People living in the current times are the first to be exposed to an unprecedented number of dangerous chemicals on a day-to-day basis. Presently, there are more than 70,000 chemicals that are industrially produced in the United States, and this figure is constantly growing (Taylor, 2014). Contaminants are found in near aspect of the environment including water, air, and food. On a normal day, a person comes into contact with at least 500 toxic chemicals and substances every day in addition to about 200 chemicals found in the human body fat (Taylor, 2014). The issue is not whether people are burdened by toxins; instead, the concern relates to how much toxins people carry and they are exposed to in the environment. The problem is further compounded by the fact that products that people use in their daily lives such as cosmetics, fuel oil, pesticides, alcohol, gasoline, prescription drugs, and household cleaners among others contain toxins (Taylor, 2014). The negative health effects of exposure to toxins are well-documented including diarrhea, burns, vomiting, and even death. Toxins are found everywhere in the environment.
Toxins that Persist in the Body
Toxins can be either internal or external. External toxins are found outside the body whereas internal toxins are created inside the body and found in the cells and blood.
Numerous sources of internal toxins exist.
- The first source of internal toxins found in the human body is free radicals, which comprise of toxic waste products coming from oxidation processes that occur in the human body (Kounang, 2016).
- Mercury is another source of internal toxin, which is accumulated following the consumption of large marine foods like tuna. Amalgam fillings are increase mercury levels within the body.
- Another source of internal toxin that is accumulated in the body is refined sugar, which is commonly referred to as “white death”.
- Caffeine is another toxin found in the human body, which is accumulated following the consumption of caffeinated drinks.
- Other sources of internal toxins include cholesterol, pesticides, and dioxins. High amounts of cholesterol in the human body is detrimental to human health (Kounang, 2016). Cholesterol buildup is increased by consuming saturated fats. Pesticides can also be accumulated in the body following the consumption of fruits and vegetables that are planted and treated using pesticides. Dioxins refer to the byproducts associated with the heating process in the human body.
- In addition, yeast and bad bacteria produce dangerous toxins within the human body (Kounang, 2016).
Essentially, it is seen that internal toxins come from either bodily processes or consuming foods containing toxins that result in the build-up of toxic substances within the body.
Potential Sources of These Toxins in the Environment
Toxins come from various sources in the environment including food, water, the natural environment, personal and beauty care products, and household products. The food contains toxic substances, especially processed foods having additives and chemicals that can result in adverse health effects such as food allergies and weight gain (Taylor, 2014). In addition to processes food, conventional food produce contains toxins from pesticides. In the US, it is estimated that more than one billion pounds of pesticide are utilized in farming. Water is also another key source of toxins in the environment, especially tap water. Over 140 contaminants are likely to be present in tap water, reports show (Kounang, 2016). Studies have also indicated that pharmaceuticals are likely to be found in water in addition to minerals such as lead. Bottled water sources have also been shown to contain toxins (Kounang, 2016). The natural environment, especially air, is also replete with toxins. Air contains pollutants from second-hand smoke, cars, and industrial emissions, which are unavoidable. Personal care and beauty products such as make-up, perfumes, conditioner, shampoo, soap, lotion, and toothpaste among others have also been reported to contain toxins. Household products such as cleaners also have ammonia and other toxic substances that result in adverse health effects. In essence, nearly every element in the environment contains some toxins.
Substances that the Body Comes into Contact With on a Normal Day
Toxins are found in everyday products, which increases the number of toxins that the human body is exposed to. They include pesticides, phthalates, polybrominated diphenyl ethers, air pollutants, lead, and mercury (Kounang, 2016). Pesticides are found in the foods that the people consume on a daily basis. Phthalates are found in products used on a daily basis such as food packaging, intravenous (IV) bags, medical tubing, shower curtains, nail polish, colognes, soap products, hair sprays, body sprays, and shampoos among others (Kounang, 2016). Polybrominated diphenyl ethers are found in computers, televisions, and toys. The others produced in these products can be accumulated in the dust. Examples of air pollutants that people are commonly exposed to include benzene, formaldehyde and nitrogen dioxide. Lead is found in water and industry products such as wheel weights, car batteries, and paints (Kounang, 2016). Mercury is also present in a number of household products such as washing machines, clothes dryers, and light bulbs. Thus, toxins are present in products that are used in everyday activities.
Dialogue between the Body and the Environment
- Body: Why is it that you are full of toxins?
- Environment: Have you asked yourself who is responsible for the toxins you are talking about. I believe humans are partly responsible?
- Body: But there are some naturally occurring toxins. What about them?
- Environment: Yes they are, but it is the humans who are responsible for increasing the quantity of toxins in the environment. I believe industry and human activity are playing a key role in increasing the number of toxins in the environment.
- Body: What can I do then?
- Environment: Just make the right choices. For instance, avoid taking processed foods. Live in rural areas with little industrial activity.
Toxins in the body come from either body processes or accumulation of toxins attributed to the consumption of substances containing toxic substances. In this regard, internal toxins come from toxic bodily waste products, mercury, refined sugar, caffeine, and include cholesterol, pesticides, and dioxins. In the environment, toxins come from various sources including food, water, the natural environment, personal and beauty care products, and household products. Every day, the body interacts with various substances including include pesticides, phthalates, polybrominated diphenyl ethers, air pollutants, lead, and mercury.