Lara Adler joins me today for Part 2 of our conversation about environmental chemical exposure- specifically endocrine-disrupting chemicals and practical tips for reducing exposure. Lara is beyond a wealth of knowledge on this topic, so if you have not yet listened to Part 1, where we discussed BPA, please go back and listen. Today, in Part 2, Lara dives into PFAS, phthalates, dioxins, parabens, triclosan, and sulfates. She also talks about water filtration and small changes you can make to improve your health.
6 practical tips for living easier in today’s toxic world:
- Avoid all fragrances, including natural essential oils
- Prioritize organic foods whenever possible
- Filter your water
- Switch to paraben and phthalate-free personal care products
- Avoid plastics
- Avoid canned foods
Listen to the Episode
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Phthalates are an endocrine-disrupting class of chemicals. There are many types of phthalates. They are used primarily in two categories. They are used in plastic to make plastics soft and flexible. They are also used as a solvent and fixative for fragrance.
– Lara Adler
About Lara Adler:
Lara Adler is an Environmental Toxins Expert & Educator and a Certified Holistic Health Coach who teaches health professionals of all types, and individuals with health-based businesses, to better understand the role of environmental chemical exposures in causing or contributing to chronic health issues, so they can more comprehensively support the clients/patients they serve.
She trains practitioners to become experts in everyday toxic exposures so they can improve client outcomes without spending hundreds of hours researching on their own.
Combining environmental health education and business consulting, she’s helped thousands of health professionals in over 35 countries around the world elevate their skillset, get better results for their clients, and become sought-out leaders in the growing environmental health & detoxification field.
The best intervention when it comes to toxic exposure within the realm of non-persistent chemicals is avoidance, that’s it!”
– Lara Adler
In This Episode:
- Why do airports and military bases tend to be polluted? (41:46)
- The minimum requirement for filtering PFAS chemicals out of your drinking water. (44:20)
- Why you should test your water before buying a filter. (49:41)
- How to figure out which items to get rid of immediately. (54:30)
- How to avoid having too much anxiety about chemical exposure. (55:52)
- Where to start on the journey of finding solutions. (59:16)
- What are phthalates? (100:41)
- The benefits of switching to a mostly-organic diet. (107:39)
- What are parabens, and what is Triclosan? (112:22) (113:59)
- What are PCBs, and where are they found? (1:19:39)
- A chemical you should never allow in your home. (1:21:39)
Links & Resources
Use code COQ10 to get 10% off COQ10
Remove mold and other toxins and allergies from your home with an Air Doctor Air Purifier. Get up to $300 of using code GRAY15
Lara Adler’s Social Media Links:
Lara Adler on Instagram (Environmentaltoxinnerd)
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Integrative Health and Hormone Clinic
Podcast production by Team Podcast
Lara Adler 0:05
The best water filter is the one that takes out the contaminants that you have. And I don't know what those are
Dr. Stephanie Gray 0:14
Welcome to the Your Longevity Blueprint podcast. I'm your host, Dr. Stephanie Gray. My number one goal with this show is to help you discover your personalized plan to build your dream healthy and live a longer, happier, truly healthier life. You're about to hear from Laura Adler again today for part two of our conversation. Today we're diving into environmental chemical exposure, specifically endocrine disrupting chemicals and practical tips for reducing your exposure. She is beyond a wealth of knowledge on this topic so much so this became a two part series. If you haven't listened to part one, please go back and listen where we dove into BPA. This week, she'll dive into P Foss, balades, dioxins, parabens, triglycerides, and sulfates. She'll talk about water filtration and most importantly, we'll talk about small changes you can make to improve your health. Let's get started.
Okay, I can talk to you forever. Let's go to P I don't know how to pronounce it if P fast and P FOSS are the same thing. But can we go there because I actually have a friend whose water has been contaminated with this, which is I believe also an endocrine disruptor she lives near an airport. It's in the water I think from the airport, maybe you can put that together. But is that common? What do you know about this? Have you heard of this? How dangerous is it?
