The antitoxic author

Mark Schauss’ interest and expertise in environmental toxicity was inspired by his daughter, who has dealt with epileptic seizures since she was 3 years old.

Mark Schauss’ interest and expertise in environmental toxicity was inspired by his daughter, who has dealt with epileptic seizures since she was 3 years old.

Photo By Nick Higman

The toxicity of our world is becoming an increasing concern as we begin to realize the toll it’s taking on our health and environment. From industrial chemicals to pesticides, home cleaning products to car exhaust, toxins are bombarding our systems.

This is having an especially alarming affect on our young people. Maladies ranging from autism, diabetes and asthma to obesity, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and cancer are being linked in some way or another to the polluted environment we create with which we surround ourselves. The abundance of news about these health issues drives the point home that it’s time to start exploring and treating the cause of such illnesses. It’s a sad and depressing topic, and one that is faced head-on in Reno-based author Mark Schauss’ book Achieving Victory Over a Toxic World.

Contrary to the doom and gloom one normally finds when reading about this subject—though by the very nature of the topic, that tone is present in Schauss’ writings—the overall message of Achieving Victory is positive and hopeful. We can make small changes, quite easily, it turns out, that make big differences. Toxins affect us over time. It isn’t one major blow that results in, say, developing cancer or asthma. What we do day to day has cumulative effects on our health. So, by making small adjustments in our regular routine, we can work to avoid disease and live healthier lives.

The crusader
Schauss is an internationally acclaimed lecturer on the effects of environmental toxicity on human health and the use of laboratory testing to figure out how to get a person back to a healthy state. Over the past 10 years he has lectured from San Francisco to Germany, from the Philippines to Colombia, and many places in between. His lecture topics range from essential screening methods for environmentally toxic patients to non-invasive lab testing for the autistic children.

He is the director of the Lab Test Division of Crayhon Research, a Reno-based company that designs and creates nutritional supplements made available through health care practitioners and offers testing to help determine the correct supplements needed by patients to achieve optimal health.

Achieving Victory begins with, and was inspired by, a personal quest. Schauss’ firstborn, Anastasya Janine, or Tasya, as she is called, began having severe seizures at the age of 3-and-a-half. She was diagnosed with general juvenile myoclonic epilepsy. Over time, her seizures became increasingly severe to the point of being life-threatening.

The story Schauss paints is heartbreaking. Young Tasya experienced grand mal seizure after grand mal seizure, the worst lasting up to 25 minutes. She then began having drop seizures during which she’d suddenly, without warning, fall or jolt forward, on the playground, at the dinner table … wherever she happened to be. Schauss treated her with nutrients and a diet regimen, in addition to drugs prescribed by her doctor, with varying but increasing success. Today, Tasya is not completely without epileptic episodes, but they are at their lowest activity level since her first one in October 1999.

Schauss posits that the catalyst of the disease was an early exposure to pesticides. Can this be proven? No. But is it possible? Certainly. Schauss states in the book: “It is my firm belief that environmental toxins account for many neurological disorders in children. I know deep in my heart that it is the cause of Tasya’s struggles in life and her seizure disorder. The more I know and find out about the subject, the more convinced I am.”

A new hope
The book illustrates just how toxic our world is, the ways that toxins affect the body, what those toxins are specifically, how we come in contact with them, and how our current health care system is flawed in its approach to achieving a healthy state. Though alarming, the information is couched in a positive light. The knowledge is meant to help the reader face the realities of our world so as to avoid falling victim to it. As Schauss states in the book: “By becoming more aware about the subject of environmental toxicity, the better off we will all be, especially our children and their children. … The coming chapters will hopefully give you a roadmap to achieving victory over a toxic world. It has given Tasya and countless others the ability to overcome incredible levels of adversity. Now it’s your turn.”

In the third part of the book, Schauss gets to the really positive stuff: how we, the readers can get back to a healthier, less toxic life. Sections such as “The Top 10 Things You Can Do in the Face of a Toxic World,” and “Common Sense (and Not so Apparent) Tips to Improve Our Environment” put the tools to make significant changes easily within reach.

Schauss wraps things up with listings of various resources which are very helpful for any reader who wishes to take Schauss’ words seriously, start making some changes, and stay up to date on environmental toxicity.

Achieving Victory is full of helpful, useful advice. And the information and arguments Schauss puts forth to make his claims are convincing and, for the most part, logical and simple to follow. The structure and contents of the book do feel a little random. It jumps around from general topics and the author’s opinions to a specific topic such as multiple sclerosis, and there is the unnecessary addition of the section “A Little Ditty, a Little Humor” in which Schauss shares a song he wrote about toxicity, but the overall usefulness of the information enclosed makes wading through a little disjointedness worthwhile. It’s also worth overlooking the slightly unpolished grammar and punctuation. (The book is self-published.)

Beyond the book, Schauss keeps a running blog at Included in it is up-to-date information about environmental toxicity with posts such as “Why You Drink Soda—Why You Shouldn’t Drink Soda” and “Another Con Job by the President On Global Warming.” Also in the works is Schauss’ next book, It’s Time to Stop Arguing with the Idiots.

Armed with all of the information Schauss has amassed and put at our fingertips, we can easily be well on our way to achieving victory over our toxic world.