Thursday, September 4, 2008

Toxins II- Water

Water, the gift that keeps on giving. Obviously if you've made it this far in life, you know- water is important. Humans can only go without water for 3-5 days before dying. The average body is 70 % water. Water in the body is responsible for nearly every bodily process you can imagine- digestion, absorption, circulation, excretion, transporting nutrients, maintaining body temperature, carrying out waste material, etc... You already know, you lose water through your sweat, going to the bathroom and whatever. So seeing how vital water is to your body's well being, don't you want to make sure you're getting enough of it? That's a good start, but you also need to be sure of the quality. Unfortunately, not all water is created equal.

You see, good quality water is beneficial to all disorders. Water can get rid of headaches, stomach, bladder, and anxiety problems, among others. Water flushes toxins out of the body allowing it to function properly and reduce the effects of most disorders that are caused by toxins in the first place.

Oh, you want to lose weight? Drink some water. Sore joints? Water. More energy? Water.
How simple. You need it anyway, why not make sure you are getting enough of the the quality water your body deserves? It is recommended to drink about ten glasses or 80 oz of water per day.

So water is cheap, easy to find and good for you. So what's the problem? Finding good quality water. It's easier than you think. Go to the grocery store and fill up the gallon jugs they have provided for you at the water refill machine. They are usually in most stores like Walmart, Pick n' Save, etc... And if you bring back your used jugs it will only cost you about 39 cents per jug. Not bad considering your other options....

So you drink water from the tap, eh? Why don't you go wrap your mouth around an exhaust pipe? You may assume that the water from your sink is clean and safe, but that is not necessarily the case. Regardless of the source, be it a lake, river, or a well, it can contain harmful chemicals and inorganic materials. Water can contain radon, fluoride, arsenic, iron, lead, copper, mercury, and other heavy metals. Other contaminants include- fertilizers, asbestos, cyanides, herbacides, pesticides, and industrial chemicals. They can get into water through soil or even plumbing pipes. More fun things you may get from your tap include viruses, bacteria, and parasites.

Grossly enough, some substances are intentionally added to the public water supply to kill bacteria, adjust the PH, eliminate cloudiness, etc... These include- chlorine, fluorides, carbon, lime, phosphates, soda ash, and aluminum sulfate.

Every year, almost one million people get sick from contaminated water while 900 DIE from water related diseases. Public water may have the contaminants under the "allowable" amounts, but the total of all of them may still be harmful to your health. Regardless, more than 1/3 of all community water systems have been cited for failure to meet the EPA's water safety standards. What a nice thought.

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Toxins I- Air

Q: Do you need to detoxify?

A: Do you breathe? Do you eat? Or drink water? Then the answer is YES!

Over time, toxins build up in the body due to pollutants in the air we breath, chemicals in the food and water we consume, and a variety of other ways.
AIR POLLUTION
Air pollution is contamination of the air by harmful substances. Over time, exposure to the chemicals and harmful particles can cause
  • cancer
  • birth defects
  • brain and nerve damage
  • injury to the lungs and breathing passages
If your family has a history of heart attacks, take note- dust and particulates from smokestacks and especially from diesel exhaust are suspected of increasing the number of deaths from heart attacks by affecting the heart's ability to maintain it's rhythm.

Air pollution has considerably thinned the ozone layer meant to protect us, allowing the dangerous radiation from sun to cause cancer, birth defects and more.

Indoor air pollution is almost as big of an issue as the outdoor kind. In the U.S., most people spend 80- 90% of their time indoors. This is a larger problems in northern climates where the winter weather tends to keep people inside. Faulty air conditioning, poor maintenance of heating and cooling systems, and gas emissions from carpeting, paints, paneling, computers, plastic, furniture, etc... all contribute to this ever growing problem.

THE MAJOR AIR POLLUTANTS

CARBON MONOXIDE ( CO )
  • Colorless, odorless, and poisonous
  • After inhalation, the CO molecules enter the blood stream via the lungs. They bind with red blood cells, preventing them from picking up Oxygen. Lack of cellular oxygenation can result in dizziness, headaches, fatigue, or ultimately, death.
  • Most commonly created by automobile engines, and even wood burning stoves.
CARBON DIOXIDE ( CO2 )

  • As we use Oxygen, we generate Carbon Dioxide with every exhale. The good news is, plants that use photosynthesis, take in the Carbon Dioxide and excrete Oxygen (good).
  • The concentration of CO2 in the atmosphere is on the rise as a result of the increase in the burning of fossil fuels.
  • Because CO2 is a greenhouse gas, the more of it that is in the atmosphere, the warmer the climate will become. i.e. global warming.
CHLOROFLUOROCARBONS ( CFCs )

  • Used widely in industry, especially in refrigerant and air conditioning systems.
  • When released into the atmosphere, all CFCs rise into the stratosphere, and through a series of chemical reactions, the ozone becomes depleted, allowing in harmful UV radiation. This increases the incidence of skin cancers and other related problems.
HAZARDOUS AIR POLLUTANTS ( HAPs )

  • General class of chemicals that can cause serious health and environmental effects. (cancer, birth defects, nervous system disorders, and even death.)
  • Most are produced in chemical plants, by diesel emissions, etc...
  • Examples of these chemicals are :
Acrolein, Formaldehyde, Acetaldehyde, Beryllium, Arsenic, and others.

LEAD

  • Highly toxic metal
  • No longer in gasoline or consumer products, but there are still large amounts in the environment such as lead paint, lead piping, and lead contaminated dust and soil from years of lead emission.
  • For more information:
National Lead Information Center http://www.epa.gov/lead/nlic.htm

OZONE ( O3 )

  • Is a form of oxygen, having three atoms rather than two. Is toxic and damaging to our health, environment, trees, and crops.
  • Health problems caused by Ozone exposure are breathing and lung related.
PARTICULATE MATTER

  • Any type of solid material in the air in the form of dust, smoke, or vapor which can remain suspended for a long amount if time.
  • Affects EVERYONE! City people: heavy traffic and industrial pollution. Farmers: soil dust, chemical vapors, fertilizer, etc...
  • Breathing in these particulates can be very dangerous to your health, possibly resulting in respiratory or heart problems.
  • Particulates can also pick up other toxic elements such as metals, aerosols, etc...
There are TONS of pollutants floating around in the air you breathe. The above listed are just a few! Not that I want you to stop breathing, but just realize how toxic everyday life can be and the importance of cleansing your body of these harmful things.

More to come on toxins.....

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