Just this week I was speaking with a member of the fitness center who told me that her husband had died of cancer from insecticide poisoning. Many years ago he was playing golf when they began spraying the course with insecticide. He arrived home soaked in residual chemical spray.

He jokingly told her that if he didn’t get cancer in a few months, he would never have cancer. Six months later he was diagnosed with a rare cancer that permeated the lining of the lung and is caused by exposure to insecticides – two years later he died.

Today’s world is full of more toxins than ever. In my book, soon to be published, I identify and address the top 10 most common toxins, how to avoid them and how to live “clean”.

While I won’t go into as much detail in these short articles here is what to expect:

  • Part One – Learn how our exposure to toxins has increased and where we find many common toxins.
  • Part Two-  Examine how toxins may effect our health – from the inability to lose weight, to cancer, and even death.
  • Part Three – The best part – Discover how to avoid toxins, detox the body, and find your way to optimal wellness.

Our ancestors never had to deal with the amount of toxins we are constantly bombarded with daily. Their air, water, and food sources were cleaner than ours are today. While civilization has continued to evolve, we have done so at a cost to our health in many areas.

Currently one in three Americans can expect to have cancer in their lifetime and it is estimated that by the year 2020, one in two Americans will have the same diagnosis.

With all the so-called medical breakthroughs, labs established to research cures for disease, and access to “modern” and advanced “science – we have to ask ourselves how this is possible? Eventually I may address this issue from an entirely different angle but today I want to discuss  where we find toxins and why they are abundant now more than ever.

From soil, to water,  to air our environment has become very toxic.

SOIL: Let’s start with soil since optimal health is directly related to the quality of food we eat and all the food we eat, meat or vegetation, comes from the soil. Our food supply is only as healthy as our soil is healthy.

Not only has the average loss of mineral content in our food supplied decreased significantly over the past 50 years due to poor quality soil— the amount of pesticides used has also increased – not only in our conventional farming practice but certainly with the introduction of GMO foods. According to Friends of the Earth International a report released in 2008 states:

“A new report released on February 13th shows that planting genetically modified (GM) crops is causing an increased use of harmful pesticides in major biotech crop producing countries.(1)”

With the increase in pesticides, insecticides, fungicides and herbicides, our food supply is more apt to create suicide than make us healthy.  All these toxins didn’t exist in the days of our ancestors and our forefathers certainly weren’t raising GMO foods.

Animals raised on inorganic, and sometimes even organic farms, are exposed to dioxins that are released from combustible material – incinerators and burn barrels are two of the biggest problems when it comes to dioxins. Dioxins are the most harmful toxin known to man and primarily reside in the fat of meat – especially beef. How can we be sure that our meat supply isn’t contaminated? (The answer to that will be addressed in Part Three of the series).

Therefore as you can see by addressing the condition of the soil, as well as the use of pesticides, it is easy to see why it’s hard to find healthy food that is safe to eat. I will address some solutions to this problem in the final series of this topic.

WATER: Our water supply is filled with toxic chemicals.  Dr. Martin Fox states the following in the “Healthy Water” report:

“Over 2100 organic and inorganic drinking water contaminants have been identified in the U.S. drinking water supply since 1974. Out of these 2100, 190 of the contaminants have confirmed adverse health effects (2).

In many areas chlorine and fluoride are added to tap water adding to the toxicity of our water supply. In addition to poor tap water we consume, many people have resorted to purchasing bottled water. Not only is bottled water often nothing more than tap water, it is manufactured in plastics that break down and add even more toxins to the supposedly clean water we are consuming. In short, if we aren’t using a good filtration system to filter our water we are drinking toxic chemicals daily.

Besides drinking poor quality water, we shower in water that is full of chlorine. A hot, steamy shower in chlorinated water releases a boatload of toxins that are easily absorbed into your porous skin and this is even worse for your health than drinking tap water.

The water our fish and seafood live in is highly contaminated from oil spills to the dumping of other toxic wastes into our rivers and oceans. We are left wondering if the fish we consume is safe or full of PCB’s, mercury, and other toxins.

AIR: I suppose it is obvious to everyone that the quality of the air we breathe has been greatly contaminated over the past few decades. The air we are exposed to, inside and out,  is full of more and more VOC’s and extremely harmful to our health. VOC’s are found in paint, carpets, aerosol sprays, cleaners, cooking fumes – just to name a few. We live and breathe VOC’s continually.

It is also important to understand that everything that touches our skin is processed in our liver within 20 seconds. Most of the commercial health and beauty products we use are full of chemicals and fragrances that are harmful. So we not only ingest toxins through our food supply and inhale toxins through our environment, our skin absorbs loads of toxins from our so-called health and beauty aids.

Often our teeth our filled with amalgam fillings which can easily overload our body with mercury creating a variety of health problems.

As a society we consume far too much alcohol and use prescription and/or recreational drugs — allowing more toxins to overwork an already “tired” liver.

I am sure this sounds overwhelming and may leave you wondering how you are suppose to survive in such a toxic world. Part one of this series was meant to bring awareness – to allow you to understand how often we come into contact with toxins and I have only touched on a few of the many toxins that surround us daily.

As promised —-I will address the negative effects toxins have on our health next, and in part three of the series, I will teach you how to avoid toxins, detoxify the body, and live a healthier life.

(1) Friends of the Earth International – GMO crops increase pesticides – Feb. 13th , 2008 – online: http://www.foei.org/en/media/archive/2008/gm-crops-increase-pesticides

(2) – Fox, Martin. Healthy Water. Portsmouth, NH: Healthy Water Research, 1990, 1998. Online: www.healthywater.com