What goes on in the environment is important. Not just for the health of our world, but for our own health.
Because, not only is it true that we are what we eat, it’s also true that we are what we live in.
Our environment impacts us in many ways: what we eat, what we put on ourselves, and the quality of our air, water and living spaces. And, never before in the history of mankind has the global state of environmental affairs been so harmful to health, when there are better choices available.
Let’s take a look at a couple factors.
We all know that food is important. Over our lifetimes we eat a huge amount of food. As we have increasingly relied on mass produced food, our reliance upon pesticides and herbicides has expanded. The ramifications of these chemical treatments on our health are just fully coming to light. They are endocrine disturbers, nervous system disturbers and potential carcinogens.
At the same time, it is becoming apparent that petrochemicals and their transformation into a dizzying array of products have consequences to health that we never would have imagined. Not only is it becoming clear that these substances can act as hormones in the body, they can affect the immune system and can be respiratory irritants, nervous system irritants, thyroid irritants and carcinogens. They appear to possibly even contribute to diabetes and obesity, two of the health epidemics of our times.
Most disturbing of all, they appear to affect infants and children particularly, showing the full brunt of their consequences only years later.
One of the most important things we can do to have better health is to integrate environmental considerations into the everyday practice of health care. To have a true understanding of health, we must consider toxic exposures along with genomic predisposition and the level of function of each individual’s system.
We tend to focus a lot on issues like mercury and heavy metal exposures, but equally important are everyday products and pesticides. Off-gassing from common building materials and a wide variety of everyday products – from plastics and cleaning substances to personal care products and cosmetics – can lead to increased body burden of chemicals such as formaldehyde, bis-phenol A and phthalates.
Luckily, there are ways to identify many toxins in the body and improve their clearance. But, while following a regimen of detoxification certainly can make sense, it is just as important to avoid exposure to toxins in the first place. After all, there is something wrong in a world where we know, for instance, that eating fish is healthy – but we can’t eat them because they are not safe to eat.
We have to act. Now.