How Is Microplastic Toxicity Impacting Your Health

Written by Transformation coach and wellness advisor, Dr. Christina Blanchard-Horan. 

A Step-by-Step Plan to Cleanse Away Plastics and Harmful Chemicals from Your Home

How’s your health? After receiving a cancer diagnosis last year, like so many other Americans, I wanted to know why. I had a pretty good diet, exercised regularly, and considered myself healthy. I decided to take this opportunity to educate myself about the causes of cancer and explore natural treatments that I could incorporate into my life. Drawing from my experience of conducting research, I delved into the causes of cancer and sought ways to enhance my chances of survival using natural solutions.


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Microplastics: The Unseen Threat


Microplastics have infiltrated every corner of our environment. These minuscule plastic particles, measuring less than 5mm in size, are omnipresent. It’s staggering to consider that there are estimated to be billions of tons of microplastics in our air and water. These fragments come from a range of sources, including the breakdown of larger plastic items, microbeads in personal care products, and even synthetic fibers shed from our clothing during washing.


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Plastic Emissions: The Invisible Danger


But what exactly do plastics emit, and why should we be concerned? In more accessible terms, let’s decode the jargon. Plastics emit a range of substances, and understanding why this matters is crucial. To put it in simpler terms, let’s break down the technical language. When we talk about what plastics emit, we’re referring to the release of volatile organic compounds (VOCs). These are chemicals that can easily turn into gases and enter the air we breathe. Many VOCs are found in everyday things like paints, cleaning products, and even the materials used to make plastics themselves. Now, why should we be concerned? Well, VOCs can have short- and long-term effects on our health. Imagine being in a room where the air is filled with these chemicals – it’s like breathing in a mix of potentially harmful substances. What’s more, indoor concentrations of VOCs can be up to ten times higher than outdoor levels, which means our homes and workplaces might have higher levels of these emissions. This matters because some VOCs can contribute to various health issues such as cancer, and reducing our exposure to them is essential for our well-being.

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) defines volatile organic compounds (VOCs) as compounds that easily evaporate into the air. Many VOCs are human-made chemicals found in everyday items like paints, pharmaceuticals, and cleaning agents. They are also present in industrial solvents, fuels, and various manufacturing processes. Unfortunately, VOCs are not confined to industries; they are often part of our indoor air as well.

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Microplastics Impact Human Health


Now, let’s connect the dots between microplastics, VOCs, and human health. What are the repercussions of ingesting microplastics and being exposed to VOCs? The research is shedding light on some concerning possibilities. Microplastics can enter our bodies through various routes, including ingestion, inhalation, and dermal contact. These tiny particles can carry contaminants and endocrine-disrupting chemicals that pose a threat to our well-being.

According to the American Lung Association website, “Breathing VOCs can irritate the eyes, nose and throat, can cause difficulty breathing and nausea, and can damage the central nervous system and other organs. Some VOCs can cause cancer.”


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Hormone Systems and Endocrine Disruption


Speaking of endocrine disruption, microplastics have been found to interfere with the human endocrine system. This is the complex network of hormones that regulates crucial bodily functions. Even small disturbances can lead to significant health issues. Microplastics contain additives, such as plasticizers and flame retardants, which can mimic hormones and disrupt the delicate hormonal balance. This disruption has been linked to various health problems, including reproductive issues, developmental disorders, and yes, an increased risk of certain cancers.


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Addressing Hidden Threats to Health


Microplastics and VOCs are silent threats that have found their way into our daily lives. The potential health consequences of exposure to these substances are concerning, especially given their pervasiveness. By making informed choices and adopting healthier habits, we can take significant steps toward reducing our exposure to these harmful substances. Removing plastics from our immediate surroundings, choosing safer alternatives, and advocating for a plastic-free future are vital actions that can contribute to our well-being and the health of our planet.



