The Environmental Toxin Exposure Index: Assessing Your Body’s Encounter with Pollutants

Introduction to Environmental Toxins and Their Impact

Regardless of where you live, your body will be exposed to harmful toxins to some degree. These substances are produced and live in our surroundings due to human activity. While you may not have complete control over your environment and what your body absorbs, there are still ways to be proactive with your health and minimize the harmful effects of these substances.

In this blog, we’ll look at the following topics:

What are Environmental Toxins?

“Environmental toxins” is an umbrella term for any substances or organisms living in the environment that have a negative effect on your health. These include carcinogenesis (cancer formations), cardiovascular, respiratory, or neurological disorders, and other environmental toxicants.

The Theriome 12 Metabolic Blood Test: A Comprehensive Health Assessment

At Theriome, we offer a unique approach to health assessment that sets us apart from other at-home microbiome test kits. We focus on 12 essential metabolic pillars to provide a comprehensive view of your well-being. These include,

  • Liver Health
  • Gut Health
  • Cardiovascular Health
  • Inflammatory Score
  • Environmental Toxin Exposure Index
  • Neurocognitive Index
  • Nutritional Index
  • Mutation Load
  • Aging Index
  • Integumentary Health
  • Reproductive Health
  • Mitochondrial Health

You’ll receive your test results in the form of a personalized score from 1 to 10, empowering you to take control of your health journey.

Emphasis on the Environmental Toxin Exposure Index as a Vital Metabolic Pillar

The Theriome 12 Metabolic Blood Test evaluates how much exposure your body has to harmful environmental toxins and pollutants. This includes looking at current levels of the toxins in your bloodstream. For example, the toxins testing looks for cancer-causing carcinogens such as benzene, asbestos, and arsenic.

The Pervasiveness of Environmental Toxins

Studies have shown that exposure to toxic substances during early childhood may affect the lungs and increase the risk of certain health conditions. Environmental toxins can cause significant harm to humans through chronic exposure. That said, these toxins come from particular sources, and this causes some individuals to experience greater exposure than others.

Common Sources of Environmental Toxins

Agricultural and Land-Based Sources

  • Pesticides
  • Herbicides
  • Fertilizers
  • Improper disposal of solid waste, hazardous waste, and electronic waste

Residential and Consumer Sources

  • Cleaning agents
  • Paints
  • Solvents
  • Insecticides

Industrial and Manufacturing Sources

  • Industrial Emissions from factories
  • Chemical Manufacturing
  • Mining and Resource Extraction

Transportation and Energy Sources

  • Cars and trucks
  • Ships and airplanes
  • Power plants

Natural and Ecological Sources

  • Natural Events. Volcanic eruptions and wildfires can release pollutants into the atmosphere.
  • Marine and Ship Pollution. Ships and vessels can release pollutants into oceans and coastal areas.

How Toxins Enter and Accumulate in the Body

Toxins can enter the human body through inhalation, consumption, and skin absorption. This means that everyday factors such as the foods you eat, the air you breathe, and even the surfaces you come into contact with can increase toxin levels in the bloodstream. Over time, these toxins build up in the body, increasing your risk of certain health conditions and diseases.

The Long-Term Effects of Toxin Exposure on Health

Chronic exposure to toxins interferes with the body’s ability to function correctly. These toxins can damage the enzymes that vital organs rely on to keep you healthy. Some of the consequences as a result include:

  • Coughing
  • Skin irritation or rashes
  • Swelling
  • Confusion or dizziness
  • Shortness of breath
  • Loss of coordination
  • Insomnia
  • Tremors
  • Organ damage
  • Weakened immune system
  • Fibrosis
  • Emphysema
  • Bronchitis
  • Lung cancer

Delving into the Environmental Toxin Exposure Index

The body will always have some amount of toxins. For example, everyone has a small amount of mercury in their body. Likewise, the body can process small amounts of ammonia and remove it through urine waste without complications. Environmental toxin testing looks at each of the toxins existing in your bloodstream and evaluates whether they’re at safe or dangerous levels.

What the Index Measures: Key Toxins and Pollutants

The index looks at environmental pollutants, chemicals, or hazardous substances. There are several toxins commonly found in the environment, including:

  • Heavy Metals (lead, mercury, cadmium, arsenic)
  • Pesticides and Herbicides
  • Air Pollutants
  • Persistent Organic Pollutants (POPs)
  • Asbestos
  • Radon
  • Chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs)
  • Phthalates
  • Per- and Polyfluoroalkyl Substances (PFAS)
  • Radioactive Waste

Interpreting the Results: Understanding Your Exposure Level

Your test gives you a score between one and ten based on your body’s exposure to environmental toxins. With this information, you can evaluate external factors that may impact your score, such as your neighborhood, where you work, and the foods you eat.

The Connection Between High Toxin Exposure and Health Risks

Plenty of research has revealed the dangerous connection between toxicant exposure and harm to the human body.

