The Environment and Your Health



As dusk descended upon the quaint town of Willow Creek, the atmosphere became dense with the pungent aroma of smoke. Inquisitive locals ventured outdoors, coughing and shielding their noses while gazing into the distance.


“What is happening?” a curious individual inquired.


“I’m not sure, but the odor is dreadful,” another responded.


Continuing down the road, they spotted a billowing column of dark smoke emanating from the neighboring industrial zone. Alarmed, they proceeded towards the origin of the fumes.


Approaching the scene, they discovered a gathering of people surrounding a woman clutching a sign that proclaimed “Stop the Pollution!”


“What’s taking place here?” someone questioned.


The woman, Anna, addressed the assembly. “I’m here to discuss the dangers of dioxins,” she explained. “These toxic substances are the unintended byproducts of numerous industrial operations, polluting our air, water, and food supply.”


An anxious murmur spread through the crowd.


“But how can we stop this?” another individual queried.


Anna offered a reassuring smile. “There are numerous steps we can take to safeguard ourselves and our surroundings,” she responded. “We can minimize our consumption of plastics and materials that emit dioxins when incinerated. We can endorse businesses that adopt eco-friendly, sustainable production methods. Additionally, we can push for more stringent regulations on industrial emissions.”


The audience nodded in agreement, their expressions reflecting resolve.


“We possess the power to create change,” Anna asserted. “We simply need to act.”


As the sun dipped beyond the skyline, the group disbanded, invigorated and inspired to effect positive transformation in their community. Anna’s words had kindled a flame, and they were confident that, united, they could establish a healthier, secure world for themselves and generations to come.


Continue reading below…

dioxin food egg skull sign traffic sign


Are you curious about the health effects from dioxins? Dioxins are a group of toxic chemicals that can have serious impacts on human health. Today, we’ll explore where these toxins come from and how they affect our health. We will also discuss regulatory work to protect the environment as well as preventive measures and Functional Medicine approaches for addressing exposure to dioxins. So let’s dive in and discover what hidden dangers may be lurking in our environment.


The Environment and your Health, Uncovering the Hidden Health Effects of Dioxins, Dr. Nicolle

Minimize Medications. Maximize Health.

Are you super busy but need to take control of your health? Are you tired of being tired? Subscribe to my “Minimize Medications, Maximize Health Blog” and I’ll give you 7 Tips to Get Healthy in No Time absolutely FREE.

You have Successfully Subscribed!


What are Dioxins?

A collection of highly noxious substances, dioxins can lead to severe health issues in humans. They are found naturally, but most of the dioxin exposure experienced by people comes from human activities such as burning fossil fuels and waste materials. Dioxins enter the environment through industrial processes like incineration and chlorine bleaching, as well as commercial products such as pesticides and herbicides.


Sources of Dioxins

Sources of dioxin can be diverse and contingent upon one’s location. In developed countries, combustion sources (such as coal-fired power plants) account for more than half of all emissions. Other sources include agricultural burning, residential heating systems, medical waste incinerators, metal smelters and chemical manufacturing facilities. Additionally, some consumer products may contain trace amounts of dioxins due to their manufacture process or use in production methods such as paper bleaching or plastic production.


WHO Surveillance

The WHO is proactively taking steps to safeguard the environment from dioxin contamination by formulating standards for permissible concentrations of PCBs, PCDFs, and other contaminants. The WHO is vigilantly observing the amount of PCBs, PCDFs and other pollutants in food and water supplies all over the world to prevent any potential hazards from becoming a major health issue. 


A collection of chemicals, dioxins, can be detrimental to human health when encountered. To assess the potential risks of dioxin exposure, one must consider both how humans are exposed and the possible short-term and long-term effects on human health.

Key Takeaway: The WHO is vigilantly enforcing strict regulations on polychlorinated biphenyls and other pollutants to avoid any potential risks of dioxin exposure. They are keeping a hawk’s eye out for any potential risks, ensuring that current levels of these compounds don’t become a public health hazard before it’s too late.

