Don’t Let Pollution Get You Down

Lets face it, pollution is never a topic that’s easy to broach, particularly since we’re often left feeling helpless about what we can do to avoid it.  To make matters worse, the impact it can have on our health is rarely acknowledged by health care providers, unless a known, acute exposure has occurred.  The reality is that we’re all exposed to environmental pollutants on a daily basis, and there are indeed resources available to help identify the most likely offenders.  For example, www.ewg.org provides reports about the local water supply, showing contaminants that are the most consistently elevated. Another invaluable resource is www.scorecard.org, which evaluates local air pollution, toxin levels (heavy metals, superfund sites, etc.), and industrial pollutants.  It’s also recommended that you have your own water tested through an independent laboratory, which will potentially identify hidden sources of various pollutants.

So, why is this important? Many of these pollutants have been linked to a host of degenerative diseases, including cancer, autoimmune diseases, and neurological conditions.  In my experience, the medical community tends to largely ignore these underlying causes, only treating the symptoms of the respective disease.  I can’t tell you how many patients have come to me with serious, debilitating symptoms, only to find out that they have high levels of contaminants in their system.  PCBs, pesticides, heavy metals, and solvents, just to name a few, can all be measured with laboratory testing, and eliminated from your system with the appropriate treatment protocols.

If you have a known exposure to environmental pollutants, or suspect that they are having a negative impact on your health, you shouldn’t feel like there’s nothing that can be done about it.  Talk to your doctor about the appropriate tests, and use some of the resources mentioned above to identify and prevent any future exposures.