Have You Always Wanted to Be a POP Star? I Did Until I Heard This . . .

Persistent Organic Pollutants

POP’s I remember the first time I heard it . . . Persistent Organic Pollutants. The talk was given by Dr. Joe Pizzorno. He is one of our Naturopathic Gurus. I was barely out of medical school and really wanted to learn more about environmental medicine. This particular topic was a little shocking. You see, inflammation is the root of all evil – literally the devil of the body! If you ingest certain chemicals it can inflame you and lead to other disease processes.

Inflammatory markers have been one of the staples in our diagnostic testing with patients. If you have been exposed, and trust me you have, the best thing to do is to find a way to repair your body so it can release the chemicals and heal for the long term.

We are very fortunate in that our body has an amazing ability to heal and recover.

Here are the top 5 POP stars to avoid:

  • Plastics – We all have heard this one. So why? The two basic chemicals in plastic are Bisphenol-A (BPA) and Phthalates. These two little buggers are known to cause developmental delays and have reproductive consequences. The problem is that they are everywhere! To avoid these two “everywhere” chemicals, don’t buy food in plastic, use porcelain and stainless steel for your food and drinks. Preserve your own food through canning (yes there is BPA in plastic internal liners.) Don’t microwave plastic ever and please don’t use plastic water bottles.
  • Preservatives – There are quite a few preservatives I think of. Sugar is a common preservative that should be used sparingly. I am sure I don’t need to tell you it can lead to diabetes, insulin resistance and weight problems. Parabens are another family of preservatives that are suspected to be linked with cancer. BHT and BHA are considered safe because only animals get cancer from them. I’m not buying it – literally. Why risk it? I could go on for a while on this one. But at the end of the day – eat the food that you can recognize and not from a bag!
  • Airborne Pollution – This year has been a hard one for those of use in California. Fires have really reduced our air quality. Ozone, fumes from cars and manufacturing can affect us all. My advice is to look at air quality reports in your area the same way you would the weather. If it doesn’t look good try to stay indoors! ( NOTE BACK LINK BACK TO THE PREVIOUS ARTICLE ON THIS TOPIC)
  • Pesticides – I am always surprised people still feel like this one is not too bad. I don’t always have the choice or organic, but when I do I chose it. I have to tell you I have literally heard patients with their $5 latte in hand talking about how they don’t want to spend a few more bucks a week on organic veggies. Priorities people! Organic has become more and more common. The more we support it the more it will become the standard norm.
  • Voluntary Pollution – These are some of my personal hard ones. Full disclosure here, people! Hair dye, cosmetics, and household cleaners. God, I love the smell of bleach . . . and gasoline. I am sure there is something wrong with me, but I am not the only one who just loves a good chemical smell. Despite my love for bleach I use vinegar instead and have switched to natural cleaning solutions. I use a less toxic hair dye and I have changed my makeup best I can. We have more choices here. Try to be as mindful as possible with products.

Alright, POP star’s – it’s time to retire some of these things from our life. Consider going room to room in your house as well as through your pantry and figure out where your offending agents are. Feel free to consult with us about some of your concerns and replacements for them.