Environmental Toxicity, Mental Health, and Inflammatory Diseases


Ochre and water color, by Lindsay Kolasa

My recent post, making the link between auto-immune disorders, thyroid disease, and mental health is getting a lot of views right now.  Of course, my post is an outline and not a thorough exploration of all the dimensions I would like to express on this topic.

One thing I didn’t mention is the effect of man-made chemicals in our environment, household products, personal products, medical devices, etc.  I think this topic is one of the most important when thinking about what is putting so much stress on human physiology these days.

Epigenetics that express the aftermath from ancestral trauma (like the Holocaust or WWII or a hurricane) is one thing.  What about our ancestors who were exposed to DDT after WWII or the myriad other man-made, experimental chemicals that are being used right now.  DDT, of course, has been banned…but many agricultural chemicals like atrazine, have not.

Dr. Tyrone Hayes, studying frogs in the heavily polluted (agricultural chemicals) Central Valley area of CA has found that frogs exposed to atrazine do not exhibit any abnormalities.  But, jump to the next generation…they have greatly decreased fertility rates, malformed testes, and other reproductive issues.

“Through his research, he found that the chemical had serious adverse
effects on the sexual development of frogs, causing mutations and other
reproductive abnormalities.” ~ from The New Yorker

And, it’s happening to human men as well.  This recent article on the dwindling sperm count in human men is eye-opening and well written.

“Now it seems that early death isn’t enough for us—we’re on track instead to void the species entirely. Last summer a group of researchers from Hebrew University and Mount Sinai medical school published a study showing that sperm counts in the U.S., Europe, Australia, and New Zealand have fallen by more than 50 percent over the past four decades. (They judged data from the rest of the world to be insufficient to draw conclusions from, but there are studies suggesting that the trend could be worldwide.) That is to say: We are producing half the sperm our grandfathers did. We are half as fertile.” ~ from GQ

What interests me most with both of these articles is the fact that the effect of the chemical(s) in our environment show up in the next generation…with effects even bioaccumulating and worsening with each generation unless corrective measures are taken (and so little is understood on what corrective measures look like).

So, what are the poorly researched, 80,000 man-made chemicals up to?  And, how would these endocrine disruptors factor into auto-immune issues, mental health, and thyroid disease?  Easy.

They mess with your hormones, the bodies messengers…disrupting the elegance and reliability of thousands of years of evolution in just ONE generation.

Reuters asserts in this article that, “man-made chemicals in everyday products are likely to be at least the partial cause of a global surge in birth deformities, hormonal cancers and psychiatric diseases, a U.N.-sponsored research team reported …”

Xenoestrogens (man-made estrogens) are everywhere in the environment now (among other endocrine disruptors). Men and women’s bodies are both being attacked.

“The prostate gland, which develops in human males when they are fetuses, is extremely sensitive to natural estrogen. As a result, scientists have long theorized that prostate cancer could be increasing in men because of their exposure to estrogen-like chemicals in the womb.” ~ from The LA Times

And yet, even though science proves the harm of man-made chemicals and endocrine disruptors…apparently, it is not in our economy’s best interest to pull toxic chemicals.  This was the result of Dr. Tyrone Hayes research, for example.  The EPA knows, fully, the harmful effects…but keeps it flowing through the agricultural fields in every corner of this country…because it would harm the economy to pull the chemical.

I suppose all the creatures and all humans will bear the cost of this poor decision, instead.  Yes.  Basically, we all pay for our own health in our current system…so the burden of cost goes to the American citizen and not the company.

To me, that’s just insane.

A feeble attempt to keep Big Chemical in check was pushed through by President Obama.  But, with 80,000 man-made chemicals out there (and more being invented), researching the effects of 20 chemicals at a time isn’t going to solve the problem.

As we saw with Dr. Tyrone Hayes (if you watched the video above and read the article), Syngenta tried to buy him out when his research challenged the use of atrazine.  He did not accept the large endowment (that would have set him up for life).  They were thrown for a loop, so they tried to drag him through the mud and dirty his name.  Didn’t work.

How many scientists are like Dr. Hayes?  Not many.  Most scientists accept the money and continue to “research” the chemical they are assigned to.

This on-going “research” will stall any conclusive evidence and basically keep the chemicals pumping into our environment…unquestioned.

I just wanted to share this information because this is truly a big beast we are all up against…the ambient toxicity in our environment.  If you are paying attention, you will notice that our children are getting sicker and sicker.  It’s no mystery why.

There are many things we can do to lessen exposure to toxic man-made chemicals…but yes, it does seem like an uphill battle.  But, we have to do what we can.

Here is a great post about healing trauma through diet and herbs (there are many other great articles on his site as well).  I have to share it because a well-functioning gut is of utmost importance for your immune system (which the gut houses about 75-80% of that) and the general ability to rid the body of toxic substances.

And finally, this timeline to put things in perspective:

Timeline of Endocrine Disruption and Man-Made Chemicals

My closing words are this…after hearing the stories of numerous clients…and witnessing my own journey through a health crisis…one thing is for sure…our ancient, primal DNA is suffering from all these toxic assaults…and people are just falling apart…along with our environment.  Even with the recent ruling in San Francisco, will this precedent be enough to send a message to Big Chem?

I wonder what it will take for a toxic environment not to be the norm?

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