safe — a catch all category.  

This category was meant for items such as baking soda, vinegar, etc.  Products we have a long history with.  (Testing is long, arduous, and expensive so corporations try to avoid it.) Initially there were only a few products in the GRAS category, but a handful of lawyers have figured out ways for companies to angle their additives into this GRAS category, and over the years the number of  ingredients now considered GRAS is ten fold to what it used to be.  This is also how Monsanto snuck GMO foods into our food supply . .. they got them recognized as GRAS in 1992.  And this is also how trans fats snuck into our food supply.  So clearly FDA needs an overhaul.  LET ME MAKE THIS PERFECTLY CLEAR . . . GMO FOODS WERE NEVER TESTED BEFORE RELEASED INTO OUR FOOD SUPPLY.  You are the test.

Roundup also kills milkweed which is what monarch butterflies need to survive. We are losing our butterflies … and our bees, it is known that roundup makes the bees sick and dumb in that they cannot find their way back to their hives. If we continue spraying roundup as we are we are in risk of losing our pollinators … do you know the impact that would have on our food supply?  Remember how I started this topic?  Since 1970 we have lost 57% of our wildlife . . .

Monsanto is also the evil company trying to hide the data that roundup is a known carcinogen.  

In March of 2015 the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) a division of the World Health Organization (WHO) determined that roundup or glyphosate (among a few other chemicals) is a class 2A probably carcinogen.  This is the second worst category –  the top category being known carcinogen — and there are several lesser harmful categories.

If you google this the top hits are Monsanto trying to disregard this data!  Monsanto has a history of government trickery and many lies.

And Monsanto also makes these toxic products:
Agent Orange
PCBs.  Those toxic plastic compounds I just spoke about.

Our Good Bacteria aka The Micro biome

One of the many problem with pesticide and herbicides is the microbial harm they cause to our body (they are also known endocrine disruptors).  These chemicals got approved before we knew about the good bacteria in our gut.  It has been a good several years now since we have discovered this, yet harm still continues between the spraying of our foods, chlorinated water, and many many medications that disrupt this balance; not only are antibiotics topping the list of harm, but many psychiatric meds including antidepressants harm our microbial balance leaving in its a wake a wave of uncomfortable symptoms that most can not pinpoint where they came from . . .

Monsanto still tries to fight the gut connection to their roundup.  Roundup literally turns bugs guts to liquid because it acts on their “shikimate pathway” which humans don’t have — Monsanto holds tight to this position … GUESS  WHAT DOES HAVE A SHIKIMATE PATHWAY?  OUR GOOD GUT BACTERIA.

Atrazine . . . next on the list and is still used on your food today.  Atrazine is one of the most widely used herbicides since 1959.  It is used heavily on corn, grain, sorghum, citrus fruits, and sugar cane.

Europe banned atrazine in 2005 due to groundwater contamination — today in the states we still use atrazine to the tune of 80 million pounds per year.   Atrazine contamination is as much from groundwater as it is from eating the produce it is sprayed on.

Atrazine is known to cause cancer — specifically breast, prostate, ovarian, thyroid, and uterine because it is an endocrine disruptor — even at low levels.  Atrazine:

  • Lowers testosterone — it is called the “chemical castrator”.
  • Inhibits testosterone production
  • Interferes with aromatase which increases estrogen
  • Associated with decreased sperm & fertility in humans.

Atrazine is so harmful urine from one farm worker can castrate about 2000 frogs.  Atrazine mutates frogs quickly.  Atrazine makes males become more female, make less testosterone, and make some even lay eggs.

 I am going to leave you with something to sit with on Atrazine.  The chemical company Syngenta makes atrazine.  As stated atrazine is known to cause cancers.

Syngenta is also a pharmaceutical company; They make chemotherapy drugs!  Would you call this a conflict of interest?

 Again keep in mind not only will fermented foods help you detox these pesticides — especially fermented cabbage foods; in addition the antioxidant lycopene found in  watermelon, tomatoes, red bell peppers, and other red vegetables will protect us against some of atrazine toxic effects


A new toxin is showing up in our water supply, arsenic, it is not sprayed on foods, it is a metal toxin…. We are now finding a lot of arsenic in our water … why? Arsenic collects in rice from the soil …. But that would not necessarily put it in our water … If you eat a lot of rice you may have higher levels of arsenic in you.  This still does not explain why it is in our groundwater unless it’s coming from the sewer plants.

Turns out chicken farmers add arsenic to chicken feed to make them fat!  Remember how I told you we store toxins in fat?  That’s what happens in chicken too, they have to store more fat to keep the arsenic out of their bloodstream. Guess what happens when you eat the chicken fat? You eat the arsenic.  You are what you eat eats too. 

And the run off from the big CAFO chicken farms may be what is poisoning our water supply.

It has been said we can clear arsenic pretty quickly, but our chemical burden is so high right now that we can not clear all the chemicals we are exposed to in a day.  

By the way … RO (Reverse Osmosis) water gets out arsenic.  

In my experiences, many alternative therapies are based on 2 principals:

**Nutrients In & Toxins Out**

Chemically spraying food reduces their nutrients and increases their toxicants.  They go against health.

