Environmental Toxins with Dr. Aly Cohen: Rational Wellness Podcast 175

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Dr. Aly Cohen speaks about Environmental Toxins with Dr. Ben Weitz.

[If you enjoy this podcast, please give us a rating and review on Apple Podcasts, so more people will find The Rational Wellness Podcast. Also check out the video version on YouTube at https://www.youtube.com/user/weitzchiro/]

Podcast Highlights

4:22 Toxic chemicals in children. Children are among the most contaminated because not only do they get exposed in utero, but they may be eating baby food that often has preservatives, chemicals, coloring, glyphosate, and other pesticides. Babies and toddlers spend most of their time on the floor, picking up dusty toys and putting things in their mouths. And their detoxification mechanisms have not fully developed. If you start getting exposed early in life, you have a long period of time for these chemicals to eventually have damaging effects. Our grandparents had cleaner foods that they cooked, fewer processed foods, fewer chemicals, and they didn’t have lawns sprayed with toxic chemicals. We now have upward of 3,000 toxic chemicals in the food system and their water was much cleaner.

8:27 Chemicals in our food. To start with, soil has lower nutrient value, which makes it harder for our bodies to defend against the toxic chemicals. Omega 3s, vitamin D, vitamin C, and folic acid are immunologically beneficial and can help block the damaging effects of Bisphenol A and other endocrine disrupting chemicals as well as lead. Having iron deficiency lowers the ability to manage lead toxicity.

Processed foods are overtaking the market. They are cheaper and easier but they are nutrient weak and calorie dense and have lots of chemicals. A good thing is that the markets now often have frozen organic vegetables, which may even have more nutrient value than fresh, since they are flash frozen, whereas the fresh foods may have been picked and traveled long distances and may be stored in a cooler for up to 6 months.

12:50 The dangers of plastics. One of the problems with plastics are the chemicals that are used to make plastics either soft or hard. Bisphenol A (BPA) is part of a family of chemicals called phenols that are used to make plastics harder but they are also endocrine disruptors. They act almost like hormones. But BPA is shown to be harmful at incredibly low dosages, so they take it out and substitute another phenol like BPS or BPFB, which haven’t been studied as much yet. Pthalates are another class of chemicals used in plastic products from cookware to personal care products and even food ingredients and they make plastic soft and squishy. They may be in the soft grip of cookware. These pthalates are also endocrine disruptors and they can block testosterone and have an estrogenic effect at very low levels.

18:12 Genetically modified crops. The majority of genetically modified crops are designed to be resistant to an herbicide like glyphosate (the main ingredient in Round Up) that the company that makes the seeds also produces. Mexico just banned glyphosate and it is being banned in every major park due to some landmark lawsuit settlements.This most widely used herbicide, glyphosate, has a multitude of negative health effects, including being a probable carcinogen and being an endocrine disruptor. But there are organic or much less toxic herbicides that can be used.

23:44 The plastic recycling codes on the bottom of plastic bottles in the triangle. There is a number from one to seven. Seven is Bisphenol A or other phenol. Three is polyvinyl chloride. Six is styrene, like styrofoam. We should avoid plastic bottles with numbers three, six, and seven.

26:19 Toxins in the water. We used to use lead pipes and lead would leach into the water. Then we switched to copper and excess levels of copper are also toxic. Now we are using PVC pipes and we know that polyvinyl chloride is not safe either. And our water treatment plants, of which there are about 160,000 are only mandated to test for 91 chemicals under the Safe Drinking Water Act of 1974, while there are 90,000 chemicals on the market. They don’t have the infrastructure to filter out all of the prescription medications that are found in our sewage. We have coal ash, fracking chemicals, etc. going into our water supplies. The solution is for each of us to filter the water before we drink it and reverse osmosis filers are the most effective ways to clean our water. Buy a reverse filtration system and have it installed under the sink by a plumber. If you can afford it, get a full house water filtration system. If you can’t afford either, then use whatever filter system you can afford.

35:31 Stainless steel bottles and containers are generally safe, though if they are made in China, we should be leery. Nonstick non Teflon cookware that is marketed to be green and safe, such as the porcelein ceramic pans.



Dr. Aly Cohen is a board certified rheumatologist, integrative medicine specialist, and an environmental health expert in Princeton, New Jersey. She has collaborated with the Environmental Working Group, Cancer Schmanser, and other disease prevention organizations and is co-editor of the textbook, Integrative Environmental Medicine, part of the Oxford University Press Weill Integrative Medicine Library and her new book is Non-Toxic: Guide to living healthy in a chemical world. Her website is alycohenmd.com

Dr. Ben Weitz is available for nutrition consultations, including remote consults via video or phone, specializing in Functional Gastrointestinal Disorders like IBS/SIBO and Reflux and also specializing in Cardiometabolic Risk Factors like elevated lipids, high blood sugar, and high blood pressure and also weight loss, as well as sports chiropractic work by calling his Santa Monica office 310-395-3111 or go to www.drweitz.com. Phone or video consulting with Dr. Weitz is available.



Podcast Transcript

Dr. Weitz: Hey, this is Dr. Ben Weitz, host of the Rational Wellness Podcast. I talk to the leading health and nutrition experts and researchers in the field to bring you the latest in cutting edge health information. Subscribe to the Rational Wellness Podcast for weekly updates. And to learn more, check out my website, drweitz.com. Thanks for joining me and let’s jump into the podcast. Hello, Rational Wellness podcasters. Thank you so much for joining me again today. For those of you who enjoy listening to the podcast, please go to Apple podcasts, give us a ratings and review. If you’d like to see a video version, go to my YouTube page. And if you go to my website drweitz.com, you can find detailed show notes and a complete transcript.

Today our topic is environmental health and the role that toxins play in our health. As most of us are aware, our modern life is awash in toxic chemicals, in our food, our air, our water, the materials used to build our homes, chemicals that we apply to our lawns, that are contained in our furniture, our cookware, our cleaning products, our personal care products, even chemicals added to your yoga mats. My wife got a new yoga mat from Amazon and there was a warning, “Toxic chemicals.” It’s like you can’t win. To quote from Dr. Cohen’s book, “Every day the US imports about 45 million pounds of synthetic chemicals. Each year, about 1,000 new chemicals are put into use. 15 new polymers are patented in the us every week, over 1,000 endocrine disrupting chemicals currently exist, but only five chemicals have ever been banned in the United States under the Toxic Substances Control Act passed in 1976. And the revised Toxic Substances Control Act passed in 2016 has failed to improve the regulatory response to toxic chemicals.” And not to quote from Dr. Cohen’s book, whatever controls might have existed with the EPA prior to 2016 have now been effectively dismantled under an administration that is as hostile to environmental regulation that’s ever existed. The current head of the EPA, Andrew Wheeler is a former coal lobbyists, so the fox is now watching the henhouse. And in fact, this morning, September 1st, when we’re recording this, there’s an article from Bloomberg News that’s titled, Trump Relaxes Limits on Toxic Waste From Coal Power Plants. Just what we need.

