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Environmental Toxins: What Are They? - Holistic Living Journal

Environmental Toxins: What Are They?


Our environment directly affects our health, so we should be aware of environmental toxins. Knowing about potential toxins in the environment can help us stay safe. Although some toxins are more difficult to avoid than others, there are ways to reduce your exposure.

What Are Environmental Toxins?

Environmental toxins, also known as environmental pollutants or contaminants, are substances that are found in the air, water, soil, and food supply, which can be toxic to our health.

Common Environmental Toxins

  • Acrylamide
  • N,N Diethyl-meta-toluamide (DEET)
  • Dioxins
  • Arsenic
  • Lead
  • Mercury
  • Pesticides
  • Insecticides

A more exhaustive list of toxic environmental chemicals and their properties can be found at the National Biomonitoring Program by the CDC. These toxic substances can be released through industrial or natural activities.

Common Environmental Toxin Sources

  • Burning fossil fuels
  • Product manufacturing processes
  • Use of synthetic fertilizers
  • Spraying of pesticides
  • Volcanic eruptions
  • Decaying plants

How Are Environmental Toxins Harmful to Health?

We know toxins are bad for our health, but how do they affect us? It all depends on the type of toxin we come in contact with. For example, lead poisoning can cause serious brain damage if a large amount is ingested, whereas long-term exposure to dioxins may cause skin irritation or cancer. Even low levels of exposure to these toxins could have potentially negative impacts on our health over time.

How to Limit Exposure to Environmental Toxins?

Now that you know what environmental toxins are, let’s look at what take steps you can take to limit exposure. The first step is awareness. Educating ourselves about the toxic substances in our environment and taking steps to protect ourselves is essential for living a holistic lifestyle.

Ways to Limit Exposure to Environmental Toxins

  • Avoid areas where you know there may be high concentrations of pollution, like near factories.
  • Monitor indoor air quality, especially if you live in an area where there are lots of vehicles.
  • Eat organic foods when possible, or grow your own, to avoid pesticides or insecticides.
  • Use a water filter to ensure your tap water is clean.
  • Taking all these steps combined will work towards protecting yourself against environmental toxins.

The sad truth is environmental toxins exist everywhere around us. They’re in the air we breathe, the food we eat, and even the water we drink. They pose significant risks to human health when exposed over long periods of time, so it’s vital for us to take steps to limit our exposure. Taking all these steps combined will help towards protecting yourself against environmental toxins.


1. National Biomonitoring Program. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. https://www.cdc.gov/biomonitoring/environmental_chemicals.html


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