Reduce Your Toxic Lifestyle
I often think about aging in terms of the quality of my aging lifestyle rather than just living an extra long life. Don’t get me wrong, I want to live a long life, but I want it to be healthy. So, on a hike recently, I was listening to the GW Integrative Medicine Podcast, and came across an interview with Dr. Aly Cohen. She recently co-authored a book with Dr. Fred vom Saal titled “Non-Toxic: Guide to Living Healthy in a Chemical World.” The book gives practical advice about how to reduce chemical exposures by drawing attention to how we eat, the air we breathe, and the chemicals we put on our skin.
Chemical exposures are not to be taken lightly. On her site, http://thesmarthuman.com, Dr. Cohen indicates that there are over 90,000 chemicals available for commercial use in the United States and fewer than 300 of them have been tested for human safety. These chemicals can be used across all industries, including in processed foods. They also get leached into our drinking water and added to products we use daily like laundry soap, the air we breathe in our homes and offices, cosmetics, lotions, etc. This is not extremism. News stories highlighting some of the concerns surrounding these chemicals have been released by reputable, mainstream outlets. The New York Times published a story in 2017 that discussed how phthalates had been found in mac and cheese. Phthalates are chemicals that make plastic soft and flexible. They leak into our food through packaging and from dairy and meat producing animals that have been exposed to it (https://www.webmd.com/a-to-z-guides/features/what-are-phthalates). Phthalates have not been found to be proven safe for humans. In fact, there are concerns about overexposure and health risks especially related to the development of unborn babies and children experiencing puberty. The New York Times also reported, Ben and Jerry’s ice cream found traces of glyphosate. Glyphosate is the main ingredient of Round Up and has been featured recently in lawsuits for individuals who have contracted cancer. You do not only have to worry about food related toxins. Healthy Living outlines how synthetic air fresheners can cause multiple health concerns as well.
If you do a quick Google search on this topic, you can quickly become overwhelmed. Reading labels and trying to decipher what is safe and what is not is also impractical unless you are a trained chemist. So, I was relived to find this book, and to finally have a practical guide. It explains how to make simple changes to significantly reduce chemical exposure in your everyday life. It does this in a topic-based format so you can take on as much as you can tackle at one time. I hope it can help you keep your family healthier as well. If you buy the book, leave me a comment and let me know how you have used some of the ideas.