Friday, September 17, 2010

Dioxins what are they and why do I care?

The accountant and I have recently decided to attempt to be as dioxin free in our house as possible. Not so much for us as for our little ones. I am sure we will be helped in the long run but have probably already had our lifetime exposure we want to limit little Olivia's as much as we can.
First what is dioxin and why do I care?
Dioxins are a by-product of industrial processing of chlorine bleach, bleached paper, manufacturing of pesticides, waste incineration such as burning of plastics, treated wood and bleached paper. Dioxins accumulate in the fatty tissues of humans and accumulate over one's lifetime. Once in our bodies they stay there. According to the EPA exposure to bleached coffee filters on a daily basis is enough to exceed a lifetime of acceptable levels. Dioxin is passed from mother to child via the placenta and breastmilk.

So why do I care? What does dioxin do to me?
 Dioxins are known teratogens, mutagens and human carcinogens. "Dioxins mess with the growth regulation of our cells-inducing or blocking cell death and may cause tissue underdevelopment, overgrowth or tumors."  Dioxins appear to be a "complete carcinogen" that doesn't require another chemical to have the effect. According to the world health organization they increase all cancers. They also mess with estrogen receptors, may be toxic to growth  and development and cause liver, nerve and glandular damage. they are also suspected of causing respiratory tract, and prostrate cancers, endrometriosis and contribute to type two diabetes.

How am I exposed?
More than 90 percent of our exposure comes from our intake of food.

  • Animal fats from conventional meat
  • Full fat dairy products that is non-organic
  • Fatty fishes like herring, mackerel, sardines, trout and tuna
  • Produce laden with pesticides
We are also exposed by foods that come in contact with containers that have dioxins such as bleached paper plates, food containers and milk cartons. We absorb dioxins from bleached tampons and maxi pads. 
Other ways they enter our bodies are through gases, vapors, emissions from hazardous waste incinerators, paper mills, cement plants and metal smelting plants.

Wow. They sound  like they are everywhere! What can I possibly do to limit or avoid exposure? A few simple things we can do that will help limit our own personal exposure is really quite uncomplicated.

  • First choose paper products wisely. Opt for unbleached or oxygen bleached products, esp for products that come in contact with our food and body. Items such as tampons, toilet paper, tampons, paper towels (or use rags) and coffee filters.
  • Choose organic grass fed animal products
  • organic produce 
  •  a more plant based diet.

The accountant and I are doing really well in the food area. What we are working on are the paper products arena. I am trying to eliminate the paper entirely or find an unbleached substitute. I will let you know when I find good deals!

Source: Easy Green Living by Renee Loux

We recently switched to unbleached toilet paper which I bought through the amazon subscribe and save program.

1 comment:

  1. That is why I use organic pad's instead of paper ones. Tampons are really bad as they go inside of you.



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