We were rather perturbed to see a piece by Julie Revelant on FoxNews.com this week called 10 Ways to Rid Your Body of Toxic Chemicals.
It is full of advice that runs the gamut from questionable to just plain incorrect . Rather than a detailed discussion, here are our responses to some of their claims:
Claim: Choose organic fruits, vegetables, dairy and meat to reduce your exposure to nasty pesticides and hormones. Organic foods are grown or produced with (sic) the aid of pesticides or antibiotics (she obviously meant without, but hey! why worry about grammar when there s all that science to consider?).
ACSH response: The amount of pesticide residue found in or on foods is minuscule, and has never been shown to harm anyone. Also, the organic food industry uses pesticides just different ones. One is called rotenone, which is on the approved list for organic designation simply because it is naturally occurring an irrelevant fact. Rotenone is more toxic than most synthetic pesticides. The World Health Organization calls it moderately hazardous to humans, and it is extremely toxic to marine life.
Claim: Hit the gym. Toxic chemicals are actually stored in the body, and one of the most effective ways to break down the fat cells and flush the chemicals out is through regular exercise.
ACSH response: Nonsense. Most chemicals are not stored in the body. They are metabolized by the liver and excreted. Chemicals that are stored are rare. Sure, hit the gym, but at least do it for the right reasons.
Claim: Cut the saturated fat. A lot of toxic chemicals are attracted to fat. [O]nce these chemicals are in our bodies, they enter our fat cells.
ACSH response: Someone hasn t been doing her homework. Saturated fats were not only recently found to be unrelated to heart disease, but probably safer than unsaturated fats the supposed saviors of mankind that is, until it was all found to be wrong. And most chemicals do not enter fat cells. See above.
Claim: [S]weating [is] more effective than urinating at eliminating BPA a synthetic compound found in plastics that has been linked with a range of health problems. So it s time to work up a sweat at the gym or in the sauna.
ACSH response: Where to begin with this one? BPA has been deemed safe by the FDA and a variety of other regulatory agencies. The fact that there is a higher concentration in sweat than urine is meaningless. In fact, both of these facts highlight one of the properties that makes BPA safe it is rapidly cleared from the body. It does not accumulate. And given the choice of sweating and urinating...
Claim: Chug water. Water is a great way to flush the toxins out of the body. Men should aim to drink 3.7 liters a day, and women should try for 2.7 liters.
ACSH response: Drinking large amounts of water not only has no benefit, but can be fatal due to a condition called hyponatremia too little sodium in your blood. And, since there is concern although misguided concern about the bioaccumulation of chemicals in fat, it should be noted that this only occurs with water insoluble, fat-like chemicals. All the water in the world will not wash these away.
Claim: It s easy to make these products without these chemicals in the first place. You can reduce your exposure as much as possible, but chemicals will still be in our environment if the laws don t change. Learn about the issues at the EWG s website and contact your local representative today.
ACSH response: We would be hard pressed to find a worse website to visit for accurate information. They get just about everything wrong.