Health Effects of Dioxin Exposure

Humans are exposed to dioxins primarily through their diet, but occupational exposure is also a factor. Pollutants such as PCDFs, PCBs and other toxic substances can enter the environment from burning fossil fuels, waste incineration, metal processing and chemical production. They tend to accumulate in fatty tissues in animals and humans. WHO has determined that extended contact with elevated levels of PCDFs, PCBs and certain other chemicals can lead to health issues.


air pollution with chimney smoke


Prolonged contact with dioxins may bring about dangerous effects, such as an elevated chance of getting cancer and reproductive problems including infertility or miscarriages. To put it bluntly, dioxin exposure should be taken seriously due to its potential for causing severe health problems over time. Dioxins can cause long-term effects, increased risk of cancer development, reproductive issues, developmental delays, immune system suppression, hormonal disruptions diabetes complications, learning disabilities premature death.


Given the serious health risks associated with dioxin exposure, it is essential to take measures to reduce our risk. Let us investigate the potential implications on public health from exposure to dioxin.

Key Takeaway: The consequences of dioxin exposure can be severe, from cancer and infertility to developmental delays and premature death. Neglecting these hazardous toxins can have serious repercussions, potentially resulting in fatal outcomes and a range of other ailments such as cancer, infertility, and developmental issues.

Public Health Impact of Dioxin Exposure

For decades, dioxin has been a major public health concern due to its ability to contaminate the environment and cause adverse effects on human health. Fatty tissues of creatures, including humans, tend to store dioxins over a long period of time which can cause potential health problems. Major incidents involving dioxin contamination have occurred worldwide; most notably in Seveso, Italy (1976) and Times Beach, Missouri (1982). In 1979, the EPA banned the manufacture of products containing Polychlorinated Biphenyls (PCBs) some of which are included under the term dioxin.


The World Health Organization recommends checking current dioxin levels in food and feed sources to ensure safety standards are being met. To reduce human exposure to these environmental pollutants, it is important that contaminated foods be avoided or properly cooked before consumption. Fatty meats should be trimmed of any visible fat prior to cooking as they increase risk of cancer as well as developmental/reproductive problems, while consuming low-fat dairy products can decrease exposure significantly.


polluted chimney smoke


Stricter regulations must be implemented on industrial processes that release potentially hazardous substances, such as PCBs and PCDFs, to prevent further cases of dioxin poisoning. Governments must also invest more resources into monitoring systems for food and feed contamination so any contaminated items can be identified quickly before reaching consumers’ plates. Taking preventive measures against dioxin exposure now will help protect our families’ future health for generations ahead.

Preventive Measures Against Dioxin Exposure

Dioxins are environmental pollutants that can cause health problems in humans, including cancer. To ensure a healthier environment, it is essential to be aware of the sources and preventive measures related to dioxins.


Food and feed contamination monitoring systems are an effective way of preventing dioxin exposure. These systems monitor food and feed products for any contaminants, including dioxins, before they enter the market or reach consumers. This helps ensure that contaminated food does not make its way into people’s diets and homes. The WHO suggests that it is prudent to assess current levels of dioxin contamination in localities, as a way to guard against possible exposures.


Minimizing the danger of health-impacts related to dioxin is achievable by taking precautionary steps. To further protect oneself, a functional medicine approach can be taken in order to address existing and potential dioxin exposures through liver detoxification pathways.

Key Takeaway: We can prevent exposure to dioxins by utilizing food and feed contamination monitoring systems, as well as following the WHO’s recommendation of checking current levels in our local area. To stay on top of this issue, it is important for us to be proactive and take preventive measures.

Functional Medicine Approaches To Addressing Dioxide Exposure

Functional Medicine approaches to addressing dioxin exposure can help reduce the risk of toxicity from this environmental pollutant. Dioxins are toxic chemicals that enter our environment through commercial activities like burning fossil fuels, incinerating waste and manufacturing certain products. They tend to accumulate in food and water sources, leading to human exposure. Two major groups of dioxins, PCDFs and PCBs, have been identified by the WHO as present in the environment.


