Did your science teacher ever say, “Just because you can’t see them doesn’t mean they don’t exist.” In a landmark study done by the Environment Working Group in 2005 they found in 10 random births had over 287 toxic chemicals in the group and 180 cause cancer in humans or animals, 217 are toxic to the brain and nervous system, and 208 cause birth defects or abnormal development in animal tests.
Of the 287 chemicals we detected in umbilical cord blood, we know that 180 cause cancer in humans or animals, 217 are toxic to the brain and nervous system, and 208 cause birth defects or abnormal development in animal tests.
Click for the total study: The Pollution in Newborns
A BENCHMARK INVESTIGATION OF INDUSTRIAL CHEMICALS, POLLUTANTS AND PESTICIDES IN UMBILICAL CORD BLOOD
Environmental Working Group (EWG), July 14, 2005
Summary. In the month leading up to a baby’s birth, the umbilical cord pulses with the equivalent of at least 300 quarts of blood each day, pumped back and forth from the nutrient- and oxygen-rich placenta to the rapidly growing child cradled in a sac of amniotic fluid. This cord is a lifeline between mother and baby, bearing nutrients that sustain life and propel growth.
Not long ago scientists thought that the placenta shielded cord blood — and the developing baby — from most chemicals and pollutants in the environment. But now we know that at this critical time when organs, vessels, membranes and systems are knit together from single cells to finished form in a span of weeks, the umbilical cord carries not only the building blocks of life, but also a steady stream of industrial chemicals, pollutants and pesticides that cross the placenta as readily as residues from cigarettes and alcohol. This is the human “body burden” — the pollution in people that permeates everyone in the world, including babies in the womb.
In a study spearheaded by the Environmental Working Group (EWG) in collaboration with Commonweal, researchers at two major laboratories found an average of 200 industrial chemicals and pollutants in umbilical cord blood from 10 babies born in August and September of 2004 in U.S. hospitals. Tests revealed a total of 287 chemicals in the group. The umbilical cord blood of these 10 children, collected by Red Cross after the cord was cut, harbored pesticides, consumer product ingredients, and wastes from burning coal, gasoline, and garbage.
This study represents the first reported cord blood tests for 261 of the targeted chemicals and the first reported detections in cord blood for 209 compounds. Among them are eight perfluorochemicals used as stain and oil repellants in fast food packaging, clothes and textiles — including the Teflon chemical PFOA, recently characterized as a likely human carcinogen by the EPA’s Science Advisory Board — dozens of widely used brominated flame retardants and their toxic by-products; and numerous pesticides.
Of the 287 chemicals we detected in umbilical cord blood, we know that 180 cause cancer in humans or animals, 217 are toxic to the brain and nervous system, and 208 cause birth defects or abnormal development in animal tests. The dangers of pre- or post-natal exposure to this complex mixture of carcinogens, developmental toxins and neurotoxins have never been studied.
How Does This Happen?
Sadly there are thousands of new chemicals produced each year. According to EWG, “U.S. industries manufacture and import approximately 75,000 chemicals, 3,000 of them at over a million pounds per year.” While there are laws on the books to protect society for their harmful effects (The Toxic Substances Control Act), the truth is “have been largely ineffective at reducing human exposures to chemicals” says EWG.
Plus the masses simply do not understand that a risk even exists including many doctors. According to Dr. Mercola, he says,
“In a survey of more than 2,500 US obstetricians on the topic of prenatal environmental exposures, the majority (78 percent) agreed that they could reduce women’s exposure to environmental health hazards by counseling their patients.
However, 50 percent said they rarely take an environmental health history and less than 20 percent said they routinely ask about environmental exposures common to pregnant women.
Worse still, only one in 15 obstetricians reported receiving any training on the topic. In short, while most obstetricians acknowledge the importance of talking to pregnant women about exposure to environmental toxins, few actually do in practice because they feel unprepared to do so. The surveyed obstetricians reported the following barriers to environmental counseling:
- A lack of knowledge of and uncertainty about the evidence
- Concerns that patients lack the capacity to reduce harmful exposures
- Fear of causing anxiety among patients
The study’s lead author, Naomi Stotland, a professor of obstetrics at the University of California, San Francisco, explained:
“Providers were saying, ‘If I bring this up with patients… it’s going to raise anxiety and questions that I don’t know how to deal with… There’s a sense that, yes, these things may be harmful, but I don’t know how to tell her how to reduce her risk.”
In my experience working with thousands of people seeking better health they had no clue about the harmful effects of toxins on their health including obesity.
Out of Sight, Out of Mind
When I was a boy growing up our family didn’t sit around the dinner table and worry about pesticides on our food. I think dad even sprayed our home grown tomatoes to kill the bugs. Mom would just wash them off and figure that was enough. The trouble with washing your vegetables is water alone can’t remove the residue and much of the pesticide resides inside the plant.
My science teacher was right, just because I can’t see the pesticides, herbicides and larvacides, doesn’t mean these insecticides don’t exist (Although I’m very healthy now and I can taste a big difference in vegetables that have pesticides on them). What’s even worse, or are at least equal in their ability to harm the human body, is antibiotics and hormones injected into our beef, dairy, chicken and even fed to farm raised fish to keep them healthy because they were raised eating pesticide laced farm grain. Clearly it’s not a surprise to me that the EWG survey of these 10 mother’s post birth placentas contained that many harmful chemicals.
Obesity is Linked to Toxins and is a Cofactor in the Contribution to Cancer
When our bodies encounter one of these environmental bad boys (a harmful chemical like a pesticide, antibiotic or growth hormone) our natural immune system goes to work to get rid of it. Unfortunately, we are bombarded by so many bad boys as evidenced by the baby survey, that it simply can’t get rid of them all. To protect our bodies then the bad boys are put in “fat jail” to store them for hopeful later release.
According to Dr. Eric Berg, while storing these bad boys helps to keep us living, it also inhibits the burning of fat as fuel. He says in his book , The 7 Principles of Fat Burning: Lose the weight. Keep it off,
“The hormone system is very sensitive to environmental chemicals, especially growth hormones in the foods we eat. Our foods are injected with hormones; they are also sprayed with pesticides, which have the ability to mimic hormones. You have been swimming in a sea of toxic chemicals. Welcome to planet Earth!
When these chemicals enter the body, they plug up or interfere with hormone receptors. Glands make and send hormones. Cells then receive these in a similar way to a catcher in a baseball game. If you are born with 20,000 hormone receptors per cell and are constantly exposed to environmental growth hormone mimickers — chemicals such as pesticides and insecticides— eventually these block the receptors, leaving very few for hormone reception. It’s like driving into New York City and trying to find a parking place. As you age, the chemical exposure accumulates until your system gets overwhelmed and can’t burn fat anymore. But it’s not just older people; young people get fat too due to this environmental toxicity factor.”
The more our bodies have these hormone inhibitors in our bodies, the more obese we’ll become (i.e., we can’t burn fat because they are storing this environmental harmful chemicals).
The rates of obesity has risen steadily in all states over the last twenty years (see CDC statistics). According to the Center of Disease Control, “Obesity-related conditions include heart disease, stroke, type 2 diabetes and certain types of cancer, some of the leading causes of preventable death.”
Statistics at a Glance: The Burden of Cancer in the United States
- In 2016, an estimated 1,685,210 new cases of cancer will be diagnosed in the United States and 595,690 people will die from the disease.
- The most common cancers in 2016 are projected to be breast cancer, lung and bronchus cancer, prostate cancer, colon and rectum cancer, bladder cancer, melanoma of the skin, non-Hodgkin lymphoma, thyroid cancer, kidney and renal pelvis cancer, leukemia, endometrial cancer, and pancreatic cancer.
- The number of new cases of cancer (cancer incidence) is 454.8 per 100,000 men and women per year (based on 2008-2012 cases).
- The number of cancer deaths (cancer mortality) is 171.2 per 100,000 men and women per year (based on 2008-2012 deaths).
- Cancer mortality is higher among men than women (207.9 per 100,000 men and 145.4 per 100,000 women). It is highest in African American men (261.5 per 100,000) and lowest in Asian/Pacific Islander women (91.2 per 100,000). (Based on 2008-2012 deaths.)
- The number of people living beyond a cancer diagnosis reached nearly 14.5 million in 2014 and is expected to rise to almost 19 million by 2024.
- Approximately 39.6 percent of men and women will be diagnosed with cancer at some point during their lifetimes (based on 2010-2012 data).
- In 2014, an estimated 15,780 children and adolescents ages 0 to 19 were diagnosed with cancer and 1,960 died of the disease.
- National expenditures for cancer care in the United States totaled nearly $125 billion in 2010 and could reach $156 billion in 2020.
Source: National Cancer Institute
What Must Be Done to Remove the Health Threat
The first thing that must be done is to become educated and aware. Being aware of the threat you’ll begin to consume foods without these sprayable and injectables on or in them. That’s what the label “organic” usually means.
Second you can begin to feed the body with natural ingredients to aid in the body’s own immune system to release these toxins from your fat cells and allow your cleansing organs to do their job.
My Personal Experience with Detoxification
After I learned of the health threat of environmental toxins I was highly motivated to remove them from my body. My father passed away in my arms from cancer. He was overweight (and probably obese).
I used the Isagenix System after doing some personal research. I found their cleansing system was easy to follow. I did my first detox day (although Isagenix calls them a cleanse day) on a Friday. I fasted as instructed and consumed their product called Cleanse For Life. I felt fine up until the late afternoon. I began to have a terrible headache and was really hungry. Upon the recommendation from my cleanse coach, I went to bed early that night.
On Saturday, upon awakening, I couldn’t believe how wonderful I felt. According to my cleanse coach she indicated that I had removed approximately 20% of the toxins in my body. I had began an exercise program a month before and I went to the gym that day for my run test. I beat my record for running 2 miles by over 3 minutes from the previous Saturday.
Over the next several weeks I was able to release 50 pounds as you can see from my photo.
I hope I’ve laid out the facts to help you understand this threat to your health and of course the health of your family, especially your children. I’ve seen several stores begin to carry more organic food. Some large companies have even co-purchased land to make sure the produce they sell meets new consumer demand. Isagenix, thankfully through their master food formulator John Anderson, has been a leading pioneer in cleansing, being the first company in 2002 to launch their company with Cleanse For Life. More and more health and wellness companies have begun to develop products to also meet this standard.
Michael Lantz is a wellness and leadership coach and accomplished endurance athlete having completed 15 Ironman distant triathlons all after doing his first cleanse in February of 2006. He is a top Isagenix distributor. He is a regular instructor on health, nutrition and personal success development using humorous stories to teach these concepts. He daily cleanses and does a deep, full day intermittent fast and detox two days per month. He has maintained his original weight loss since March 2006.