Unfortunately, in the course of everyday modern life, the average person comes into contact with dozens of toxins that are harmful for the body. They are in food, in drinking water, in the very air that people breathe in between their office and their cars. And among the most serious of these toxins are heavy metals like lead, cadmium, aluminum and mercury. These metals are natural elements, but they are incredibly unhealthy for the human body and exposure to them can lead to serious health consequences. Read on to find out more about heavy metals, how people are exposed and how to avoid or reduce such exposure.
The Health Effects of Heavy Metal Exposure
The health effects of heavy metal exposure can be severe. For one thing, they are known to act on the nervous system (including the brain) and have been associated with serious issues like autism, Alzheimer’s and dementia, neuropathy and even the formation of cancerous brain tumors. They also act as free radicals in the body, causing oxidative stress to the cells that can eventually lead to the development of cancer (and not just in the brain). In addition, they have also been linked with various musculoskeletal and reproductive disorders.
Common Sources of Exposure
There are many ways that people can become exposure to heavy metals – and some of them might come as a surprise! Common exposure sources include:
- Cosmetics and personal hygiene products
- Processed foods and beverages
- Some dental procedures
- Fish consumption
- Lead pipes, lead-based paints and other household items
Some of these sources of contamination are more difficult to avoid than others. However, there are ways to greatly reduce exposure, such as those listed below.
How to Reduce Exposure
The following ways to help to reduce exposure to a variety of heavy metals, thus promoting bodily health by avoiding contact with these toxins as much as possible. Some of the best ways include:
- Buying organic, all-natural cosmetics and personal hygiene products and reading their labels carefully to make sure they are aluminum-freeEating organic whole foods instead of processed or prepackaged ones
- Requesting mercury-free fillings and other safer dental procedures
- Limiting fish consumption to twice a week; also buying wild-caught rather than farmed fish
- Testing older houses for the presence of lead in pipes, paints, etc.
- Smoking cessation
It is not easy to greatly reduce heavy metal exposure. But the steps above really can help to avoid contact with these toxins as much as possible and help to promote the body’s long-term health. And while many of these safety tips might seem difficult (especially at first), the health benefits to be had from taking these steps is more than worth it in the long run.
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