I was going for my morning jog down to the beach today, like I do every day (but sometimes it’s a bike ride on the beach or inside Pilates when it’s  raining ) and it is the most beautiful spring day we have had so far. Fresh air in my lungs, about to get the sea air into my lungs.  A man was in his front yard spraying weed killer (glyphosate) everywhere. And when I say everywhere, he wasn’t spot spraying he was spraying the whole lawn. So I ran down a side street to get away from this poison.

Such as downer, but the good thing is it has inspired me to write a blog on toxins! Well, some of them anyway….


Pesticides are chemicals which destroy the cells or nervous system of a living thing, be it a weed or an insect. It makes sense it can affect the cells and nervous systems of any living thing!

When I worked in a naturopathy clinic in the Adelaide hills I saw some of the most unhealthiest people from farms and vineyards who regularly used chemicals on their gardens, crops, vineyards and around their own homes.

The Australian department of health have warned the public about the use of pesticides,

please see the excerpt below. The first sentence is a bit scary!

Disadvantages of using pesticides

  • If pesticides are not used correctly, they can affect human health or cause serious injury or death to the pesticide operator, other people or household pets.
  • Pesticides can also directly affect other non-target animals. For example, a gardener spraying his garden to kill caterpillars will probably also kill harmless ladybird beetles and praying mantises.
  • If pesticides are used incorrectly or applied wrongly, they may find their way into places where they are not wanted, for example, they might be washed into rivers or into the soil.
  • Pesticides can enter the food chain

And here is a Government list of pesticides and their trade names https://www.environment.gov.au/protection/publications/ocp-trade-names


Glyphosate (Round Up) is a chemical used in weed killers that has been around since the 1970’s. This was after DDT was banned. DDT has been found to be effecting the environment 20 years later (1)


The Environmental health association or EPA, have been long interested in the reduction of chemicals in your environment. This link tells about the so called ‘inert’ chemicals have been proven to kill human cells


And if you think it is safe, think again. We were once told asbestos and DDT was safe and look at what has happened years later. They are both now banned worldwide because they are dangerous. Also, Monsanto, the people who make these chemicals are one of the biggest companies in the world (who produce GE/ GMO seeds and Round Up ) they clearly have the money to make it sound safe and try and stop any bad press. (and I am sure no one can afford to sue them, as they a multi billion dollar corporation).


Fly sprays are used regularly by many people without a thought. Permethrin is a common ingredient in fly and surface sprays and has been found to a potential endocrine disruptor and to be mutagenic in humans (2)

It is a very wise idea to use fly spray when only absolutely necessary, as there are many natural options available such as fly traps and insect ‘zappers’.

Brad the ‘bug man’ from March Biological control says;

‘ Was using chemical sprays ever safe? Certainly not. Sure the fly sprays don’t affect us right away like it affects the flies and other insects. But when fly spray is used, we do inhale it and repeated use of it enables the toxic chemicals to accumulate in our body till it reaches an amount when it will affect us. ‘ (3)

DEET which is a common ingredient in mosquito repellents, is absorbed through the kidneys and skin and its highly toxic with repeated usage.

“ It’s a scary chemical, and it’s definitely to be used only as a last resort, if at all, to protect yourself from insect bites” said Ronnie Cummins, national director of the Organic Consumers Association, based in Minnesota. (4)

I think that’s enough said to encourage people not to use it.


This is a personal story for me. I became very ill when I was exposed to white ant treatment (done against my will as I was not the owner of the house ) in a home I was living in some time ago. It affected my nervous system so much I could hardly walk for 2 or 3 months. It was debilitating and similar to Multiple Sclerosis. It was frightening. It made me very concerned that it may happen to others.

There are a few commonly used white ant treatments which are all considered toxic to humans.  This information from the government will tell you how toxic these chemicals are. Some are highly toxic. Check this out!



Our skin is our biggest organ. So it makes sense not to cover it in chemicals! We absorb everything we put on our skin. Did you know before a woman leaves the house in the morning she can potentially expose herself to around 100 chemicals. This is from soaps, hair products, perfumes, deodorant or antiperspirants, skin care and make up! Then hopefully she doesn’t get into a brand new car as it will out gas formaldehyde (nervous system toxin) and plasticisers (hormone disruptors) for up to a year. Keep your windows down if this is you! A good tip is to place cut up onions around the car to absorbs the outgassing. Weird I know, but it really works….

Parabens in cosmetics are now well known as contributing to cancer. These chemical are used as a preservative and can be called anything from ‘methylparaben’ to ‘butylparaben’.

Aluminium is used in antiperspirants. It gets absorbed directly into the lymphatic system and has been linked with Alzheimer’s disease and breast cancer. See more at Pub Med https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/12123643 and https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/9575492.


