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Have you ever walked down the cleaning aisle at the supermarket? What was your experience? I hate it! In fact, I completely avoid that aisle. If I need something, I hold my breath, quickly get what I need and beat a hasty retreat from that toxic soup.
The soaps, bleaches, softeners and fragrances in the cleaning aisle are all in sealed containers. Yet, they still give off an overwhelming, nauseating stench that may make a person sick for hours. What happens when we bring those containers home? They continue to give off toxins. Only now, the containers are open and the process happens 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
Our toxic environment
In North America we are inundated with toxins every moment of every day. Pollution in our air, water and food challenges our ability to detoxify and adapt. Worse still, the place we think of as a haven from stress -- our home -- is likely the most toxic environment we face in our daily routines. Toxins released from household chemicals, fabric, carpet, fragrances and pesticides seep into our body in tiny amounts even as we sleep.
Toxic waste, like barnacles on the hull of a ship, drags us down. It slows the efficiency of our mitochondria (the energy-producing engines inside our cells). Noxious chemicals create fatigue, headaches, digestive disturbances and moodiness. Eventually, toxins become the focus for inflammation.
Your body uses acute inflammation to try to neutralize toxicity. Think of your reaction to a bee sting: redness, swelling, heat and pain. This is not caused by the toxins in the bee venom. It is the reaction of your body as it tries to eliminate the toxicity:
Chronic inflammation occurs when the toxins are not completely removed from an area. A good example of this may be found in simple lawn chemicals, like fertilizers and pesticides. Certain fertilizers are potassium-based. Potassium is important for human health. When we are exposed to these fertilizers, our cells may accept the potassium along with the toxic "attachments." Your immune system will constantly attack these contaminated cells until it destroys them. Clusters of diseases like Parkinson's disease and multiple sclerosis have been linked to these fertilizers.
Home sweet home -- isolate and insulate
Neutralizing toxins in the body begins with isolating ourselves from chemical exposure. We must be diligent if we are to protect our family from toxic overload. Chemicals should be stored out of the living area in a place that is well-ventilated. This is especially true if there are children in the home, as developing brains are up to 10 times more likely to suffer damage from toxins than an adult nervous system.
Insulating ourselves against toxic exposure is equally important. Two nutrient classes shine when it comes to protection from pollution: