Common Toxins

How safe is your home environment?

Sodium hydroxide, also known as lye or caustic soda - detail

Sodium hydroxide, also known as lye or caustic soda - detail

Aside from all the industrial chemicals used around the world in the production of the manufactured goods we use, there are many other chemicals that we are exposed to on a daily basis as found in our environment, clothing, cosmetics, foods and medicines. Almost every thing we touch or consume contains some potentially toxic chemical residue.

Research has proved that elements like lead and mercury cause disease, labeling them as poisons and there are restrictions on their use, but there are huge numbers of chemicals found in a wide range of products and our food supply can harm us in many ways resulting in health and behaviour changes.

Of great concern is the vast array of chemicals used in agriculture (pesticides, herbicides and hormones), the residues of which end up inside our bodies and it is accepted that growth hormones fed to animals has caused the growth of male breasts. The hormones secreted by plastics causing birth defects and other hormones and the accumulation of toxins causing decreasing fertility and birth defects.

But the chemical industry doesn't want you to believe any of their products will cause any harm and they are so powerful with corporate economies larger than many countries. It took many years and millions of dollars to prove that DDT and other pesticides were toxic to people and our environment which the chemical industry fought every step of the way. [DDT was the first synthetic organic insecticide to be widely used and its effectiveness made it very popular, but overuse led to organisms developing resistance to it followed by environmental contamination and bio-accumulation in our food chain.

Fattening prawns with silicon

In addition to all the agricultural chemicals that follow through our food chain, there are over 14,000 known man-made chemicals added to our food supply today, but food additives are not natural nutrition for humans or their pets. Children often suffer the most from food additives because they are exposed to food chemicals from infancy and their bodies being smaller are more vulnerable than adults.

Human bodies were not meant to be exposed to the degree of chemicals and food additives that we are currently experiencing and the growing exposure is linked to the increase in cancers, heart disease, degenerative disease and mental illnesses. For optimal health our diets and lives need to be chemical as free as possible, unfortunately we cannot avoid these poisons and regular detoxing is the best way to eliminate these unwelcome toxins.

Partial lists of food additives and household products to avoid or be very careful with.

Food additives

Acesulfame K;a calorie-free artificial sweetener. Aluminum: A common metal, aluminium finds its way into foods as both a contaminant and an additive used in foods such as bakery products, dried powdered foods, drinks, processed cheeses, colored candies as well as anti-perspirants and even some medications.Artificial colourings; renowned for their contribution to behavioural problems.Aspartame; and artificial sweetener also known as nutrasweet or equal.BHA;(Butylated hydroxyanisole); Antioxidant - BHA is generally used to keep fats from becoming rancid. It is also used as a yeast de-foaming agent. BHA is found in butter, meats, cereals, chewing gum, baked goods, snack foods, dehydrated potatoes, and beer. It is also found in animal feed, food packaging, cosmetics, rubber products, and petroleum products.BHT;

(Butylated hydroxytoluene); BHT prevents oxidative rancidity of fats. It is used to preserve food odor, color, and flavor. Many packaging materials incorporate BHT. It is also added directly to shortening, cereals, and other foods containing fats and oils.


A constituent of our very popular beverage, caffeine is also a natural pesticide that paralyzes and kills certain insects. The world's most widely consumed legal psychoactive substance which in larger doses and prolonged use can lead to caffeine dependency with a wide range of unpleasant physical and mental conditions including nervousness, irritability, anxiety, tremulousness, muscle twitching (hyperreflexia), insomnia, headaches, respiratory alkalosis, and heart palpitations. Furthermore, because caffeine increases the production of stomach acid, high usage over time can lead to peptic ulcers, erosive esophagitis, and gastroesophageal reflux disease.

Hydrogenated Vegetable Oils;

Known as Trans fats or trans fatty acids, hydrogenation produces an oil devoid of color, taste, smells and impurities making the oil mildly toxic.

Monosodium glutamate; a food flavour enhancer

Olestra (Olean); a fat substitute that adds no fat, calories, or cholesterol to products.

Potassium Bromate; an oxidizing agent that has been used as a food additive, mainly in the bread-making process.
Propyl Gallate; an artificial food additive, that is also used in cosmetics and pharmaceuticals.

Saccharin; an artificial sweetener.

Sodium nitrite; a color fixative and preservative in meats and fish.

Sodium nitrate; (saltpeter) widely used as a food preservative, an ingredient in fertilizers, pyrotechnics and smoke bombs, rocket propellants, glass and pottery enamels.

Sodium cyclamate; an artificial sweetener 30–50 times sweeter than sugar.

Sulfites; used as preservatives in dried fruits, dried potato products and wines.


Grease spot remover,
Lacquer remover,
Lighter fluid,
Nail polish remover,
Paint remover,
Paint thinner,
Wax remover.

Innovations in Chemical BiologyCommon household substances known to be toxic.

Cleaning, Bleaching Agents

Amyl acetate,
Bathroom bowl cleaner,
Cleaning fluids,
Copper and brass cleaner,
Drain cleaners,
Dry-cleaning fluids,
Gun cleaners,
Lighter fluid,
Metal cleaners and polishers,
Oven cleaner,
Oxalic acid,
Window washing fluid.Polishers and Waxes
Car wax,
Furniture wax/polish,
Mineral oil,
Nail polish,
Pine oil,
Silver polish,

Turpentine.Cosmetic Preparations

After shave,
Bubble bath products,
Corn and wart remover,
Cuticle removers,
Dandruff shampoo,
Eye shadow,
Hair dyes/tints,
Hair lotions,
Hair remover,
Hair sprays,
Nail polish,
Nail polish removers,
Permanent-wave solution,
Shaving lotions/creams,
Skin preparations,
Tanning lotions.Drugs and Medicines


Children's fever drops,
Cold medications,
Contraceptive pills,
Corn and wart remover,
Cough medicines,
Home chemical testing agents,
Iron medicines,
Pain killers/relievers,
Rubbing alcohol,
Tranquilizers,(Most of the items in this category are only poisonous when taken orally by accident or in excess.)

Miscellaneous Household Products and Chemicals

Anti-rust products,
Deodorizing tablets,
Epoxy glue,
Fire extinguishing fluids,
Garden sprays,
Jewelry cleaners and cements,
Laundry bluing,
Leather polishes and dyes,
Model cement,
Rug adhesive,
Shoe cleaner and polishes,

Alternative Sweeteners (Food Science & Technology S.
Carcinogens in Our Environment
The Toxic Origins of Disease
DDT debate DDT Effects
Detox Manual: Achieving Optimal Health Through Natural Detoxification
Trans Fats Problems with olestra


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