4 Toxic Heavy Metals Found In Nearly Everyones Home
In this day and age, it’s nearly impossible to escape environmental and industrial chemicals. Pesticides, herbicides and fungicides are on our food, flame retardants are in everything from cell phones to your mattress and heavy metals can be in drinking water and even baby food! Most of us are unaware of our exposure because you cannot “feel” your level of toxicity and if you can it’s an extreme case of poisoning.
Of all the classifications of toxins (organic vs non-organic, fat soluble vs water soluble etc.) by far the most dangerous to your overall health and wellbeing are HEAVY METALS. Heavy metals lurk in places you wouldn’t expect – even your own home. Below you will find a list of the 4 most toxic heavy metals found in most homes and what you can do to detox your home (and body) from their toxic effects.
Direct exposure to aluminum usually takes place via contaminated workplaces or medical treatments. Indirect exposure is from chronic use of aluminum containing products found in your house: antacids, buffered aspirin, drinking water, pots/pans, deodorant and aluminum foil.
Chronic aluminum exposure has been linked to bone disorders (osteomalacia – softening of the bones, osteoporosis and osteopenia) as well as “neuropsychiatric disease” including loss of coordination, memory and problems with balance. Several studies connect a close association with Alzheimer’s disease and aluminum toxicity. Cancer has also been associated with chronic aluminum exposure, as Aluminum is classified as carcinogenic by the Internal Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC)
A healthy kidney can remove 90-95% of Aluminum into the urine, thus those with compromised kidney function are more at risk. Two foods are “famous” for assisting with excretion of Aluminum: Spirulina and Chlorella as well as Barley Grass Powder – which can be easily added to water or smoothies.
Do you remember playing with the mercury from thermometers when you were a kid? If only we knew then what we know now! The majority of mercury exposure comes indirectly through burning coal-burning power plants, seepage into ground water and through direct exposure via dental amalgams, vaccinations, large fish sea food and various household products. It’s no secret that each CFL light bulb (the energy saving ones that look like florescent lights wound tight to the shape of a regular light bulb) can contain as much a 4mg of mercury per bulb!
There is no safe level of mercury exposure and it is most dangerous in its vapor form (which occurs when liquid mercury is at or above room temperature) which can be inhaled. Mercury vapors are odorless, tasteless and naked to the human eye. You can only see them when the vapor is placed infant of a specific phosphoflorescent luminescent screen. Dental amalgam (the silver fillings you may have) constitute the majority exposure you have at home (your teeth go everywhere you go).
Initial symptoms of mercury toxicity include mood swings, nervousness, emotional changes, insomnia, headache, unusual sensations, weakness/fatigue and decreased cognitive functions. Unfortunately, the human body is not very good at naturally detoxing mercury – it can take up to 18 years for the body to clear 50% of one single exposure! This is why chelation, with EDTA, DMSA or Zeolites is absolutely essential for detoxing mercury. The following foods can also help in the process: Juice extracts of cilantro and wheat grass, Spirulina and Chlorella as well as turmeric, lemon water, garlic and dulse.
Lead was not banned in the US until 1978, and even still you can find lead in various products found in your home – most specifically inexpensive supplements, some plant-based protein powders, some ceramic and glazed cook ware, some crystal, drinking water and some foods. If your house was constructed before 1978 there is an extremely high chance you may have leaded paint or pipes held with lead-based solder.
The “not so obvious” home exposure is what you inherited from your mother as lead can cross the placental barrier and also into breast milk. It’s estimated that the majority of your current lead levels are due to this maternal transfer in utero and during the nursing years. Lead has been connected to the cause of various chronic health conditions including heart disease, diabetes, auto-immune disorders and even cancer. This is the prevailing explanation within the function medicine world as to why certain conditions “run in the family” – lead is transferrable from mom to child, and is causation for most chronic diseases.
The liver works in conduction with the kidneys and intestine to naturally detox lead, but the process requires a tremendous amount of Glutathione and Metallothionein and often is halted once these detoxifiers are depleted. This is why the following foods can assist in lead detoxification: asparagus, broccoli, grapefruit, spinach, parsley, cilantro and garlic.
Thallium is odorless and tasteless and is often combined with bromine, chlorine and fluorine in your tap water. Thallium. Large amounts of thallium will be present when water sources are contaminated with coal ash waste. Other exposure comes via contact with electronic devices, switches, and computer semiconductors. Because thallium is most of- ten in water, your exposure comes from showering with or drinking unfiltered city water, eating food contaminated (due to its water source), smoking cigarettes, or living near a power plant. Thallium interferes with thyroid function which explains why the symptoms are hair loss, weight gain, rapid heart rate/anxiety, cold sensitivity and neurological symptoms. Like Aluminum, Lead and Mercury the body will attempt to remove thallium via liver/kidney pathways and any of the above mentioned foods can help you to enhance your natural detoxification process.