Lara Adler 1:29
So pee fast stands for her and poly floral alkyl substances. It is just a class. It's not a chemical. In fact, there are estimated to be over 10,000 chemicals in this class, the majority of which we don't know anything about period, it's a black hole. Because of you know, there's depends on depending on which country you live in. There's no like in the United States, we don't have any. I mean, there is a global problem, right? 99% of people in the united states already have these chemicals in their blood. It's already a problem. We can't put the cap back in the bottle, right? We can slow it. Anyway. So pee fast is this enormous class. They're used in hundreds of 1000s of places applications, both in industrial manufacturing, consumer manufacturing military, in medicine, they're used in millions of places. So this enormous class doesn't. They're not all identical chemicals, but they seem to share a lot of the same properties. So the fluoro, the per floral alkyl substances, the fluoro in there indicates the presence of flooring, flooring is an element. It is a halogen on the periodic table of elements. So is chlorine, bromine and iodine. Iodine is essential for healthy thyroid function. It's a Goldilocks element, too much is not good. Too little is too good is not good. Unfortunately, when you have chemicals on the periodic table, they share similar properties. That's why they're grouped together. And so chlorine, fluorine and bromine and chemicals that are made with fluorine, chlorine and bromine, including chlorinated chemicals, chlorinated chemicals and brominated chemicals all have the capacity to displace iodine in the thyroid, they push out iodine. And so they can are directly linked to a lot of thyroid issues. Unsurprisingly, that is something to be concerned with. And this is why the entire class of chemicals is concerning. So the chemical industry will often say Oh, well, these very toxic chemicals, PFOA P FOS. These are just two chemicals in this enormous family. Well, those ones were terrible. Those ones have been phased out of use. We don't use those anymore. We use all these other ones, but these other ones are totally safe. And it's like well, you can't say that because it's a it's a chlorinated compound. And we already know, that flooring because of how it interacts with, for example, even just thyroid hormone, like that's a problem. And so the class of chemicals is enormous. They're found and like I said, hundreds of consumer products they are used. They're incredibly persistent. And persistent just means that they don't break down or they don't break down easily at all. Which is why we have polar bears in the Arctic that have these chemicals, just like flame retardants. They're very persistent. And so they build up in our bodies, and we have them in our tissues in breast milk and serum and adipose tissue, like they're just in our bodies, and they're, we're exposed to them constantly so that you're your friend who lives near a airport you said so airports and military bases and areas surrounding those 10 To be the most polluted, also industrial areas where they're being manufactured, or they're being used in manufacturing, tend to be the areas that are most polluted. And the reason why airports and military bases in particular tend to be polluted is because the firefighting foam that they use for whether it's a drill on putting out a fire or there, it's an actual fire, those phones contain pee fast in large quantities. And so though they spray them on the tarmac, they spray them on the, you know, field, whatever people they're putting out if they're doing a drill, and they gotta teach people how to put on fire. And so they're using these fluorinated firefighting foams. And then those chemicals just they get into the groundwater get into the drinking water. And for the first so we have our national, the Safe Drinking Water Act passed in the 1970s. This was our you know, one of our very early environmental regulations or laws in this country was like, hey, we need to regulate chemicals in the water. Right? That's a good, that's a good idea. Currently, there's about 89 chemicals that are regulated, just because the chemicals regulated does not mean that it is not present in the water, because water utilities are constantly in violation of federal law on limits of toxic chemicals. For the first time, since 1996. Since I was a freshman in college. For the first time since 1986, there has been a proposal to add six individual pee fast chemicals to the Safe Drinking Water list of regulated contaminants. It's not even past it's just a proposal, I'm sure it will pass. But is the first time we've added new chemicals to this list since 1996. So like, we're not doing a great job. And the levels of these chemicals, these pee fast chemicals is so low, it's basically zero. The safe level is basically zero. And it is the lowest threshold for any chemical on their registry, because they're so strong in their endocrine disrupting capacity that those small amounts are still showing harm.
Dr. Stephanie Gray 7:15
So she cannot drink the water near her house. I mean, that's very clear to her water. Yes. Well, so I don't even Well, I guess that's my question is Can she filter water can be filtered out with appropriate
Lara Adler 7:26
heat maps are actually not extremely hard to remove from the drinking water. What is required at a minimum is a multistage activated carbon filter. So it has to be a multi stage. So single stage filters like a Brita filter, not going to touch it at all, there needs to be a larger volume. So if you think of those like under sink canisters, where you install a water filtration, and you just need to have multiple filters, and at least one of those needs to be activated carbon, those are really good at taking out pee fast. A reverse osmosis system will take out all PFS
Dr. Stephanie Gray 8:00
very good to know. I feel like we should stay on the topic of water per second here because I did put on I've mentioned this on the podcast. When I built my house, I put reverse osmosis in the house because I knew enough at that point, but then I thought, oh gosh, that's taken up the mineral. So now I gotta replace the minerals. But that was only for my drinking water. It wasn't that wasn't so the ARO was for the drinking water.
Lara Adler 8:18
You would never do reverse osmosis for your whole house so wasteful,
Dr. Stephanie Gray 8:22
for sure. But she would still be showering in water that has pee fast. However, we say that my son might the city I live in notoriously has very high chlorine levels, which like as you were saying can displace iodine as well. But bottom line is once I had a son, I'm leaving him bending down to intubate him and I'm just inhaling this chlorine. And I'm thinking this is disgusting. I had no idea because I honestly don't take a lot of baths. I do showers, obviously same water. But in that moment, I knew I had to put a whole house filtration system. And so I put in a charcoal filtration system. It sounds like she could do the same thing. But all this to be said question that a lot of my patients ask which I don't always have the answer to is what do they need to be thinking about with purchasing water filters because a lot of people just get the Beretta. And I say I know that that's not sufficient. But I don't know why. So I think I heard you said has to have one layer of carbon and it has to have multiple layers. That's just for pee fast. Okay, okay. So general, what should a consumer look for?
