In an effort to reduce exposures to environmental toxins, the U.S. has established
a National Priorities List (NPL) of hazardous waste sites eligible for long-term
remedial cleanup financed under the federal Superfund program. To assist this
program, the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR) maintains
a Substance Priority List (SPL), a list of hazardous substances that will be the
candidates for toxicological profiles prepared by the ATSDR. The SPL is not a
list based on an evaluation of which are the most toxic substances, but rather a prioritization
of substances based on the frequency of occurrence at National Priorities
List (NPL) sites, toxicity, and potential for human exposure to the substances found
at sites. Many of these chemicals listed in table below can be found on the
Substance Priority List, and exposure to them should be minimized because most
are already established to harm health.
Avoiding environmental toxins
Given the great uncertainty regarding what exactly is toxic in our environment, the
levels that are harmful, and the health effects of environmental toxins, it is best to
limit exposure to all potentially toxic substances as much as possible. It should be
recognized that it is impossible to avoid all environmental toxins. What can be done
is to minimize exposure. There are ways to limit exposures for yourself, your family,
at work, and in the community.
The University of California, San Francisco Program on Reproductive Health and
the Environment offers the following advice excerpted from their publication: “Toxic
Matters Protecting Our Families from Toxic Substances” and available online at
This blog presents opinions and ideas and is intended to provide helpful general information. I am not engaged in rendering advice or services to the individual reader. The ideas, procedures and suggestions in that are presented are not in any way a substitute for the advice and care of the reader’s own physician or other medical professional based on the reader’s own individual conditions, symptoms or concerns. If the reader needs personal medical, health, dietary, exercise or other assistance or advice the reader should consult a physician and/or other qualified health professionals. The author specifically disclaims all responsibility for any injury, damage or loss that the reader may incur as a direct or indirect consequence of following any directions or suggestions given in this blog or participating in any programs described in this blog or in the book, The Building Blocks of Health––How to Optimize Your Health with a Lifestyle Checklist (available in print or downloaded at Amazon, Apple, Barnes and Noble and elsewhere). Copyright 2021 by J. Joseph Speidel.