Let’s face it, the environment we live in today is not the same as it was 100 years ago.

  • We now have over 80,000 chemicals registered for use in the U.S., yet less than 500 of these have been tested for toxicity by the EPA.
  • Scientists estimate that the average person now has over 200 contaminants in their body.
  • Over 20% of our exposure to lead comes from drinking water.
  • From 1980 to 1995, our asthma rates have doubled.

It wasn’t that long ago that babies were born relatively “clean”, meaning the level of toxic chemicals in their body or “body burden/pollution” was quite low.  Things are much different today and the latest study of newborn umbilical cord blood is actually quite disturbing.  One study found nearly 300 chemicals in the cord blood of 20 American newborns†. Many of these chemicals are PBTs (chemicals that are toxic, persist in the environment and bioaccumulate in food chains), but others are not.  Among the most troubling substances found in cord blood that are not PBTs are bisphenol A (BPA), the synthetic estrogen and plastics component; perchlorate, a thyroid toxin and explosives chemical used in fireworks, airbags and rocket fuel; and phthalates, a class of potent endocrine disruptors linked to birth defects in boys and a common component of soft plastics.  Is it any surprise that asthma rates have DOUBLED from 1980 to 1995 and continue to sky-rocket?  What about ADD and ADHD, cancer and  obesity?  Studies have shown that toxins can play a major role in many health issues. With all of these toxins to face, babies born today are starting life at a major disadvantage.

When you stop to consider the toxins in our environment, you realize it’s not just what we put in our bodies that matters-it’s what we put on and around our bodies that make a difference, too.  Many people believe that the government has strict standards to protect us from harmful chemicals, yet sadly this is not the case.  Of the 80,000 chemicals registered for use in the U.S., yet less than 500 of these have been tested for toxicity by the EPA.

Several years ago, my own lab tests showed serious levels of toxins, including mercury, phthalates, BPA, styrenes, and more.  This was unnerving knowing how these are linked to cancer, hormone and endocrine disruption, and many other serious health issues.  I have been working hard to reduce my own body burden by eating a clean, healthy diet and by using specific therapeutic practices that proven to make a significant impact.  Since many of these toxins are removed through sweat, I invested in a far-infrared sauna which is one of the best ways to detoxify.    Another inexpensive but effective way to reduce your body burden is through a detox bath using baking soda and lemons.   The more we are aware of the sources of toxins in our everyday lives, the easier it will be to choose wisely and live healthier.

So let’s look at where some of these toxins come from:

Common Household Cleaners

toxiccleanersScientists estimate that the average person now has over 200 contaminants in their body.  In the bestselling book, “Green Goes With Anything” the author and her husband had their “body burden” tested and they were shocked by the findings of such things as flame retardants!  After their son had a life-threatening asthma attack, they went on a mission to find the cause.  In the end, they believed that it was their cleaning products that induced their son’s asthma.  When they switched to Get Clean™ cleaning products, he never had another asthma attack and they actually ended up buying the company!

testtakingYears ago, I heard a pediatric environmental specialist, Dr. Doris Rapp, MD speak about toxins.  She said that your child can be taking a test in school, walk into the bathroom for a break, inhale the toxic cleaners (which will alter their brain waves), and go back into their classroom and fail their test.  I was intrigued by this since I have 3 children of my own.  When asked what she recommended that would effectively kill the germs without altering the children’s brains, she said that the only product she knew of that would kill the germs effectively without causing health problems was Shaklee Basic G, a germicide that is EPA registered and OSHA approved.  This product has been shown to effectively kill more germs than Lysol and Clorox bleach, yet it’s actually safe to use around children and pets.  My own dog licked it off the floor and I rushed him to vet who called poison control and said he’d be fine (which he was)!  Shaklee Basic G is also save for the environment and it’s been used along with other Shaklee cleaners (exclusively) for many years by the Cousteau Society (Jacque Cousteau) because it doesn’t harm the coral reefs or pollute the oceans.

Here is an interesting allergy test performed to measure the effects of chlorine bleach on kids writing ability.


Source: Dr. Doris J. Rapp, M.D. Is This Your Child’s World? Bantam Books, New York, 1996

Left panel – in this research study, 6 year old boys were asked to write their names.

Middle panel – The exposure period involved simply setting a bottle of chlorine bleach on the table where the boys were writing their names and screwing the lid off. Note the changes in handwriting, even writing backwards for Sean, and changes in behavior and attitude

Right panel of each line – After the chlorine bleach exposure was removed, the child’s handwriting, attitude & behavior were back to normal.


Processed foods are not real foods, they are engineered, produced and marketed to appeal to our tastebuds so that we’ll buy them.  One of the dirty secrets of this industry is that many chemicals are added to processed foods to trigger a desire for more.  Food addiction can be both physical as well as mental.  These processed foods are contributing to an increase in our body burden.

It’s always best to eat more whole foods in their natural form.  However, farming today is BIG business and crops are routinely sprayed with herbicides and pesticides–more toxic chemicals to add to our body burden and wreak havoc on our health.  So should we eat organically?  See what some of these experts have to say:

One of my former professors, Dr. Andrew Weil, MD talks about the importance of choosing foods with lower levels of pesticides and herbicides.  Some produce should be organic, while others don’t really matter.  Watch this video to learn more.

When it comes to choosing fruits and vegetables, I personally will not eat or give my family fruits or vegetables that are on the “Dirty Dozen” list unless they are organic.  You can determine your own level of comfort.

Download the EWG-shoppers-guide

To Learn More, Check Out My New Book: CLEAN START


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My favorite cleaning product picks: Shaklee created the very first non-toxic household cleaner in the world.  They’ve been doing this a VERY long time and they know how to make products that work, unlike many of the popular “green” products today.  I’ve always wanted to use safer products, but being a cleaning fanatic, I really didn’t want to compromise on cleaning power.  Boy was I ever impressed!  The products are amazing!  In 2007, Oprah fell in love with these products and actually picked them for her “Favorite Things” show.  Many of my clients came to Shaklee as a result of this show and they have been doing their part to eliminate toxins in their homes in many other ways.  CLICK HERE to LEARN MORE.


† P+W’s Paula Vaughan, AIA, and Diana Davis, AIA, cite a 2005 Environmental Working Group study, “Body Burden: the Pollution in Newborns,” which found that out of 287 foreign substances in umbilical-cord blood from Red Cross samples, 250 were directly tied to building products.

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