Would you let a killer live in your home? Your office? Your car? You might be surprised at the answer…
We’re exposed to a multitude of chemicals in our air, food, water, and common consumer products.
We are often unaware of exposure to these potentially deadly elements because we can’t see or smell them, unless they are obvious, in the form of air pollution.
When it comes to sources of Chronic Stress, nothing is quite as insidious as chemical toxicity. Chemicals are accepted. They are a multi-billion dollar industry. But they are NOT safe.
There are two types of chemical exposure: acute and chronic. Acute exposures, such as burns from a corrosive cleansing agent or inhalation of high levels of pesticides, are obvious, and typically result in unmistakable symptoms very quickly. Chronic exposures, on the other hand, can be very subtle or go unnoticed, with few or no apparent symptoms. The latter form poses a menacing source of chronic stress.
The pervasive nature and harmful effects of chemicals cannot be ignored. The United States alone produces about 400 billion pounds of synthetic organic chemicals annually. That’s approximately 80 pounds of chemicals a year for each person on the planet. About 55,000 chemical compounds are in production and the Environmental Protection Agency officially lists 48,000 chemicals. Of these, fewer than 1,000 have been tested for toxic side effects and only about 500 for adverse health effects.
Each year in the United States alone, several million reported poisonings occur from accidental and intentional exposure to toxic products used in the home. However, we know this number is much greater, because toxic exposures that don’t cause immediate symptoms generally go unreported.
Take the effect of chemicals on hormone (endocrine) function. An endocrine disruptor is a synthetic chemical that, when absorbed, either mimics or blocks hormones, disrupting the body’s normal functions. This disruption can happen by altering normal hormone levels, suppressing or stimulating the production of hormones, or changing the way hormones travel through the body. Endocrine disruptors can enter air and water as a by-product of manufacturing processes, and by burning plastics and other materials. Studies have found that endocrine disruptors can leach out of plastics, even the type of plastic used to make intravenous bags for hospitals!