Toxicities – Integumentary System

Toxicities is another term for toxins. Different ranges of toxicity may affect the organs of the human body especially the integumentary system which includes your skin, hair, nails, oil and sweat glands. The integumentary system provides protective and out covering for the physical body – namely the skin, which is the body’s largest eliminative organ and aids in the elimination of wastes and by-products from metabolism. It also maintains the body’s temperature. Toxins are categorized according to the location or locations of the toxic effect. When toxic effects occur at multiple sites or in multiple organs it is referred to as systemic toxicity.

As I mentioned in earlier blogs most human body’s today are toxic. Meaning they are more acidic than alkaline. Toxicity can be caused from many sources – the food we eat, and the chemicals we are exposed to on a daily basis, such as household cleaning solutions, sprays, etc. Chemicals enter the body in three main ways: as inhaled vapors, absorbed through the skin, or ingested (eaten). Symptoms of toxicity may include sleepiness or fatigue, headaches, nausea, nosebleed, tingling of the extremities, scratchiness, or swelling, allergies, skin rashes, eczema, psoriasis, splitting of the skin, boils, pimples (related to the lymphatic system) and etc.

Systemic toxicities include: Acute – occurring almost immediately after an exposure to chemicals; Subchronic toxicity – results from repeated exposure for several weeks or months; Chronic toxicity causes cumulative damage to specific organ systems and takes many months or years before the damage is recognized; Carcinogenic toxicity is – a complex multi-stage process of abnormal cell growth which can result in cancer; Developmental toxicity – is developed in the embryo; and Genetic toxicity – results from damage to DNA.

Once toxicants enter the body, they may be stored in the body or distributed throughout the body by way of the circulatory system.

It is important to maintain a chemical balance in our bodies. Exposure to toxins does not only occur in the home, but may also occur in the workplace, churches, public buildings, and stores where you shop. Clothing stores and churches wreak havoc with me.

Toxins eventually cause all kinds of dis-eases, communicable or contagious when they move from one person to another. As humans, we have some level of immunity, but the level of protection varies with age, health and a range of other factors. The skin, of course, is our first line of defense. Transmission may be ‘direct’ or indirect’ by way of contact and/or inhalation. Germs (also known as microbes), which are a mode of contamination, are everywhere – toilets, on money, hair and nails, on every surface imaginable, ventilation systems, and even bars of soap, etc.

It is the responsibility of everyone to control exposure to pathogens, for yourself and all who are around you, by decontaminating your environment.

How do you avoid exposure to toxicities? Through sanitation? Sanitation provides a minimum level of cleanliness. It will reduce germs on a surface, but will not kill all toxic organisms. Hand washing? Hand washing is like a “do-it-yourself” vaccine, and is the best way to prevent infection and illness. There are many instructions in the world today telling you about ‘hand hygiene’ practices. Check them out.

Other means of avoiding exposure to toxicities include: Sterilization and Disinfection (mostly used in hospitals). 1) Disinfectants are chemical agents that destroy contamination. They can be dangerous and should be used with caution. They can be used on surfaces, but not on the skin. They are able to kill viruses, fungus and dangerous bacteria. Numbered among Household Disinfectants are: products used to clean floors, doorknobs, walls, sinks, tubs, toilets etc. 2) Bleach, liquid or aerosol, is a disinfectant which must always be used with caution (follow the directions on the label of the container), because it can release toxic fumes. Liquid bleach should be used mostly for washing towels and other laundry. Aerosol type bleach and liquid types of this product containers should be kept closed, so they cannot release vapors into the air. 3) Keep rooms well ventilatedremember that hazardous chemicals do not always smell bad. In dental offices and especially dental labs, carbon tetrachloride was, in the old days, used to melt the wax on denture utensils for making false teeth. Wow – did it smell good!  BUT, unknown to me, it was and still is, a deadly poison. It has caused the death of many, in the dental field, who inhaled the fumes, causing all sorts of health issues. In those days the use of face masks was not encouraged. I know this because I worked in my dad’s dental lab and used this deadly chemical. I am lucky it didn’t affect me, but then I did not work with it on a regular basis. An article, I read later, in the local newspaper confirmed the effect ‘carbon tetrachloride’ had on dentists. I surmised that was one of the things that lead to my dad’s heart problems which eventually led to his early demise. 4) Do not eat and drink in areas where there is exposure to toxic chemical vapors in the way of dust and/or powdery substances.  Hot liquids will even absorb vapors from the air. 5) Cover wastebaskets and/or garbage cans and empty the waste containers often. 6) Protect your eyes, wear safety glasses; avoid chemicals from aerosol containers which produce a fine mist or tiny droplets of chemicals that evaporate into the air and can be inhaled. 7) Check out the scientific names of the chemicals on the labels of the products you choose to use. If you cannot pronounce them, don’t use the product. Use safer product alternatives.

  • PREVENTION:
  • Whenever possible, use a safer product alternative instead of a product with known harmful chemical ingredients.
  • Ensure proper ventilation in your home or work place.
  • Ensure enough air is circulating to clear hazardous fumes from the air when possible.
  • Open the doors and the windows.
  • Use less toxic, safer, natural products.
  • Use pumps instead of aerosol containers.
  • Use products with low volatile organic compound content.
  • Use non-toxic products for disinfecting and cleaning.
  • Fortify your body from exposure to toxicity by taking vitamins or supplements in the natural herbal form.
  • Fortify from the inside out.
  • Detox. Always clean out the liver to clean the skin so the skin can serve its function as an eliminative organ – eliminating as much waste each day as your kidneys and bowels. Keep your integumentary system healthy.

Conclusion: From Melaleuca – The Wellness Company: ” A new independent study based on 20 years of research reveals a sobering fact; cleaning your home with common, well-known grocery store brands made with ammonia, chlorine bleach, quaternary disinfectant compounds, and other dangerous chemicals significantly damages lung tissue in women. In fact, the study showed that cleaning with such products as little as once per week was as damaging over time to respiratory health as smoking a pack of cigarettes a day for 20 years!” 

In my opinion, this also holds true for products used for hair, skin, and nail care. Most hair, skin and nail care products, all, contain a dangerous, toxic, chemical ingredient that plays havoc with the natural wellness of the body. Knowing and understanding the chemical makeup of the body can help to identify any problems you may have to toxic chemical products.

PREVENTION, PREVENTION, PREVENTION – is always worth more than a pound of cure.

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