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Natural Awakenings Dallas -Fort Worth Metroplex Edition


Education is Key to Avoiding Toxins

The toxic effects and danger of a chemical to our health depends on the shape of the molecule and whether it will dissolve in water or only in oily substances like fatty tissue. It also depends on the exposure amount and frequency. Individual characteristics, lifestyle choices and organ weaknesses affect the symptoms, and other important factors such as age, sex, underlying health issues and previous history chemical exposure all come into play.

The liver and kidneys are involved in the processing chemicals and individuals vary in their ability to metabolize them. They may be stored in fatty tissue or the blood, and some metals can be stored in the bone. The chemicals are ultimately eliminated through the bowel, sweat and saliva. Even otherwise healthy people can be affected by a central air system, travel in a car on an expressway or breathing the air of neighbors.

Chemicals are found in household cleaning products, laundry detergents, personal care products, cosmetics, clothing, bedding and permeate almost every aspect of life. As we age, or as our toxic body burden increases, we may begin to experience subtle symptoms. Without changes in lifestyle and in the understanding of the cause and effect of our choices, mild discomforts can blossom into pain and illness requiring treatment.

Symptoms such as joint pain, arthritis, indigestion, irritable bowel, heart arrhythmias, esophagitis, attention deficit disorder, diabetes, headaches, fatigue, muscle pain, fibromyalgia, forgetfulness and an increasing sensitivity to the world can be related to environmental toxicity.

Chemicals are used in food production, food processing and as food preservatives. Our homes can be heated and cooled with central air systems which recirculate air through ductwork. Homes are well-insulated, decorated, scented and furnished. Lawns are fertilized and use pest control. Water has been treated with chemicals, and chemicals from other sources can affect the purity of ground water.

Make organic food choices. Avoid toxic building and repair items. Whole house water purifiers or filters for homes and countertop or under-sink models for apartment dwellers ensure safer drinking and cooking water. Central air HEPA filters are important to clean air circulating in the home. Portable air purifiers with HEPA and charcoal filters are helpful as room air purifiers.

Education about less-toxic choices can become vitally important. Indoor air can vitally affect our entire body, as can structural problems due to wind and rain, termites and carpenter ants. Inspections and testing of the home by certified personnel may be necessary to detect water intrusion and moisture into attics, walls and voids. This measure is designed to prevent exposure to any health problems related to mold and the chemical mycotoxins some produce.

In choosing a physician, consider their knowledge of lab analyses, as well as choices for treatment and recovery. The goal is improved health of mind, body and spirit.

Carolyn Gorman is a health educator widely recognized in the field of environmental medicine and allergies and the author of Fungus, Mold and Mycotoxins and other books on toxins affects on health. For more information, visit