Please Explain: Toxins and How to Detox

Friday, May 16, 2014

There are over 80,000 synthetic chemicals in commerce today, including phthalates and parabens, pesticides, heavy metals, and air pollutants. On this week’s Please Explain Bruce Lourie looks at how our bodies absorb these chemicals from the foods we eat, the air we breathe, and the products we come in contact with every day. He also outlines how we can reduce our exposure to toxins, and how we should dispose of waste. Lourie is the co-author of Toxin Toxout: Getting Harmful Chemicals Out of Our Bodies and Our World, written with Rick Smith.


Bruce Lourie

Comments [16]

Barry from Florida

The best way to remove the mercury and other toxic heavy metals in pesticides, contaminated fish, seafood and dental amalgams is with the natural mineral detox called Zeolite which is proven to safely remove all heavy metals and radiation from the body. For more information do an online search for the single word Zeolite.

Sep. 12 2014 01:55 PM
Helen from Broolklyn

At around the 17:30 point, a woman who used to work in the cosmetic industry called in to warn that products will often used chemicals to "neutralise" the inherent scent s from the product ingredients.

It surprised me that Mr. Laurie was unfamiliar with this extremely common and misleading practice, given all of his research.

Being very sensitive to fragrancing chemicals, I long ago learned to avoid products called, "Unscented" , which allows for these neutralisers, (also known as "masking fragrance") and look for the ones labelled "Fragrance Free" (which does not have that stuff.

May. 16 2014 06:45 PM

I'm in the process of throwing out all my ziplock containers and replacing with glass. Also plastic plates and bowls . A while ago I bought melamine as I had read it was safe, but since the recent motherlode article I'm not sure about any plastic. Is melamine safe?

May. 16 2014 03:10 PM
fuva from harlemworld

The Environmental Working Group analyzes products for toxicity and lists them along a scale of toxicity.

And that Houston woman's question reflects why most people tune this kind of important info out: We feel completely overwhelmed. It's why this info must be accompanied by practical ways every day busy folk can act on it. Otherwise it's just noise.

May. 16 2014 12:49 PM
Barbara from Fanwood, NJ

Two questions:
Is it possible to reduce toxins by decanting milk and other liquids into glass container instead of serving from the plastic containers they come in?

The Trader Joe's cookie container (for example) tells me what is in the food, but doesn't say a word about what's in the plastic container that the food comes in. Is there legislation addressing this issue?

May. 16 2014 12:45 PM
pina from So.Plainfield

Less animal fat? Less meat? He must be vegetarian...

May. 16 2014 12:44 PM
Jen from Brooklyn

Why do products labeled "unscented" virtually always have a slight but obvious fragrance?

May. 16 2014 12:39 PM

There are alternatives: you can use food-grade organic coconut oil as an excellent moisturizer and Dr. Bronner's as soap. There are many other options for avoiding products with many chemicals.

May. 16 2014 12:38 PM
Lee NYC from NYC

The point about toxins appears to be a major point of contention in US-EU trade talks, apparently the US is lobbying for more chemicals and GMOs. Many articles on this including:

May. 16 2014 12:35 PM

Does hair dye have any toxic effects to users? The dye is being applied in such close proximity to the brain.

May. 16 2014 12:35 PM
Linda from West Babylon, NY

Hi Leonard,

Love your show. I have two questions for your guest Bruce Lourie.

1. Does the Birth control pills that women take contain toxins?

2. When we burn scented candles are we breathing in toxins?

Thank you,
Linda T

May. 16 2014 12:28 PM
Dee from NJ

I worked at J & J, they may say they are eliminating toxins, but their consumer group regularly changes formulations right after a product comes out. If it's new and improved they just added toxins. At one point they re-formulated Listerine and is came back smelling like diesel fuel. They are the worst offenders. Their quality unit has been fined repeatedly due to quality issues.

May. 16 2014 12:27 PM
Paul from uws

Could you guest comment on BPA free meaning that the product likely contains other BPA analogs like BPS, X etc, worse than the mother BPA chemical.

What chemicals also leach in metal water bottles and tea kettles.
Thnk you

May. 16 2014 12:18 PM

What's in fabreeze I won't use it but the roommate does
Should I worry or get over that awful chemical odor.

May. 16 2014 12:17 PM
JR from NYC

interisting but a lot of background noise in this segment. please stop the paper shuffling near the mike

May. 16 2014 12:17 PM
daniel zeccola from Brooklyn

I understand that many of these chemicals do enter our bodies at detectible levels from our environment. Have any of these chemicals been shown to cause disease at the levels that are commonly observed in persons who have normal exposure risks?

May. 16 2014 12:14 PM

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