Supporting liver detoxification pathways is a key part of reducing the risk of toxicity from these environmental pollutants. Dietary interventions such as increasing fiber intake along with nutrient-rich foods like leafy greens can help neutralize toxins naturally without adding stress onto already overloaded organs responsible for filtering out unwanted chemicals we encounter daily. Additionally, specific supplements may be recommended depending on individual needs; however it’s important to consult with a healthcare professional before taking any supplement or medication due to potential interactions with other medications or health conditions one might have.

The following steps can reduce the potential for exposure to dioxin:

  • Remove skin from fish and chicken
  • Select cuts of meat that are naturally lean, or trim visible fat
  • When catching your own fish, check local fishing advisories, as there may be consumption limits for particular kinds of fish, in particular bodies of water where local contamination has occurred
  • Use fat-free or low-fat milk and use butter in moderation

I would love to give you a free resource sheet to support your overall wellness. Click the button below to receive your gift.


The Environment and your Health, Uncovering the Hidden Health Effects of Dioxins, Dr. Nicolle


I really wanted to talk about this topic today because your natural health and wellness is important. You can adopt healthy lifestyle practices that improve your health, your environment, and enrich your life, which can in turn improve the lives of those close to you. You have the power to break the cycle of poor health, including chronic disease, so that you can leave a legacy of health to your loved ones.


I use functional medicine and lifestyle medicine as the first line of treatment, before medications, to treat lifestyle-related chronic diseases. Lifestyle-related chronic diseases include diabetes, hypertension, obesity, and some cancers, just to name a few. Lifestyle practices, such as eating a whole-food plant-based diet and regular physical activity, can help you lose weight, reverse some chronic diseases (if you suffer from them), and can even help you with detoxification. In certain cases, these approaches may even outperform pharmaceutical therapy.


But I always tell my patients that conventional medications may be appropriate at this time to prevent catastrophic illness, but over time, you can work to make the necessary lifestyle changes to possibly reduce and/or eliminate medications. Please remember to always consult your physician for your particular needs and circumstances prior to making any decisions whatsoever.


Is Dietary Supplementation Right For You?

For some people, vitamin and mineral supplements offer important health benefits. Supplements are designed to fight deficiencies found in our diet and complement the food we eat regularly. Supplements are basically “helping hands” to our daily food.


If you suspect that you aren’t getting the nutrients you need, consider shifting your focus from supplements to eating better.


But it is very important to note that we are not eating the same foods we ate years ago because the soils have been depleted of critical nutrients through current industrial farming practices. And because the soil is not as good as it used to be, the food supply (grown from the depleted soil) is not as good as it used to be. For example, you are not getting the same levels of magnesium as you would have gotten 30 or even 50 years ago.


Second, much of the food has been genetically altered, which can impact the inherent and unique nutritional composition that each food possess. For example, ancient einkorn wheat has less gluten, more protein, more Vitamin A, and more beta carotene, than modern genetically modified wheat.


Third, the toxic load in the environment today is much higher than 100 years ago. We can see this with global warming, toxic landfills, polluted oceans and waterways, etc. Toxicity levels interfere with nutrient assimilation and absorption not just into the foods, but into our bodies as well.


So… if you are unable to eat better, the supplements in my MaxHealth Essentials Bundle may provide the extra boost you need.

MaxHealth Essentials Bundle


These are my favorite Wellness and Immune-Boosting Supplements to use! This MaxHealth Essentials Bundle will ensure you have the intake of the important vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants to decrease inflammation and boost your innate wellness day and night. Taken together, it’s a solid plan for increasing your body’s natural resiliency.


For best results make sure you use the supplements with dietary changes including a whole food plant-based diet, regular exercise (at least 2-3x per week), regular sleep (8 hours per night), and intermittent fasting (at least 1-3x per week).


Weight Monitoring

Since weight management is very important in combatting chronic diseases, I recommend that you be mindful of your weight and its fluctuations, and that you monitor your weight AT LEAST on a weekly basis. I recommend a scale that includes a body composition monitor (*this scale cannot be used with a pacemaker or other implanted devices).


Physical Activity

Physical activity (or exercise) can improve your health and reduce the risk of developing several chronic diseases like high blood pressure, type 2 diabetes, and cancer, just to name a few. Physical activity can improve your mood, boost your immune system, help you maintain a healthy weight, and is a great way to detox your body!