Lara Adler 9:15
It's actually really hard for me to answer that question because and I actually have a three hour course on water contamination and filtration, because it's not a simple question to answer. Right? If it was, you could go to my website and be like your buy this. This is the quote unquote best filter, which is what people are experiencing online influencers or whatever accounts being like, oh my god, this is the best filter go out and buy it. Here's the problem with that everybody's water contamination profile is different. I might have arsenic that's really hard to remove. You might have some other you might have your city might not use chlorine. I mean, if you can smell it, it's it is some cities use chlorine and ammonia. And so that requires a different treatment because it's harder to Remove, you might live in an agricultural area where there's more pesticides, somebody else might live in an industrial area where there's more industrial chemicals. Somebody might have lead pipes in their house, somebody else might not. And so there's so many different variables, then there's also the variable cost. How much money do people have? Not only factoring in the cost of the filter and replacement filters, but your water bill. So like the reverse osmosis, you know, for every gallon of water that you drink, it can take between three to five gallons of water to produce one gallon, so there's never knew that. Yeah. This is why you would never put it in a whole house system. Every time you flush the toilet. Yeah, you're just wasting water. I live in the desert. So water waste is not not cool. Then there's also cost and budget, how much can people afford a whole house system at a minimum is going to run you know, 1000 to $1,500. And upwards. Not everybody can afford that. I remember when I lived in New York City, I had like a 600 square foot. One bedroom apartment. I had 24 inches of counter space. In my kitchen, I had a tiny, tiny kitchen. I also had, I couldn't open the oven door without opening the fridge door first. This tiny lot of people live like that. And people at the time I remember telling me oh, you need to get a Berkey Water Filter. I'm like, Where the hell am I gonna put a Berkey? I don't have a countertop. I'm not sacrificing my limited counterspace I've seen those big silver like Berkey what's the deal with the Berkey? Why are they so popular? They're popular because social media influencers love to sell them. That's why okay, they have all kinds of problems. I don't generally recommend them. The problem is people are saying influencers whatever, people who are selling filters, this is the best filter. Oh my God, my water tastes so good. I love it. Okay, great. Well, taste is not an indicator of whether or not there's not toxic chemicals in there, a lot of chemicals don't have a taste. So taste is not that's a completely subjective. First of all, second of all, it is not an indicator of how imminent free your water is. Second, they are taking the claims that the filter companies are making at face value. When the water filter industry is the it's the wild west out there, people are making all kinds of claims. But I'm like, There's no way your filter takes that out. Because I know the media in your filter, and that media doesn't adequately remove that chemical. So it's complicated, right? So the thing that I recommend, I don't recommend people go out buy a filter, I recommend that they actually test their water honors. Yeah, so there's a company called Tap score that I recommend, they have really great testing, and they will actually be score,
Dr. Stephanie Gray 12:47
like a tap.
Lara Adler 12:51
And they will actually based on your results, give you an unbiased and unaffiliated recommendation and say, Hey, here's a couple filter companies that we know that should be able to take these chemicals out. You decide what you want to do, but at least now you have more information to say, okay, here are these chemicals in my water. Three of them are at levels that are concerning. I'm going to prioritize filtering those who are these? Yep. Yeah. So yep. Yeah. So what happens is people go to the store, they go to, you know, Costco, or, or what target or wherever their shop Home Depot. And they're like, Oh, here's a water filter. Look at the long list of chemical names that it says it takes out, I'm, that's impressive. I'll buy this one. Because this list is really long. It says it takes out 300 chemicals. Amazing. Look, I'm so dazzled. I don't know what any of these chemicals are. But like WowWee, except if you don't know that maybe your water has arsenic. And that's an incredibly toxic chemical that you absolutely want to pull out of your water. And it's also not easy to get out, you need specialized filters to do that. You're just going to look at this list of all these chemicals and maybe leave in your water. And then the one that you want to remove is not on the list. And then you've just wasted, you know, $100 or $300 on a filter. And you have this false sense of confidence that your water is great. And so you have to be informed. It's the one area that like, I mean, I've been doing this, like I said for 11 years, I have probably been asked what kind of what's the best water filter and unlike the best water filter is the one that takes out the contaminants that you have and I don't know what those are. And I also don't know what you can afford and I don't know how much room you have in your house and I don't know if you're a renter or do you own your home lots of variables.
Dr. Stephanie Gray 14:37
I found that it was some patients who I found some things based on testing I said you really need to be filtering your water and they said well, based on my lease I had a three year lease with this home they were not allowed to put in any sort of, you know, large unit which was sure interesting, but I will put that tap score in the show notes because that's super interesting.
Lara Adler 14:53
Good. It's a really good resource. It's not like it's not free, right? It's going to be a couple 100 bucks to test the water but I I think it's if people can afford to do that, I think that's really it's worth it. If they can't afford to do it, it's not great information. But it's some information. Pete, if they're in the United States, they can Google Water Quality Report, and then their city and state every year to your water municipalities legally required to produce this report, they don't always do it. So you might not find the current year you might find, you know, last year or the year before, and it will give you some information about those regulated contaminants that they're legally required to test for. But it's not a full picture, because there's hundreds and hundreds of chemicals in the water that are legally allowed to be there, because there's no regulation saying that they can't be there.
Dr. Stephanie Gray 15:45
And does any water filter filter out like birth control pills and hormones, medication and stuff.
Lara Adler 15:50
Reverse osmosis, we'll do that. We'll take out I mean, reverse osmosis will take out the most contaminants of every of any system. It's not without its downsides, we should really be remineralizing the water because that will strip all beneficial minerals out, that's easy to do. That is an option for people. But like, I will also want to caveat that like, don't just go get an RF system if you don't need it, because it's so overkill for most situations. And unless you have a chemical that can only be removed by aro it's just wasteful and unnecessary.
