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Toxins, toxins everywhere… What can we do about it?

By January 24, 2024No Comments

As naturopaths we often get asked by patients about their environmental toxic burden. Toxic exposures and their negative health effects are ubiquitous in our world. It is hard to escape the chemical milieu we are faced with, and our detoxifying systems are on constant overload dealing with the burden. Hidden sources of toxic chemicals are everywhere. 

According to Health Canada website flame retardants that are in sofas, mattresses, pillows and children’s toys are currently being investigated for harm to our health and the environment. The health concerns listed on the site include cancers, reproductive and developmental effects. This page on Health Canada’s site has not been updated since November 2021 and states, “Our draft assessments are not yet final. We are continuing to evaluate the potential risks posed by these flame retardants before we publish our final conclusions.” To mitigate your risks now, look for the several mattress and sofa manufacturers in Canada that use natural fire retardants, such as natural latex and wool, in their products. 

Another source of toxic chemicals we may not consider are in the clothing we wear.  In 2022, the Center for Environmental Health, a non-profit consumer advocacy group based in California, tested activewear and found high levels of  bisphenol (BPA) A, F or S in several common brands. BPA exposure is linked to hormonal disruptions, cancers, endometriosis, altered brain development, polycystic ovarian syndrome (leading cause of female fertility issues), and learning disorders just to name a few. In another test, CBC found very high levels of lead, mercury, phthalates in one in five articles of clothing tested. Look for manufacturers that use OEKO-TEX® STANDARD 100 certifications. 

Blood, urine and stool tests are available to determine your chemical toxin burden, identify the adverse health effects of these exposures, and your ability to detoxify these chemicals.


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