Reducing Toxic Burden

Hi Friends,

How often do you think about your household cleaning and personal care products like soaps, shower gels, shampoo and other hair care products, sunscreens and the like?  Ladies, do you check your cosmetics, moisturizers, and even tampons or pads?  What about food storage containers, pots and pans, and even the carpet and furniture in your home?  Toxins come from expected and unexpected places.  Why should we be concerned with toxins?  I mean, doesn’t the EPA and FDA do enough to keep us safe?  Ah…no.  There are an ever-increasing number of chemicals approved as “safe”, but mostly only rested one at time.  We unfortunately are not exposed to these chemicals one at a time, so the safety of the combinations is unknown.  It’s overwhelming, I know.  Follow some of these tips to help reduce the toxic burden and improve your health.  

1) Support Liver detoxification.  This ensures that our liver is helping us get rid or toxins as efficiently as possible.  Cruciferous vegetables are a great way to support the liver’s detoxification processes.  Blueberries, cranberries, tea, coffee, beet juice, nuts, fatty fish, and olive oil are a few other foods that are good for the liver.

2) Drink lots of water.  Water plays a huge roll in your body’s natural detoxification processes.  Some experts will say 6-8 glasses of water per day, some will say pay attention to your body’s cues.  If you are one who drinks coffee all day or sodas or energy drinks all day, you are not getting the hydration or added support for detoxification needed.  Don’t like plain water?  Try muddling some fruit and infusing the water with that muddled fruit, or squeeze some lemon into your water.

3) Go Organic.  The pesticides used in the conventional farming processes can contribute to your toxic load which can drive inflammation and chronic illness.  I know organic costs more, but the benefits outweigh the cost.  Honestly, you’ll pay for it now with buying organic or later with prescriptions and doctors’ visits.  The Environmental Working Group (EWG) puts out an annual Dirty Dozen and Clean Fifteen lists.  Check these lists and go organic as much as possible when it comes to items on the dirty dozen list.

4) Look for eco-friendly laundry detergent.  The chemical residue on our clothes will get into our bodies through our skin.  I personally make my own laundry detergent with castile soap, borax and washing soda. It may take a little bit to make but is a money saver!!  I make a double batch and it lasts my husband and I around 4 months. If you have a large family, it may not last that long, but it’s pennies to make compared to store bought detergent.

5 Look for lotions without the “junk”.  Our skin is very porous.  Like the chemicals form our laundry detergent residue, chemical from lotions can seep through our skin pretty easily.  This is why topicals and patches work.   

6) Look for shampoo, conditioner and shower gels for toxins too.  Much like lotions, these can have chemicals in them too that can disrupt our body systems. I personally use Monat products. I don’t sell it, I just use it.

7) Try natural deodorants.  Besides aluminum, deodorants also can contain a myriad of chemicals.  Ladies, some of these chemicals show in breast tissue!  You may have to try a few brands to find what you like, but the options out there are growing.

8) Think about replacing plastic food storage containers.  BPA is an endocrine disruptor and is in a lot of plastics.  Not to mention that plastics start to break down and leach into our food.  Avoid storing acidic foods or oils in plastic and never heat foods in plastic.  I use glass containers.  It is a cost, but worth it for your health.  My advice, as you’re tossing out old plastic containers, replace them with glass containers. 

9) Ditch toxic non-stick cookware.  Yes, non-stick surfaces make cleanup of pots and pans easier, but those can contain chemicals too.  If you have any non-stick pans that are showing their wear and the non-stick coating is pealing, I highly recommend tossing it and replacing with a less toxic pan.  My theme here is you don’t have to go out and replace everything all at once. Each small step adds to great distances!

10) Watch for chemicals in feminine hygiene products.  Ladies, listen up!  Chemicals used the bleaching and processing of many pads and tampon are problematic like fragrances and pesticides. Try to look for ones that are fragrance free and not laden with chemicals.

11) Go clean with cosmetics.  There are several clean cosmetic companies out there.  Did you know that there are some lipsticks that contain lead??  Yep!  And if you apply those lipsticks, you’re eating that.  And did you know that nail polish can also be extremely toxic?   Many nail polishes contain formaldehyde and more, which can be absorbed through the nail!  And if you bite your nails, you are also eating that!  Looks for nontoxic nail polish, especially if you’re going to polish your child’s nails.  I like Zoya and use that brand but look for ones that are free from at least DBP, formaldehyde, and toluene.

12) Ditch perfumes and colognes, artificial “fragrances”:  these synthetic fragrances in the majority of perfumes and colognes can not only aggravate respiratory problems for some people around you, but these chemicals are also Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) and contribute to poor air quality.  Try essential oils instead.

The EWG has a great list for cosmetics and other personal care products…Skin Deep.

EWG Skin Deep® Cosmetics Database 

EWG Skin Deep® Cosmetics Database EWG’s Skin Deep® database gives you practical solutions to protect yourself and your family from everyday exposures to chemicals in personal care products.

13) Household cleaning products. The toxic residue and airborne particles make for a harsh atmosphere in the home.  Did you know that the home can often be much more toxic than the outdoors?  With all the pollution out there, that’s hard to imagine, but it’s true.  And it is largely to do with VOCs and cleaning chemicals.  Mold can also lurk in even the cleanest of homes.  If you suspect mold, please get that checked out and toss anything with mold or in the house if mold exists that cannot be cleaned properly.  As for other household chemicals, invest of some plants.  Plants go far in reducing chemicals in the air inside our homes.  Bonus, the connection to nature has health benefits too!  A plant like a peace lily is low maintenance and I can personally verify that they are very hardy for those of us that don’t have the greenest of thumb like me.

I know this seems like a lot, but even just one small change can make a difference in your toxic burden and the environment in the process…that’s a win!  Progress, not perfection is a great philosophy when you’re starting out on this journey.  Each step you take in replacing toxic products with less toxic ones, you’re becoming empowered to take charge of your health. 

In health 

Bridget Sloane, NTP

Disclaimer: I am not a doctor and the information in this post is not meant to be taken as medical advice.  Please speak to your medical professional if you have medical concerns.


5 Toxic Chemicals to Avoid in Nail Polish (2016 April 14) Retrieved from 5 Toxic Chemicals to Avoid in Nail Polish – ella+mila

11 Foods That Are Good For Your Liver. Retrieved from 11 Foods That Are Good for Your Liver (

Lindberg, Sarah, M.Ed.m B.S. (2020 March 30) 6 Reasons you Should Eat Organic & The Top Organic Produce You Should Buy.  Retrieved from 6 Science-Backed Reasons You Should Eat Organic | mindbodygreen

Xenobiot, J. (2023 March 13) Do Synthetic Fragrances in Personal Care and Household Products Impact Indoor Air Quality and Pose Health Risks? Retrieved from Do Synthetic Fragrances in Personal Care and Household Products Impact Indoor Air Quality and Pose Health Risks? – PMC (