Dr. Stephanie Gray 16:29
Well, I did it because I didn't know. But
Lara Adler 16:31
yeah, we all do.
Dr. Stephanie Gray 16:34
But I thought though many times downstairs, I'm looking at that system, and I'm thinking great, this is filtering my water, but yet it's connected to a tube, a plastic tube, which isn't taking my water up to the kitchen, and I'm thinking what's in that plastic tube? It isn't and now you're getting plastics in my water. And how often does that tube need to be changed out? You know, I just I'm thinking again, in layers of is. Hmm,
Lara Adler 16:56
I think I get that question a lot too. One, we have to in this really hard to do. And this is why I do education for practitioners just because they're going to get these questions. And it's just like in you know, medicine, we have to learn to triage is how I refer to it like which things are in fact, a four alarm fire and which things are like luck. In the grand scheme of things. That's not as big of a deal as this. Or sometimes it's luck, I can't control that exposure. So I am going to just try to let it go and not be stressed about it. Because certainly stress contributes to chronic disease as well. And that's not helpful. There is a wave of people's emotion as they learn about this right in the beginning, it's very overwhelming. And then the more information they get that overwhelm starts to spike, and then more information later, if they have the ability to triage you overwhelm actually goes down. Like I'm not somebody who stresses I know a lot about this topic. And sometimes they jokingly say, I know too much to like, live comfortably in this world. The real joke, and I've been saying this for years, I need to make a t shirt that says like Laura ruins everything, because I feel like I can like it's a superpower that I have. I don't want to I don't seek out trying to ruin someone's day. But I do know a lot about exposures. And you know, what materials contain what chemicals and I don't have a ton of anxiety because I've learned to both temper and triage. And so what I mean by that is and it takes it can take a minute for people to get to that place where you're like, Yeah, I went out for lunch and they put my leftovers in a Styrofoam takeout container. And that really bums me out. And I but I'm not gonna freak out. And maybe I'll eat some of the food, but I won't eat all of it. And now I'm just not gonna go back to that restaurant, or I'm gonna bring my own container and say, Hey, can you put the leftovers in this? I'm just gonna kind of navigate it with as much grace as I could possibly muster. And really this comes from one learning to triage and to the expression that I use is that we change the things we can control. So we worry less about the ones that we can't we buy ourselves some allowance, right? And so if I say look, in my house, I'm buying mostly organic food, I don't put food in plastic containers. I don't put leftovers in plastic. I don't really eat canned foods. They also have BPA, I say no to thermal receipts, all of my personal care products and household cleaners are made with safer ingredients. I don't have flame retardants in my couch, like I've gone out of my way to do a lot of these things. But it just means that I bought myself some allowance. We do the best that we can in terms of reducing our exposures in as many places as we can, and it's gonna take time for that to happen. It doesn't happen overnight. You know, it's it and also I'll point this out. This is more for folks that are either just getting started and are like, Oh, where do I start? Or folks that are on a budget, I think, unfortunately, in the health space, and in the wellness community online, there is this projection that this like super healthy lifestyle is really only for people that are affluent. And like, if you can't afford this, like $4,000 Sauna like you're gonna die. And I hate that, because in reality, unfortunately, the populations, both here in the United States and globally, that are most disproportionately exposed to toxic chemicals are low income, black and brown communities. We have redlining practices, where we have devaluation of neighborhoods that are predominantly black. And that is where waste factories and industries situate where there's not as much green spaces where they don't have access to healthy foods. So like there are these all of these sort of confounding factor co founding factors that lead to this disproportionate exposure in different populations. And those individuals have less access to alternatives. So I think we really need to, for me, as an educator and for the practitioners in your audience, like we really need to have a broader understanding of who is being exposed who has access to what, and what can we do, that's not a shop our way out of this solution, right. And so my recommendation is for individuals who are starting on this journey, is to start with the things that are free and easy. That's the way I phrase it, what's free, and what's easy. So free is opening your windows, literally, open your windows. I know that sounds so silly and pointless. But the reality is that the air inside our homes because we generally don't open our windows, because of all these toxic chemicals in our paint and our carpeting and our couch, and our furniture are off gassing. They get trapped in our homes. And they they settle in our house dust, and then our kids are crawling around on the floor and they're sticking their hands in their mouth and they're getting higher exposures. And so if we open our windows, we can actually let some of those volatile chemicals dissipate into the air and we get fresh air inside our homes. So free and easy. Step number one, open your windows. Step number two is um This one sucks. I'm really sorry. Increased house dusting and vacuuming because those chemicals and off gas also settle in our house dust.
Dr. Stephanie Gray 22:36
I don't want to cut you off but I do want to go back to endocrine disrupting chemicals, one that you just mentioned. So yes, go there.
