From the book, “Detoxify or Die” by Sherry A.
Imagine the most pristine places on earth – – untouched
by man-made cancer-causing chemicals. How about a fishing trip to the
Great Lakes on the U.S.- Canadian border, inaccessible except by helicopter
with pontoons. There are no roads, no industry, no civilization, just
Or let’s take a cruise hundreds of miles off shore in the Caribbean,
Gulf of Mexico, the Mediterranean or the Atlantic. Sadly, scientists
have found disturbing levels of modern man-made chemicals in the wildlife,
plants, seaweeds, fish, and waters in all of these areas.
Surely, you say, 20th century man’s footprint has not yet reached
the frozen Arctic, famed for Eskimos living in ice igloos, existing
on flesh from the sea. But studies (Muckle, Dewailly, Bjerregaard,
Wormworth, Jacobson, Jenson) of the breast milk, for example, of Inuit
Indian mothers reveal some of the highest levels of modern chemical
poisons. In fact if they brought their milk to the U.S. for disposal,
it would legally have to go to a toxic waste dump. We have truly accomplished
our dubious mission in less than a century. We have conquered the world
with pollution. There are no pristine areas left without a trace of
man’s manufacturing might.
Industrial smokestacks disseminate into the air the leftovers from
plastic manufacturing such as dioxins and PCBs. From here, clouds carry
these most potent triggers of cancers ever known to man to every continent
and every body of water. Taken up by the soil, then plants, then animals,
then humans, no longer are there any pure bodies. Let’s see why
In Our Foods
The plastic wraps swaddling your fruits, vegetables, and meats in
your grocery cart look harmless enough. So do the Styrofoam trays
that hold them and the plastic bottles for water, soda, milk, ketchup,
fruit juices, and even infant formula. But the phthalates that outgas
from these plastics, so ubiquitous in our food and beverage packaging,
leach into our foods.
In fact, we eat so many plastics each day that the government has
established an average daily amount that we ingest. And once inside
our bodies, these phthalates or plastics tightly hook onto our cell
parts where they gum up the works. For example, they damage hormone
receptors, leading to loss of sex drive and energy, or they damage
brain chemistry leading to learning disability and hyperactivity,
or they accumulate in organs and trigger cancers of the prostate,
breast, lung and thyroid.
Think of the purest food you can — ~ breast milk. Unfortunately,
breast-fed infants with immature livers are at an even greater disadvantage.
Even if they do not receive their phthalates (plasticizers) from
a plastic formula bottle, they can consume illegally high levels
of plastics from their mothers' breasts. For the plastics that leach
into her foods are transferred to the baby via his mother's milk.
Each morning millions of Americans from construction to office workers
line up for their ritual coffee breaks. Butstealth poisons lurk
in those Styrofoam cups and once inside the body there is no mechanism
for metabolizing or getting rid of all the carcinogenic styrene (U.S.D.H.H.S.
1992, Jakoby, Claassen, Sullivan).
Dioxins, another man-made chemical family, are also
inescapable in our foods. Dioxins are created in part through the
plastics, pesticides, and other chemicals (U.S.D.H.H.S. 1998). They
are spewed from industrial smokestacks, taken up into clouds, and
rain out into the soils where they are taken up by plants that we
use for food for animals and humans. It is not enough that they are
one of the most potent causes of cancer known to man. For most of
what we ingest, once it is inside the body there is no way out (except
one that I'll explain later in this book). When we finally accumulate
sufficient chemicals, we get cancer, or some other "incurable" illness.
Incurable? No. As you will learn, incurable only means you haven't
been shown how to get rid of the basic cause.
Studies alarmingly show that nursing infants can consume (through
bioconcentration in their mother's breast milk) as much as 18 times
more carcinogenic dioxin (Agent Orange) in one year than the maximum "safe" lifetime
dose as recommended by the government's Center for Disease Control
(U.S.D.H.H.S. 1998). No wonder EPA studies of human fat biopsies
show styrene residues are in 100% of people (U.S. EPA 1984, 1986).