Detoxing Your Home from Plastics: Taking Action


The question remains, what can we do to protect ourselves from the potential health risks associated with microplastics and VOCs? Here are some steps you can take to minimize your exposure:

  1. Ditch the Plastic: Start by removing as much plastic as possible from your home. Opting for glass containers instead of plastic ones for storing food and beverages. This simple swap can significantly reduce your plastic exposure.
  2. Mind Your Food: Be conscious of plastic packaging, especially when it comes to storing or heating food. Take food out of plastic it comes wrapped in, wash with a veggie wash or lemon water and place in a fruit and veggies basket. You can pop it in the fridge at night and pull it out during the day so loved ones can reach for a healthy snack. Avoid microwaving food in plastic containers and consider using glass or ceramic alternatives.
  3. Purify Your Air: Invest in air purifiers to help eliminate toxins from your indoor environment and leave you with a more relaxed feeling. This can contribute to reducing your overall VOC exposure.
  4. Choose Natural Cleaning Products: Switch to natural cleaning products that are free from VOCs and other harmful chemicals. This choice benefits both your health and the environment.
  5. Educate and Advocate: Spread awareness about microplastic pollution and its potential health impacts. Support policies and initiatives aimed at reducing plastic usage and promoting responsible waste management.

What are other ways that people remove toxins from their bodies?


Detoxification is a popular practice aimed at eliminating toxins from the body to enhance overall well-being. While there are various approaches, it’s important to note that the body’s natural detoxification systems, primarily involving the liver, kidneys, and digestive tract, work continuously to process and eliminate toxins. Nevertheless, some people opt for additional methods to support these processes. Here are some ways people remove toxins from their bodies:


  1. Hydration: Staying well-hydrated is crucial for proper detoxification. Drinking plenty of water helps flush toxins from the body through urine, sweat, and other bodily fluids. Adding a slice of lemon or cucumber to your water can provide antioxidants and aid digestion.
  2. Healthy Diet: Consuming a diet rich in whole foods, including fruits, vegetables, lean proteins, whole grains, and healthy fats, provides essential nutrients that support the body’s detoxification pathways. Fiber from plant-based foods aids digestion and helps remove waste and toxins.
  3. Herbal Teas: Herbal teas like dandelion root, milk thistle, and ginger can have detoxifying properties. These teas are often consumed to support liver function and promote the elimination of waste products.
  4. Sauna or Steam Therapy: Sweating is a natural way for the body to eliminate toxins. Saunas and steam rooms can induce sweating, promoting the release of toxins through the skin. This can also provide relaxation and stress relief.
  5. Physical Activity: Regular exercise improves blood circulation and supports the lymphatic system, which plays a role in toxin removal. Sweating during physical activity helps release toxins stored in fat cells.
  6. Intermittent Fasting: Intermittent fasting involves cycling between periods of eating and fasting. This practice may help the body process toxins more efficiently and improve insulin sensitivity.
  7. Deep Breathing and Meditation: Stress can contribute to toxin accumulation. Practices like deep breathing, meditation, and yoga can help reduce stress and support the body’s natural detoxification processes.
  8. Colon Cleanses: Some people choose colon cleansing methods, such as enemas or colon hydrotherapy, to remove waste and toxins from the colon. However, these methods should be approached cautiously and under professional guidance.
  9. Supplements: Certain supplements, such as probiotics, antioxidants, and specific herbs, are believed to aid detoxification. Consult a healthcare professional before adding supplements to your routine.
  10. Reducing Environmental Exposures: Minimizing exposure to environmental toxins is crucial for long-term detoxification. This includes using natural cleaning products, choosing organic foods, and avoiding plastics and harmful chemicals.
  11. Sleep: Quality sleep is essential for the body’s natural detoxification processes. During sleep, the brain’s glymphatic system clears waste products and toxins.
  12. Mindful Eating: Practicing mindful eating involves paying close attention to the sensory experience of eating and enjoying each bite. This approach can help prevent overeating and support digestion.


It’s important to approach detoxification practices with caution and avoid extreme methods that promise rapid results. Consult a healthcare professional before making significant changes to your diet or lifestyle, especially if you have underlying health conditions. Additionally, focus on adopting sustainable habits that promote overall health and well-being rather than pursuing short-term fixes



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  4. “What are volatile organic compounds (VOCs).” Retrieved from the US Environmental Protection Agency website on 28 August 2023. Link
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  8. Di Mauro, A., Rotini, A., & Manfra, L. (2019). Microplastics in the Marine Environment: Sources, Consequences and Solutions. In Microplastic Contamination in Aquatic Environments (pp. 1-17). Elsevier. DOI: 10.1016/B978-0-12-813747-5.00001-4
  9. Betts, K. (2018). Plastics everywhere: Recyclable and disposable. Environmental Health Perspectives, 126(11), 115001. DOI: 10.1289/EHP3587
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