Toxins 101

Toxic things are all around us. Anyone who says you can live a life free of toxins or chemicals is a liar. Toxins have existed since the beginning of time and their presence has significantly increased as we (humans) have created more and more “things.” According to Merriam-Webster a toxin is: “a poisonous substance that is a specific product of the metabolic activities of a living organism…” aka something created by a living creature that is poisonous or toxic to other living creatures. Think snake venom, poisonous plants, etc. A toxin is a substance that is naturally produced by living organisms – sometimes referred to as biotoxins. Huh? Not what you thought?

Sometimes you might hear someone talk about toxicants. And you may think, who is this person trying to be all fancy? What they are talking about are toxic substances that are man-made, synthetic, or result from human activity. Toxicants are also referred to as environmental toxins. Now it’s all coming together!

Ok are you following? Let’s review –

Toxins = naturally created poisons = bad

Toxicants = man-made, synthetic substances that are toxic = bad

Wait….what does toxic mean? Again, thanks Merrian-Webster: “containing or being poisonous material especially when capable of causing death or serious debilitation.”

“extremely harsh, malicious, or harmful” (cough, cough – does this sound like any people in your life?)

During the time humans have been on the planet, we have drastically increased the number of synthetic chemicals in existence. I’m not saying this is necessarily a 100% bad thing, but when you consider that there are now 200-300 chemicals found in the umbilical cord of newborns, you have to stop and think if our bodies are meant to or able to successfully interact with these chemicals without harmful effects. As Paracelsus, the father of toxicology says, “the dose makes the poison.” One drop of one chemical could be lethal, whereas 200 of another may just give you a headache. It all depends…on a lot of factors. That’s why it’s important to know what you are surrounding yourself with!

Read labels, use more natural products, and stay tuned for more more ways to be able to say………..See you later toxins!