And no wonder childhood cancers are at an all-time high as the number
one cause of death by disease in kids ages 1-15. Clearly, as you'll
see later, a mother-to-be owes it to herself as well as to her unborn
to detoxify and clear these poisons out of her body before becoming
Our foods wrapped in plastic look innocent enough,
plastics permeate food and get stuck in
the machinery of our
The top drugs prescribed in the United States (in 1999, as an example)
tell more of the story. Premarin (a female estrogen replacement)
and Synthroid (a thyroid replacement) are both hormones. Scientists
have proven that the plasticizers or phthalates that outgas from
the plastic wrap and plastic trays that nearly all meats, fruits
and vegetables are encased in, migrate into the food (U.S.D.H.H.S.
1992, 1993). As well, nearly every liquid that we imbibe and most
foods we ingest come in plastic, giving us a steady diet of phthalates.
Since the body chemistry was not designed to deal with this daily
onslaught of man-made chemicals, and they have no role in our chemistry
anyway, they are not fully metabolized and slowly stockpile or bioaccumulate
over a lifetime. They generally do not reach a high enough level
to cause symptoms until we are middle age or more older.
Unfortunately the chemistry of phthalates resembles that of many
hormones. As hormone mimics, they are potent environmental
endocrine disrupters (BED) (Colon, Colburn, Soto, Crisp, White). EEDs act like
a monkey wrench in the normal chemistry of hormones. They can, for
example, damage hormone receptors (the place on the cell surface
where hormones attach to turn on our good chemistry). By blocking
and botching up the action of hormones and other cell regulators,
they can cause diseases like infertility, fatigue, depression, mood
swings, memory loss, endometriosis and loss of libido. But since
the actual cell receptors for hormones have been damaged, taking
hormones is often ineffective and does not produce the desired results.
As well, EEDs have increased our hormone-related cancers, like breast,
testicles, and prostate (which are at an all-time high and continually
rising) (Harris, Jobling, Roy, Bertozzi, Davis).
Since PCBs, dioxins,
and plasticizers are found throughout our foods, nursing infants
begin to tank up on enough of these to cause cancers or thyroid
disease 5-45 years later.
Yet we are still so gullible that we think
our hormone-producing endocrine glands just sort of wear out at any
old time for no reason. So we take
hormones to replace the "tired" gland. Have we forgotten
that everything has a cause? I think so. Consider the fact that newspapers
reported former President Bush, his wife Barbara plus the dog, Millie,
three genetically unrelated organisms (one even from a different species),
all had thyroid disease. But no doctors caring for them appeared to
make the environmental connection.
Hormone Havoc Created By Plastics and Pesticides
Plastics and one of their primary components, phthalates, are among
the most abundant man-made chemicals. The average human intake of phthalates,
as from everyday plastic wrap on foods, is 210 meg per day (Doull).
Can you imagine that? We ingest so much carcinogenic and endocrine-disrupting
plastics that we have on record an average human daily intake?
And this level is rising, since the majority of all our foods and drinks
are encased in plastics. But who would have ever guessed that these
plastics would leach significant amounts of phthalates directly into
our foods (Huber, Cohen, Gilbert, Castle, Krishner, U.S.D.H.H.S. 2000,
Broton)? And once in the food, who would have guessed the body would
be unable to detoxify them? Or who would have guessed they would get
stuck and stockpile, silently accumulating over a lifetime, only to
continually leach out of the body storage sites over decades to produce
chronic diseases of every conceivable type (Perera, Huber, Michinovicz,
Certainly we are the first generation of man to be exposed to so many diverse
chemicals, especially synthetic hormone mimics or EEDs (environmental endocrine
disrupters). The list of chemicals in our foods is ever expanding to include
not only plastics and phthalates, but their carcinogenic and hormone-disrupting
pesticide-like cousins: dioxins, HCB, PCBs, DDT, lindane and atrazine.
