The impact of chemicals on health

Alternative Medicine Overland Park, KS

Chemical exposure occurs on a daily basis. Harmful substances can enter the body through eating, drinking, absorption of the skin, and even breathing. While some chemical exposures are considered safe, being aware of how chemicals affect the body is important. People can respond to chemical exposure in very different ways. Some may come into contact with chemicals and never be harmed, while others may get very sick. In other cases, negative side effects only occur if the chemical was exposed to a person for long periods of time. While there are a number of different physical responses, it is important to understand the link between chemicals, harmful substances, and the potential effects it can have on your health.

Potential health risks

According to the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry, there are several factors that can affect the health risk of chemicals, this includes:

  • The type of chemical you were exposed to,
  • the amount of chemical you were in contact with,
  • when and how long you were exposed,
  • how often you were exposed,
  • how you were exposed (through water, food, air, products, etc.), and
  • your age and general state of health

Depending on your general health, some people may be more sensitive to chemicals than others. Groups at higher risk include children, pregnant women, and seniors.

Potential health effects of chemicals

Immediate side effects of incorrect use or an accident involving household chemicals can cause burns and poisoning. Household products include cleaning liquids, powders, polishes, drain cleaners, paint thinners, and windshield washer fluids. Long-term health effects can also occur. Usually this is a result from exposure over a long period of time. Depending on the type of chemical and length of exposure long term health effects include:

  • Organ damage
  • Respiratory issues
  • Dermatitis
  • Weakened immune system
  • Reproductive problems
  • Birth defects
  • Effects on cognitive or physical development in children
  • Cancer

It is essential to note that many household products are safely designed to make our lives easier, more efficient, and healthier. However understanding the proper use, storage, and disposal is vital for protecting you and other’s health.

How to reduce your risk

The human body is amazing, and has a great defense system. Typically the body is able to clear any potential harmful or toxic substances. However there are some steps you can do to protect yourself and others from chemical risks.

  • Be aware of chemicals in everyday products and follow the directions on the product when using these chemicals.
  • Wash your hands.
  • Wash vegetables and fruit before consumption.
  • Keep the home well ventilated during use of household products.
  • Limit intake of high mercury fish and follow local fish advisories
  • Avoid cigarette smoke.
  • Dispose of batteries, electronics, paint, etc. properly.
  • Keep all chemical products locked up and out of reach of children and animals.
  • Consume foods such as vegetables, and fruits, which are high in antioxidants.

If you are concerned about the level of toxins you are exposed to from household products, consider switching to natural cleaning products.  

Chemical exposure happens on a daily basis, however taking the proper precautions and being aware of the exposure is the first step in protecting your health. If you are concerned about the level of chemicals or harmful substances you are exposed to, consider consulting with a doctor of alternative medicine Overland Park KS offers at LifeWorks Integrative Health who can help assess your needs and create a holistic plan for you.

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