Lara Adler 22:42
So Falaise are a an endocrine disrupting chemical. It is also not a chemicals a class of chemicals. So there's many types of balades. They're used primarily in two sort of categories. They're used in plastics to make plastics soft and flexible. They're not going to be found in hard rigid plastic. They're not Megarry plastic. They're just like, think about your shower curtain, your garden hose, those like rubbery Halloween masks that kids wear. I just bought RCA cables to hook up my turntable and cable. Like it came with a prop 65 warning that it contains ballots and I was like, Oh, she's because they're just for the flexibility in the chord. They're also used as a solvent and a fixative. For fragrance. If you're using a product that has fragrance as an ingredient, there is a very good chance that that fragrance mixture contains phthalates. So if we think for example of laundry products, like dryer sheets for PrEP fabric softener and some of these products downy or gain I don't know whatever one of them advertises these like you know long term set release speeds and you can take your towels out of the linen closet six months after you've washed them and they still smell like your detergent and people love that right then love the detergents. Now, the problem is the thing that stretches the duration of the extent that that chemical lives or sticks around, or Thalys phthalates are in, whether it's a scented candle if it's in your perfume, it's in your shampoo, even mascara can sometimes have fragrance added why? I don't know right? But sometimes fragrances are added to mask and unpleasant chemical smell. And so the front of the package might say fragrance free, but that doesn't mean that the ingredient doesn't have fragrance in it. You actually have to read the ingredients right? This chemical is endocrine disrupting one of the highest one of the most studied endocrine disrupting chemicals aside from BPA or phthalates. There was actually a fascinating study that just came out and just posted about it on Recently on my Instagram, that was looking at valleys in personal care products and parabens in personal care products, parabens are also endocrine disrupting, there are preservative those found in a lot of personal care products. And this was a study looking at breast cancer and the association between these chemicals and breast cancer. It's a really interesting study they took a group of and I remember the count, it wasn't like hundreds of 1000s it was like 100 Something women healthy women with no history of breast cancer, and they did a Fine Needle Aspirate sample of breast tissue before and after this intervention. And the intervention was let's take away and swap out all of your normal personal care products that all have salads and parabens in them, because that's just what's on the market with products that are valet free and paraben free. And after 28 days, that's it 28 days, they did another Fine Needle Aspirate breast tissue sample. And what they found, and they did other samples, I did urine samples before and after as well. And so one they found that urinary levels of both chemicals dropped significantly. Of course they would, because both of those chemicals are non persistent, they're HalfLife in the body or their excretion time is like six to 12 hours, you take it in you metabolize it, you pee it out. Now, that doesn't mean that in the short amount of time that it's in the body, it's not causing a problem. There's certainly certainly that shows that. But our levels are constant, because we're taking them in and faster than we can pay them out. So that's why this study was like let's just take these personal care products out. And what they found was so interesting. They basically found that after 28 days, it reversed pro carcinogenic gene expression. So these women were healthy, they did not have breast cancer, but they already had pro breast cancer genes expressing. And they pulled back and said let's take these chemicals out. And then those that gene expression dropped
Dr. Stephanie Gray 27:07
the main thing which is encouraging. Yeah, there's some good news. Yep.
Lara Adler 27:12
And so there is the study, ASTRA abstract says estrogen mediated functional signaling normalized within the period post 28 days of reduction, it normalized within breast cells. Pretty wild study, we don't really see studies that are designed in this way. But it was brilliant. In the findings, I
Dr. Stephanie Gray 27:34
mean, this was has a published date of May 2023. So it's like just come out. And really, really interesting is glyphosate also nonpersistent, because I've heard that if you change your diet, or maybe it's just maybe this was in regards to herbicides and pesticides, like changing your diet, there was a study something like this, we're in 28 days, checking levels, pre and post right?
Lara Adler 27:54
Levels. Yes. And it doesn't even take 28 days. So I don't know specifically for glyphosate in particular, but glyphosate is non persistent. So, you know, in the 1960s, late 1960s, early 1970s, we actually moved away from the organic flooring pesticides, which are highly, highly persistent. Those were the ones that Rachel Carson wrote about in her 1962 books Silent Spring, what was on the market, then we're going on chlorine pesticides, like DDT, and so highly, highly persistent and toxic. And so that was why we were like, yep, this whole class has to go, not this chemical, and that chemical, which is what we fight about now. But they're like this class of chemicals is toxic, and persistent, and we need to get rid of it. So we switched to organophosphate pesticides when working or chlorine organophosphate. Pesticides are not persistent. They are still toxic, but they're not persistent. And so there have been multiple studies in people and adults and children that have found that when they switched from a conventional diet to a mostly organic diet, not even 100%, they're able to drop circulating pesticide levels in urinary metabolites by 80 to 90% in three to five days. Wow. Because they're not persistent. And so when it comes, I mean, I literally just did this post, I think on social media just the other day,
Dr. Stephanie Gray 29:17
everybody follow her on social media, it sounds like he was so good. Is
Lara Adler 29:21
that the best intervention when it comes to toxic exposures within the realm of non persistent chemicals, which is a lot of them, certainly not all of them is avoidance. That's it. There's we don't need to supplement. We don't need to detox protocol. It's avoidance. That is the most powerful intervention. And that I think, is where like, It's actually why I love working with practitioners because they are often taught like, oh, depending on obviously what their area of training is, or specialty is, but they're often you know, they often jump to the protocol. Let me give you this supplement regime or this as complicated detox process regime, let's test you for all these chemicals. Oh, wow, you have them No shit, sorry. But like everyone has them, right. And so a lot of times those tests aren't really not that they're not helpful, but they're telling us things that, like we already know,
Dr. Stephanie Gray 30:17
we would say that to defend myself, because I'm one of those practitioners, I have to say some patients have to see it on paper, like they legitimately have to see it on paper where I can say, Look how high these levels are into it to prove to them you have had an exposure to this gasoline additive, or whatever it is like, and then like, oh, yeah, there was this big leak, or, I mean, some patients just need to see it on paper to make the change some people
Lara Adler 30:39
so yeah, so yes, and right, like everything is a yes, and, and so anyway, the the most powerful intervention for a lot of these exposures is just minimizing exposure in as many places as possible, right. And so and that's lifestyle, you know, lifestyle behavior change, it takes time to implement, but in a lot of instances, the effects can be immediate, right with these non persistent chemicals. So, you know, there was a study, similar study to the non breast cancer study, but to the personal care product swap that was using, I think it's called the Hermoza study. And it was with Latina teenage girls who use like a total of all teenage girls tend to use a ton of, you know, makeup, and eyeshadow and perfume and all this stuff. And they did a similar study where they said, Let's swap out these paraben Valley tribal Sam containing personal care products, with ones that don't have these. And they saw an enormous drop 3047 47% In a week, a week. And so there's a lot of research to support that when we practice these behavior changes these avoidance behaviors, we can actually reduce the levels in our bodies, which is what we're aiming for.
