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reducing your exposure to bromine

I just read a very interesting article about bromine. The quick low-down is that we are exposed to this chemical in many ways, such as in bread, soda, pesticides, plastics, and personal care products. Among other nasty health problems, bromine has been linked to schizophrenia, cancer, and thyroid function problems (due to low iodine, a bromine side effect). I thought I’d share some of the tips the article mentions for how you can avoid it in your life.

Seven Tips for Avoiding Bromine and Optimizing Iodine


Trying to avoid bromine is like trying to avoid air pollution — all you can do is minimize your exposure. That said, here are a few things you can do to minimize your risk:

  1. Eat organic as often as possible. Wash all produce thoroughly. These actions will minimize your pesticide exposure.
  2. Avoid eating or drinking from (or storing food and water in) plastic containers. Use glass and safe ceramic vessels.
  3. Look for organic whole-grain breads and flour. Grind you own grain, if possible. Look for the “no bromine” or “bromine-free” label on commercial baked goods.
  4. Avoid sodas. Drink natural, filtered water instead.
  5. If you own a hot tub, look into an ozone purification system. Such systems make it possible to keep the water clean with minimal chemical treatments.
  6. Look for personal care products that are as chemical-free as possible. Remember — anything going on you, goes in you.
  7. When in a car or a building, open windows as often as possible, preferably on opposing sides of the space for cross ventilation. Utilize fans to circulate the air. Chemical pollutants are much higher inside buildings (and cars) than outside.

Here are some of the ways bromine is labeled on commercial products: potassium bromate, brominated vegetable oil (BVO), methyl bromide, and polybromo diphenyl ethers (PBDEs), among others

Basically, if you see brom- as a prefix or suffix to a chemical name, avoid it. Next up might be a post about why high fructose corn syrup (HFCS) IS bad for you, since I’m growing increasingly irritated at the recent commercials sponsored by corn producers that tell you it’s ok.

Update: I did write that post about HFCS. You can read it here

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