Our special guest today is Dr. Aly Cohen, and she’s a Board Certified rheumatologist, integrative medicine specialist, and an environmental health expert in Princeton, New Jersey. She’s collaborated with the Environmental Working Group, Cancer Schmancer, and other disease prevention organizations. She co-edited the textbook, Integrative Environmental Medicine, part of the Oxford University Press, Weil Integrative Medicine Library, and her new book is Non-Toxic” Guide to Living in a Chemical World. Dr. Cohen, thank you so much for joining me today.

Dr. Cohen: It’s my pleasure. Thank you for having me, and I’m sure we’re all going to get a drink after this, separately or on the [crosstalk 00:03:30].

Dr. Weitz: There you go. We’ll have our Zoom cocktail party.

Dr. Cohen: Yeah. I have to have humor even though this is such a daunting, heavy topic, and it affects everyone, every culture, every religion, every age group, which is kind of why my platform, which is called The Smart Human, is another area by which I push out really important environmental health information because we are all human, and these chemicals are getting into our lives. It’s a heavy topic, but what I try to do is try to get some humor, and the book that’s coming out is all proactive approaches to try to fix it. So, it’s not meant to be such a Debbie Downer, and then you run off and you just get miserable, it’s really about how do you empower people to make some of these healthy changes.

Dr. Weitz: Right. Yeah. So, I thought maybe we might sort of loosely organize our discussion today around some of the chapters of your book, and I thought maybe we’d start with chapter three, which is Toxic Chemicals and Kids, and maybe you can talk about some of the exposure that kids in particular have to toxic chemicals.

Dr. Cohen: Yeah. So, I actually don’t even have the copy yet. Believe it or not, it’s supposed to be coming this week. So, if you quote me, I’m going to try to get as much detail as I can, but I literally was hoping to have the book to give you some real good detail. But here’s the thing. Children are among the most contaminated of all age groups, and just to start with, because not only do they actually get exposed in utero, in the womb, during pregnancy, which is not intentional, of course, moms don’t want their kids to be polluted, but it’s just because they are exposed to the chemicals that their mother and even their fathers are exposed to, from a genetic standpoint, through the air that mother breathes, and the personal care products, lotions, tampons. Well, not during pregnancy, necessarily, but all of the personal care products, food, cooking, cookware, food chemicals, contaminated drinking water, can expose a growing fetus.

Then the kid pops out and you have these babies that are getting perhaps baby food that has a lot of preservatives, chemicals, coloring, glyphosate, some of the pesticides that get into even baby food. And also, where do babies and toddlers spend most of their time? On the floor, right? They’re on the floor, picking up dusty toys, and putting things in their mouths. I have two boys, I know they put everything in their mouths. So, the idea is that they’re getting exposed per body mass index at such a greater degree than even an adult who has detoxification mechanisms already matured, like their liver, and their kidney and other processes of the gut. So, in other words, they are really kind of the worrisome group that we need to think about, of course, all groups, but definitely starting young with exposures over a lifetime, really can add up to a lot of health conditions, which we can go into.

Dr. Weitz: Yeah, not to mention some of the chronic conditions tend to happen after longer term exposures. So, if you’re starting to get exposed early in life, you’ve got a longer period of time when these chemicals can eventually have that damaging effect.

Dr. Cohen: Absolutely. I mean, and we think about our grandparents diet, and our grandparents behaviors, they didn’t have toxic lawn chemicals sprayed everywhere, they didn’t have the plethora of pesticides outside in farmland and on their food and all the manufacturing food chemicals. They had cleaner whole foods that they cooked, not as much processed foods, which have upwards of 3,000 chemicals that are now in the food system in terms of just food additives. Their water may have been much cleaner because they didn’t have a lot of the chemicals that end up on surface bodies of water, lakes and streams, end up in aquifers underneath farmlands that travel into wells and into water treatment plants.

So, we’re really getting exposed to a whole different level of chemicals, particularly after 1950s when we really had an explosion after World War II with so many chemicals, and they make a lot of our lives easier. I mean, don’t get me wrong, we have canned foods because they make cans, Naugahyde, rayon, nylon, plexiglass, plastic containers that could store food for longer periods of time. There are benefits to what we’ve developed, especially post World War II, but there’s also we never thought about where they would go after we use them. We had a very specific time period in mind to not have to wash dishes, or break dishes, and now we’re finding that all of these chemicals have been in our soil, in our environment for a very, very long period of time, and they get into our bodies and into the bodies of wildlife, of course.

Dr. Weitz: Right. Right. Right. So, maybe we should start with chemicals in our food and prob maybe start with agriculture and all the chemicals that are sprayed and dumped onto the produce and in the soil.

Dr. Cohen: Yeah. So, you can start up really upstream by talking about soil quality. I mean, even just soil quality is so diminished in terms of nutrient value. And the reason that actually matters in terms of chemicals, I mean, separate from chemical pesticides and fertilizers that are pretty harmful to human health, many of them, without the nutritional support in the human body, we can’t even defend ourselves against the chemicals. So, in terms of some of the nutritional value of omega 3’s, and vitamin D, which is so immunologically beneficial, and folic acid, which we know can block the effects from Bisphenol A, and BPA and other endocrine disrupters, which we’ll talk about those chemicals, but nutrients actually block lead contamination, especially in children. Vitamin C can do that. Being anemic or iron deficient actually lowers that ability to manage lead toxicity. So, it’s two-pronged. It’s not just what we’re contaminated with but it’s also the nutrients that we’ve evolved to utilize to protect us from environmental chemicals. So, twofold, it’s pretty bad stuff.

Dr. Weitz: So, you’re saying we’re getting less of these nutrients because the soil is depleted, that the fruits and vegetables are grown in.

