How toxic are you?

It's not if you have toxins, but how toxic are you?

We all know that pollution is a problem in our environment, but you may not be aware that it’s a problem within your body as well. There is no need to ask whether or not a person has a problem with toxins – the answer is simple. If you eat, breathe, or drink you have toxins in your body. 

Toxins In The Body

We take in toxins in our food, breathe them in the air and drink them in our water. We sit on them when we sit on our furniture and sleep on them in our mattresses at night. In fact, a recent study showed significant levels of a flame retardant called PBDE, which is commonly used in America in mattresses, computer monitors and printers, carpets and upholstery, in samples of U.S. mothers breast milk.1 Part of the reason why this is so alarming is that these toxins “bioaccumulate” – which means they collect in our fat tissue and our bodies have a hard time getting rid of them.How Toxic Are You?

We are finding out that it’s not always good to be king. Humans are at the top of the food chain – we are the mighty hunter of all mighty hunters, but that means that we get to eat everyone’s garbage, not just our own. Toxic chemicals called “persistent organic pollutants”, or POPs, have this complicated name because they are, in fact, persistent. They build up in fatty tissues of all kinds of animals including cows (beef), chicken and fish. This means that every time we eat fatty tissue from these animals we are inheriting all of those toxins that their body has packed away so that we can pack them away in our fat tissue.2

Even drinking water in the US is contaminated. Studies have shown that arsenic in US drinking water actually damages the gene that controls genetic repair in humans. This means that as we drink tap water we are lowering our body’s ability to repair itself and hence increasing our risk of cancer.3

We are not telling you this to bring gloom and doom into your life. We are telling you this so that you have the ability to change your environment and change your life in a positive direction. Our goal is to get rid of the toxins and the fat they are being stored it. Remember – the more toxins your body is storing in your fat the harder it is to lose that fat.

One way to decrease your toxic load is to do a house detox. This is where you get rid of as many toxic products as you can and replace them with safe non-toxic options. Here are some things to get rid of:

  • Toxic cleaning products like chlorine bleach, chemical glass cleaners and grease cutters and cleaning products with artificial scents.
  • Purge your pantry of artificial food additives – if you can’t pronounce it you shouldn’t eat it.
  • Artificial air fresheners, petroleum based candles and synthetic fragrance oils are all major sources of indoor air pollution

Think seriously about investing in a water filter and air purifier for your home. Eat organic whenever possible. And remember every time you look into buying new mattresses, furniture, or carpeting that they are soaked with chemicals – try to buy organic or minimally treated if you can afford it, and if not leave that item in your garage with the door open for as many hot summer days as you can to allow it to off-gas.


  1. Schecter A, Pavuk M, Papke O, Ryan JJ, Birnbaum L, Rosen R; Polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs) in U.S. mothers’ milk. Environ Health Perspect. 2003 Nov;111(14):1723-9.
  2. Li QQ, Loganath A, Chong YS, Tan J, Obbard JP. Levels of persistent organic pollutant residues in human adipose and muscle tissues in Singapore. J Toxicol Environ Health A. 2006 Nov;69(21):1927-37.
  3. Andrew AS, Karagas MR, Hamilton JW. Decreased DNA repair gene expression among individuals exposed to arsenic in United States drinking water. Int J Cancer. 2003 Apr 10;104(3):263-8.

About the Author:
Dr. Kendra Pearsall, N.M.D. is a Naturopathic Medical Doctor specializing in natural weight loss and food addiction. She created to help millions of people achieve optimal health, natural weight loss and life success with her free weekly e-newsletter (sign up at the top of this page.)