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Environmental Toxins and Your Health
Tuesday, June 3, 2014 - 12 Noon (Eastern Time)

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Melissa Young, MD

  • Wellness Institute
  • Center for Integrated Medicine
  • Cleveland Clinic

Environmental toxins are all around us. From the food we eat and water we drink to the products to the energy we consume. Toxins have been found in beauty products, household cleaners, carpets, furniture, mattresses, and even house dust. Being surrounded by chemicals on a daily basis can have some harmful effects on your health.

Take this opportunity to join us as our expert discusses different environmental toxins, their effect on the body and how to avoid them.

We all know that pesticides keep our fruits and vegetables free from bugs and disease, but pesticide residue can remain on your produce, even after washing it. The Environmental Protection Agency has restricted the use of most toxic pesticides, including highly toxic organophosphates that were phased out of farming in the late 70s and 80s, though residue of these chemicals can still be seen in today’s leafy greens. Purchasing organic produce can be an easy alternative to conventionally grown produce, especially strawberries, apples, celery, cucumbers, grapes, spinach and potatoes, when conventionally grown, contain the highest amounts of pesticides. Though it should always be remembered the benefits from a diet rich in fruits and vegetables will always outweigh the risks of pesticide exposure, you should just limit your exposure as much as possible.

Filtered tap water or bottled water, which is healthier? Bottled water, with pictures of flowing streams and mountain springs on the label can actually be more harmful than you think. In 2008, the Environmental Working Group conducted a study on 10 different brands of bottled water. Their results showed 38 pollutants from disinfection byproducts, to industrial chemicals and bacteria. Unlike, water utilities that are regularly checked, tested and reported to the consumer, the bottled water industry rarely reports if contamination was found. The solution? Stop using bottled water and opt for filtered tap water instead. Not only will you lower your risk of possible chemicals and bacteria, but you will also reduce plastic waste and the burden on your wallet.

About the Speaker
Melissa Young, MD is an Integrative Medicine specialist. She completed a two-year Integrative Medicine Fellowship with the Arizona Center for Integrative Medicine at the University of Arizona, Tucson, studying with Dr. Andrew Weil, a pioneer in the field of Integrative Medicine. To help bridge the mental and emotional aspects of healing, she has done additional training in Mind-Body Medicine with The Chopra Center, The Center for Mind Body Medicine and the University of Massachusetts Center for Mindfulness.

Dr. Young received her medical degree from Albert Einstein College of Medicine in New York in 1995 and completed residency training in Internal Medicine at Lenox Hill Hospital in New York City in 1998. She is board-certified in Internal Medicine. In addition to her Integrative Medicine background, she has training and experience in Functional Medicine. Dr. Young has written chapters on the Integrative Medicine Approach to the Prevention of Colon Cancer in the first and second editions of the Textbook "Integrative Medicine", by Dave Rakel, MD.

To make an appointment with Dr. Young or any of the other specialists in our Center for Integrative Medicine at Cleveland Clinic, please call 216.986.HEAL (4325). You can also visit us online at clevelandclinic.org/integrativemedicine

This Health Chat will open on Monday, June 2, 2014 to allow you to submit questions. We will try to answer as many questions as possible during the chat. Please create an account to attend the chat and submit your questions.