How clean is YOUR home? I’m not talking about dirty floors and piles of dishes. But what kind of products are you using to clean those items? Do you know that you could be putting yourself and your family at risk with everyday products you use in your home? Toxic chemicals from cleaning products, laundry detergent, soaps, lotions, deodorants, make-up, etc are most likely hiding in the ingredient list and you might have no idea how to spot them.
As a society, we stress more about what goes IN our body and rarely think twice about what we are putting ON it. Our skin has the potential to absorb up to 60% to what we put on it. You have to wonder where it all goes, right? And the sad thing is, almost all the products out there are NOT regulated. The safety lies in the hands of the manufacturers. Now that’s scary!
There are thousands of chemicals out there. But for the sake of not overwhelming you, lets just touch lightly on 3 popular ingredients that have been studied and are known to be harmful. There is SO much information out there, so do your research!
1) Sodium Lauryl/Laureth Sulfate (SLS, SLES)- An inexpensive and effective foaming agent. This ingredient is a surfactant, detergent and emulsifier-used in thousands of cosmetic products, as well as industrial cleaners. Also listed as Ammonium Laurel Sulfate (ALS). The harm comes in the manufacturing process, as it results in becoming contaminated with a carcinogenic by-product. Many cases showing it can lead to irritation of the skin and eyes, organ toxicity, development/reproductive toxicity, neurotoxicity (poisonous or destructive to nerve tissue), endocrine disruption, cellular changes, possible mutations and cancer.
2) Parabens– Parabens are man-made chemicals often used as preservatives in cosmetics, pharmaceuticals, foods, and beverages. They may be listed as any of the following: butylparaben, ethylparaben, isobutylparaben, methylparaben or propylparaben. While some researchers report that the amount entering the body is too small to be of concern, we do know that parabens are known as xenoestrogens, which mimic estrogen in the body. “Estrogen disruption” has been linked to breast cancer and reproductive issues. They can enter the body if ingested and they are also absorbed through the skin. That information alone should be a good enough reason to steer clear of paraben containing products.
3) Fragrance/Parfum/Perfume– Found in most personal care products including sunscreen, shampoo, soap, body wash, deodorant, body lotion, makeup, facial cream, skin toner, exfoliating scrubs and perfume. Even products labeled, unscented, can still contain fragrance to mask any unpleasant odors. When it comes to fragrance, what we don’t know could actually be hurting us. Current laws do not provide the FDA with the authority to require disclosure or public safety of fragrance ingredients. In the U.S., companies are required to list ingredients on the label; however, this regulation excludes the individual constituents of fragrance in order to preserve fragrance trade secrets. This law is one that is outdated, unnecessary and poses a real barrier to ensuring the safety of personal care products.Unfortunately, a “fragrance” can include dozens to hundreds of individual chemicals, some of which are known carcinogens, neurotoxins, endocrine disruptors, or known to cause allergies.
Ok, if you haven’t already, go check to see if any of your personal care products contain any of the 3 listed chemicals. I understand that many of these products are expensive. If you have them, use them up, then research safer alternatives.
We spend a large amount of time indoors, in our own homes. Up to 80-90%. That’s a lot time. Why not invest the time and be more cautious about the products you are using on a day-to-day basis.