This past Monday on Mamavation TV, our guest was author and environmentalist, Rick Smith. He, along with Bruce Lourie, co-wrote the best-selling book Toxin Toxout: Getting Harmful Chemicals Out of Our Bodies and Our World. This follow-up to 2009’s Slow Death by Rubber Duck: How the Toxic Chemistry of Everyday Life Affects Our Health, takes on toxins in a new way — self-experimentation. We talked about his books, and how to deal with toxin exposure.
Toxin exposure is part of daily life, but just how much of an effect do these chemicals and pesticides have on our bodies?
In a number of home experimentations, Rick and Bruce set out to determine just that. They tested out the effects of that “new car smell” by sitting in an unventilated vehicle for eight hours, breathing in the off-gassed scent. Tests revealed that the levels of things like formaldehyde, benzene, and toluene were through the roof after the experiment.
In another real life approach, the pair studied the effects of eating organic. Over a 12 day period, kids’ conventional diets were swapped for an all organic one for four days. Testing done throughout the experiment revealed a significant reduction in pesticides, such as glyphosate, when the organic diet had been introduced. In contrast, with the reintroduction of conventional food, the toxin levels rose again.
Though their findings may seem daunting, Rick was eager to share the positive side. These toxins are flushed out of the body fairly quickly. The lingering toxins of “new car smell” were reduced in a matter of hours. The all organic diet lowered pesticide levels in the children in just as little time. Swapping out brands and food for organic can reduce levels by as much as 80-90%.
So why worry about toxin exposure? Because we are in a world of constant re-exposure, minute by minute. Our bodies maintain a relatively high level of these chemicals all the time. Each change we make to reduce our exposure lowers the level of toxins our bodies house.
Toxout — Removing Toxin Exposure
Rick shared some of his biggest toxic offenders that are a great place to start when reducing your exposure to chemicals.
- Pillows — Older foam pillows likely contain more flame retardants and chemicals. Opt for a newer, organic pillow.
- Crib Mattresses — This is where children spend a lot of their time. An organic, non-toxic mattress will eliminate harmful off-gassing.
- Plastics — Newer plastics are better in this case. BPA is bad news, and current regulations have removed it from things like baby bottles.
- Cookware — Teflon (a non-stick coating in cookware) is a classified obesogen. Switch to cast iron or glass options.
- Stain-Resistant Material — That protective coating on your furniture or carpet may keep stains off, but it’s coated with Teflon as well. If you have a choice to skip the stain-resistant coating, do it.
Companies are learning what we, the consumer, want. Safer products for our families. They are making changes to their product lines and removing chemicals because we are demanding it.
Be sure to watch the show for even more great information on eliminating toxins and how to remove toxin exposure. You can also find our more from Rick Smith and Bruce Lourie’s book, Toxin Toxout: Getting Harmful Chemicals Out of Our Bodies and Our World.