Dr. Stephanie Gray 31:57
Yes, that makes me feel better when I like get my makeup done. We recently had headshots taken right, you get your makeup done all that. And I'm like, just thinking I'm cringing every time I get all that stuff sprayed on my face. I get acne when I normally don't get acne, you know that. But I'm like, Okay, this is one day of exposure a year or whatever, like, handle, I can handle that one when I have a very safe.
Lara Adler 32:19
Yeah, same thing happened to me a couple of months ago, I got my hair cut. And you know, the hairstylist, you know, I was just like love. I'm not gonna be a little annoying person to be like, can you use no product on me? Just like, let her do her thing? It's fine. Yes. Did I walk into my get into my car under like a cloud of the hair products? Now? I would probably go home and wash it out.
Dr. Stephanie Gray 32:41
Yes, you should be able to handle that we shouldn't have to live in a bubble like we should be able to handle that. Yeah, yeah.
Lara Adler 32:46
There are some who can't handle it. Right, whether they're chemically sensitive. And so some people like they can't do that. They have to just say, Look, I need to cut my hair and don't use any product. It can be really hard to be that person in the world to feel difficult. So
Dr. Stephanie Gray 33:03
let me go back to endocrine disrupting chemicals, because you did mention for a moment. So we talked about pallets. And then you mentioned kind of parabens. And you said trackless, and can you just expand on what those are briefly what those two are? And I won't talk about PCBs? Awesome. Yeah, so parabens
Lara Adler 33:19
are a preservative. They're found in a wide range of personal care products, the more liquid the product is, the more parabens are going to be present, because the liquid is water.
Dr. Stephanie Gray 33:29
And sometimes in corn shells at the grocery store, I found. Have you ever seen that? I did social media posts on this one. I'm like, Why would there be parabens in
Lara Adler 33:38
a couple of parabens that are approved for food use? Which is not great. And I think there was just yesterday, I want to say I don't remember what state it was. I want to say like someplace in New England, like New Hampshire, something like that. Just put forth a proposal for a law that's actually going to ban certain ingredients from food. And one of those I think was a methyl paraben, so yeah, so um, yeah, so parabens are a preservative like, here's the thing we don't want. No preservatives, right? We need preservation in our products. Because without preservation in our products, we run the risk of bacteria grows, that can be problematic, right? We don't want to be applying something to our skin, if it's riddled with bacteria, or mold or something like that. And so preservation is important. The problem is the parabens are wild. They're great preservative. They're also an endocrine disruptor. And so we don't want to be putting that those products that contain parabens on our skin, there's better preservatives out there that we can use. So let's just use them. Parabens are cheap. So that's why they're commonly used. But yes, they are another endocrine disrupting chemical, right. Lisanne is a antibacterial ingredient. It's not as commonly used as it used to be in personal hair products. It is a antibacterial, and it was used to be used very heavily enhanced soaps and hand sanitizers that was actually banned in 2016, or 17. The FDA was like, Hey, you can't, you can't put that chemical. And not necessarily because of its toxicity, although there is plenty of research showing that it is an endocrine disrupting chemical. Why, because of the club, try close and right, that's chlorine, right. So that's the chlorine and that chlorine, bromine and chlorine, so directly affects thyroid health. So it was actually banned not because of its toxicity, but because the companies couldn't prove that its inclusion in hand sanitizers and hand soaps was actually more effective than just open water. So it was a completely unnecessary ingredient. And the FDA was like, you can't use this chemical technically registered as a pesticide. You can't use this if it's not actually doing anything. So it was banned from hand soaps and hand sanitizers at a commercial level. But if you work in a clinical setting, you can still find tranquil sand in hand sanitizers and hand soaps in hospital settings in clinic settings. It was only banned from those two categories at the consumer level, some toothpastes can contain it, some deodorants can contain it. And if you've ever gone shopping for a cutting board, or socks, or running shoes, and you see this protected by micro ban technology, that is essentially a form of tribal sand that has now been embedded into the cutting board or the handle of your pizza cutter or, or your gym socks as a mechanism of like, you know, tackling bacteria. The problem is, and this is just an intentionally deceptive marketing as people are like, Oh, I am going to be safe from bacteria on this product. So compounds, anti bacterial are there to protect the integrity of the material, not the person who's interacting with him. But then I'll tell you that
Dr. Stephanie Gray 37:15
thinking of toothpaste earlier, you mentioned many toothpaste have sodium lauryl sulfate. What's the challenge with I am just asking questions, I think our listeners would want to also know what's the problem with sodium lauryl sulfate.
