Toxins in everyday life: Types, their effects and where they are found | Health - Hindustan Times
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Toxins in everyday life: Types, their effects and where they are found

Sep 29, 2022 04:40 PM IST

We are often unaware of the number of harmful chemicals that we are consuming in our day-to-day life. From types to effects, here is all you need to know about everyday toxins.

Our home contains toxins in a number of different forms. Numerous items in your daily life expose you to chemicals that are bad for your health, including perfumes, cleaning supplies, cosmetics, and plastic water bottles. Since avoiding exposure to hazardous substances is an important aspect of health and wellbeing that goes beyond food and exercise, it is crucial to be aware of these toxins and take action to get rid of them whenever possible. While you may restrict some of your exposure to toxins, you cannot completely stop it. To ensure that your body can perform at its peak and help avoid disease, it is essential to regularly detox. (Also read: Ayurveda detox tips: Ways to remove toxins from your body after the festive season )

Toxins in everyday life: Types, their effects and where they are found(depositphotos)
Toxins in everyday life: Types, their effects and where they are found(depositphotos)

Sara Gottfried, Physician and Author, shared the types of toxins, their effects and where they are found, in her Instagram post.

Type of toxins and where they can be found:

1. Clothing

• Pesticides: DDT, DDE

• Heavy metals: cadmium, lead, mercury Endocrine disruptors: perfluorinated chemicals (PFCs)

• DDT and DDE Alzheimer's. are linked to late-onset

• Metals-see previous. Toxins in your sports bra, yoga pants, and workout gear contain endocrine disruptors that may disrupt the HPA axis and thyroid and cause cancer.

2. Kitchen

• Bisphenol A (BPA)

• BPA changes brain development; may turn off the growth of synapses in response to estrogen in certain parts of the brain. Altered behaviour in children exposed to significant BPA has been observed. BPA triples the risk of autism and is linked to serotonin problems. BPA disrupts the HPA axis, leading to problems with hormones including changes in puberty, ovulation, and fertility.

3. Furniture

• Flame retardants: polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), PBDEs*, HBCDD

• Phthalates

• PCBs and PBDEs alter the dopamine system and may increase the risk of Parkinson's disease; alter learning and memory.

• HBCDD harms dopamine signaling.

• Phthalates are tied to attention deficit disorder, autism, reduced verbal intelligence, developmental delay, and social deficits.

4. Food

• Arsenic in fish, shellfish, meat, poultry, dairy products, rice, and cereals

• Advanced glycation end products (AGES) in charred food

• Fungi, including mould

• Nitrogen is added to flash freeze food or food packaging to preserve the quality

• Herbicides and pesticides, such as glyphosate and chlorpyrifos

• AGEs are associated with inflammation and Alzheimer's disease.

• Nitrogen added to food may turn into toxic nitrosamine, which is linked to Alzheimer's, diabetes, and fatty liver.

• Eating organic foods helps significantly reduce exposure to herbicides and pesticides like glyphosate and chlorpyrifos, but there are other problems that organic foods will not circumvent, like exposures to heavy metals, mold, other biotoxins, and plastics.

5. Air

• Ozone Particulates (dust, dirt, soot, smoke, etc.), nitrogen dioxide (NO2), sulfur dioxide (SO2)

• Heavy metals: arsenic, cadmium, chromium, lead, manganese, mercury, nickel

• Benzene

• Other: dioxin, asbestos, toluene (The EPA lists 187 toxic air pollutants.)

• Ozone activates the sympathetic nervous system ("fight-flight-freeze") and HPA axis.

• Particulates (<10 μm), NO2, and SO2 may increase the risk of ischemic stroke.

• Arsenic, cadmium, lead, manganese, and mercury escalate neurodegeneration.

• Arsenic can disrupt the HPA axis and impair executive function, processing speed, fine motor function, and memory, and is associated with depression.

• Benzene exposure occurs when you inhale petroleum products, such as gas, near gas stations, which may cause chromosome mutations and cancer.

How it affects our body and brain:

  • Brain development
  • Cell signaling
  • Hormone disruption
  • Cognition
  • Mitochondrial function

Some basic steps to avoid toxins:

  • Avoid plastic water bottles and food containers
  • Eat organic and GMO-free
  • Use organic skin-care products
  • Stop eating canned food
  • Replace tuna with salmon

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