Toxic substances are everywhere. They’re in our food, water, air, soil, consumer products, and cosmetics. We’re exposed to them continually, typically in low doses. Over a lifetime, this exposure adds up. If we live in polluted areas (e.g., next to a freeway, incinerator, or manufacturing facility), our daily exposure will be far higher.
Yet even low-dose exposures to toxic chemicals matter. There’s growing evidence that trace amounts of synthetic chemicals activate our endocrine system (the organs and glands that secrete hormones), as well as the nervous and immune systems. As just one example, a drink from a water bottle made with plastic that contains a bisphenol compound (A, F, S—there’s a whole alphabet soup of them) can generate a response in the pancreas. Some researchers worry that this kind of exposure contributes to metabolic disorders, like diabetes or glucose intolerance. There’s also good evidence to suggest that exposure to endocrine disruptors early in life—especially during fetal development and infancy—can lead to neurodevelopment disorders. In 2009 and 2018, the nation’s leading society of endocrinologists called on governments to do something about these chemicals to protect public health. Yet very little has been done because the wheels of change turn slowly.
Some natural product marketers and wellness brands would like you to panic about toxic chemicals so you’ll spend more on their products. They use evocative language to generate fear, yet some of the things they sell aren’t really that toxic-free or eco-friendly. In fact, the use of the word “natural” on consumer product packages and on food labels isn’t regulated or monitored.
I started Clean Green Coach to help people avoid panic and impulse purchases by guiding them through a thoughtful approach to reducing their daily, ongoing toxic load. Because I study the marketplace for these products and follow the leading science, I can do the research for you to find safer things that actually work and live up to their promise.
So, yes, toxic chemicals are cause for concern and this is backed by solid science,. But this state of affairs is not a reason to feel afraid or guilty if you don’t know what to do or can't afford to buy greener products. Ultimately it's up to the companies that make our consumer goods to change their practices.
If you have a budget to afford some help to reduce your toxic load, I’m happy to assist. I can't help with toxic people or relationships, though. But I can point you to some therapists!
Check out my services page for more details and to book a free, initial consultation.