Safeguard Your Health Against Common Workplace Toxins
In today's modern world, we are exposed to health-robbing toxins on a daily basis. Various harmful substances lurk in our food, water, air, workplace, and in the environment. Luckily, there are simple measures that can protect your health by helping to boost your body's natural detoxification defenses and avoid the long-term damage these dangerous substances can cause.
Numerous clinical studies reveal that common and dangerous toxins are stored in the bodies of a large percentage of the population –- within organs, fluids, tissues, and circulation. In many of the cases studied, toxic body burden exceeded safe exposure limits as set by the Environmental Protection Agency, as these toxins are closely linked to a number of chronic illnesses, developmental conditions, and behavioral problems. Toxins wreak havoc by causing chronic inflammation, DNA mutations, oxidative stress, the disruption of cell signaling, and other critical damage.
Some of the most prevalent toxins and pollutants found within and around our workplaces include asbestos, lead, particulates, formaldehyde, Polybrominated Diphenyl Ethers (PDBEs), and dioxins. Exposure to these common health hazards may be difficult to avoid completely, depending on your work or living environments. But by making regular efforts to safely detoxify your body, workplace, and surroundings, you can help protect yourself and reduce dangerous harm caused by these all too common poisons.
- Asbestos is a group of minerals with small, thin fibers and is commonly used for insulation, as a fire retardant, and in building materials. While the use of asbestos is no longer as prevalent as it was decades ago, it may still be found in older homes, pipe and furnace insulation, certain types of paints, and other building materials. Asbestos is known to be a highly toxic health threat because the fibers can be inhaled and are not easy to remove from the lungs. Long-term inhalation of asbestos can contribute to the development of serious illnesses, including mesothelioma, lung cancer, and others.
- Lead is a common heavy metal that is commonly found in our environment, food, and drinking water and can be especially dangerous in the workplace. This is particularly true for people working directly with lead products, in areas filled with lead dust or fumes, and on work sites with deteriorating lead-based paints. Whatever the degree or mode of exposure, lead can do significant damage to numerous areas of the body, including the brain, nerves, kidneys, and blood. Lead poisoning can cause acute symptoms such as hearing problems, muscle or joint pain, fatigue, dehydration, and nausea, as well as serious long-term illness. Other heavy metals, including mercury, cadmium, arsenic, and nickel, can cause similar problems and are also highly prevalent in many workplaces.
- Particulates are particles of dust, dirt, smoke, and liquid droplets found in both indoor and outdoor environments. Particulates stem from a variety of sources, including vehicles, factories, construction sites, fires, and others, and due to their minuscule size can be present in the air without detection. Other types of particulates are formed when gases from burning fuels, either in vehicles or power plants, react with water vapor and sunlight, filling the air you breathe. When inhaled over time, especially by people who have respiratory conditions, particulates can contribute to aggravated respiratory problems, such as asthma, chronic bronchitis, compromised lung function, and irritation in the eyes, nose, and throat.
- Formaldehyde is a glue resin concentrated in materials such as paints, paint thinners, varnishes, and insulation, as well as in manufactured wood products, such as particle board, plywood, and fiberboard. This chemical is most commonly dispensed through a process known as "off-gassing," in which it evaporates and is released as a vapor. Formaldehyde off-gassing can continue for years after manufacturing, contributing to respiratory problems, allergies, and, more seriously, cancer. To reduce exposure, increase ventilation in your indoor environments and choose exterior-grade pressed-wood products, which release lower levels of formaldehyde.
- Polybrominated Diphenyl Ethers (PBDEs) are flame retardant chemicals that are added to countless household and work products during manufacturing. They enter our bodies primarily from direct contact and from breathing and touching the dust in our indoor environments. Electronics, bedding, carpet, clothing, uniforms, and numerous other products contain these chemicals and gradually expel them. PBDEs can contribute to neurological, hormonal and developmental problems, among others.
- Dioxins are chemicals produced during combustion and burn processes including industrial incineration, wood fires, backyard waste, diesel combustion (exhaust), etc. Dioxins also form during bleaching processes, as well as in the manufacturing of chemical pesticides/herbicides. Experts estimate the primary route of exposure comes from consuming dioxin-polluted fish, meat, and dairy products, as dioxins tend to bioaccumulate in the food chain. Once ingested, dioxins are stored mainly in fat tissues and can increase the risk of cancer, autoimmune disease, cardiovascular illness, reproductive/developmental problems, and other degenerative conditions.