I often recommend yoga and resistance training for physical activity, but as you are aware, there are plenty of forms of “movement” that you can do! But for the basics, especially if you’re just getting started, yoga and resistance training are where I would start.



Yoga can be a great way to improve your strength and flexibility, manage your stress, improve your heart health, and lose weight! I recommend using a grounded yoga mat to connect yourself with the earth and reduce inflammation.


Resistance Training

Resistance training is the mainstay for overall health. It not only has beneficial effects on reducing body fat, it also increases muscle size and strength. Check out some basic dumbbells/free weights that I recommend to everyone.


Another alternative for dumbbells/free weights are resistance bands. They are great for physical therapy, yoga, strength training, and excellent for traveling.


Remember, living a healthy lifestyle including eating a whole foods plant-based diet, regular physical activity, and reducing stress are the best ways to maintain a healthy weight. Let me know what you think in the comment section below.

Final Thoughts

Dioxins pose a major risk to the environment and one should not overlook their potential health implications. While regulatory work has been put in place to protect the environment from dioxin exposure, it is still important for individuals to take preventive measures such as avoiding contaminated food sources and using Functional Medicine approaches to address any potential health risks associated with dioxin exposure. By implementing preventive measures and Functional Medicine approaches, one can effectively reduce their risk of developing health issues due to dioxin exposure.


The environment in which we live is a major determinant of our health and wellbeing. Clean air, water, soil, plants, food supplies, and even our community environment which includes the Social Determinants of Health, are essential for our personal health. In my blog’s Environmental Health Series, we will continue to talk about the environment and try to answer the question, “What is an unhealthy environment and how does it get under the skin? The environment’s effect on our health is complicated, but there are ways that we can prevent and reduce toxic exposure.


Take control of your health and wellness today by utilizing integrative therapies and lifestyle changes to reduce reliance on medications. Make Dr. Nicolle MD‘s evidence-based solutions part of your proactive healthcare plan for optimal wellbeing.

Health Effects From Dioxins FAQs

Long-term exposure to dioxins may lead to an array of adverse health effects, including cancer, reproductive and developmental problems, immune system suppression, endocrine disruption, skin diseases such as chloracne, liver damage and even diabetes. High levels of dioxin can lead to skin ailments like chloracne, liver issues and other medical problems such as diabetes. Dioxins also accumulate in fatty tissues over time which could cause further health complications if consumed through food sources or inhalation. It is important for people who may be exposed to dioxins regularly take precautions against potential risks associated with them.

2,3,7,8-Tetrachlorodibenzo-p-dioxin (TCDD) is a highly toxic and persistent environmental pollutant. TCDD exposure has been linked to a range of serious health issues, including cancer, reproductive problems, immune system disorders, endocrine disruption and neurological damage; as well as liver toxicity, skin irritation or rashes, respiratory difficulties and developmental delays in children – all of which can potentially lead to an increased risk of death. Continued exposure to TCDD could result in an augmented likelihood of mortality due to cancer or other illnesses.

1. PCDDs (polychlorinated dibenzo-p-dioxins):

A particularly hazardous type of dioxin, can lead to cancerous growths, reproductive disturbances and immune system issues.


2. PCDFs (polychlorinated dibenzofurans):

Similar to PCDDs but less toxic, have been associated with cancer and other health problems such as birth defects, skin rashes, liver damage, endocrine disruption and more.


3. Chlorinated Biphenyls (CBPs):

CBPs are a group of chemicals that contain chlorine atoms bonded together in rings or chains with varying levels of toxicity depending on their structure; they have been linked to numerous health risks such as cancer and neurological disorders.

Dioxins are a group of highly toxic chemicals produced by combustion processes, such as burning fossil fuels and waste. They can also be formed during chemical manufacturing or pesticide production. Dioxins, which are formed by combustion processes and chemical manufacturing, can enter the food chain through environmental accumulation and thus reach humans via contaminated animal products or inhalation, leading to serious health consequences such as cancer, reproductive issues, hormone disruption, neurological damage and weakened immune systems. Long-term contact with dioxins has been associated with cancer, reproductive issues, hormone disruption, neurological impairment and immunological deterioration.


