Aim for Health

14 Ways to Leave your Toxins Behind

We all know that we are awash in a sea of toxins. We find them in the air we breathe and in the water we drink, we consume them through food additives and preservatives, and we absorb them through household cleaners and in yard fertilizers and other products.

We also know that one way to maintain a detoxified body is to avoid toxins. Although it is impossible to be 100 percent toxin-free, there are simple steps you can take to limit your exposure to toxins.

1. Put the ex in Windex.
This glass cleaner contains butyl cellosolve, which is toxic to blood cells, kidneys, and livers. It's not listed on the label either. Don't use it!

2. Air out the Aerosols.
Aerosols can be toxic. forget the sprays.

3. Mothball your Mothballs.
Mothballs are toxic to the brain, liver,and blood. Use cedar chips.

4. It's No Magic Carpet.
Carpeting has two bad effects: The chemicals used in its production are bad for you, and it traps dirt, dust, animal hair, fleas, and more. All of which can cause allergies. Get rid of it!

5. Have a Little Sole.
If you must have carpet, take your shoes off when you come into your house. This cuts down on dirt and bacteria.

6. Goodbye, Old Paint.
Paint contains all kinds of bad stuff, so be careful when using it. Many pre-1975 paints contain lead. This causes major problems, especially for children. If you are stripping or sanding "this old house," keep the kids away and wear a face mask.

7. The Grass Isn't Greener.
One study found that the rate of childhood leukemia is four to seven times higher in kids whose parents used home and garden pesticides. These things are nasty. Use natural pesticides and don't worry about what the Jones think of your lawn.

8. Water, Water, Everywhere...
and most of it is filled with chemicals. Use bottled or filtered water. Hot showers open your pores and polluted water can get in. Keep the temperature a little cooler or install a shower filter.

9. Get the White Out.
Products bleached "white" - white underwear, paper, tampons, milk cartons, napkins, toilet paper - contain dioxin, one of the nastiest chemicals around. Try to use unbleached products.

10. Eau de Death.
Perfumes and colognes can contain some 600 chemicals, most of which are petroleum-based. They can cause allergies and irritation. Buy unscented products and cosmetics. Use essential oils, not perfumes.

11. Dye or Die!
The National Cancer Institute estimates that permanent and semipermanent hair dyes may be responsible for as much as 20 percent of all cases of non-Hodgkin's lymphoma among U.S. women. A common ingredient, phenylenediamine, causes cancer. There are a few natural highlighters on the market. And if you must dye, wait. The younger you start dyeing, the worse the problems that may develop.

12. Keep in Tune.
Keeping your car well-tuned means keeping pollutants out of the air.

13. Don't Bug Me!
Methyl bromide, Vikane (sulfuryl fluoride), and Dursband are all used as pesticides. Methyl bromide may cause cancer and nerve, liver, kidney, and brain damage. Vikane causes liver and kidney damage. Dursban is toxic to the fetus and causes nerve damage. Its manufacturer, Dow Chemical Co., refuses to publish its safety data for public review. Find alternatives.

14. Barking Up the Wrong Tree.
We spray our animals for fleas and have them wear special collars. However, carbaryl, commonly used in pet flea and tick killers, causes birth defects in dogs. Cancer of the bladder is associated with lifetime exposure to tick and flea dips. Childhood brain cancer is associated with flea collars. Brush your animals and bathe them.

The article "14 Ways to Leave Your Toxins Behind" is reproduced with the permission of AIM International
© 1997-1999 by AIM USA. Partner's Magazine - Dec.'98

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