Is Your Household Dust Dimming Your Mind and Disrupting Your Thyroid?

Congress and state governments unknowingly traded one hazard for another when they passed laws that encouraged manufacturers to include flame retardants in various products. Although these items are less flammable, the flame retardants have been found to cause harm to our health. Flame retardants are particularly concerning because Congress’ 1976 Toxic Substances Control Act hinders rather than helps the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) efforts to keep harmful chemicals off the market. The chemicals in flame retardants, known as PBDEs, persist in the environment for decades, often being inhaled in household dust.

Why PBDEs are dangerous

A common saying among scientists is that genetics are the gun, but the environment pulls the trigger. Our genes potentially do us harm, but toxins in our environment lead them to act out this hazardous potential. Flame retardants are especially dangerous to neurological development.

One University of California (UC) Davis study found that PBDE BDE-49, known to accumulate in blood, fat, and breast milk, destroys neural mitochondria, the energy that powers our cells. Moreover, the study found that cells with a mutation associated with autism were even more susceptible to this mitochondrial damage, even when exposed to tiny amounts. PBDEs can also impair fine motor and cognitive skills in children, and have been linked to thyroid problems, decreased fertility, and various other health issues.

Taking control of our health

Our lawmakers need to revisit how chemicals are regulated given their persistence in our surroundings. However, this doesn’t help us now, as researchers have found evidence of flame retardants in more than 50% of the dust samples they studied. Another study even found high levels in commercial airplanes, as much as 100 times the concentrations in homes. The truth is, PBDEs are part of our lives, and we need to take control of our own health and find ways to remove dangerous toxins from our bodies.

One proven technique is natural chelation, a gentle process that removes heavy metals and other toxins from the body over time. There are various natural detoxifying agents, such as vitamin C, alpha-lipoic acid, and alginates. One recommended detoxifier is modified citrus pectin (MCP), which safely removes heavy metals, radioactive particles, and environmental toxins without leaching away critical nutrients. MCP has been proven effective in a number of clinical trials for removing lead, arsenic, cadmium, and mercury. In addition to removing toxins, MCP also deactivates a protein called galectin-3, which at elevated levels is linked to cancer, cardiovascular disease, inflammation, and other conditions. MCP also supports immunity and helps protect cellular health.

Detoxifying Foods

There are numerous foods that aid with detoxification, including sea vegetables, cruciferous vegetables, fermented foods, beets, fiber-rich foods, sprouted grains and legumes, mushrooms, and lemons. Although it’s easy to feel overwhelmed by the prevalence of toxins in our environment, there are many ways to detoxify and heal our bodies to support long-term health and vitality.

Regular detoxification of normal metabolic by-products has been part of traditional medical systems for millennia and is an excellent health measure. If we make it part of our regular routine, we can protect our mental and physical health over the long term with increased energy, vitality, and clarity.