Dr. Cohen: And our choices of food. We all know how processed foods is overtaking the market, much cheaper, nutrient weak and calorie dense. Processed foods. I mean, look, it’s everywhere and it’s hard for all of us to manage. I mean, I have two kids that love junk food or they love processed foods, and it becomes a battle even with people who feel like they know what they’re doing. It’s just too easily available and it’s cost efficient for a lot of people who can’t afford necessarily whole fresh organic fruits and vegetables. There’s been improvements. We have frozen vegetables and fruits that you can now get in a lot of big box stores, which is great, and I think that’s been a nice change over the last seven to 10 years, making frozen organics available. They’re less costly than fresh, and to be honest with you, they probably have more nutrient value because they’re flash frozen as opposed to being picked and traveling maybe 10 days to get to a supermarket, or even frozen for six months, which a lot of fresh vegetables and produce are actually done. They freeze them at a temperature where they can kind of tee them up for a year from now, in a way.

Dr. Weitz: Really? So, your fresh fruits and vegetables can be a year old.

Dr. Cohen: Well, I would say that I’ve heard up to six months for apples, for instance, apples, particularly. A lot of these big chain stores need to have enough surplus to manage their stocks around the country, and so there are processes by which you pick apples, and they stay in a cooler for certain degree of time before they ripen or before they go to market. So yes, there is a process. I don’t know if I’d say a year, but I’ve heard up to six months, particularly with apples as an example.

Dr. Weitz: So, the bottom line is, in modern life, our fresh fruits and vegetables are not so fresh, even if we’re trying to do the right thing.

Dr. Cohen: Exactly. And I think when you lift the cover of a lot of these… The people who are trying to do health and wellness and really trying to make all these efforts, really thinking about what they’re eating and how they’re doing it, they’re doing it but they may not get quite to the where they want to even be better in terms of, for instance, having an organic salad with all the great ingredients, you’re all psyched, but then you might be carrying it or cooking something in a plastic container, or all of our organic ketchup for my kids, or organic condiments are in plastic containers, which sort of defeats the purpose in some ways, right?

Dr. Weitz: Maybe you can talk about the dangers of plastics.

Dr. Cohen: Yeah. So, plastics, for instance, are part of chemicals that are used to make either plastic soft or hard. So, for instance, Bisphenol A, which many of your audience members may recall, Bisphenol A or BPA is part of a class of chemicals called phenols, and there’s many of them, but BPA is the most well studied. And BPA was actually taken out of baby bottles in 2012… it made a lot of news… out of plastic bottles in the US because of its ability to disrupt the endocrine system. So, hormones in the human body, very, very, very low levels. And this was a breakthrough, because we normally think of chemicals being worse as the dose or exposure gets higher. Now, what we’ve now found from international research, World Health Organization, American Academy of Pediatrics, Endocrine Society, is that many chemicals can actually do just as much harm at incredibly low doses as they can at very high doses. In other words, they act almost like hormones or mimic hormones in the body, because that’s how the hormones in the body work. And so Bisphenol A was taken out of baby bottles. My co-author for both the textbook and my upcoming book, Non-Toxic, which is coming out next week, Guide to Living Healthy in a Chemical World, my co-author was largely responsible for helping to get Bisphenol A out of baby bottles in 2012 in the US.

Dr. Weitz: But what did they substitute for the BPA?

Dr. Cohen: BPS, BPFB, BPSIP, …

Dr. Weitz: Right. Which could be just as bad, right?

Dr. Cohen: Yeah, it’s a whack a mole. So, they take out one thing that has tons of good data from third party reputable researchers and then they just substitute another phenol in. So, it’s been a real uphill battle in those who study chemicals, on I would say, the good side. Not the manufacturers. Manufacturers do not have to prove safety before going to market. So you asked me about plastic. So, Bisphenol A was designed to actually make plastics hard. It basically if you think of like a clear aspirin bottle, the clear kind of like a bear aspirin bottle, that was the big discovery in the ’50s actually, so that when you linked BPA molecules together, they actually became a real hard epoxy kind of material, hard.

Phthalates, which are another class of plastic chemicals used in millions and millions of products, from cookware, to personal care products, even food ingredients, phthalates are everywhere, they actually tend to make plastic soft. So, I think like an iPhone case, or some kind of cell phone case that makes it squishy soft, or cookware that’s got a kind of a soft grip handle. So, that’s kind of how they’re differentiated in terms of structure. But these chemicals actually can, at very low levels, mimic hormones in the human body. And we now have enough data to show that. Especially phthalates can affect male hormones in a growing fetus and can make some reproductive changes in the fetus of a baby boy, can affect or block testosterone, can mimic estrogen at very low levels.

Dr. Weitz: In fact, it seems like predominantly these endocrine disrupting substances tend to have more of an estrogenic effect.

Dr. Cohen: Well, they have both an estrogenic and an anti-androgenic effect, and they also have thyroid effects. So, think about all the hormones that our body uses to signal different physiologic functions: growth, development, fertility, managing insulin. We know that these exposures can actually affect blood glucose levels and also utilization of glucose in the muscles, which you know because of your work. But the idea is that we have so many hormones that affect physiologic processes, and these chemicals mimic them, and that’s why they’re called, overall, endocrine disrupting chemicals.



Dr. Weitz: This podcast episode is sponsored by Quicksilver Scientific. Quicksilver Scientific is a leading manufacturer of nutritional supplements, featuring enhanced nanoparticle delivery systems, specializing in detoxification protocols, fast acting immune formulas, and next generation longevity products. To learn more or to sign up for a professional account, visit quicksilverscientific.com. Listeners of this podcast can receive 15% off their order by using the promo code Weitz, WEITZ2020 at checkout. And I definitely utilize Quicksilver products in our office and some of their products are just absolutely amazing and there’s nothing like it on the market, so thank you to Quicksilver.



Dr. Weitz: What do you think about genetically modified crops?

Dr. Cohen: So, genetically modified crops are interesting because it depends on the type of modification where they’re splicing out DNA and inserting different types of DNA into that spot.

Dr. Weitz: Right. Isn’t it the case that most genetically modified crops currently are designed so that the crop is resistant to roundup or other herbicides, so then they can spray that herbicide on the crops and kill the weed and not kill the crops?

Dr. Cohen: Absolutely. So, a lot of genetically modified crops, the majority worldwide, are designed specifically by the same makers of those seeds that genetically modified them, such as Monsanto, which was bought by Bayer, they are designed to basically be sprayed with this pesticide that was designed but not die. It would just kill off–it’s an herbicide–and it kills off all the different weeds around it. And what ended up happening, the marketing scheme was that this was going to add food to the world’s food system, and no one was going to starve, and it hasn’t panned out as such. And in fact, it shows that these seeds have shown resistance to the actual pesticides. So now, the weeds are being killed off, and they’re spraying not just once a season, but perhaps even two or three times during a farming season, and they’re sprayed to get the crop ready as a desiccant to dry it, to get it ready to move the farming along in terms of the crop readiness.

