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BLOG: October 2007

Chemical body burden

You don't see them, don't smell them, don't feel their touch. Yet they are everywhere around you, and everywhere inside you. Why should you worry about foreign chemicals - or xenobiotics - of all kinds piling up inside your body, or inside those that you love? Why are they named chemical body burden?

 The simple answer is: because it is getting in the way of vital body functions. Your body is nothing but a chemical factory producing life. For that, it uses thousands of very specific chemicals, each at very specific place, and at a very specific time. Many of them are inter-related, forming the unimaginably complex 4-dimensional fiber of life.

Now, imagine that someone starts randomly throwing in foreign chemicals. Not only that they clog your detox system and deplete body's nutritional resources (needed for detoxication), they often take place of body chemicals that they can't replace functionally, thus interrupting body processes. It can cause literally

any kind of damage to your health.

The less functional your body for the lack of nutrients, or existing chronic disease, the more so.

The perfidy of the chemical body burden is in it most often being seemingly innocently separated from your health problems. One of the reasons for this is that these chemicals are usually absorbed at very low levels, thus often requiring years or decades to accumulate and/or cause damage to your health. Since you are not aware of having them in your system, and much less of their actual metabolic effect, you have no chance of realizing what is the cause of your problem.

Sadly, the same can be said for most health practitioners.

What also makes it hard to connect your health problem with the chemical contamination of your body, is that we are all different - and none of us is the same all the time. In other words,

one same foreign agent will affect differently different people,
and may also affect differently same individuals at different times.

That makes it impossible to establish any form of a general symptom-cause relationship for the health effect of foreign chemicals. And it only makes it more obvious when you think of many possible interactions between many millions of body's molecular structures and thousands of these foreign chemicals, on top of the biochemical uniqueness of each of us.

No one says it's easy, but identifying direct relation between particular chemical body contaminant - or more of them - and a disease symptom can be done, and has been done time and time again. There is a mountain of credible, verifiable medical evidence to that effect. Pesticides, toxic metals, plasticizers (phthalates), toxic fumes from the materials we use to build, furnish and keep clean our homes, as well as many chemicals contaminating our food, air and water supply, have the capability to silently erode your health. If not addressed, possibly to the point of no return.

Butt addressing it properly requires

informed prevention and, when too late for prevention,
it requires cause-oriented medicine.

What makes it particularly important is that, as usual, the most vulnerable are babies, small children and the sick. How does it feel to learn that your little one is loaded with multiple foreign chemicals, proven to cause pathological damage (thyroid dysfunction, infertility, neural dysfunction, among others) in experimental animals? Chemicals whose short, and particularly long-term effects on humans haven't been seriously studied, ever?

Very disturbing, as described in CNN's article about chemical body burden test results for 18-month Rowan and 5-year old Mikaela from NYC. Their little bodies already had soaked in

up to seven times more of polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs, widely used fire retardants) and phthalates than their parents'.

It was three years ago and, reportedly, there are no ill effects so far, but not much reason for comfort either. It is merely a sign that their detox systems are efficient enough to prevent significant short-term effects of chemical contamination, but no one can tell if some form of disease caused by it is already developing, or not. There is certainly plenty of time for something to go wrong - including children's own children and grand-children.

One thing is sure: chemical body contamination of that degree makes a child more vulnerable to a disease. Recent epigenetic research documents that there is a wide range of environmental exposures - not nearly well outlined yet - that can cause or predispose to some form of a chronic disease not only in the individual that is directly affected, but also in her or his offspring.

The mother of Rowan's and Mikaela's feels that the government has betrayed them, by not doing what it can and should do in order to protect them. On its side, the government has to balance protecting people's safety with protecting economic prosperity. An individual can easily get hurt in between those mighty wheels, and many do - including children.

So what do you do? You take care of yourself, and those that need your help, as much as you can. And the only way you can do this is to keep informed about where the xenobiotics are, so that you can minimize exposure to them, keep your detox system efficient by healthy diet and lifestyle, and help the others do the same.