Heavy metals are a part of modern living. They are found in our water, consumer products, foods and other everyday places. It’s difficult to avoid lead, cadmium, mercury or aluminum (which is not technically a heavy metal since it tends to be soft, but it can still have damaging effects on the body). Even though metals can be hard to avoid completely, taking some precautionary measures can drastically reduce your exposure. Here are some of my preferred ways to eliminate toxic heavy metals from your day-to-day life:
1. Make the Switch: Switch from aluminum-containing deodorants to aluminum-free options. Most health food stores and some grocery stores offer aluminum-free deodorants or you can make your own with two simple ingredients.
2. Bake Up a Better Batch: Stop using most varieties of baking powder in your baking. If the label doesn’t indicate whether the baking powder you use contains aluminum, assume it does. Most health food stores and grocery stores carry aluminum-free baking powder.
3. Kick the Habit. Quit smoking. Cigarettes usually contain cadmium. According to Dr. J. Robert Hatherhill, PhD, author of The Brain Gate, smoking one pack of cigarettes daily exposes your body to ten times more cadmium than a person’s body can handle each day. Be sure to avoid secondhand smoke as well.
4. Filter Out the Metals. Filter your drinking water. Tap water frequently contains cadmium and lead. This is especially an issue if you live in an older home with lead pipes.
5. Slay the Spray: Avoid using pesticides on your lawn, flowers or indoors since many pesticides contain cadmium, which can be linked to blood pressure issues (both low and high blood pressure, and kidney damage).
6. Can the Cans: Reduce your consumption of canned goods as the solder can contain lead.
7. Leave Peeling Paints Alone: If you live in an older home, do not peel off paint on the wall. Use a professional skilled in sealing or removing lead from homes. Older paints frequently contain lead.
8. Nix the Wicks: Choose candles that have lead-free wicks. Many commercial varieties of candles contain lead in the wick. On that note, you’ll want to avoid most commercial candles for other reasons as well: most are made from petroleum byproducts and the scents used can cause many health issues.
9. Select Superior Seafood: If you eat fish, choose varieties that tend to be lower in mercury. Some of the worst culprits for mercury include: halibut, king mackerel, shark, swordfish, tilefish, tune, and farmed salmon. Some of the lowest levels of mercury tend to be found in: haddock, wild or Pacific salmon, sardines, and tilapia.
10. Cherry-Pick the Best Produce: Choose organic produce as much as possible to avoid cadmium-containing pesticides used in the growing of non-organic fruits, vegetables, grains, nuts, seeds and legumes.