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Are Toxins Hiding in Your Home? Discover the Crucial Link between Environmental Medicine and Naturopathic Healing

Written by Portland Clinic of Natural Health on March 2, 2023

Environmental medicine is a branch of medicine that focuses on the relationship between the environment and human health. This field recognizes that the environment plays a crucial role in our health and wellbeing, and that exposure to environmental toxins can have a profound impact on our bodies. Naturopathic medicine, which is a system of medicine that emphasizes natural healing methods, is closely related to environmental medicine as it seeks to address the root causes of illness rather than just treating symptoms.

Environmental toxins can come from a variety of sources, including the air we breathe, the water we drink, the food we eat, and the products we use. Exposure to these toxins has been linked to a wide range of health problems, including cancer, infertility, autoimmune disorders, and neurological disorders. (1) The importance of environmental medicine lies in its ability to identify and address these environmental factors that can contribute to illness.

Three of the Top Toxins Hiding in Your Home

For example, our homes are supposed to be safe havens where we can relax and unwind, but unfortunately, they may also be harboring some harmful toxins. These toxins can come from a variety of sources, including cleaning products, building materials, and even the air we breathe. Here are the top three toxins hiding in your home that you should be aware of:

  1. Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs): VOCs are a group of chemicals that can be found in many household products, including paint, cleaning supplies, and air fresheners. They can cause a range of health problems, including headaches, dizziness, and respiratory irritation. To reduce your exposure to VOCs, opt for low or zero VOC products when possible and make sure to ventilate your home when using these products. (2)
  2. Formaldehyde: Formaldehyde is a common ingredient in many building materials, including flooring, furniture, and insulation. It can cause irritation to the eyes, nose, and throat and has been classified as a carcinogen. To reduce your exposure to formaldehyde, look for products that are labeled as formaldehyde-free and make sure to ventilate your home when new products are installed. (3)
  3. Radon: Radon is a naturally occurring gas that can seep into homes through cracks in the foundation. It is the second leading cause of lung cancer in the United States, and it is estimated that one in every 15 homes in the US has elevated levels of radon. To reduce your exposure to radon, consider testing your home for radon levels and taking steps to mitigate the problem if necessary. (4)

In conclusion, while it may be impossible to completely eliminate all toxins from our homes, being aware of the top three toxins hiding in your home can help you take steps to reduce your exposure and protect your health. By opting for natural and low-toxin products, ventilating your home, and testing for radon, you can create a safer and healthier environment for yourself and your family.

The Crucial Link Between Environmental Medicine and Naturopathic Medicine

Naturopathic medicine takes a holistic approach to health, recognizing that the body is a complex system that is influenced by a variety of factors, including the environment. Naturopathic doctors use a combination of natural therapies, including diet and nutrition, herbal medicine, homeopathy, and lifestyle modifications, to help patients achieve optimal health. By addressing the root causes of illness, naturopathic medicine can help prevent disease and support the body's natural healing processes.

Environmental medicine and naturopathic medicine are closely related in that they both focus on prevention and identifying the underlying causes of illness. Naturopathic doctors are trained to evaluate patients' environmental exposures and help them make lifestyle changes that can reduce their exposure to environmental toxins. They may also recommend specific supplements or natural therapies that can support the body's detoxification processes.


In conclusion, the importance of environmental medicine and its relationship to naturopathic medicine cannot be overstated. By recognizing the impact of the environment on human health and addressing the root causes of illness, we can work towards creating a healthier and more sustainable world for ourselves and future generations. (5) Naturopathic medicine offers a natural and holistic approach to health that is well-suited to addressing the complex interactions between the environment and our bodies. If you're interested in exploring environmental medicine or naturopathic medicine, be sure to consult with a qualified healthcare provider who can help guide you on your path to optimal health.


  1. Rojas-Rueda D, Morales-Zamora E, Alsufyani WA, Herbst CH, AlBalawi SM, Alsukait R, Alomran M. Environmental Risk Factors and Health: An Umbrella Review of Meta-Analyses. Int J Environ Res Public Health. 2021 Jan 15;18(2):704. doi: 10.3390/ijerph18020704. PMID: 33467516; PMCID: PMC7830944.
  2. Wickliffe JK, Stock TH, Howard JL, Frahm E, Simon-Friedt BR, Montgomery K, Wilson MJ, Lichtveld MY, Harville E. Increased long-term health risks attributable to select volatile organic compounds in residential indoor air in southeast Louisiana. Sci Rep. 2020 Dec 10;10(1):21649. doi: 10.1038/s41598-020-78756-7. PMID: 33303920; PMCID: PMC7730171.
  3. Rovira J, Roig N, Nadal M, Schuhmacher M, Domingo JL. Human health risks of formaldehyde indoor levels: An issue of concern. J Environ Sci Health A Tox Hazard Subst Environ Eng. 2016;51(4):357-63. doi: 10.1080/10934529.2015.1109411. Epub 2016 Jan 19. PMID: 26785855.
  4. Darby S, Hill D, Auvinen A, Barros-Dios JM, Baysson H, Bochicchio F, Deo H, Falk R, Forastiere F, Hakama M, Heid I, Kreienbrock L, Kreuzer M, Lagarde F, Mäkeläinen I, Muirhead C, Oberaigner W, Pershagen G, Ruano-Ravina A, Ruosteenoja E, Rosario AS, Tirmarche M, Tomásek L, Whitley E, Wichmann HE, Doll R. Radon in homes and risk of lung cancer: collaborative analysis of individual data from 13 European case-control studies. BMJ. 2005 Jan 29;330(7485):223. doi: 10.1136/bmj.38308.477650.63. Epub 2004 Dec 21. PMID: 15613366; PMCID: PMC546066.
  5. About the American Academy of Environmental Medicine (AAEM). American Academy of Environmental Medicine. (2022, September 1). Retrieved March 2, 2023, from https://www.aaemonline.org/about-us/

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