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Originally published May 22 2013

Environmental toxins are in water, food and garden: Dirty Dozen list from the EPA and how you can reduce exposure

by Talya Dagan

(NaturalNews) The United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) states that environmental toxins and Persistent Organic Pollutants (POPs) are linked to health problems. The EPA lists a "Dirty Dozen" that can cause health issues, such as the brain, thyroid, and cause violence. More than 60,000 substances are registered substances with the EPA, and some of them are already known to be neurotoxins, endocrine disruptors, and carcinogens. Many of these chemicals are found in pesticides, insecticides, toxic metals and PCBs in plastics.

These environmental toxins wreck havoc with your health. POPs have been linked to obesity, cancer, thyroid problems, hormone issues, autism, attention deficit and hyperactivity in children, as well as other mental illness including violent behavior. Heart disease and diabetes risk is increased with exposure to these chemicals. Children are most at risk from exposure to environmental toxins.

Over 60 percent of the population was tested to have 20 of the pollutants in their blood. In Canada, 46 pollutants were found in every blood test administered. Cadmium has been found in 70 percent of American women over the age of 50, which increased their risk for myocardial infarction by 80 percent, osteoporosis by 40 percent and could be the cause of one fifth of the osteoporosis for that age group. Arsenic, found in drinking water, more than doubles one's risk of getting diabetes

Definition of a POP

"Organic compounds that are resistant to environmental degradation through chemical, biological, and photolytic processes."

The United States EPA's Dirty Dozen list includes:

•Aldrin - an insecticide used on corn, cotton and for termite control
•Chlordane - an insecticide used on sugar cane, sugar beets, termites, home lawns and garden pests
•DDT - insecticide used for agriculture especially cotton and to control malaria and typhus
•Endrin - insecticide used to control rodents and on cotton and grains
•Mirex - fire retardant for plastic, rubber and electrical products and an insecticide used to control fire ants, termites.
•Heptacholor - insecticide against termites and to combat malaria
•Hexacholorbenzene - fungicide used to treat seeds, used to make fireworks, synthetic rubber
•PCBs - used in industry for electrical transformers, paint additives, carbonless copy paper and plastics
•Toxophene - insecticide used to kill unwanted fish in lakes and treat crops
•Dioxins and furans - formed during combustion in burning of waste and backyard trash

Why are these chemicals so hard to get rid of?

What makes these chemicals so difficult to deal with is the chemical characteristics that they have in common. These toxic chemicals are not very soluble in water. They can pass through the body's fat tissues and are therefore stored in fat tissue. The POPs are usually chemicals that are halogenated with the chemical chlorine. The chlorine indicates that the pollutant is not resistant to degradation, or breaking down.

While the United States has joined in numerous international agreements to help control, limit or ban many of these substances worldwide, more care is needed. In addition, individuals need to be informed and take action, as well as governmental agencies.

What to do to combat exposure to toxic chemicals and POPs

The first step to preventing absorption of toxins is to avoid exposure. Eating food grown without pesticides is the first step. Use care in purchasing household products for the garden and for house cleaning. Also read labels on any products that go on your skin.

Nutrients like vitamin C and alpha lipoic acid can help booster the liver, along with herbal remedies such as silymarin and turmeric. Staying hydrated with clean drinking water will help flush toxins from your blood and your liver as well.

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About the author:
Talya Dagan is a health advocate and health coach, trained in nutrition and gourmet health food cuisine, writing about natural remedies for disease and nutrition and herbal medicine. You can follow her blog at

Talya Dagan is a health advocate and health coach, trained in nutrition and gourmet health food cuisine, writing about natural remedies for disease and nutrition and herbal medicine. You can follow her blog at

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