  • Several studies found that PFAS exposure (a toxic chemical found in water-resistant fabrics, cleaning products, and paints) led to testicular and kidney cancer, thyroid disease, ulcerative colitis, high cholesterol, and pregnancy-induced hypertension.
  • Lab tests and research involving individuals exposed to asbestos showed that asbestos exposure can lead to adverse health effects and elevate the likelihood of developing various severe conditions, such as asbestosis, mesothelioma, and lung cancer.
  • Research from Harvard University, the University of Birmingham, the University of Leicester, and University College London revealed that in 2018, over 8 million people died due to the effects of fossil fuel pollution.
  • The Cleveland Clinic reported that untreated cases of toxic metals poisoning can lead to irreversible symptoms like brain damage and kidney and liver failure.

Health Implications of Prolonged Toxin Exposure

Various toxins exist in the environment, some being more detrimental than others and existing in higher amounts depending on location. If you’re experiencing adverse health symptoms, these can indicate a toxin-exposure-related problem. Make sure you make an appointment with your doctor for any severe or persistent symptoms you’re experiencing for a proper diagnosis.

Below is a list of toxins in the environment and chronic health problems caused by prolonged exposure to these.

Toxins and Their Role in Chronic Diseases  

Heavy Metals

  • Gastrointestinal and kidney dysfunction
  • Nervous system disorders
  • Vascular damage
  • Immune system dysfunction
  • Cancer

Pesticides and Herbicides

  • Leukemia
  • Lymphoma
  • Cancers of the brain, breasts, prostate, testes and ovaries
  • Parkinson’s Disease

Air Pollutants

  • Stroke
  • Asthma
  • Ischaemic heart disease
  • Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD)
  • Lung cancer

Persistent Organic Pollutants (POPs)


  • Lung cancer
  • Asbestosis (permanent lung damage)
  • Mesothelioma
  • Cancer of the gastrointestinal tract, kidney, and throat
  • Scarring of the lung lining


  • Lung cancer
  • Pulmonary fibrosis
  • Emphysema
  • Chronic interstitial pneumonia

Chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs)

  • Central nervous system depression
  • Bronchial constriction
  • Pulmonary edema
  • Cardiac sensitization


Per- and Polyfluoroalkyl Substances (PFAS)

  • Nonalcoholic liver disease
  • Dyslipidemia
  • Preeclampsia and pregnancy-related hypertension
  • Hypothyroidism
  • Thyroid disease

Radioactive Waste

  • Cancer
  • Cardiovascular disease
  • Non-malignant thyroid nodular disease
  • Posterior subcapsular cataracts
  • Tumors of the neck, brain, and central nervous system

The Impact on Metabolic Health and Functioning

Environmental toxins can cause hormonal imbalances that throw on the body’s metabolism. This can lead to issues like weight gain and resistance to insulin, which impact your overall well-being.

Toxins have been found to alter the functions of the nervous system (neurotoxicity). As a result, nerve cells are disrupted or destroyed, causing signal transmission and processing issues in the brain and nervous system. Common symptoms of neurotoxicity which may occur immediately after exposure or later on include:

  • Limb weakness or numbness
  • Memory
  • Cognitive distortion
  • Vision problems
  • Headache
  • Sexual dysfunction

Strategies to Minimize Toxin Exposure

Unfortunately, toxins will exist no matter where you go, but there are ways to reduce their harmful effects and keep your body functioning at its best.

Dietary Recommendations to Reduce Toxin Intake

Many foods we consume expose us to toxins such as acetic acid found in alcohol and nasty preservatives in fast food. To combat exposure to these chemicals, adjust your diet to the following:

  • Eat antioxidant-rich foods (Cranberries, raspberries, tomatoes, etc.)
  • Eat prebiotic foods (Chicory root, onions, leeks, bananas, etc.)
  • Eat sulfur-containing foods (eggs, garlic, turkey, chicken, nuts, etc.)
  • Stay hydrated (125 ounces for men and 91 ounces for women)
  • Limit alcohol
  • Decrease sodium intake
  • Reduce sugar and processed foods

The Importance of Clean Air and Water

Consistent exposure to clean air and water promotes the healthy functions of the brain and body. You’re more likely to increase the risk of toxin exposure when you do things like swimming in lakes or drinking unfiltered water. Likewise, high-pollution areas can aggravate existing conditions such as asthma and lung disease.

Lifestyle Changes to Limit Environmental Toxin Exposure

Practice a Sleep Routine

Consistent, high-quality sleep allows the brain time to flush out toxins that build up throughout the day. The average adult should strive to get seven to nine hours of sleep a night.

Stay Active

When you exercise, your body rids itself of toxins and bacteria through blood and lymph fluid circulation. The CDC recommends that adults get 150 minutes of moderate-intensity physical activity weekly.

Use All-Natural Products

To avoid toxic chemicals and other harmful ingredients, look for all-natural products or consider creating your own (cleaning sprays, deodorants,  lotions, soap, etc.).

The Significance of Regularly Monitoring Your Toxin Exposure Index

Toxins play a constant role in your environment. Because of this, it’s crucial to stay on top of your health and to be aware of any off levels of chemicals in your body.

The Role of Regular Testing in Health and Wellness

Gaining a comprehensive understanding of your environmental toxin exposure index allows you to identify potential factors influencing any preexisting health issues, empowering you to seek treatment or change aspects of your lifestyle to improve overall well-being.

Unlock the power of personalized metabolic insights.

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