But the issue with this is that glyphosate, which is the most commonly used worldwide herbicide, we now know has multitude of health effects. Primarily, it’s probably carcinogenic activity, but we also know it has endocrine disruption activities as well. And just to give you a heads up, it’s now what? September… What the date? September 1st right now?

Dr. Weitz: Yeah, September 1st. Yeah.

Dr. Cohen: They just banned glyphosate from Mexico very recently, within the last few weeks, they are banning it from every major park, certainly in public parks in Miami, I think they’re looking at it for public parks in New York. Europe is looking at banning glyphosate. I mean, after the million dollar lawsuits that were paid out not that long ago to some of the school lawn keepers who developed cancer, multiple myeloma and some other cancers, I mean, it’s been a windfall. So, so many cases are now coming through the pipeline, and the science is pretty robust showing the pretty terrible harm that comes from Roundup or glyphosate.

Dr. Weitz: Right. So, glyphosate is the main chemical in Roundup?

Dr. Cohen: Yeah. Correct. And then there’s also the inert ingredients. So, there’s the active ingredient, which you see on the label, which is Roundup, and then there’s all these what they call inactive chemicals, that actually can be worse than the actual active ingredient, and you’re not privy to know all of those inactive chemicals because they’re proprietary. So, it’s a hot mess, let me tell you.

Dr. Weitz: Right. Yeah, there’s another sinister aspect to this whole genetically modified crop thing, which is that they also make sure that the seeds can’t reproduce by themselves, so the farmer who buys these seeds has to buy the seeds over and over again, from Monsanto, or whatever company that makes the genetically modified seeds, and then they’re genetically modified to be resistant to a herbicide that they make. So, not only do you have to buy the seeds from them, you have to buy the herbicides from them. And this is especially sinister in the developing world where you have subsistence farmers who normally would harvest the seeds and replant them, and now we can’t do that anymore.

Dr. Cohen: And I’ll tell you, this is from a very recent personal experience. We live in New Jersey, and New Jersey is the garden state. Okay, that’s just its definition, and every license plate has lots of fruits and vegetables on the license plate. So, we personally live in the corner of a 200 acre preserve farmland area that was bought by a farmer who outsourced it to another farmer that sprays glyphosate 10 feet from my kid’s door, twice a year, once a year. And finally, I worked on this relationship with this farmer and I would drop off articles, and I dropped in chapters off, and I would buy him beers, and I kept break him down. “Just listen to me.”

I showed him video of the farm water from the field coming into our driveway. I mean, I don’t know if he thought I was going to sue him, but there’s no lawsuit there. I mean, it’s their land. But the idea was I eventually worked so that he would not spray the season. I even reached out to a wonderful group in Washington, D.C. called Beyond Pesticides, who’s actually in our book, and they’re a wonderful organization that gives lists of all of the herbicides that can be beneficial in farmland, but also even selective ones. So, in other words, what you said where there are selective seeds, there are some herbicides, if you hit them at the right time, these weeds will actually do quite well with these organic or much less toxic sprays. So, there’s a solution to everything, and that’s why we just got to keep working at it.

Dr. Weitz: Right. So, one of the things in your chapter on food is you talk about the recycled plastic codes on the bottom of the bottles in the triangle. Maybe you could explain what those mean and which ones are the safe ones.

Dr. Cohen: Yeah. So, I believe it’s in 1988. Again, I have very short term memory because of my children now. So, in 1988, I think it was the Society of Plastics Industry that basically came up with this way of stamping a triangle on the bottom of plastic containers, food storage. I mean, most of us have seen them, maybe now they’ll look even more. Mott’s Applesauce, or my ketchup, or whatever, it’s always on plastic containers. And that triangle actually has value, value to the people who want to use it properly. The Society of Plastics Recycling came up with it just to save money because they wanted to know how they can recoup money from telling people which triangle to put in which trash can for recycling.

So, it’s one through seven, in terms of the numbers that go into those triangles, and seven is often Bisphenol A or other, and three is vinyl or polyvinyl chloride, or polyvinyl chloride is essentially what makes up number three triangle. Six is styrene. So, on the bottom of Styrofoam, you’ll see a triangle with six, or take out food. And one and two and five are generally considered less toxic because we water bottles are typically one or two, or five for some foods. So, the idea is that you could literally go on to your Google or Yahoo or whatever and just look up recycling codes, and they’ll tell you the kinds of foods and packaging that’s used for that triangle. And what I would say is avoid three, six and seven. And three is the vinyl, because it’s an endocrine disruptor, PVC, it’s plasticizer, like a phthalate. And six is styrene, because we know styrene is carcinogenic, and seven is usually Bisphenol A or others.

So, if you have to choose, try to stay away from three, six and seven. And we go through it in much more detail in the book, but again, the whole book is about practical solutions. It’s about being armed with the stuff to reduce your exposure because we’re all not toxicologists or medical doctors or what have you, we need to have some guidance. That’s all I want to tell you.

Dr. Weitz: Well, if PVCs are not safe, and pretty much all our plumbing went from lead, which is obviously horrible, and we know about all the issues with lead, then we switch over to copper, and we’ve got issues with copper toxicity, now we’re using PVC. What the hell are we doing?

Dr. Cohen: Right. Yeah. Which leads me into the next topic, thank you for doing that, that is our water, and the fact that we use PVC piping… And for instance, my company that we use, I think it’s American Water Company in New Jersey, and I visited one of their treatment plants. So, for instance, there are 160,000 water treatment plants in the country in the US, 160,000, which serve about 250 million Americans out of 310 million, right? So, the majority of Americans drink from water treatment plants that are city water. The 20 to 50 million others that are leftover are in wells, they’re usually in wells, and they have their own issues, and they have their own requirements. But the treatment plants, the 160,000, are only mandated to monitor 91 chemicals, 91 nationally, under the Safe Drinking Water Act of 1974.

So, what that means is since 1974, they’ve only added… I mean, from then I think it was like 80, now it’s 91. What happens is these folks do their job, and they do it well, but they’re only mandated to calculate how much of those 91 chemicals are over the limit and to remediate it. Now, we have over 90,000 chemicals on the market right now, in everything, even if it gets into the air, the air quality gets into our water, and they all end up going through these water treatment plants. And the water treatment plants aren’t capable, don’t have the infrastructure to manage medications from our sewage. Yes, sewage does turn into drinking water. It doesn’t have the ability to manage antidepressants, which wouldn’t be so bad, blood pressure medications, oral contraceptives, all of the industrial chemicals, runoff, fertilizer, pesticides, so many chemicals that go through… Microplastics are now-

Dr. Weitz: To just stop you for a second. So, you’re talking about medication, prescription medications, over the counter that get flushed down the toilet that end up in our water supply. Is there a proper way to dispose of prescription and over the counter drugs?

