9 Toxins You Should Remove From Your Life ASAP (Plus Safer Alternatives)

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9 Toxins To Remove From Your Life ASAP
9 Toxins You Should Remove From Your Life ASAP. Graphic © herbshealthhappiness.com. Photo © AdobeStock 51745736 (under license)

In today’s day and age, the products we consume are laden with toxic chemicals. Some of these are removed by the liver but there are others that are deposited in tissue and may build up over time in the body in a process known as bioaccumulation. And this is not just in the food we eat! Household cleaners, plastic containers, and even the clothes we wear have been made with chemicals and dyes produced in labs. These chemicals can be absorbed by the body as well, through direct contact with our skin or inhalation of fumes. These toxins are not easily removed from the body as waste and instead affect the way our organs function. [1]

Numerous studies in peer-reviewed literature have highlighted adverse health effects from low-dose chemicals in the environment. [2]

Here are nine items that are laden with toxins that might be considered a “first priority”.

1. Non-Natural Household Cleaners

A toxic item we willingly (and regularly!) purchase and place in our home is household cleaner. We use it to clean kitchen countertops, toilets, showers, and many more because these are the places the easily get dirty from constant use. Because of this, we are constantly exposed to the harsh chemicals of these household cleaners (especially in the kitchen where we prepare our food!). Most cleaners even have warnings on their bottles, warning people of the dangers of inhaling the fumes (e.g. ammonia) or exposing your skin to the actual chemical (e.g. sodium hydroxide). A study conducted in the UK found that accidental exposure to household products was most common in young children less than five years old, with some cases resulting in moderate to severe injury. Instead of placing the people we love at risk, opt for all-natural cleaners like apple cider vinegar and baking soda instead! [3]

2. Tap Water

Tap water can be found in most countries all over the world. We often take advantage of this “easily accessible” water without thinking of how it can harm our health. Do you know exactly what is in your tap water? Tap water is notorious for chemical impurities in addition to deliberate additives such as chlorine and fluoride. Despite this, a study has found that certain microorganisms survive even after water treatment, like the Aeromonas bacteria. Aside from that, chlorine in tap water has also be found to be genotoxic and cytotoxic even when chlorine levels fall within legal limits. Be informed about the water you drink, and a home filtration system is a valuable investment. [4][5]

3. Mold

This third item is not caused by commercial products but by improper maintenance of our homes. Mold isn’t only found on old bread but near leaky pipes, inside the walls, and anywhere moist and warm that isn’t maintained regularly. Mold may look harmless but it is quite dangerous to human health. Studies have found that exposure to the mycotoxins on the surface of mold increases the incidence of respiratory symptoms associated with asthma, rhinitis, and rhinoconjunctivitis. Be sure to fix any leaks, including gutter problems – and regularly clean your house with ACV or tea tree oil to help prevent the growth of mold. [6][7]

4. Pesticides

Whether you grow herbs, flowers, or other plants as a hobby or as part of a small business, you may want to skip the pesticide. Exposure to pesticides has detrimental effects on health because they get absorbed by the plant which in turn we (or our customers) consume. Pesticide toxicity increases your risk for cancer and neurological damage, according to a study published in 2004. Who knows what other damage pesticides do to the human body? Instead of using pesticides to protect your plants, go organic and skip the chemical all together! Organic fruits and vegetables are free from harmful chemicals unlike commercially-grown produce and have become very popular in recent years. [8][9]

5. Hormones, Antibiotics, Dyes, and Preservatives

These four dangerous substances can be found in one thing – food! Food from supermarkets, grocery chains, and convenience stores are often laden with preservatives and other chemicals and substances that affect the body’s balance and normal function. Companies will sometimes not advertise these dangerous chemicals despite their effects on the endocrine, gastrointestinal, circulatory systems. An outbreak of methemoglobinemia (too much hemoglobin in the blood) happened because an approved fat additive placed in infant milk. Parabens, a popular form of preservative used in cosmetics, have been strongly linked to breast cancer. Likewise, nitrite, a preservative typically seen in cured meat, has been linked to an increased risk for gastrointestinal and rectal cancer. Before purchasing anything, make sure to read the label and do a bit of research first. Your body will thank you. [10][11][12]

6. Plastics

It’s everywhere but when it comes to our health and the environment, is it really the best thing we can be using? Not really. Reusable glass bottles have been making a comeback in recent years with the public becoming more and more aware of the dangers of BPA, a.k.a. bisphenol A, a component used in plastic production. BPA has been directly like to breast and prostate cancer, hormonal problems, and metabolic disease like diabetes. And then there are the environmental problems, which (let’s be honest) are completely out of control. Despite these red flags, a lot of companies ignore the warnings and continue to use BPA in their plastic products. Instead of repurchasing plastic bottles and containers, tote your own glass ones instead. You’re not only saving the Earth but your health as well. [13][14]

