Category Archives: Toxins and Detox

Articles about toxic body burden and how to detoxify safely.

Reduce EMF exposure

Cell phones, tablets, computers, smart meters, smart appliances, and Wi-Fi are amazing technologies but they also pose health risks that we cannot see, hear, taste or smell.

The term “Electrosmog” has been coined for the radiofrequency and electromagnetic frequency radiation (RF EMF) produced by electronic devices. RF EMF’s may negatively affect numerous organ systems including reproductive organs, kidneys, the brain, the immune system and DNA. A list of biological effects from low-intensive exposure to radiofrequency radiation can be found HERE provided by Physicians for Safe Technology.

Below is a list of resources to help you learn about Electromagnetic Radiation, its sources, and how to reduce your exposure. Cathy Cooke’s tips to reduce EMF exposure lists these resources and more.

Top 10 Ways to Reduce Your EMF Exposure. By Cathy Cooke, Whole Home and Body Health

EMF Analysis

EMF Academy

Physicians for Safe Technology

The BabySafe Project

Human Radiation Effects Group

Dr. Magda Havas, PHD

Easy ways to maintain a healthy home and reduce your exposure to chemicals.

Go Shoeless.  Remove your shoes upon entering the home. This reduces the amount of oil, pesticides, dirt that will be tracked into the home.  You will also be reducing exposure to those who spend the most time on the floor: pets and children.

Nontoxic cleaners.  There are plenty of great non-toxic cleaning products on the market. Citrus and soy-based cleaners are found in health-conscious supermarkets.  Vinegar, lemon juice, baking soda, and essential oils can be used to clean most things. The environmental working group has numerous links for healthy living suggestions, including one on healthy cleaning.  Additionally, two App helps you scan product UPC codes to determine toxicity of products and foods.

Natural Fragrances.  Remove synthetic based fragrance products from your home. These include scented candles and plug in deodorizers. They may smell good, but they may also contain a multitude of chemicals. Essential oils are a great substitution for synthetic fragrance and perfume. Many synthetic perfumes may be made from a combination of chemicals and may cause asthma symptoms or skin irritation.  If you are an avid candle burner, consider beeswax candles with lead free wicks. Importantly, avoiding fragrance-based fabric softener sheets will reduce a lot of chemical exposure.

Choose non-toxic personal care products. Avoid fragrance in soap, shampoo, laundry soap, dryer sheets, body spray, etc.  The cosmetic database at www.ewg.org can be helpful to determine the toxicity of some products.

Water filters.  Chlorine is used to keep our water supply safe because it is an excellent disinfectant, but that doesn’t mean you need it in your body where it can do oxidative damage. Other contaminants may also be in our water including metals, pesticides, and pharmaceutical drugs. A whole house filter helps ensure that the water you drink and the water you bath in are clean. If that option is not right for you, place water filters on your drinking water tap and shower head.  Several manufacturers produce a chlorine filter designed for the bath. This product is great to help reduce chlorine exposure to children and those of us who love to take hot baths.

 Buy organic food.  See www.ewg.org for more information. Pesticide residue may be on fruits and vegetables grown with pesticides.  There are more choices for organic foods these days than ever. They are still an expensive choice, but I always like to look at the big picture. When organic methods are used, the soil is healthier, toxin exposure to farm workers, children, aquifers, and wildlife is reduced, and the consumer eats fewer chemical pesticides.  If buying organic food is too expensive, a cheap alternative is to wash your fruit/vegetables in a vinegar or vitamin C solution.  Place ½ cup of vinegar or several tablespoons of vitamin C powder in a sink-full of water to wash off your vegetables. A mild base or acid solution helps to remove pesticide residue from the outside of the food.  It has been found that washing with soap does NOT work.  Peeling vegetable skins also reduces pesticides.

Eat naturally.  Refrain from colorings, preservatives, additives, and flavorings in food.  Many times, these compounds are not natural. Removing these compounds from the diets of hyperactive and autistic children can show dramatic improvement in symptoms.  Also note that Nutrasweet/Equal/Aspartamine made out of aspartic acid and phenylalanine. This product breaks down to methanol (wood alcohol) and/or formaldehyde in the body.

Stay away from storing and preparing food in plastic.  Plastic contains phthalates and other plasticizers. These plasticizers are very estrogen like.  Replacing your plastic containers with glass or Pyrex removes the possibility of contamination.  Reduce the amount of food you wrap in plastic wrap as this is another source of plasticizers.

Keep dry cleaning outside.  Place dry cleaned clothes outside for 2 weeks when returned from the dry cleaners.  Most people place their newly cleaned clothes in their bedroom closets.  The dry-cleaning chemicals do off-gas.  Since we spend a significant time in our bedrooms (1/3 of the day if we sleep a full 8 hours), exposure to these chemicals is significant as we are sleep right next to the source.

For more advanced house keeping:

Air purifiers.  A HEPA air filter helps reduce the level of small particulates in the air.  HEPA stands for High Efficiency Particulate Arrestor and is specified to remove 99.97 % of particles 0.3 microns or less.  If you live near an agriculturally sprayed area, much of the dust can be coated with pesticides/herbicides.  A HEPA unit in the home can remove these fine particulates as well as bacteria, mold, tobacco particulates, dust mites.  Some air filters have been designed to remove particulates down to 0.003 microns (this will eliminate most viruses).  Combined with a carbon filter to remove odors and chemical fumes, HEPA filters are an excellent tool for the home.