Dr. Cohen: That’s a great question. I mean, I guess maybe some of the big box pharmacies probably have some means of doing it, but who knows? I don’t really know where that would go to. It’s not like they just combust into nothing, they have to be somehow destroyed, dissolved. I don’t know. But there’s no great solution for all these chemical… Well, there is a great solution. I’m going to tell you. I mean, worldwide, we have to think about water contamination, but PVC piping takes water from those municipal plants, and ours travels 40 miles to get to our house. I’ve done the drive. I’ve calculated the drive. And so when you’re talking about that much piping, and anything can break the piping, you can get dirt in there, you can get any number of chemicals originally that didn’t get washed out, there’s coal ash, there’s fracking chemicals, I mean the list goes on and on and on, but those chemicals will travel all the way down to your home.

And so the solution, which is what we go into in great detail, is to filter the water at the point of us, which is at your sink. So, whether the water comes from below your house at a well, or it comes from a municipal treatment plant 40 miles away, who cares? It had to have chlorine in there to kill off bacteria, it had to have detergents to clean it up, but when it gets to your sink, it’s traveled, it’s done, and you just got to clean it right there before you ingest it or take it with you to work or soccer games or whatever. And then we get into the different types of filtration, how aggressive, the cost.

But I’ll tell you the punch line, I think everyone should be filtering no matter what, carbon filter, pitcher, whatever, but RO filters or reverse osmosis are the most aggressive way of cleaning water in this country, and there’s many places you can get reputable RO filters for upwards of 300 bucks max, and they are right under your sink. Not whole house filters.

Dr. Weitz: And a lot of the big water companies will install it and just charge you a monthly fee like $40 a month or something.

Dr. Cohen: Well, that’s not how I do it. I say buy the RO filter, have a plumber… We bought ours out of California because we’ve got it off of Consumer Reports, highly certified. You want to make sure it has all the certifications, not outsourced to China, Indonesia. Don’t buy it at a big box store that says Made in America. They often will have parts, especially the filtration portions from other countries. And so you want to research this quite well. I don’t say brands, but I can tell you we do a lot of information to get you to the right product.

Dr. Weitz: All right. Why not tell us brands?

Dr. Cohen: Because I’m working to get into Princeton University and all the universities and high schools. My ultimate goal is to have this as a curriculum for high school students. And I’ve been very conscientious of never doing branding, even though I’d love to, but I don’t because my goal is to have a bigger reach than just a one off, and I don’t get paid for any of these remarks, and that’s why I want to keep it so legit and believable.

Dr. Weitz: Okay.

Dr. Cohen: But the RO filters are interesting because it’s almost like a dialysis machine. It’s so aggressive. It has to go through three canisters, it’s not that big, but it goes through three canisters and then has to sit in a waiting tank. And our plumber put it in at $150, I think it was, for one hour of work. It should not be three hours. It should be one hour of work for a plumber who knows how to do an RO filter. It’s super easy. I actually order them as wedding gifts because they cost 300 bucks or 250, nice gift, right? And I’ll send them to their house, with their permission, and then they’ll just pay a plumber to put it in for 150 or $130, and they’re done. And then all they have to do is change out the cartridges for about 40 bucks a year or every nine months, depending on how much they use it. But the tank actually has to hold the water. So, it goes through three filtration systems, sits in a tank, comes with its own faucet, that’s just your drinking and cooking water.

Dr. Weitz: Yeah, that’s what we have.

Dr. Cohen: Yeah. And so you don’t have to keep paying anyone for anything. I hate the idea of constantly paying for something when you can do it yourself.

Dr. Weitz: It’s an American way to just keep overpaying.

Dr. Cohen: I know. I’m always fascinated when I hear these stories about certain water companies, they come in, they tell your water sucks, and then they tell you to buy the best, most expensive thing they offer because you’re scared out of your mind. Of course, you’re going to buy it and be suckered to a whole house $6,000 filter. But I kind of push away from that. I mean, some patients you have-

Dr. Weitz: I guess the advantage of the whole house is then the water that you’re bathing in or showering in is filtered as well.

Dr. Cohen: Well, true, and I agree with you. I think if you can afford that, that’s great. I would love people to afford that over a lot of nonsense things in our lives, right? I do nonsense things too, but the idea is that if you’re taking reasonably short showers, nothing excessive, not too many baths, you’re not otherwise having blood testing that shows heavy metals. I mean, I do that routinely. It’s covered by insurance. I would say, six, $7,000 is a lot of money when you could put that into an RO filter, plenty of food, the clean food, maybe a couple yoga classes. I don’t know. I just look at it as more high yield to just get the water that you’re drinking and cooking set up and then think big later.

Dr. Weitz: Yeah, we don’t find testing for heavy metals often covered by insurance, but again, we’ve got different insurance in California.

Dr. Cohen: Yeah. I mean, I don’t do a lot of metals, but they’re covered by Quest and LabCorp in New Jersey, with the right coding and it’s inbursed. I’m always fascinated why regular, non integrative doctors don’t just do them, but it’s not typical that they do screenings of a lot of things.

Dr. Weitz: Yeah. I’m not sure if the testing done from Quest and LabCorp for metals is as accurate as the better testing.

Dr. Cohen: I agree with you, but for the vast majority of what I see, based on the symptoms, I try really consciously to keep people’s costs down, because to me, I see enough people where they’re working class, they don’t have money coming out of their ears, and I think to myself, “you know what, if the symptoms match, I’ll do some of these basic testing, and if it’s not resolved over some basic interventions, then we’ll move into deeper testing.” But go with what sprays, is what I say.

Dr. Weitz: Yeah. Are stainless steel bottles and containers safe?

Dr. Cohen: Yeah, in general, they are, but I’m always leery of anything that says, made in China. I worry about the recycling of metals. I tend to really try to get people to think about US made pans, pots, containers. There’s stainless steel thermoses that are great made in California. So, there’s some really good companies, and it should say 18/8 underneath on the bottom stamped, because it’s basically the formulation of food grade steel. And we talk about that in the book, and of course, I can’t remember the exact numbers. But the idea is that you want to go with everything that touches your lips, your body, hot coffee, hot tea, you want that material to be strong enough so that the matrix of it doesn’t fall apart and get into your body. Glass and stainless steel is what we’ve got.

Dr. Weitz: So, nonstick cookware has these polyfluorinated chemicals, these PFAS, PFOAs, and we know those are very toxic. But there’s also nonstick cookware made from ceramic titanium. What do you think about that stuff? It’s supposed to be safe.

