5 Dangerous Chemicals
Dr. Jimmy Steger
A hundred years ago, these chemicals did not even exist. Today, bisphenol A, phthalates, PFOA, formaldehyde and even PDBE (polybrominated diphenyl ether) can be found in nearly all of the millions of homes in the United States. These chemicals are used everywhere from carpets to plastic bottles to cushions and even baby mattresses. These chemicals are also added to shampoos, hair waxes, makeup... You name it and the pharmaceutical industry has been able to add these chemicals to it.
This chemical is the foundation of nearly unbreakable and clear polycarbonate plastics. Epoxy resins also contain bisphenol A. As such, this chemical is found in every plastic product that requires heat-resistant and unbreakable clear plastics, like baby bottles, clear food containers, the hard lids of jars, compact discs like DVDs and even sealants used to prevent further tooth decay.
Babies that drink milk from plastic bottles, cups and glasses have been exposed. Dental patients with sealants that have been made with bisphenol A too have absorbed the chemical. In a recent CDCP study, a staggering 93% of all test subjects were positive for bisphenol A (through urine testing).
Long term studies suggest that prolonged exposure to this chemical can affect male sexual function. Other studies point to its potentially harmful effects to the human endocrine system. It turns out that this chemical can mimic estrogen, the naturally occurring female hormone that exists in both males and females. If there is a chemical that mimics estrogen, then the body will experience a chemical imbalance – and we all know what chemical imbalances can do to the body. According to the FDA, this chemical can also cause negative effects to fetuses.
Phthalates is used as a plastic softener and binding agent. This chemical is used on personal care products like shampoos & conditioners. It is also used in materials used in interior decoration, like vinyl tiles and bathroom curtains. Drugs that are time-released are also coated with phthalates.
Because of its widespread use, the chemical is absorbed readily by the body with every use of any product that has the chemical. A new study performed by researchers from the Mount Sinai Center reported the possible link between prenatal exposure to the chemical and ADHD. In other researchers and animal studies, this chemical has also been linked to the disruption of the endocrine system and sexual development in males.
Recently, the United States government has put a ban on six types of this class of chemicals that are used on products like toys. To reduce exposure to this chemical, avoid personal care products that only list 'fragrance' in the list of materials or ingredients. Such products may have phthalates added. You may want personal care products that actually list what they use for fragrance – there are a lot of products from companies that do not hide the chemicals they use.
PFOA is used to manufacture products like Teflon. As such, it is found in products that make use of Teflon, like pots, pans, ladles, etc. This chemical is also added to carpeting materials, furniture and a host of other products that are wildly disassociated with each other in function.
The chemical can be also be released into the immediate environment once the products containing it are destroyed. Current research suggests that Teflon-coated cookware tend to give off vapors, which can contaminate the food being cooked in or with the Teflon-lined wares.
The chemical can also be absorbed directly through the inhalation of polluted air. In animal trials, PFOA is a known carcinogen that actually causes cancerous growths and physical development problems. To reduce your exposure to PFOA, you may opt not to use Teflon-coated cookware (use stainless steel pots, pans and ladles instead). Also, keep your heat to medium-high to reduce the vapors created when Teflon comes into contact with heat.
Formaldehyde is used in different types of adhesives, panelings, construction boards and pressed-fabric products. Exposure to this chemical is usually through direct contact with products containing the chemical. Also, cigarette smoke and car exhaust contains formaldehyde. Formaldehyde can cause allergic reactions that can affect the entire respiratory tract. To reduce exposure, furniture should be made from exterior grade wood. This doesn't mean that the furniture will not emit formaldehyde; exterior grade wood just emits less of the chemical.
PDBE is a class of chemicals that are added to products to reduce flammability. Products like mattresses, foams, pillows, blankets and even coverings used for furniture are 'enhanced' with PDBE. According to recent statistics, about twelve million pounds of the chemical is manufactured on a yearly basis – and the chemical does not break down that quickly. EPA studies show that this chemical can cause damage to people's kidneys and livers. Since PDBE can also be inhaled through dust, remove dust produced by old and new furniture. Also, avoid buying products that list PDBE as a fire retardant.
Use Wheatgrass to detoxify the body:
Wheatgrass is basically a young wheat plant. For decades, the grass has been used as food by man. And there is more reasons to enjoy wheatgrass today because it actually detoxifies the body and provides other benefits as well:
Until next time, stay healthy!
Dr. Jimmy Steger