7. Non-stick Cookware

Non-stick pans made with aluminum and Teflon are very popular because they eliminate the need for oil (which causes problems with the heart and blood vessels). However, this kind of cookware is manufactured with numerous chemicals, specifically perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA) which has been linked with the formation of liver, testicular, and pancreatic tumors. PFOA is emitted by these pans when exposed to high heat, harming the cook and the people who will be eating the food. Opt for stainless steel, ceramic, glass, stone, and cast-iron cookware instead. [15][16]

8. Candles And Air Fresheners

Did you know how harmful aromatic candles and air-fresheners can be to human health? You might think that they have direct effects on the respiratory system but they actually affect our blood the most. Benzenes are the primary substance responsible for this. Benzenes are found in fumes from incense, candles, cigarettes, and air fresheners and have been directly linked to acute myelogenous leukemia (AML) and myelodysplastic syndrome (MDS). [17][18][19]

9. Skincare Products

Skincare products that use manufactured ingredients can be the source of a wealth of potentially damaging substances – from “fragrance” (the actual chemical components of which are typically not listed) through to sodium lauryl sulfate (SLS), which is also used in industrial-strength lubricants for cars and pavement. SLS has been shown to slow healing of ulcers in stomatitis and increase pain. It has also been shown to cause skin irritation upon topical application. [20][21]

Summary and Notes:

A few years ago, I read that a study was done that stated that there were 10-20,000 artificial substances in a human body. I’m looking around for the study but so far unable to find it. (can anyone help by providing a link to that one? TY) 20,000 man-made chemicals floating around in the system, many of which have been invented inside the last generation. Think about that. Many of them were tested in labs using trials that lasted for a few years at best, possibly only a few months. In other words, we have to be honest – there’s no way we can possibly know whether these things will shorten our life or not. Some of these things have been found to remain in the system for decades.

I have to confess, I feel really frustrated about this. I don’t want those things in my bloodstream. I did not give anyone permission to put those things in my bloodstream! And yet unless I decide to go and live naked in the forest and eat berries, those things are going to be there.

There is actually some controversy over this. According to the Environmental Working Group, the number of industrial chemicals in the human body is “not known”, very difficult to ascertain and largely “out of control”. According to EWG:

“Federal law… does not require the chemical industry to disclose ingredients in most household consumer products, including cleaners, paints and varnishes, and chemical coatings on clothing and furniture, or the so-called “inert” ingredients in pesticides, which are typically more than 95 percent of the retail product.” [22]

In other words, we don’t know what we are being exposed to. There are restrictions on the use of certain chemicals, but other than that it’s anyone’s guess which chemicals you are absorbing. Many of the formulations for such products are proprietary business secrets. Another valuable page (again, from the EWG) is called the Skin Deep® Cosmetics Database and lists the toxicity of thousands of beauty products.

An idea that has come to prominence in recent years is that of body burden. The general theory is that the human body can tolerate (and is designed to deal with) a certain amount of toxicity – and that if that (unknown) amount is exceeded, sickness may result. [23]

Our internal organs work all the time to eliminate toxins from the system. Yet, our bodies were not designed to deal with some of the man-made molecules that are being concocted.

One of the big ones that I have been making a serious effort to remove from my life is plastics. During the 90’s I drank water from plastic bottles daily. Now, I won’t buy water in plastic bottles. I fill up glass jars from a water filter. The same goes for other beverages and foods – I seek wherever possible to avoid the plastic packaging.

If you really want to be free from these toxins remember to read labels, do research, and go organic! Majority of commercially-produced items carry these dangerous chemicals and we unknowingly introduce them into our home and our bodies. What steps are you taking to keep toxins out of your life? Got any other tips? Please let us know on our Facebook page or in the comments. 🙂


[1] Genuis S, et al. (2013) Clinical Detoxification: Elimination of Persistent Toxicants from the Human Body. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3691527/

[2] Can low doses of chemicals hurt me? https://web.archive.org/web/20110914083254/https://ewg.org/sites/bodyburden1/factsheets/lowdoses.php

[3] Williams H, et al. (2012) Hazard of household cleaning products: a study undertaken by the UK National Poisons Information Service. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22809171

[4] Sen K & Rodgers M. (2004) Distribution of six virulence factors in Aeromonas species isolated from US drinking water utilities: a PCR identification. https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/j.1365-2672.2004.02398.x/full