Healthy Workplace Habits
The most effective strategies for addressing toxic body burden include sophisticated detoxification protocols, safe chelation, and targeted integrative medical treatments administered by a qualified practitioner. However, there are simple supportive measures you can make on a daily basis that will help detoxify your body and protect you over the long term.
At work, you can protect yourself by washing your hands and face prior to touching your hair, face, nose, or mouth, as well as before drinking or eating. When breaking for meals, always eat in areas that are properly ventilated and far from toxic products and fumes. For more advanced protection, you can visit your doctor to get a blood test that measures the amount of lead, as well as other heavy metals and toxins that may be present in your circulation. The test results will help you assess your exposure level, toxic body burden, and the most appropriate course of action for effective toxin removal.
Diet and Lifestyle Modifications
One of the best ways to protect your health from harmful pollutants is with an organic, nutrient-dense, antioxidant-rich diet, together with extra supplementation. Focus on potassium-rich foods and dark leafy greens, bulky fiber, and plenty of pure water to optimize your detoxification capacity. Cruciferous vegetables such as broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, kale, and others are some of the most powerful detoxifying foods, and also help protect cells from damage.
High-powered antioxidants and free radical scavengers that can help prevent and address oxidative damage include vitamins C, A, E, and D3, as well as lipoic acid, selenium, glutathione, beta-1,3 glucans, sea buckthorn, purified Honokiol (extracted from Magnolia bark), and others. Limit or eliminate processed foods, excess salt, stimulants, sugars, and alcohol, as these increase inflammation and interfere with natural detoxification capacities.
In addition to a healthy diet, regular exercise provides powerful benefits for the circulatory and cardiovascular systems, as well as overall health. Gentle, regular exercise helps to increase blood flow and circulation, remove toxins, and reduce stress, inflammation, and oxidative damage.
A Detoxification Program for Long-Term Health
Safely detoxifying heavy metals and environmental toxins is critical for long-term health and wellness. As an integrative practitioner, I have witnessed many people improve their clinical symptoms and regain their health with a comprehensive, gentle, and long-term detoxification program. Listed below are my top recommendations for safe and gentle detoxification, especially for those working or living in highly toxic environments. These natural solutions have been well researched and shown to reduce toxin buildup without affecting essential minerals.
- Modified Citrus Pectin (MCP): MCP is a natural ingredient that is derived from the pith of citrus fruits and modified through an enzymatic process for optimal absorption and bioactivity. MCP of the correct molecular weight easily enters the bloodstream to bind and block inflammation-inducing Galectin-3 molecules throughout the body. Alone or in a combination formula with modified alginates, MCP is clinically shown to significantly remove heavy metals from the circulation and digestive tract without reducing essential minerals -– a common downfall of most other chelation methods. It also provides a wide range of additional immune and cellular health benefits and helps to fight inflammation, fibrosis, and other chronic conditions.
- Organic Ten Mushroom Formula: Medicinal mushrooms, in particular Reishi and Cordyceps, play an important role in protection from toxin exposure by defending tissues against oxidative stress and inflammation, while absorbing toxins from deep within the body and safely removing them. These and other medicinal mushrooms help protect against toxin-induced damage, boost immunity, regulate healthy cell replication, and enhance overall health. I recommend an organic formula with a synergistic blend of 10 medicinal mushrooms for detoxification and overall support.
Antioxidants for Detoxification and Protection
High-powered antioxidants are your best defense against toxin-related damage and oxidative stress. Antioxidants preserve DNA integrity, help prevent oxidative damage from toxic free radicals, soothe inflammation, boost immunity, help detoxify the body, and promote overall health.
Glutathione is one of nature's most potent antioxidants produced by the body and is known to detoxify and protect against heavy metals and toxins. The best way to support your body's glutathione production is with nutrients and herbs that act as precursors to glutathione. These include dandelion, lipoic acid, N-Acetyl cysteine (NAC), whey powder, and others. I recommend taking glutathione precursors together as part of a "phase 2" detox formula, which allows for deeper, more thorough detoxification of harmful pollutants. Such a formula should include a comprehensive blend of glutathione precursors and other botanicals and nutrients that have been specifically shown to safely remove heavy metals and toxins from deep within the body, as well as support vital energy.
These healthy solutions can help protect your health from workplace toxins and detoxify your body of dangerous pollutants. Together with a balanced lifestyle, they can form a comprehensive foundation for both short-term and daily detox programs that will support lasting health and wellness, despite the array of toxins that we all regularly encounter. For more in-depth detoxification and practical health information, visit my website at www.dreliaz.org.
Posted by Isaac Eliaz on Jul 10, 2012