Dr. Cohen: Yeah. I mean, it’s almost, I guess, like a Le Creuset in a pan form or something. I don’t know. The idea is that I can’t vouch for companies because I don’t do the third party testing. So, like many other things that we’re not trained to know, it sounds like we’re going with our best guess or estimate. There was a company online that a woman actually, who her whole job has been to look up pans and safety. I don’t know what her background is, but it’s just not an area I’m so familiar with. So, I just go with the old school stuff. I mean, to me anything that’s marketed as green clean, I get a little nervous, because remember, there is no testing by the US government on these pans to say that they’re not adding PFOS chemicals, or perfluoroalkyls, which is what you’re describing, and that’s what makes these pans easy to cook with. So, if they’re made in China, they’re marketed really well to be green pans. And I’m not saying they’re all a problem, I’m saying I don’t know, and so I stick with what I know.

Dr. Weitz: Right. Why don’t we talk about those PFOS chemicals right now? So, these are the chemicals that line these non stick pans, like Teflon, they’re also found in a whole series of other products. They’re what are actually sprayed as fire retardants in California, we have all these fires, and planes are coming by and dumping all these flame retardant chemicals.

Dr. Cohen: Poor California, man. I [crosstalk 00:38:27].

Dr. Weitz: I just did see though that there’s a bill in California that was just passed to ban these chemicals. Of course, I think they have eight more years to stop using them, but all this crap is seeping into the groundwater. And I had seen reports where these chemicals are literally in the majority of states throughout the country in much higher levels than are safe.

Dr. Cohen: Oh, sure. I mean, Hoosick Falls in New York is a big battle. Every military base in this country is pretty much almost a super fun site because of all of the unbelievable number of chemicals, PCE that get in there, perchloroethylene, I think it is, PFOS chemicals, which are the ones that are used, like you said, for fire training in fires. Perfluoroakyls, they’re called perfluoroalkyls, it’s PFOS and PFOA, generally speaking, they’re what’s called forever chemicals. So, these chemicals, unlike many others… like BPA breaks down in six hours. So, if you give up things with BPA like canned foods, or receipts that you touch, which goes through the skin, you will lower your BPA level in your bloodstream, but the PFOS chemicals happen to be a group of chemicals that are forever. I mean, they don’t break down with sun, wind, rain, they get into the soil. And again, everything will always make its way into water, because soil is like tissue paper, and it absorbs and it transfers chemicals for miles and miles away.

If anyone wants to read a really good book called Toms River written by a New York NYU Professor, Dan Fagin, I think his name is, fabulous, fabulous read. True story about chemical pollution. It started in Ohio, the company moved to New Jersey, and then you see these wells that basically contaminated miles of surrounding… I should say, contamination pots that really affected the wells for miles around in the Jersey Shore. It’s a true story and it was beautifully written. But anyway, I learned from that book just how soluble soil is, and how soil, literally like tissue paper when you drop that little corner in the water, it literally goes right up the tissue paper. It’s similar for almost all soil that we’re in, it literally transfers. So, the PFOS chemicals affect human health as endocrine disruptors, they also lower immune system response to vaccinations. So, we now know it blunts the effect. If you’re going to have a vaccine or vaccination, even as a childhood vaccines, it will blunt those effects, especially with immunocompromised folks, it’ll blunt their immune system process. But they’re a horrible group of chemicals. They’ve been banned but they’re still around and they’re making… It’s kind of like DDT. They’re still finding remnants of some of these chemicals that are 30, 40 years old, and I think we’re going to find the same problem moving forward.

Dr. Weitz: A thought just came into my head. I always get these weird thoughts, is that we’re in the midst of this coronavirus pandemic, and we’re reading reports about how people who’ve been exposed, who’ve been infected, and it’s assumed that with the majority of viruses, you’re going to develop protective antibodies. And what you’re talking about, vaccines, could it be that if our bodies are loaded with some of these toxic chemicals, maybe our immune system is not going to produce the same amount of protective antibodies that would have happened otherwise?

Dr. Cohen: Well, what’s interesting, and to make that nice segue into COVID-19 and how chemicals actually really cause more problems for people who are exposed to COVID-19, and the fact that environmental chemicals we now know cause inflammation, okay? They cause inflammation, IL-6, IL-18, IL-17, tumor necrosis factor of natural killer cells. All of these chemicals are shown to be elevated with high exposures to every day chemicals, so we know that. We know that many of these chemicals contribute to chronic conditions like diabetes, right? Because they affect insulin production and insulin resistance in muscle tissue, heart disease, blood pressure, all affected by BPA, plenty of good studies on that. We know that all these comorbidities that we hear about on the news, five months into this pandemic, we know that the people who do worse once infected… Everyone can get infected, right? Everyone can get it. It’s the people that do worse with it, who respond more severely and require ventilation, oxygenation, and some die, of course, many die, are the people that have one or more comorbidity, okay? And as the comorbidities go up in number, the higher your risk of having an inflammatory response to COVID.

So again, the number one way I would say is to eat healthy, eat clean, but to really think about chemicals that affect these chronic conditions and inflammation as one mechanism of preventing that inflammatory response if exposed. Now, I agree, the vaccine is going to be a whole nother discussion. And as an autoimmune disease specialist, as a rheumatologist, I’m particularly sensitive to this whole topic because my patients are either immunocompromised to begin with, or now exposed to chemicals and may have to be in a position for their jobs or school to get a vaccine. So, it’s going to be very tricky, but yes, it can blunt your immune system response to create antibodies, your B cells creating antibodies, which would be protective to future exposures. So anyway, that’s a long winded answer, but yes.

Dr. Weitz: Yeah, it’s kind of interesting. It could be that people in the United States are less likely to develop natural immunity, herd immunity, whatever you want to call it, or/and maybe the vaccine might be less effective in the United States because of all these chemicals. I really think this whole crisis is a wake up call for people in the United States to get more healthy, because we’re talking about all these chronic health conditions like diabetes, and hypertension, and obesity, just epidemic, so it should be a wake up for that. Maybe this is a wake up call to start paying attention and getting rid of some of these toxic chemicals or trying to reduce them.

Dr. Cohen: And you’re absolutely right. And obesity is another one of those big como- in fact, probably the biggest comorbidity, especially in children who have a terrible response to COVID are mostly obese.

Dr. Weitz: And where do a lot of toxins get stored, but in fat cells, so people who are more obese are storing more fat.