Alternatively, air purifiers that operate without a HEPA filter may not actually clean the home.  For example, negative ion generators work by making dust particles heavier, and thus taking them out of the air column, but they do not take dust out of your living or workspace.  Furthermore, negative ion generators may create ozone.   Ozone is a pro oxidant and can create oxidative damage to lung tissue when breathed in. Remember, anti aging = anti oxidant (not pro oxidant).  My recommendation is to only use a negative ion generator when all living creatures are removed (people, animals, plants), and then thoroughly air out the space before re inhabiting the area.

Reduce Electromagnetic Frequency Radiation (EMFs).  With the widespread use of electronic devices and Wi-Fi, exposure to EMF’s has increased dramatically in the last 20 years. Physiology of humans, animals, and plants depends on the balance of electrical energy in our systems. Addition of EMF’s can affect numerous organs including the brain, immune system, energy levels, sleep health, and hormone regulation. Consider wiring your house to provide a non Wi-Fi environment.  Sources such as the EMF Academy, EMF Analysis or building biologists  provide helpful educational resources.  You can read more about EMF’s HERE.

Assess the health of your home. Building Biologists can provide an in-home assessment and recommendations to reduce exposure to indoor toxins including mold, EMF’s, volatile organic compounds, and other sources of toxins. Local building biologists include:

Whole Home and Body Health – Cathy Cooke

Test My Home – Ryan Blaser

School Health: Be Fragrance-Free

Things you might not think about regarding your school.

I have recently learned that some schools allow the use of fragrance in the classroom.

Unfortunately, fragrance can cause breathing difficulties, especially for those with asthma. Fragrances in scented wax products, vaporizers, soaps, cleaning products, perfumes, or colognes may also adversely affect brain and immune function, and may cause muscle pain, nose bleeds, and digestive imbalances.

A school with a fragrance-free policy is one that puts their student’s health first.

The Healthy Schools Network has compiled a comprehensive handout to help parents understand how school indoor air pollution that may affect their children’s health and how to address any issues. For more information click here.

Click here for additional resources on Dr. Rodgers’ website.

Being prepared for Forest Fire Smoke

Forest fires are a fact of life for those of us living in the western United States.  Poor air quality can trigger asthma, heart attacks, and other illness.  Being prepared for poor air quality may help you avoid these costly diseases.

If unsure about the current air quality in your area, go to AirNow.gov.

6 ways to combat poor air quality

When the smoke presents: exercise inside. For those of us who love being outside, this is probably the hardest suggestion to follow-through on. However, even a little smoke can increase oxidative stress on the lungs.

  1. Make sure to replace your air conditioner/furnace filter(s) and clean your air ducts. Air conditioning units push air through the same ducts as your furnace. Air filter and air duct maintenance helps to improve indoor air quality.
  2. Sleep with windows closed at night. Sleeping with your windows open is just like spending those hours outside in the smoke.
  3. A HEPA air purifier helps to further improve indoor air quality. Avoid any purifier that creates ozone.
  4. Nutrients can help support lung health. Please ask your medical provider for dosages that will work for you.
    1. N-acetyl cysteine helps to break up mucous associated with asthma and pneumonia.
    2. Vitamin C helps reduce oxidative damage to the lungs.
    3. Magnesium and Vitamin B6 are associated with nutrient deficiency found in many asthmatics.
  5. A personalized herbal formula or homeopathic remedy may be helpful when you do suffer from forest fire smoke. Contact Dr. Rodgers if you need such a remedy.

Toxic Metals – Could they be why you are sick?

Toxic metals are ubiquitous – they are in ‘silver’ tooth fillings (mercury), Venetian blinds and Christmas light cords (lead), children’s toys/jewelry (cadmium/lead), food (mercury, arsenic, cadmium), tobacco (arsenic, cadmium, thallium) and some drinking water (arsenic). These metals and others can accumulate in the body and exert toxic effects while using up valuable antioxidants. Some of the symptoms and diseases associated with toxic metals include: Continue reading

Toxic Beauty, the Ugly Truth Behind Beauty Products

Most people recognize beauty in the signs of health: glowing skin, glossy full hair, a vibrant gleam in the eye. The whole point of cosmetic products such as moisturizer, mascara, facial cleanser, nail polish, lip stick, shampoo, styling gels, etc. is to enhance the beauty that is already there. What if these products were robbing you of health? Could they still be considered ‘beauty products’? What if you knew that these enhancements could injure your health or the health of your unborn children? Continue reading

Why we ask our patients NOT to wear perfume

Toxicity

Perfume is created by blends of chemicals, which are listed as ‘fragrance’. Fragrance is an unregulated term that could indicate numerous toxic substances such as phthalates (plasticizers), solvents, allergens, and hormone disrupters. Reducing exposures to toxic chemicals may help reduce risk of cancer, autoimmune diseases, and other chronic diseases. Continue reading

Cleansing

A change in season as dramatic as the long days of summer to the crisp days and nights of fall is a wonderful time to consider cleansing. Whether it is as simple as cleaning out the closet of summer clothes you never wore or cleaning out the refrigerator, it feels good to get rid of stuff. Continue reading

Toxic Mercury and Lead

Toxic metals are ubiquitous – they are in ‘silver’ tooth fillings (mercury), venetian blinds and Christmas light cords (lead), children’s toys/jewelry (cadmium/lead), food (mercury, arsenic, cadmium), tobacco (arsenic, cadmium, thallium) and some drinking water (arsenic). These metals and others can accumulate in the body and exert toxic effects while using up valuable antioxidants. Some of the symptoms and diseases associated with toxic metals include: Continue reading