Lara Adler 37:25
So sodium lauryl sulfate is not a toxic chemical, it's not an endocrine disruptor. It's not going to carcinogen. primary problem with sodium lauryl. sulfate is one it can be irritating, because it's a surface. So it's a surfactant, which just means the surface acting agent. And it's the thing that helps. It's what creates suds and helps kind of pull fats away and wash them down the drain. That's why like your shampoo has it because it foams it gets all that so I mean the fat oils and washes them out. There are other products that are surfactants that are not quite as irritating. And so one it's just it can be really drying and irritating to the skin. It can also be essentially what's referred to as a penetration enhancer. Which means because it's stripping fats and oils from your skin, it can kind of weaken the integrity of your skin and cause other ingredients in the product that may be problematic to kind of move through the layers of your skin and potentially get into your bloodstream. It's mostly I think, you know, it's not one of it's often on the sort of no list from a lot of low tops, companies that are using, you know, safer obedience and their personal hair products. It doesn't sit as high on the shelf is of concern as something like ballet does, but for some people it can be really irritating. The bigger concern is the chemical that's used to replace sodium lauryl sulfate because it can be irritating to the skin is sodium lauryl sulfate and it's Liu R T E th and so the E th and any chemical that has that E th so, so Tierra. There's a lot of chemicals that have this, that is an indication that the chemicals undergone a process called a fox oscillation. And during that chemical process, there is a very strong potential for a byproduct to be formed. It's not an ingredient. It's probably a byproduct from the chemical process called one four dioxane and that is a carcinogen. It's typically if it's present, it's present in extremely tiny amounts, but it is a known carcinogen. And it's just like I said on the triage list, I would much rather prioritize somebody taking out a paraben or thalli, which we absolutely know is going to be concerning versus an ingredient that may possibly have a byproduct. It may not have the byproducts, some companies can strip it out some company it's just it's a prioritizing.
Dr. Stephanie Gray 39:55
Okay, let's chemical question because I know we've gone a long time here. What about PCBs?
Lara Adler 39:58
PCBs are primarily going to be found in food at this point. So polyfluorinated by phenols. These are chemicals that were primarily banned in the 1970s. Because of their toxicity and persistence, they are endocrine disrupting, they are carcinogens. They are highly, highly persistent, in different combinations of PCBs can behave differently in the body. But generally speaking, they are toxic chemicals that we do want to avoid because of their persistence, they tend to accumulate in animals in adipose tissue. And so animal products are a primary source of PCB, including things like seafood, and farmed seafood in particular, and then high fat dairy products, you can go and look for pastured and organic meats and dairy, this does not mean that it's not going to have any toxic chemicals whatsoever, because these chemicals are just distributed in the environment, if your animals outside are animals outside, and it's grazing or eating other animals, or whatever, as in the case of fish that it can accumulate there. So our primary exposure sorts to PCBs is seafood, meat, and very
Dr. Stephanie Gray 41:08
awesome, thank you so much for really diving in all those endocrine disrupting chemicals we spent to spend any more. Those are just the ones that I wanted to ask you about today. And thank you also for just giving us tips on kind of triaging and how we can reduce anxiety over this whole topic because it can be very overwhelming and I have some patients who like it Post Traumatic Stress Disorder over I think they're avoiding something and then they find out they're getting it somewhere else and whatnot. So this has been wonderful, and I want to learn more. So I do want to ask you just a few more questions, especially about resources and courses you have available but before we get to that, I do want to ask how you do live in this world. So let me ask you what are your non negotiables like in your household? What is something that is not allowed? What are you 100% Oh,
Lara Adler 41:51
fragrance, like scented can't like I don't have scented candles or air fresheners. I hate it when people I mean like none no one in my immediate circles like a perfume where but like that I hate like I had to come for an interview about petsitting and she had so much perfume on and she like sat on my couch and it definitely like you know, days to dissipate. I was like dang. So that's one of my non negotiable
Dr. Stephanie Gray 42:21
kills. Anything else in your house? Obviously you do filter your water. How do you live in this world? What are your kind of, you've already given us some some steps. Obviously avoidance is important, but like what are maybe three to five things that you think are the biggest needle movers. They're just ways you've learned to live your life. If we kind of had to summarize this up to three to five things that you would recommend,
Lara Adler 42:45
I think, you know, one avoiding synthetic foods and voiding fragrance across the board right in as many places as possible household cleaners, personal care products, laundry products, scented home fragrances, just take those out, take them out, they're not necessary, right? Especially when it comes to like home fragrances like scented candles and sprays and diffusers and essential oils, I think fall into that category. A lot of people love essential oils. I don't frankly, they are volatile organic compounds. They can be irritants they can be respiratory irritants, allergenic triggers for people and I think I'm in the wellness space. There's this oversaturation of like diffuser oils and they do this and it's like that's these are highly highly concentrated chemicals that we never never would interact with in our in our normal everyday lives. If you want your house to smell like roses, go get some roses don't diffuse rose essential oil, whatever, right like as an example, but like they're highly highly concentrated, they're toxic to animals in a lot of cases. So they're not I think that misconception is, if something is natural, it's safe. If something is synthetic is toxic, there's not it's not that simple. Arsenic is natural, Mercury is natural, that is natural, opium, natural, all things that are highly toxic. So we have to dispel that belief so why not get rid of fragrances across the board. If you have the resources to prioritize organic foods whenever possible, it's not possible all the time filtering your water, switching to personal care products, not even just fragrance but that are you know, valet free and paraben free. And so those are sort of the big ones that are more accessible to people so those that's you know, that's just that's how I get that's my jam. That's how I do it. You know, everything is glass and metal and for food and and, you know, no plastics, i very i limit canned foods, very rarely have canned foods because canned foods contain BPA, I say no to cash register receipts. You know, like that's just that's how
