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Toxins of the Past : How We Used to Unknowingly Poison Ourselves Part I

This is part I of a two part article that I just couldn’t stop writing once all the toxic materials came to my mind that have been banned since the time I was alive.

It’s amazing when you look back at some of the ingredients we used to allow in everything that came into contact with the human nose (inhaled), skin and belly.  Whether it was an ingredient or material used in drywall, a toxic metal found in paints of yesteryear, or toxic ingredients in our skin or body care, we used to really unknowingly douse ourselves with chemicals, neurotoxins and cancer causing materials daily.

At least these days we are more educated on what we should and should not allow in our lives as far as toxic materials.  However, it doesn’t mean there still aren’t plenty of toxins that we are aware of that are still allowed in a wide range of products.

You have the whole lead paint issue that came up somewhere in the seventies when it was discovered that paints containing lead  were actually toxic to the human system. Since lead paint had been used on so many houses, people were actually inhaling the fumes and coming into contact with the lead on their skin as well.

As you know, most heavy metals are toxic to the human body and can even collect in the brain. Same thing goes for aluminum, but that is still used in many underarm deodorants as a means of plugging up the sweat glands.

It does collect in the tissues, and this collection can be toxic over time. There is also evidence showing that it may contribute to alzheimers since it collects in the brain over time.

Insulation for homes used to contain a particularly dangerous particle called fiberglass. These tiny fibers can be easily inhaled into the lungs where they can irritate lung tissue.  Men and women who worked in construction with this type of material were often exposed to long term particle inhalation. They do wear masks, but there is still some risk of inhalation. It has been linked to lung cancer if exposure happens fairly often.

Asbestos is another toxic chemical that has been banned in the construction of homes, but not before it did plenty of damage. Asbestos also emits small inhalable particles that are extremely toxic to the human body over time. It was ripped out in many buildings where it was used once the dangers became apparent, but in many cases it was too little too late.

More to come on the next one. The next article starts with one of the most fascinating of the stories – Madame Curie, the founder (cofounder) of radium and polonium and coiner of radioactivity.

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