Chlorine and  fluoride are known are ‘ halogens’ and both Inhibit the absorption of iodine. Iodine deficiency is leading to more people becoming pre-disposed to thyroid gland dysfunction or disease and to some cancers.

Chlorine is a pesticide and its sole purpose is to kill living organisms. When we consume water containing chlorine, it destroys cells and tissue inside our body. Dr. Robert Carlson, a highly respected University of Minnesota researcher whose work is sponsored by the Federal Environmental Protection Agency, sums it up, “the chlorine problem is similar to that of air pollution” and adds that “chlorine is the greatest crippler and killer of modern times!” (5)

‘Research conducted on the health effects of chlorinated drinking water have demonstrated a variety of toxicity issues. Several studies have found that communities using chlorinated or chloraminated drinking water have an increased risk of bladder, kidney, and rectal cancers ‘(6)

Hopefully you filter your drinking water so you don’t ingest chlorine, but what about showering or bathing In it? Studies show that we absorb up to 50 times more chlorine through our lungs and skin than when we drink it.

“The steam we inhale while showering can contain up to 50 times the level of chemicals than tap water, due to the fact that chlorine and most other contaminants vaporize much faster and at a lower temperature than water. Inhalation is a much more harmful means of exposure since the chlorine gas (chloroform) we inhale goes directly into our blood stream”. (7)


We are all going to get exposed to heavy metals unwillingly, whether we like it or not.  Petrol fumes contain lead or cadmium and even some light globes contain mercury!

But willingly, you have a choice. Heavy metals we can avoid are found in makeup/ cosmetics (especially the well-known brands), Dental amalgam fillings, in some fish and our water supply.

The law states that mercury is not allowed to be placed in landfill because of its toxicity, yet its placed into our teeth!

Mercury is also found in some vaccinations in the form of thimerosal (8) along with formaldehyde (commonly found in flu’ vaccinations).

We all know the incidences or cancer are a lot higher in places like Port Pire and Broken Hill from lead exposure. Lead is known to be unsafe in any levels in the body. This link will show you the evidence


Arsenic is found in insecticides and pesticides. (9)  It’s worth buying organic produce for that reason, especially rice which is very high in arsenic. (unless of course its organic, which is very readily available in supermarkets).


Most people know about BPA nowadays. Or have at least seen the BPA free bottles you can buy everywhere. Bisphenol-A (BPA) is a well know endocrine (hormone system) disruptor. But plastics still contain other chemicals that are harmful such as phthalates and diethylstilbestrol which can leach from the plastics especially with heating.  Cling wrap is also toxic and the chemicals can leach into your food. See this article for more information.



There are also many chemicals in household cleaning products and clothes detergents. If you are using a highly perfumed clothes ‘brightening and whitening’ detergent, then it is being absorbed from your clothes through your skin. Some use very fine glass crystals that make the clothes appear brighter. This can irritate the skin and break down its natural barrier. Household cleaning products commonly contain ammonium and bleach which are toxins I would suggest to avoid. There are so many natural alternatives, even white vinegar and Bi-carb soda do the trick for most cleaning jobs!

Will you re-assess your chemical exposure? There are so many natural alternatives nowadays that it would be healthier and wiser to reduce your exposure to chemicals.  After all, we are killing our planet, but in the meantime, we are killing ourselves with toxin overload. Some scientists are predicting that we are sending ourselves into extinction as a human race…….now that is scary……

Supermarkets and health food shops all have natural alternatives to these chemical laden products. They are easy to find, and even easier online! This company has a passion for it


And for people who have the time and love ‘do it yourself’ for natural recipes check out Australia’s  Shannon Lush at    http://shannonlush.com/

For anyone that is interested to find out more and maybe explore the option of doing a detox (and I don’t mean starving yourself), then please come in for a consultation and I will give you a complimentary book, “ Your guide to detox” .

You can contact me on 0419 106 019 or at kated@katedrivernaturopath.com.au


1 http://www.abc.net.au/local/stories/2007/10/09/2054547.htm

2 http://www.dontspraycalifornia.org/Permethrin%20Safety%20Review.htm

3 http://marchbiological.com/how-dangerous-can-fly-spray-be/

4 https://www.organicconsumers.org/old_articles/bodycare/deet.php


6 & 8  http://www.globalhealingcenter.com/natural-health/chlorine-cancer-and-heart-disease/

7 https://chriskresser.com/is-your-daily-shower-making-you-sick/

8 http://www.drlwilson.com/articles/MERCURY.htm

9 http://familywellnesshq.com/heavy-metals-sources-toxicity/



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