[5] Marabini L, et al. (2007) In vitro cytotoxicity and genotoxicity of chlorinated drinking waters sampled along the distribution system of two municipal networks. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17884717

[6] Tham KW, et al. (2007) Associations between home dampness and presence of molds with asthma and allergic symptoms among young children in the tropics. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17617809

[7] Keall MD, et al. (2012) A measure for quantifying the impact of housing quality on respiratory health: a cross-sectional study. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22583775

[8] Sugeng AJ, et al. (2013) Hazard-ranking of agricultural pesticides for chronic health effects in Yuma County, Arizona. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23783270

[9] Alavanja, M, et al. (2004) Health Effects of Chronic Pesticide Exposure: Cancer and Neurotoxicity. https://annualreviews.org/doi/abs/10.1146/annurev.publhealth.25.101802.123020

[10] Nitzan M, et al. (1979) Infantile methemoglobinemia caused by food additives. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/509890

[11] Błędzka D, et al. (2014) Parabens. From environmental studies to human health. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24657492

[12] Loh YH, et al. (2011) N-Nitroso compounds and cancer incidence: the European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition (EPIC)-Norfolk Study. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21430112

[13] Metz CM. (2016) Bisphenol A: Understanding the Controversy. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/26800896

[14] vom Saal FS and Welshons WV. (2014) Evidence that bisphenol A (BPA) can be accurately measured without contamination in human serum and urine, and that BPA causes numerous hazards from multiple routes of exposure. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25304273

[15] Schlummer M, et al. (2015) Emission of perfluoroalkyl carboxylic acids (PFCA) from heated surfaces made of polytetrafluoroethylene (PTFE) applied in food contact materials and consumer products. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25496745

[16] Barry V, et al. (2013) Perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA) exposures and incident cancers among adults living near a chemical plant. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24007715

[17] Galbraith D, et al. (2010) Benzene and human health: A historical review and appraisal of associations with various diseases. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20939751

[18] Ibrahim KS, et al. (2014) Hematological effect of benzene exposure with emphasis of muconic acid as a biomarker. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22933555

[19] Tirler W and Settimo G. (2015) Incense, sparklers and cigarettes are significant contributors to indoor benzene and particle levels. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25857381

[20] Boxman I, et al. (2002) Proteomic analysis of skin irritation reveals the induction of HSP27 by sodium lauryl sulphate in human skin. https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1046/j.1365-2133.2002.04714.x/abstract

[21] Shim YJ, et al. (2012) Effect of sodium lauryl sulfate on recurrent aphthous stomatitis: a randomized controlled clinical trial. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22435470

[22] How many chemicals are in me? https://ewg.org/sites/bodyburden1/factsheets/whatsinme.php (archive version)

[23] What is Body Burden? https://chemicalbodyburden.org/whatisbb.htm (archive version)

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12 thoughts on “9 Toxins You Should Remove From Your Life ASAP (Plus Safer Alternatives)

  1. Your articles are too long I want something I can scan and get the answers. You always have such long introductions before we find out what the article is about. Too Long and I don’t finish reading.

  2. I agree with Larry Beaird. Some of us are pressed for time. Can you just get quickly to the point and list the 9 Toxins instead of forcing people to weed through the information just to find the upshot?

  3. In the name of (innovation)Science and technology.man have created things dat contribute to Destruction of man n earth.

  4. For those complaining, why don’t you Google the topic ans so your own research rather than griping at those who put in great time and effort to bringus such important, useful information.
    If you are that pressed for time are you really going to remember or do anything about what you read? Show some class and good manners…they cost nothing…not even your si-precious time!

    Thanking those who provide us with such great information. YOUR time is appreciated by at least some of your more polite readers.

  5. I know hoe to make my own cornflour but can anyone tell me a natural way to make my own custard powder pl. I want to make yo yo’s

  6. To Larry, and Yvette, seems funny that you somehow found the “valuable time” that you claim to have squandered reading this article, to post your negative comments. Go away, already.

  7. I understand from other posts that cilantro/ coriander is good for removing toxins. Sometimes i steal some of the bunnies to add to a smoothie:)

  8. I am interested in more information on the link between environmental toxins and obesity. I’ve read that one of the ways the body deals with excess toxins it cannot eliminate is to encase them in fat cells for protection. People want to point fingers at each other for everything, but environmental conditions beyond an individual’s control may be partly to blame for the country’s obesity epidemic.

  9. There is an amazing book that deals with the same topic, written by Steve Nugent. The name of the book is “How to survive on a toxic planet’. I see it’s available on Amazon. Brilliant, easy to read and very well researched.

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