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An unexpected toxin was recently found to have a strong association with intellectual ability in children — manganese. Where is this manganese coming from?  Surprisingly, from tap water that contains manganese concentrations below the current guidelines for safety. Kids with the most exposure to manganese through tap water were found to have lower IQs than those children who were not exposed.

Workplace manganese exposure has been known to have neurotoxic effect, but this is the first study to look at lower concentrations of manganese from drinking water and food sources and its effects on cognitive function.

Manganese is a naturally occurring toxin found in soils in certain regions, which can then leach into groundwater sources.  This is especially true in parts of Canada where this study took place.  Hopefully more studies will be done and awareness will be raised about filtering this toxic element out of our drinking water.

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You know the routine: Your clothes are dirty. You throw them in the washing machine. They come out clean…right? But what if your laundry detergent is hiding a dangerous toxin that can take a serious toll on your health and the health of your family? A recent study conducted by David Steinman of the Green Patriot Working Group asked that very question and found that of the 20 most popular laundry detergent brands (both conventional and “natural” products), 13 contained detectable traces of a toxic byproduct called 1,4-dioxane.

A known carcinogen (cancer-causing agent), 1,4-dioxane is used in many popular cleaning and personal care products and has been linked to liver disease, cancer and other serious health conditions in humans. However, it is one of thousands of contaminants not regulated by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). According to the study, the conventional brands were the worst offenders—with Procter and Gamble’s Tide® topping the list at 55 parts per million (ppm)—but even a couple of the natural brands were not entirely free of 1,4-dioxane. If anything, the information serves as a wake-up call for consumers nationwide to pay close attention to what might be hiding in the products we use every day.

Curious about your detergent? See the complete results of the study here. And be sure to visit Brenda Watson’s Detox Strategy for simple tips on how to reduce your exposure to harmful toxins.

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‡These statements have not been evaluated by the FDA. The material on this page is for consumer informational and educational purposes only, under section 5 of DSHEA.

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