Besides plastics and pesticides, the list of EEDs goes on with non-biodegradable
detergents, polystyrene, trichloroethylene and more words that would only
be meaningless to the average person. The point is these are widely distributed
and totally unavoidable in our everyday environments (in our air, food
and water) and wreak untold havoc with our hormonal systems, accelerate
aging and trigger cancer.
As the chemical and food industry vehemently asserts, small amounts are
harmless. This is true. But they neglect to mention that since we do not
totally detoxify the everyday "harmless" amounts of chemicals
that we inhale and ingest, they silently stockpile (bioaccumulate) in our
tissues. This is not harmless. But studies are not routinely done on even
the effects of one chemical decades later, much less the synergistic (exponentially
damaging) effect of multiple chemicals.
Decades later when they do cause disease, we still don't get the message.
We chalk it up to old age. We see nothing suspicious about getting cancers,
auto-immune diseases like lupus, arteriosclerosis, high blood pressure,
arrhythmia, heart attack, rheumatoid arthritis, thyroiditis, high cholesterol,
diabetes, colitis, allergies, Parkinson's disease, benign prostatic hypertrophy,
multiple sclerosis, osteoporosis, heart failure, worn out joints requiring
replacements, and other degenerative diseases in midlife.
Phthalates and other environmental chemicals are not only stealth triggers
for cancer, but because they resemble our hormone cell receptors, they
gum up the works in an endless number of ways that are just beginning to
be appreciated. It is no coincidence that the two hormonally linked cancers,
breast and prostate, are on a rapid rise and that thyroid medication is
the third most commonly prescribed medication in the United States. How
else could all of this hormone havoc suddenly have happened in this era?
And don't forget that we have not even begun to look at the hundreds of
other chemicals that wreak havoc in our daily environments that have a
synergistic (additive) ability to create even more silent body damage.
Are plasticizers and pesticides the only toxins we get from our foods?
Not by a long shot. Heavy metals are just one more example of deadly hidden
toxins in our foods. Mercury toxicity from bottom dwelling shellfish and
fish (clams, crabs, lobster, mussels, oysters, flounder) and smaller fish
that feed around the mouths of rivers, as well as large fish like swordfish
and tuna that feed on the smaller fish, stockpile heavy metals from upstream
industry (Crinnion, S.S.F.D.A., Tollefson).
Cadmium, aluminum, mercury, antimony, lead, and arsenic are some of the
heavy metals added to the food chain from upstream industrial discharges,
pesticide runoff, incinerator emissions, manufacturing smokestacks, as
well as from aviation, auto and commercial vehicle exhaust (see individual
U.S.D.H.H.S. books). Aluminum contamination, for example, contributing
to the rising epidemic of Alzheimer's disease, is in baking powders
(except for Rumford®). We also obtain aluminum (U.S.D.H.H.S.
1999) from the giant vats that processed factory foods are made in, as
aluminum-lined juice boxes, cans, and other packaging, plus kitchen and
commercial coffee makers, hot water heaters, thermoses and aluminum cooking
utensils. It's even an anti-caking agent added to salt and sugar (so that "When
it rains it pours").
As though we did not have enough ways to contaminate our foods, there have
been accidental spills that have led to serious silent poisonings. One
example was the mistaken addition of the PCB-containing flame retardant,
Fire Master, into animal feed three decades ago. The result was widespread
contamination in the state where it began, Michigan, which insidiously
spread to other states via predominantly dairy and meats. Commercial shipping,
industry, incinerators, and more have contributed to the contamination.
This area is but a small example of how silent thyroid and brain damage
emerges (Persky, Anderson).
Studies 5, 10 and more years later showed that once in the human body,
these toxins did not leave, mainly because the body has no way of completely
metabolizing them. These potent carcinogens have remained in the tissues
of millions of innocent Americans because of one firm's mistake that you
have probably never even heard of. No wonder, as you will see in the next
chapter, EPA biopsies of human fat show that 100% of humans have blatantly
carcinogenic PCBs, styrene, and dioxins stockpiled in their fat, just waiting
to cause cancer and other diseases. No wonder we have an unsurpassed all-time
high rate of cancer and many other chronic diseases. But more on that later.