Dr. Stephanie Gray 44:52
I do it. Top resources that our audience could I'm sure after listening to you, they want to hear more. So where can they find more Just some good resources in general on kind of avoiding toxins, but also tell us about your website where listeners can find you what courses you have available there as well,
Lara Adler 45:07
for people that I for anybody can come to my Instagram, which you can find me there at environmental toxins nerd. I'm not on Tik Tok yet, but I have that same handle so people can follow me there, and I'll start posting content there soon. And then my website, which is just Laura adler.com. My name, there's, like I said, in social media platform, it's education and information that is accessible for everybody. It still is designed for a health practitioner, health professional or somebody with a health based business. You know, one of the things that I teach, it's not just information and stats and this chemicals linked to that we do really have to learn how to talk about these exposures in ways that doesn't overwhelm people want people to bury their heads in the sand. And that is very much a developed skill. And so we work a lot with my students on how do we have this conversations in our businesses in ways that empowers people and doesn't overwhelm them that's not sensational or fear mongering. Because, look, it's 2023, the world's already a wild and scary place, we do not need more, you know, it might be clickbait, and get sort of social currency, but it doesn't actually earn actual currency for people that are doing this professionally. So if somebody is a health professional, or has a health based business, I really encourage you guys to come check out the courses that I teach. This is the core of what I do is educate and you can find all those courses that are listed up on my website under the Courses section. Yeah, I think that's it. Oh, other resources. So really great app and browser extension that I love is called Claria CLE. AR ya as a app. And as a browser extension, it basically scans ingredient lists on a handful of websites. So Amazon, target Walmart, Sephora, and I herb, I think are the five websites that they currently partner with. And so if the listing has ingredients, they will scan the ingredients, and they don't give a rating system. I don't like apps that use rating systems. They just highlight this one is green is fine. Yellow was orange is not great. Red has some toxicity issues. And then you can just decide from there. Do I want to buy this product or not? So I just feel like that's one of the best resources. They've also just actually it's not out yet. I have early access. It's not out yet. But they're updating their app. So you can actually scan barcodes on products. So you don't actually have to go to Amazon or support website are Target's website.
Dr. Stephanie Gray 47:44
I haven't heard of that clear. CLE AR ye a clear yet clear? Yeah,
Lara Adler 47:48
yeah, I just I think it's the it's the only app that I really recommend because it doesn't use a rating system and rating systems can inherently be problematic. Because if the methodology to develop that rating isn't great, then the score is less meaningful.
Dr. Stephanie Gray 48:05
Wonderful. Thank you for that. Okay, last question. Finally, your top longevity tip.
Lara Adler 48:09
Yeah, I'm just gonna say minimize exposure to environmental chemicals, period. And do your best
Dr. Stephanie Gray 48:15
make sense. And you can help them do that. This was awesome. Thank you. I know, this was a long interview. But thank you so much for coming on the show. And just sharing the danger of environmental toxins and how that you know, small amounts can really add up and sharing kind of what we can do to avoid that. That is probably on our side the most the avoidance piece. So this was wonderful. Thank you so much.
Lara Adler 48:33
Yeah, you're so welcome. Take care.
Dr. Stephanie Gray 48:38
Wow, toxic chemicals are everywhere. But as Laura says, you can live in this world and make small changes like avoiding fragrances and plastic and ultimately, this doesn't have to be expensive. Remember, the best water filter is the one that takes out the contaminants that you have. So consider getting your water tested with my tap score.com link of which I'll post in the show notes. Remember the best intervention when it comes to toxic exposure is avoidance. To hear more from Laura check out her Instagram at environmental toxic nerd and her website, Laura Adler that's la R a d l er.com. Be sure to check out my book your longevity blueprint. And if you aren't much of a reader, you're in luck. You can now take my course online where I walk you through each chapter in the book. Plus for a limited time the course is 50% off, check this offer out at your longevity blueprint.com and click the Course tab. One of the biggest things you can do to support the show and help us reach more listeners is to subscribe to the show. Leave us a rating and review on Apple podcasts or wherever you listen. I do read all the reviews and would truly love to hear your suggestions for show topics guests and for how you're applying what you learned on the show to create your own longevity blueprint. This podcast is produced by Team podcast. Thank you so much for listening and remember, wellness is waiting
the information provided In this podcast is educational no information provided should be considered to be or used as a substitute for medical advice diagnosis or treatment always consult with your personal medical authority
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