Health wellness




Humans are a creative, innovative bunch. We love to make things and we love to improve things. Today, we’re making and “improving” more things than ever before, especially when it comes to chemicals. This has led to some great innovations and scientific advances, as well as a lot of unnecessary (and potentially harmful) chemicals.

Why detox?

These chemicals show up in many different places. About 80 percent of personal care products used by a group of 6,200 surveyed Canadians contained at least one toxic ingredient, according to a report by the David Suzuki Foundation. Meanwhile, Environmental Defense estimates that we use 15 personal care products with 100 potentially harmful ingredients every day. Another report by Environmental Defense detected chemicals such as pesticides, insecticides, and heavy metals in Canadian parents and children.

Detox aids

The first step in lowering your toxic load is avoiding exposure to new toxins as much as possible. Eating organic is a great way to start. In a recent meta-analysis of 343 studies, conventionally grown produce was found to be four times more likely to have residue from pesticides than its organic counterparts. The study also found that organic produce contained higher concentrations of antioxidants.

You can also check your personal care and cleaning products for troubling ingredients, including triclosan, phthalates, and parabens. Many common ingredients are thought to be hormone disruptors, reproductive toxins, or carcinogens. Check out resources such as Environmental Working Group’s Skin-Deep Cosmetics Database (ewg.org/skindeep) for more comprehensive lists of what to look out for.

Toxin laden or toxin free? It’s up to you!

You have the power to take charge of your own health. The choices you make ultimately decide whether you add to or diminish your toxic load.

Information, research, and technology may have created many of the chemical toxins we’re exposed to, but these same tools can also help us find solutions for decreasing our toxic load. Healthy lifestyle habits such as avoiding pesticides and chemicals will help keep your body running and let you live your boldest, most joyous life possible.


By Joy McCarthy, RNCP, CNP