If you’ve heard about the potential effects of chemical exposure, you know why striving to live a cleaner lifestyle is important. If you haven’t, you’re not alone. According to research, it’s no coincidence that chronic and autoimmune disease are becoming increasingly common as our lives become filled with chemicals. There are ways you can fight back. Here’s how chemicals are affecting your health and what you can do about it!
1. Chemical Exposures in Food
While there are many ways chemicals can sneak into your food, there are a few main culprits. The first is through food that is produced or grown using pesticides, herbicides, fertilizers, antibiotics and growth hormones. When ingested, inhaled, or even touched, these chemicals can cause harm to the reproductive, immune, endocrine, and neurological systems, and increase the risk of cancer1. How do you know if your favorite foods have been grown this way? By checking the label! Anything without the USDA Organic seal is considered non-organic and may contain these harmful chemicals.
But eating non-organic fruits and veggies isn’t the only way you may be exposed to chemicals and toxins when it comes to your food. Food packaging is another sneaky source of exposure. Plastic-packaged and canned foods often contain a class of industrial endocrine-disrupting chemicals that interfere with your body’s hormones and can lead to multiple health complications, autoimmune disease, and cancers2.
Lastly, processed food products are often loaded with additives like artificial flavors and sweeteners, preservatives, and taste enhancers. All of these can be considered harmful to human health and have even been shown to increase hyperactivity disorders in children3.
ASE BEAUTY CLEAN EATING TIPS:
● Choose fresh, organic food whenever possible! Buying organic can get expensive, but if you have to choose, the EWG’s Dirty Dozen list will let you know the most highly pesticide-contaminated foods each year.
● Avoid heating your food in plastic containers or drinking from plastic bottles. Glass is always best.
● Limit processed foods. We know they’re easy and convenient, but try to focus on whole foods, fruits, and veggies your next grocery trip.
2. Chemical Exposures in Beauty Products
As heartbreaking as this might sound for beauty lovers, conventional health and beauty products — makeup, hair care, nail care, skin care, perfumes, deodorants, scented hygiene products, etc. — are some of the biggest offenders when it comes to toxins and chemicals. Many of them are known to contain harmful ingredients that aren’t regulated by the FDA and that interfere with hormone function and development processes, and cause obesity, diabetes, reproductive problems, cancers, thyroid dysfunction, poor birth outcomes, and male infertility4.
We know this can sound scary, but knowledge is power! The more you’re aware and understand the health impact of the chemicals, the more informed and intentional choices you can make.
ASE BEAUTY CLEAN BEAUTY TIPS:
● Start cleaning up your makeup by replacing a conventional beauty product with a clean, non-toxic alternative. When you run out of your favorite red lipstick, replace it with Ase Beauty’s Power Mini lipstick.
3. Chemical Exposures in the Environment
If there’s one place where it can feel impossible to avoid chemical exposure it’s the environment. Some of the most common exposures you come in contact with are things like the weed-killers you might use in the garden, the household cleaning products you use in your home, the contaminants in your water, and pollution in the air. Now, while it isn’t possible to ask everyone to stop driving and convince factories to stop polluting the air, you have a bit more control over your exposure than you might realize. And by controlling your exposures you have the power to make changes that can reduce your risk of disease.
ASE BEAUTY CLEAN LIVING TIPS:
● Consider replacing your conventional cleaning products with non-toxic versions or even taking the DIY route to make your own.
● Use non-toxic lawn care products which are not only better for your health, but also healthier for the environment we all share.
● Check the safety of your neighborhood’s tap water and consider investing in an affordable water filter.
Okay, you told me everything I use is toxic – what do I do now?
Living in today’s modern society, it is virtually impossible to avoid every toxic exposure. We are exposed to countless chemicals over the course of our lifetime, but learning and minimizing some chemical exposures can have a positive effect of reducing your overall health risk5. By making some small changes to your lifestyle and diet over time, you may be able to significantly increase the health of body, mind and spirit for you and your family.
1. Gilden, R. C., Huffling, K., & Sattler, B. (2010). Pesticides and health risks. Journal of Obstetric, Gynecologic & Neonatal Nursing, 39(1), 103-110. Retrieved from https://www.jognn.org/article/S0884-2175(15)30255-0/fulltext
2. Rudel, R. A., Gray, J. M., Engel, C. L., Rawsthorne, T. W., Dodson, R. E., Ackerman, J. M., … & Brody, J. G. (2011). Food packaging and bisphenol A and bis (2-ethyhexyl) phthalate exposure: findings from a dietary intervention. Environmental health perspectives, 119(7), 914-920. Retrieved from https://ehp.niehs.nih.gov/doi/full/10.1289/ehp.1003170
3. McCann, D., Barrett, A., Cooper, A., Crumpler, D., Dalen, L., Grimshaw, K., … & Sonuga-Barke, E. (2007). Food additives and hyperactive behaviour in 3-year-old and 8/9-year-old children in the community: a randomised, double-blinded, placebo-controlled trial. The lancet, 370(9598), 1560-1567. Retrieved from https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0140673607613063
4. Crinnion, W. J., & Pizzorno, J. E. (2018). Clinical Environmental Medicine-E-BOOK: Identification and Natural Treatment of Diseases Caused by Common Pollutants. Elsevier Health Sciences
5. Grandjean, P., Bellinger, D., Bergman, Å., Cordier, S., Davey‐Smith, G., Eskenazi, B., … & Heindel, J. J. (2008). The faroes statement: human health effects of developmental exposure to chemicals in our environment. Basic & clinical pharmacology & toxicology, 102(2), 73-75. Retrieved from https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1111/j.1742-7843.2007.00114.x