Dr. Cohen: And also when you talk about environmental justice, and health equity, and you talk about who are getting the sickest, we know that many of the minority groups in this country, major cities, people who are underserved, people who don’t have access to health care, they may have higher access to junk food, right? Because they’re in places where there’s food deserts, or healthy food deserts. And so you can start to pick out why it all connects. Our diet-

Dr. Weitz: And junk food is cheap.

Dr. Cohen: And junk food is cheap, and it’s, unfortunately, what a lot of people rely on for feeding their families. So, I think the system is really a mess, it’s really broken. And I think we’re also seeing through the pandemic, just how bad the system is for people who really even want to get healthy. And these are people that just wouldn’t like to be necessarily on junk food, these are people who necessarily want to be healthy like everyone else and have the ability to do so. And it’s not just food, by the way, air quality plays a key role in terms of risk for COVID. And we know this because air pollution actually has been shown over the last five months worldwide and when they measured it, it correlates with a worse inflammatory response to COVID. We have a whole chapter on indoor and outdoor air quality and what to do about it. Because again, it’s not just what you eat, it’s what you drink, it’s what you inhale, it’s what you put on your skin, what you put in your body. These things all add up to a picture of contamination.

Dr. Weitz: And one of the ways people are trying to be healthier is to reduce their carbs, they might be eating paleo, or keto, or carnivore diet, and they’re eating less carbs, or very little carbs, and they’re eating more fat, and they’re eating the entire animal. And you mentioned in your book how eating the fat and the skin from animal products like fish and poultry are going to concentrate more of the toxic chemicals. Not only are they eating the skin and everything else, but they’re eating liver, and these other organs, which even more are going to concentrate these toxins, right?

Dr. Cohen: Yeah. Well, you did actually read the book. I can’t believe you know so much detail about the book. I’m so impressed. I’m like, “Oh my god, I did write that.” But it is true. The fish, when we eat fish, the skin is the dirtiest part of the whole fish. Fat holds these chemicals, these endocrine disruptive chemicals.

Dr. Weitz: But I always thought that’s where the omega 3’s are, right? So you want it.

Dr. Cohen: Well, it’s become a really sad situation where I tell patients, believe it or not, knowing what I now know about chemicals and seafood, wild or farm raised, I recommend only about two or three servings of fish even a week wild caught. Because I think you start to tip the balance between benefit and risk. And if you’re going to do supplements, which I do believe in supplements, just evidence based, well thought through and really good brands, because brands matter in this country, because everything is a free for all, I say a good fish oil supplement that’s affordable, that’s cleaned for heavy metals and PCBs, that is concentrated so you don’t have to take 10 of them to get the same amount as another one that’s just one of them, that all plays out into cost, to compliance, consistency. And you need a company that actually cleans and looks for those metals and those PCB contaminants, because quite frankly, I think as we move forward, just those chemicals, it’s actually microplastics are getting into fish. I’m sure you’ve read those articles.

Dr. Weitz: Oh, yeah.

Dr. Cohen: Yeah, like I said, it’s a pretty daunting conversation, but what we try to do is just give people really simple, “Here’s what we recommend based on the science.” And it’s not a perfect situation. I color my hair. We all have habits that we love, and we have to work, it’s a journey. So, I call myself out on that, but I think I try to give up everything else so I can still try to be a blonde.

Dr. Weitz: Absolutely, yeah. It’s not a perfect world. It’s a question of doing our best to reduce our level of these toxic chemicals, and then perhaps maybe doing some sort of detox periodically as well.

Dr. Cohen: Yeah. I mean, there’s nothing wrong with doing detoxes, I just don’t promote a lot of that. In the book, I have a whole chapter. The last chapter, I think is on detox, and it’s really talking about how exercise works anthropologically. I was an anthropology minor in college, I loved it. I loved it, loved it, loved it, because you can look through the world as an anthropology person and you can see how messed up we are these past 200 years. Really, it’s like 200 years, 300 years. I mean, you could argue further, but in terms of chemicals, pollution, lack of community, spiritual, clean drinking water, sleep, we have really screwed a lot of things up that we’ve been evolving to utilize in our lives for millions of years. So, I really want people to think about the ways to naturally detox that our bodies were designed, like exercise, how it works, why it works? Sleep. How we detox our brains at night. People don’t realize we actually detox our brains at night.

Dr. Weitz: The glymphatic system, yeah.

Dr. Cohen: [crosstalk 00:51:00].

Dr. Weitz: Which happens during REM sleep, yeah.

Dr. Cohen: Yeah. Yeah. I mean, it’s so fascinating. That’s new science from 2013. We have all the references in there. But there’s just really interesting stuff that if you just learn about it, you’ll start to realize you don’t need any fancy cleanses, and detoxes, and high colonics, and all these cockamamie things that I hear about, you really just need to be consistent with very reasonable behaviors and lifestyle changes, and that will be enough to do it. And I see this because I test myself, I test my patients, so it supersize me. I’m living and trying to make sure I’m pulling as many studies that show that what you do and how you change matters.

Dr. Weitz: Yeah, firstly, I don’t find that just exercising and eating clean is enough when you’re loaded with heavy metals and some of these toxins.

Dr. Cohen: It depends on your occupation too, it depends on where you live, it depends on your water quality. There’s so much. So, what doctors and healthcare professionals don’t often do is do an environmental health assessment. When I see a patient, I see them for an hour, my initial visit, and by the time they leave, I know every aspect of their exposures, their lifestyle, their history. You got to know this stuff because you have to figure out how to intervene. And I think that’s what’s missing, is doctors tend to spend about 15 to 20, maybe half an hour with patients, and mostly it’s dealing with the current issues and not the big picture ideas. But everyone’s different in terms of their exposures, so I don’t go nuts in one direction or another. I try to really hone in on that person.

Dr. Weitz: Yeah. So, let’s see. We talked a little bit about the water and the problems with the water. We’ve got personal care products. So, there’s so many chemicals in these personal care products, phthalates, and benzoates, and there’s so many chemicals. What are the most toxic ones to avoid?

Dr. Cohen: Well, they all have their own risks, and of course, over time, exposures add up. So, the idea is that look, when I was a kid and a teenager, did I know any of this? No. Did I go to college and sleep on a nasty mattress? Who knows what I was breathing in. I mean, I look back at all the Cheez Whiz and Oreos I ate. I mean, you cannot change your past, you can only change what you do moving forward. And when it comes to personal care products, we’ve been through all of them. I mean, all of us have been through all of them.

