I used to never wear gloves when I cleaned the house. They were a nuisance for me. I knew plenty of friends that would don the long gloves to wash dishes or clean the bathrooms but that just never worked for me. I also never wear gardening gloves for the same reason.
It was not until I learned what toxins were really in our products that gloves not only became a tool of safety but also made me question what we were actually using some of the products for in our home. We can water down a lot of things to make it justified for use or consumption but when it comes to toxins, it really leaves behind a film of the worst kind.
There is a lot of talk these days about toxins. It’s not new but with current virus variants, product concerns and environmental threats toxin concerns have once again emerged to top of mind. Toxins are something all of us should be concerned about because they are unavoidable. While we need to learn to live with some of them we also need to know how to eliminate and minimize others that can have a detrimental impact to our health.
What is a Toxin?
Let’s start at the beginning with describing what a toxin actually is. Like most things, the news on toxins has varied and not always been helpful in knowing if they are harmful or not.
A toxin is very simply a poison. It is the fine print on labels that hardly anyone reads. It is dangerous to our body. This can mean it is dangerous to not only our skin but respiratory, digestive, cognitive, muscular, and nervous systems among others. The damage may be minimal or it may be extreme. It can harm our mental health, mood, appetite and even things we don’t even notice.
It can seem not that bad too. Like a strong aroma that stings our nose when we smell it or dry hands after touching it. We scrub that off with soaps before touching other things but often there is still an exposure that has done something to our body. Our immune system is put into hyper mode trying to protect us from even the smallest of exposures of these kind.
They are everywhere too. Toxins are not only in our products we use every day but our soaps we wash the dishes and laundry with, our food and water and even the air we breathe. It is unavoidable most days. We can take measures of course to reduce but there is no way to live 100% toxin free.
Where we run into trouble with the toxin definition is with the word safe. In small doses some toxins can be considered safe for use, exposure and even ingestion. This is why most people don’t give them a second thought and labels on products go unread. Safety is relative in this respect and can be watered down to length of exposure, dosage, purpose and even accessibility.
What is Toxic Load?
Toxic load is another term you may have heard especially in the natural health space. Given that we cannot completely avoid toxins all of us have a toxic load in our body. Quite simply it is the level of the body’s total accumulation of toxic chemicals.
High toxic load can occur through ongoing exposure to toxins but also because of the body’s inability to detox from these chemicals regularly. This results in a weakened immune system that can cause illnesses and diseases in the body. It can also occur through genetics passed from parents to children through DNA cells. This can result in deformities, diseases and illnesses in children even before they are born. It can also predispose us to lifelong conditions held in our cells when we are adults.
Our mental health is also impacted by toxic loads. The brain’s ability to process thoughts, direct cellular activities and perform repairs are all inhibited. Nervous system issues and autoimmune concerns can transpire due to these weaknesses.
Understanding Your Toxic Load
There are laboratory tests that can be done to asses your toxic load. Many full panel lab tests can show the different chemicals in our body. That is a sure way to identify and work to improve our toxic load.
Knowing we all have a toxic load we can easily begin with assessing our own lifestyle and determining a range of how high our toxic load could be. Begin by looking at all the products in your home and the ingredients they contain. If there are ingredients you don’t recognize or cannot pronounce look them up! You will be surprised at the amount of artificial fragrance and chemical in most every day products. It may be scary but also check your food. Processed snacks, sodas, sports drinks and foods can also be sources for chemicals.
What shocked me the most is my dish soap. Here I was thinking I was washing my dishes so they would be clean and usable for our next meal only to realize I was applying chemicals to them and we were eating that. The flatware, plates, and cups we use every day were coated in chemicals that don’t rinse off.