The most common ‘Ask Dr. Katie Question’ I’ve been hearing  lately, and the one that has taken more research than normal, is  “What can I do to limit my exposure to environmental toxins?”   This is a great question because the truth is:


90% of our daily toxic intake
comes from the air inside of our homes and workplaces, and from the foods we eat.

While most of us cannot make huge changes in the air at work, we can absolutely affect the quality of air at home and the foods we eat.  One of the easiest ways to do this is to invest in good quality pleated air filters (at least in your bedroom where you spend 8-9 hrs daily) and change them regularly. This will also help those of you who are suffering from spring allergies!


The other biggest source of toxin exposure is from the food we eat. The following fruits/veggies have thehighest toxin levels and should be bought organic and locally grown when possible.
  • peaches, apples, bell peppers, celery, blueberries, kale, nectarines, strawberries, cherries, pears, imported grapes, spinach, lettuce, potatoes.
These foods contain the lowest toxin levels and are less important to eat non-organic (you won’t be maximizing exposure):
  • onions, avocado, sweet corn, pineapple, mangos, sweet peas, asparagus, kiwi, cabbage, eggplant, cantaloupe, watermelon, grapefruit, sweet potato, honeydew melon.

Fish (especially large prey fish) often carry high levels of heavy metals, industrial chemicals (e.g.-PCB’s) and pesticides.  Even when eating wild caught, lower toxin level fish it is best to limit to about 2 times per week due to the higher heavy metal content present.

Highest heavy metal toxin levels are found in: Non-alaskan salmon, shark, swordfish, king mackerel, tuna, orange roughy, marlin, chilean bass, lobster, halibut, grouper and snapper.   Even wild caught, lower toxn  fish is best to limit to about 2 times per week due to the higher heavy metal content present.

Lowest heavy metal toxin levels are found in: sardines, scallops alaskan salmon, tilapia, flounder, haddock, sole and catfish.

If there are two food sources that I would spend money on to get local and organic it would be eggs & dairy products!


  • Skip that plastic water bottle
  • Store and reheat any leftovers in glass containers (not plastic).
  • Buy the cleanest, least toxic make-up and body products that you can.

For those of you who haven’t discovered the environmental working group skin care ratings for your favorite products please CLICK HERE  to find out how toxic (or non-toxic) your products are.

Dr. Katie