The idea is whether one class or one chemical is going to get you is hard to even figure that out. What you want to do is try to think globally about, do I need these products? How many do I need? Since they’re completely unregulated. I mean, personal care products in the US are not regulated at all, meaning they’re not required to have testing for toxicity or health issues before they’re added to products that go on to the shelf. And most people can’t believe that. In fact, products that are on the shelf, like shampoo, conditioner, what have you, body spray, if they cause human health problems and enough people complain, the only ones that can take that off the shelf are the manufacturers. Our government cannot pull products from the shelf. So, it’s absurd, but there are many great ways to check your products. And that’s where we talk about Environmental Working Group has a skin deep database where you type in your products. I even have their app on my phone, and when I go shopping, I can actually use the barcode. And they have a rating system, zero to 10.

And so we give all that information as to how to just find your personal care products. For teenagers, it’s usually they use about 17 products per day, 15 to 17, which is crazy, but they use the most. Women, on average, use about 12 personal care products a day, and of course, men use about six. But really, once you get those checked out, you’re done, at least until you recheck them. But the idea is to get clean products that you put in, on, and around your body, tampons, feminine care products, especially. And really, it’s not that complicated once you do it. It’s a journey so you have to do one by one and not stress yourself out.

Dr. Weitz: Right. Yeah. So, use as few personal care products as you can and shop at Whole Foods and try to get the least toxic ones you can.

Dr. Cohen: Yeah. I mean, Whole Foods does a nice job. I don’t want to give them so many props that it’s all you have to go shop at. I mean, I think you’ve got to be using your app for EWG skin deep database, and you can buy anywhere. I mean, the idea is that you want to check your products and then you can probably find those products in many places. But you want control. Now, they do a nice screening process, but again, I can’t vouch for all of their products.

Dr. Weitz: Right. But I mean you have to go to either health food stores or natural stores, I mean-

Dr. Cohen: Websites.

Dr. Weitz: … the main stores websites. Yeah.

Dr. Cohen: Yeah. But you have to do the work. So, when I teach high school, which I do, and that’s my goal, is to get all of this information into a national curriculum. And if you want to hear that story, actually, it’s a TED talk, TEDx talk on YouTube, if you type my name.

Dr. Weitz: Yeah, I watched it.

Dr. Cohen: Did you?

Dr. Weitz: I did.

Dr. Cohen: Yeah, that was the hardest thing I’ve ever done. It was really quite hard to do, but I’m proud of it. Anyway, so that’s the story of where this whole thing is hopefully going, is getting information such as in the book and what I do with patients into schools. Because if we can’t teach people young before they get sick, then we’re just chasing after it after they do get sick.

So, when I teach high school, I will have everyone in the class download the skin deep database app, or the website, and I come in with a bag of stinky junk from one of the big box stores and I toss the tampons at the jocks, and I’ll throw the body spray at the girls, and lipsticks, nail polish, everything, and their job is to actually take the product, look it up, tell me what the rating system is, tell me what chemicals they are supposedly bad in the product, and choose better products.

Dr. Weitz: But if I’m a young man in high school, and if I don’t use the Axe products, I’m not going to have all those hype chicks chasing me.

Dr. Cohen: Guess what? There’s different ratings for the different Axe sprays. So, depending on the flavor, it could be a two, or it could be a 10. It’s fascinating. And again, I’m not here to tell everyone, “Listen, don’t do this, don’t do that.” I don’t want to be that person. I want people to have the tools, the fishing rod, to do this throughout their lives, not just listen to a one off. And you’d be surprised about that body spray. That stuff stinks, man, but these kids love it, and at least I can teach them how to find the safer versions of what they love.

Dr. Weitz: Right. And then we got these flame retardant chemicals in furniture, in carpets.

Dr. Cohen: Yeah. And it’s a matter of just working your way through the process. I don’t want this to be overwhelming. Look, I came from a place where I didn’t do any of this stuff, I didn’t know anything about, it’s on the TED talk. I learned, as anyone would learn, and I’m considered to be someone who has a background in science or medicine, or what have you, I didn’t know any of this stuff.

So, as I learned and my journey kept continuing, I kept on layering what I would tell other people. And that’s what this is the culmination of, it’s like eight years of trying to figure it out on my own. And instead of people spending eight years to do it, now they can just buy a book and read it. You know what I mean? So, I’m very honest about that. It’s a journey, and I’m not there yet. I mean, I’m still doing things that I wish I could change, but I’m doing it slowly. We changed out our couches. Couches are expensive. And so I would stare at this couch as I walked through the kitchen or the lounge or whatever we have, and I would have like a tick, because I knew that it had flame retardant chemicals, but we needed a couch. So, it was so stressful. And the day I got rid of my couch, I took pictures, I posted, I was like, “This is the way you get good ones.” So, I look at it as a win every time you kind of one out.

Dr. Weitz: What can you do about your car seat, because car seat all have it, right?

Dr. Cohen: Car seats have them because they’re covered by the Federal Transportation Association or [crosstalk 00:59:44] Transportation. Anyway, so yeah. Flame retardants are part of car seats and the material in car seats. There’s no way around it at this point. But they’ve gotten rid of flame retardants in baby pillows, and a lot of mattresses. Certain states, like California, are much better at this than others. And the rules are changing, but in car seats, because the car can explode, they have not been able to do that. And quite frankly, I’m not sure I disagree, but you can also do a covering to your car seat that can be non toxic. So, there’s that. You can do that with no problem.

Dr. Weitz: Yeah. Okay, cool. Well, I think we covered a bunch of really useful information.

Dr. Cohen: Yeah. I had fun. You got my Jewish [crosstalk 01:00:28] drink.

Dr. Weitz: There you go. So, how can our listeners, viewers get a hold of you, find out about your book?

Dr. Cohen: Yeah. Well, my practice is in Princeton. I do telemedicine, I see people from all over the world if they need it. That’s just my website for my practice, which is just A-L-Ycohen, C-O-H-E-NMD.com, so alycohenmd.com. But my baby is The Smart Human. Thesmarthuman.com, The Smart Human on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter. I post Monday, Wednesday, Friday on Facebook, Instagram, maybe three times a week also. But I’m always posting nuggets, nuggets and pictures, and things I’m learning, and changes in the market, breast cancer prevention tips, Alzheimer’s prevention. So, that’s my educational platform. I’m very proud of it. I don’t sell anything, but I will sell the book. I got that right. But after the book, I really don’t sell anything at all. So, it’s squeaky clean and I hope people will go to follow on those different platforms. And check out the YouTube video, the TED Talk called, How To Keep Your Kids Safe From Toxic Chemicals.

Dr. Weitz: Great. Excellent. Thank you.

Dr. Cohen: Yeah, my pleasure. Thanks for having me.

206 episodes