Nutrients In and Toxins Out

What can we do about these chemical assaults?  We do have a course of action that can protect us.  It is called Herbs and Spices, and real food.

I spoke earlier in this topic about keeping your antioxidants higher than your free radicals, recommendations for the rest of your life along these lines?  Reducing your free radical exposures from chemicals is half of the work of keeping antioxidants higher than free radicals.  The other side of this advice;  Vegetables, every day and Organic foods as much as possible.

Vegetables have nutrients called phytochemicals — phyto means plants, phytochemical = plant chemicals — these are good chemicals, they are defensive molecules.

Plants manufacture these chemicals to protect themselves. Plants can’t run from the sun and go put on sunscreen. They can’t filter their water or put on bug spray or shoo away an insect or a rabbit … Instead they have to sit in the same spot and change their chemistry. They start producing defensive molecules that repel bugs and some animals, protect them from the sun, kill viruses and pathogenic bacteria, among many other functions performed by these defensive molecules.  They are the immune system of the plant.  When we eat plants we are eating these defensive molecules and getting their immunity. 

It is these defensive molecules that protect us from harmful chemicals and the processes of living and digestion.  In addition we have recently learned these phtyochemicals or defensive mechanisms are important for turning on genes in us humans.  

Food is more than energy!  Food is information, not just energy.  Food is also medicine; and food is connection with our family and our communities — we commune with food.


These same plant chemicals also talk to our DNA and program it for health.  With the new emerging data on genetic testing we have learned that our DNA is only 20% responsible for our health.  The other 80% of our health is determined by our foods and lifestyle.

What we used to call junk DNA are actually programmable micro RNA that communicate to our DNA. Plants talk to our microRNA and tell it to program our DNA for health. The defensive molecules in the plant program us to resist viruses, bacteria, cancers, etc. You want this communication from plants!

If you are eating organic vegetables or even better wild plants — every time you take a bite you will light up genes in your body that will assist with digestion, detoxification, and antioxidant formation.

Furthermore the fresher and more organically grown the food — and the healthier the soils the more of these phytochemicals are present.  Science is proving what hippies and alternative doctors have spoken about for years — light in food.  Don’t eat dead food . . .

When a plant is outside in the soil and the sun it is collecting the suns rays and storing it as little particles of light in the plant.  These little particles of light have been given a name : BioPhotons. And some people now are able to measure the biophotons — or light — in foods.  The sooner the plant goes from the soil and sun to our plate the more biophotons.  The longer the plant sits in trucks, stores, and fridges the dimmer the light gets.

These biophotons have been shown to improve how our cells communicate with each other — they make the process of communication quicker almost like wifi between the cells vs. something having to enter a cell.  People who consume more foods in cleaner and fresher states have more vitality due to higher nutrient content and biophotons in their food.  This is why processed foods, canned foods, foods picked unripe, shipped across the world, and then left to sit in stores is called dead food.  The light is no longer in this food.

Furthermore if someone tells you you need to supplement because our soil is so bad, you can tell them if you know your farmer and their growing methods this is not necessary.  Supplements behave very different in the body than the same nutrients from food.  This is a well documented fact.  And many supplements don’t even have in them what they say, nor are they in the appropriate quantities, and there are fillers and coatings (many times made with plastics!) to further add toxic burden to our body.  Most pills are a toxic burden to your body.

The recipe for health?

Try to eat 9-12 servings per day of vegetables.  This is vegetables at every meal — make each meal over half vegetables.

Another one of my favorite FMx doctors,  Dr. Terri Wahls, in her MS protocol wants everyone to eat 9 cups of vegetables per day — 3 cups cabbage foods, 3 cups leafy greens, and 3 cups NON-STARCHY vegetables each day.

  • Data shows those who consume more cruciferous vegetables can pee out more pollution.  We process it better and get it out of our body via urine.

In treating her own disease, she did not cross over the threshold from stopping the progression of MS to recovering and healing from it until she started eating 9-12 cups of vegetables per day. 

Eat your vegetables!. 

Tom O’Bryan in this excellent 41 minute interview with him talks about how the chemicals in our environment attach to our hormone receptor sites and cause problems in our bodies leading to auto-immunity. Especially for women.  He gives some good take away tips as well.

Bobbi Misiti is founder of BeFit Body & Mind, in private practice independently since 1990 specializing in stress reduction, whole food nutrition, and  aromatherapy (therapeutic uses of oils and herbs).  

She is a Functional Medicine Certified Health Coach (FMCHC) and a NAHA (National Association for Aromatherapists) Certified Aromatherapist.  

I combine enthusiasm with education and enjoy helping others find balance and empowerment inherent in whole, plant based foods, and a lifestyle of movement and mindfulness.  Learn and Thrive is my free online resource based on tried (by me!) and true methods of healthy, disease free living and how to avoid toxins in our food and environment.

From 2001 – 2017 I owned and opened BeFit Body & Mind YOGA in my hometown of Central PA, teaching individualized yoga practices local and worldwide.  In 2009 I started traveling and teaching workshops worldwide spreading the joy of lifestyle as a means of preventative medicine.

Currently I reside in Maui, HI when not traveling and teaching or visiting family in my hometown.  I have three lovely children and three wonderful granddaughters.


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