Section One Toxicity
A new video released in October, 2013 called The Human Experiment suggests that there are over 80,000 chemicals used legally in the United States and only 130 have been tested enough to be identified as hazardous to our health. As the incidences of cancer, and other immune suppressed issues continues to increase there is a definite validity in considering the role of toxins in this increase. Years ago, people could breathe clean air, drink pure water and eat vegetables that were raised in more pristine soil that was rich in nutrients and poor in pesticides, herbicides and other toxins. In this chapter we will discover some of the many chemicals, substances and environments that either contribute to or are a direct cause of many of the cancers that occur today.
Toxins are elements or substances that cause harm to an organism. Organisms that can be impacted include animal, plant or bacterium. Toxins not only can impact the whole of the organism but effects can be seen at the cellular level as well as in organs such as the liver.
Today, most people agree that smoking cigarettes is hazardous to the body. But, that hasn’t always been the case. It wasn’t until 1964 that the Surgeon General, Luther Terry, concluded that smoking is the direct cause of three diseases — lung cancer, heart disease and emphysema (now COPD). 40 years later the Surgeon General, Richard Carmona, released a report that for the first time linked conclusively smoking cigarettes and leukemia, cataracts, pneumonia and cancers of the cervix, bladder, kidney, pancreas and stomach. Although I don’t blame them, my parents knew no better when they were both heavy smokers throughout all six of us children’s young adult lives and before any of us were conceived. No one knows what effect that has had on each of us. As long ago as that was, it will not likely come up in any doctor’s office questions if any of us were to develop a disease today.
How then can we feel confident that science today has caught up with the newest technologies of plastics, wireless, hybridized food, genetically modified organisms, and so on? Although there may not be studies that prove today, that the plastic containers we get our food in are dangerous, there may well be some in the next 10 years. Do we want to risk the constant exposure to something purely for convenience sake? The items we are using and eating that are still considered reasonably safe by most people (just like the cigarettes were not that long ago), may well end up as a potent carcinogen directly correlated with various diseases. Time will tell.
Admittedly, toxic substances abound in the world we live in today. From the radiation emitted through our cell phones, power lines and microwave ovens to the chemicals found in the foods many of us consume on a daily basis. Then there are the toxins that are generated from within the body that are being caused by the emotional and physical stress so many of us find ourselves burdened with each day. Toxins seem to be ever present and all around.
When we are sick, the body wants to heal. It desires to be healthy. But, in many instances the toxic load that has been placed on the body causes sickness and diseases like cancer. For healing to occur, we need to lighten this toxic load and help the body to detoxify — remove the toxins from the cells.
While it might be impossible to completely avoid all toxins, our goal is to help you understand the source of the toxins and the impact they may be having on your body. Once you realize the extent of these bombarding you all day, every day, and how it can impede on your endeavor to beat cancer, then your next goal should be to eliminate and remove as many of them as possible.
The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) conducts ongoing assessments of the levels of environmental chemicals in the U.S. population. This ongoing study utilizes lab samples from the individuals who are part of the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES). The NHANES samples from the years 1999-2000, 2001-2002, and 2003-2004 (each representing about 2,400 individuals) are used for the CDC’s national reports. In the CDC Fourth National Report on Human Exposure to Environmental Chemicals, complete data from the above sample years were included. Each year additional chemicals are measured; the fourth report contains information on 75 previously untested compounds, for a total of 212 compounds measured. Table 1 on page 22 contains the list of chemicals found in the vast majority of individuals.
Sadly, as you continue to read into this chapter you will see that even fetuses are not exempt from growing in a contaminated environment. Although the information in the following pages may be alarming, it is meant to encourage awareness and lifestyle adjustment that will only serve to make the journey toward recovery easier.