  1. Baccarelli, A., & Bollati, V. (2009). Epigenetics and environmental chemicals. Current Opinion in Pediatrics, 21(2), 243-251. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3035853/ 

  2. Eskenazi, B., Mocarelli, P., Warner, M., Chevrier, J., Gerthoux, P. M., Samuels, S., … & Patterson, D. G. (2004). Serum dioxin concentrations and endometriosis: A cohort study in Seveso, Italy. Environmental Health Perspectives, 112(9), 944-949. https://ehp.niehs.nih.gov/doi/abs/10.1289/ehp.02110629 

  3. Hsu, J. F., Guo, Y. L., Yang, P., & Liao, P. C. (2017). Dioxin exposure and insulin resistance in Taiwanese living near a highly contaminated area. Epidemiology, 28(1), 77-82. https://www.jstor.org/stable/25662806 

  4. Kogevinas, M. (2001). Human health effects of dioxins: Cancer, reproductive and endocrine system effects. Human Reproduction Update, 7(3), 331-339. https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1111/j.1600-0463.2001.tb05771.x

  5. Lorber, M. (2002). A pharmacokinetic model for estimating exposure of Americans to dioxin-like compounds in the past, present, and future. The Science of the Total Environment, 288(1-2), 81-95. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S0048969701011196

  6. Mocarelli, P., Gerthoux, P. M., Needham, L. L., Patterson Jr, D. G., Limonta, G., Falbo, R., … & Brambilla, P. (2011). Perinatal exposure to low doses of dioxin can permanently impair human semen quality. Environmental Health Perspectives, 119(5), 713-718. https://ehp.niehs.nih.gov/doi/full/10.1289/ehp.1002134

  7. Pesatori, A. C., Consonni, D., Rubagotti, M., Grillo, P., & Bertazzi, P. A. (2009). Cancer incidence in the population exposed to dioxin after the “Seveso accident”: Twenty years of follow-up. Environmental Health: A Global Access Science Source, 8, 39. https://link.springer.com/article/10.1186/1476-069X-8-39

  8. Rudge, C. V., Sandanger, T. M., Röllin, H. B., Calderon, I. M., Volpato, G., Silva, J. L., … & Thomassen, Y. (2012). Levels of selected persistent organic pollutants in blood from delivering women in seven selected areas of São Paulo State, Brazil. Environment International, 40, 162-169. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0160412011001929

  9. Warner, M., Mocarelli, P., Samuels, S., Needham, L., Brambilla, P., & Eskenazi, B. (2011). Dioxin exposure and cancer risk in the Seveso Women’s Health Study. Environmental Health Perspectives, 119(12), 1700-1705. https://ehp.niehs.nih.gov/doi/full/10.1289/ehp.1103720

  10. Wittsiepe, J., Fürst, P., Schrey, P., Lemm, F., & Kraft, M. (2007). PCDD/F and dioxin-like PCB in human blood and milk from German mothers. Chemosphere, 67(9), S286-S294. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S0045653506016237

Some of the links in this article are "affiliate links", a link with a special tracking code. This means if you click on an affiliate link and purchase the item, we will receive an affiliate commission.

The price of the item is the same whether it is an affiliate link or not. Regardless, we only recommend products or services we believe will add value to our readers.

By using the affiliate links, you are helping support our Website, and we genuinely appreciate your support.

Last updated on May 10th, 2023 at 12:15 am

The Environment and your Health, Uncovering the Hidden Health Effects of Dioxins, Dr. Nicolle

Minimize Medications. Maximize Health.

Are you super busy but need to take control of your health? Are you tired of being tired? Subscribe to my “Minimize Medications, Maximize Health Blog” and I’ll give you 7 Tips to Get Healthy in No Time absolutely FREE.

You have Successfully Subscribed!

Related Posts

Leave a Reply

Why Choose to Subscribe?
  • Automatically re-order your favorite products on your schedule.
  • Easily change the products or shipping date for your upcoming Scheduled Orders.
  • Pause or cancel any time.