Move to a Geodesic Dome Because Toxins Are Probably Making You Old

Illustration for article titled Move to a Geodesic Dome Because Toxins Are Probably Making You Old

Ever wonder what the car exhaust and UV rays you soak up while walking to work and/or stuck in traffic are doing to your body? Bad news! They're very likely aging you before your time, just like your grueling work schedule and loud-ass neighbors.

TOXINS, my friend. TOXINS are all around.

According to Time, UNC researchers developed a way to test molecular age, based on the activity of a gene within a specific type of immune cells, which indicates how old and tired they are. (Click through for a more detailed, scientific explanation.)


Then, they ran a series of experiments on human and mouse cells to see what sorts of factors might actually contribute to faster aging. Guilty: certain chemo drugs, cigarette smoke and UV light. (HISSSS NOT THE SUN IT BURNS.) Not particularly guilty: a high-fat diet, which didn't put as much strain mouse cells. "Why we got that unexpected answer is unclear—it may be that the mice are different enough from humans, or it may be that the dose [of the high fat diet] wasn't sufficient," said senior author Dr. Norman Sharpless.

According to National Geographic (which goes into even more detail), the researchers call for more research (always) into potential age-accelerating "gerontogens," so people can avoid them where possible. "If you identify stuff in the environment that affects aging, that's knowledge we could use today," Sharpless explained. "If you did what we've done for carcinogens, where we've tested millions of compounds, you'd find stuff that you'd be really surprised were gerontogens," he added.

NatGeo throws out "arsenic in groundwater," "benzene in industrial emissions" and "suffering psychological stress" as potential for-instances.

But of course the stress from worrying about what's maybe aging you would probably age you, too. Sadly, time flows only one way.


Photo via Shutterstock.

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A Small Turnip

Sunscreen is the best. I love sunscreen. Sunscreen is the symbol of everything that's excellent and sensible about the modern world. So you'll understand why I was so fucking horrified when my cousin Clare (Gwyneth Paltrow's brunette spirit twin) recently told me about how sunscreens give you cancer, and that she only uses coconut oil for sun protection for herself and her kids.

You know that moment in Beetlejuice when Geena Davis opens the front door of her lovely, friendly, paisley-patterned house and sees that yawning, infinite wasteland of howling despair? That was me. The helpless stupidity of it all totally defeated me. I just stood in the doorway of that madness, and whimperered and gibbered into the void. Clare later sent me this article explaining the science behind it:

"Summer time is beach time, or at least poolside time. But if you want some protection form the sun's UV rays, don't reach for toxic sunscreens. Instead, pack some extra virgin coconut oil along with your beach towel and umbrella.

That's right, the same extra virgin coconut oil found in your kitchen pantry will do the trick to protect your skin – minus the toxicity from health-compromising ingredients. Coconut oil has been used as an effective sunscreen for thousands of years by indigenous, pacific islanders. Why slather toxic chemicals on your body when you can use non toxic coconut oil instead?"

For more knuckle-gnawing insanity, read further here:…