Are you concerned chemicals in your environment may be harming your thyroid? This article looks at the worrying link between environmental chemicals and thyroid function.
FACT: Studies show the thyroid is extremely vulnerable to the effects of hazardous environmental chemicals.
It should therefore come as little surprise that thyroid problems are escalating along with far greater exposure to a broad range of environmental toxins.
Of particular concern are ‘thyroid-disrupting chemicals’. These environmental pollutants seriously harm the thyroid, and disrupt proper thyroid hormone activity.
This post lists my top 10 tips to help safeguard your thyroid from the most dangerous thyroid disrupting chemicals.
Top 10 Tips To Safeguard Your Thyroid From Environmental Chemicals
Clean up with a clean and nutritious diet
Choosing organic produce whenever possible is the way to go as conventionally grown fruits and vegetables harbor an array of pesticide residues.
Pesticides are toxic by design as they were developed specifically to eradicate insect pests, noxious plants and fungi. Furthermore, pesticides are classified as thyroid disrupting chemicals as they damage the thyroid, and interfere with thyroid hormone synthesis.
When given a choice more and more people are opting for organic fruits and vegetables. Your decision to purchase good quality organic produce can significantly lower your pesticide intake.
The Environmental Working Group (EWG) provides cutting edge research to help consumers make healthier food choices. The EWG recently released their Shopper’s Guide to Pesticides in Produce.
Dubbed the ‘dirty dozen’ the EWG list the fruit and vegetables with the highest levels of pesticides. This makes the EWG Shopper’s Guide to Pesticides in Produce a great place to start your research.
Ditch processed foods
These days low cost food is being produced on an unprecedented scale. However the high cost trade off is long term health. It makes sense to ditch eating processed foods when you want to avoid toxic ingredients such as soy and hydrogenated oils in your food, chemicals that have leached out of food packaging, or you want to avoid foods that contain a long list of unpronounceable ingredients.
Whenever possible choose local farm fresh organic produce picked at the peak of its nutritional quality. In other words, choose the kind of food your great grandmother would have recognized as food. This simple ecological step reduces exposure to a wide range of thyroid disrupting chemicals lurking in the food chain.
Green your cleaning routine
Thyroid disrupting chemicals have been identified in many cleaning products. The Environmental Working Group (EWG) think keeping your home clean should not put your health at risk. Their Guide to Healthy Cleaning shines the spotlight on household cleaning products. One of the key concerns raised by the EWG is the lack of disclosure regarding the numerous ingredients found in household cleaning products.
For example; a lemon fresh or pine scent isn’t necessarily healthy or natural. Fragrances are often synthetic aromas engineered by combining dozens of chemicals. The EWG’s Guide to Healthy Cleaning will help you sidestep harmful cleaning products and find environmentally friendly alternatives.
Filter your drinking water
First and foremost drink 6-8 glasses of filtered water daily to flush your system. It must be filtered as urban water supplies can contain traces of industrial chemicals, pharmaceuticals, pesticides, fertilizers, fossil fuels, household chemicals, even human waste.
Fluoride compounds are commonly added to public water supplies. This includes; sodium fluoride, sodium fluorosilicate and fluorosilicic acid. The U.S. National Research Council (NRC) states these fluoride compounds act as broad endocrine disruptors and young children, or individuals with high water intake are at far greater risk.
Bathe in clean water
Shower filters reduce exposure to fluoride, chlorine and other water impurities that are readily absorbed via the skin. You may already know chlorine is very drying to your hair and skin. When you bathe in chlorine free water you will notice your hair becomes softer, and your skins becomes more radiant.
Stay out of swimming pools and spas
Swimming pools and spas contain chlorine-based disinfectants which are routinely used to destroy harmful waterborne micro-organisms such as bacteria, and algae. Emerging research reveals chlorine produces by-products that are harmful to your health. Termed disinfection by-products (DBPs), these are formed when chlorine, or other disinfectants react with compounds that swimmers add to the water such as sweat, urine, and pharmaceuticals.
DBPs are also formed when chlorine mixes with ingredients derived from personal care products such as sunscreens. These hazardous by-products easily enter the bloodstream. As a consequence they easily infiltrate the thyroid tissue via general circulation.
You can read more on this topic here: Do You Worry Your Thyroid Is At Risk When You Swim In Chlorinated Pools?
Choose natural beauty care products
Most companies gloss over the use of chemicals in their products. This is despite the fact that toxins from perfumes, cosmetics, and other assorted personal care products are easily absorbed into the blood stream.
As the saying goes… anything going on you, goes in you. To make matters worse these chemicals eventually wash through the thyroid as this gland has a rich blood supply.
Choose to wear natural fibers
When possible buy clothes made locally from fibers such as cotton, hemp, bamboo, silk and wool. These are safer fabrics to place against your skin, reducing absorption of chemicals such as formaldehyde resins.
One chemical to avoid is formaldehyde. It’s used to make clothing ‘wrinkle free’. Without strict controls, especially in developing countries the tendency is to use this and other chemicals too freely.
Make your home a wellness sanctuary
Your home is your wellness sanctuary. Encourage a ‘shoes off at the front door’ policy to reduce the amount of dirt and toxic particles that are tracked into your home. Replace chemical air fresheners with freshly picked flowers or mix a few drops of essential oil with water in a spray bottle and use this as a natural room deodorizer. It should go without saying that visitors should not smoke in your home.
Improve indoor air quality
Clean and vacuum regularly to remove dust and dirt that builds up indoors. One method to help ensure your bathroom is mold-free is to add a few drops of clove oil to your cleaning bucket. You could also use the power of nature to help clean the air indoors by adding in some plants. However, if air quality is of particular concern you may need to invest in a high efficiency particulate air (HEPA) filter to help purify the air.