Whole books (Rea, Sullivan, Klaassen) beautifully detail how pesticides,
insecticides, herbicides, molluscosides, fungicides, artificial fertilizers,
growth regulators, hormones, ripening regulators as well as food additives,
dyes, colorings, flavorings, stabilizers, preservatives, and more contaminate
the foods that we eat. Chemicals used in growing, harvesting, storage,
shipment, processing, packaging, preparation and cooking may be invisible,
but are nevertheless present and end up stuck in our bodies.
One accident decades
ago, the addition of a fire retardant in cattle feed, resulted
in millions of Americans
levels of cancer-causing PCBs in their bodies than "normal" from
ingestion of milk, cheese, meat and other foods. As you will
learn, there's no proven way to get this out of the body except
In Our Air and In Our Breath
There is not a home, office, institution, or manufacturing site where
plastics do not abound. They are used in construction materials, building
and furnishings, plastic baby bottles, baby rattles and teething toys,
plastic crib bumpers, car seats, and mattresses, kitchen appliances and
even our shoes, sneakers, IV tubing, computer housing, automobile dashboards
and undercoatings, electrical wire coverings and cables, carpet backing,
cosmetics, notebook covers, clothes, dishes, tablecloths, shower curtains,
toilet seats, gadgets,games, and much more. In fact, scientists were
alarmed at the levels a baby acquires just in sucking on his teething
when he grows up, plastics lurk in his dental fillings, bridges and plates.
As well, medications like Tagamet® (cimetidine) and digitalis have
estrogen-like chemistry, as well as the ability to damage genes and cell
function, regardless of sex (Roy).
Not only do these plasticizers or phthalates get into our foods, but they
are in our everyday air. This assures them another easy route to every
one of our internal organs. Plastics in the home and office environment
continually outgas or leach into the air we breathe. Think of the smell
of new vinyl in furnishings, a mattress, your computer, your blender, notebooks,
new shoes, boots, attache case, purse, or automobiles. Any chemical that
you can smell in the air makes its way into your bloodstream, as those
molecules diffuse from your lungs and even through the skin into the bloodstream,
eventually disseminating into all organs (Sullivan).
But plastics are just one example of thousands of everyday chemicals
we stockpile. In addition, our air is contaminated from auto exhaust.
example, diesel exhaust has been proven to aggravate asthma and increase
allergies, trigger heart attacks or depression, as well as lower the
immune system's resistance toward getting infections. Auto exhaust contains
metals, pesticides, volatile organic hydrocarbons like formaldehyde,
benzene, toluene, and many other foreign chemicals that are all lumped
term "xenobiotics" (foreign chemicals). Then throw in the exhaust
from industry and municipal incinerators and you can understand why each
day we are literally bathed in a sea of chemicals.
Outdoor air clearly contains some of the nastiest concoctions of pollutants.
Just think of what symptoms you would feel if you stuck your face near
a truck or bus exhaust pipe for any length of time. But smaller amounts
of this type of pollution, depending upon your time spent traveling, and
even how close you live to major highways, have a bearing on the amount
that your body takes in each day. How close you live to industry, what
they manufacture, what types of toxins are in the air, the direction of
the prevailing wind, and where the isotherms settle out at night all play
Industrial, incinerator and transportation exhausts are the
of outside air pollutants, while plastics and volatile organic
hydrocarbons, like formaldehyde and toluene, are among the
hundreds of indoor air pollutants.
For no place is safe. As an example, some folks
live on a pristine wooded hillside in suburbia, miles from the grime
of cities and industries.
In the evening, columns of pollutant-laden hot air rise from the
sun-heated city pavements, roads and buildings. With them are carried
transportation and industry exhausts. These are carried for miles
on evening breezes; by near morning the cooling of the earth's
surface allows the isotherm (a mass of air that is the
same temperature) to settle out over unsuspecting sleepy suburbia. In
fact some suburbanites
are getting worse air quality than if they lived right next door
to the factories.