- According to the Environmental Defense Group:
- More than 4 billion pounds of toxic chemicals are released into the environment each year
- 72 million pounds of which are known carcinogens
- We are exposed to these toxins and heavy metals everyday throughout our lives
Detoxifying your body and home can be an important step in protecting your health of the many heavy metals and chemical pollutants to which we are all exposed.
We bring into our homes toxins that could cause a negative atmosphere or eventually some type of health problem. Today, about 5,000 different synthetic chemicals are used in personal care products in the United States. And that's just one category! Unregulated chemicals are now in common use in this country, many of which have been directly linked to increased risk of cancer and other illnesses. Some have even been detected in mother's milk.
We must become responsible and understand the meaning of the ingredients in the products that we tend to purchase for our everyday needs.
It may surprise you to learn that manufacturers of household products are not required to reveal all ingredients, even if the product makes people sick. Some environmental toxins may increase your risk of becoming depressed. It's sad to think how environmental toxins foul our planet, but the link between depression and pollution might be more direct than that. Certain pollutants may alter the brain in ways that help set depression in motion. Now is the time to be educated regarding chemicals and how health.
AVOID TOXIC CHEMICALS KNOW THE FACTS
How to recognize and understand this toxic world we live in starts with checking all product labels: AVOID THESE HARMFUL, HAZARDOUS INGREDIENTS:
Alcohol, Isopropyl (SD-40) a very drying and irritating solvent and dehydrator that strips your skin's moisture and natural immune barrier, making you more vulnerable to bacteria, molds and viruses. It is made from propylene, a petroleum derivative and is found in many skin and hair products, fragrance, antibacterial hand washes as well as shellac and antifreeze. It can act as a "carrier" accelerating the penetration of other harmful chemicals into your skin. Consumer's dictionary of Cosmetic Ingredients say it may cause headaches, flushing, dizziness, mental depression, nausea, vomiting, narcosis, anesthesia, and coma.
DEA (diethanolamine), MEA (Monoethanolamine), & TEA (triethanolamine)
Hormone disrupting chemicals that can form cancer-causing nitrates and nitrosamines. These chemicals are already restricted in Europe due to known carcinogenic effects. In the United States however, they are still used despite the fact that Americans may be exposed to them 10-20 times per day with products such as shampoos, shaving creams, and bubble baths.
DMDM Hydantoin & Urea (Imidazolidiny) just two many preservatives that often release formaldehyde which may cause joint pain, skin reactions, allergies, depression, headaches, chest pains, ear infections, chronic fatigue, dizziness, and loss of sleep. Exposure may also irritate the respiratory system, trigger heart palpitations or asthma, and aggravate coughs and colds. Other possibilities are oxygen in the body and death. Animal studies have shown almost all of them to be carcinogenic. Side effects include weakening the immune system and cancer FD&C Color Pigments; synthetic colors made from coal tar, containing heavy metal salts that deposit toxins onto the skin, causing skin sensitivity and irritation.
FRAGRANCES: mostly synthetic ingredients can indicate the presence of up to four thousand separate ingredients, many toxic or carcinogenic. Symptoms reported to the FDA include headaches, dizziness, allergic rashes, skin discoloration, violent coughing and vomiting, and skin irritation. Clinical observation proves fragrances can affect the central nervous system, causing depression, hyperactivity, irritability, inability to cope, and other behavioral changes. These products coat the skin like plastic, clogging the pores. They interfere with skin's ability to eliminate toxins, promoting acne and other disorders. Slows down skin function and cell development, resulting in premature ageing. Used in many products (baby oil is 100 mineral oil!) Alternatives: Jojoba and other vegetable oils, etc.
Polyethylene Glycol (PEG): potentially carcinogenic petroleum ingredient that can alter and reduce the skin's natural moisture factor. This could increase the appearance of aging and leave you more vulnerable to bacteria. Used in cleansers to dissolve oils and grease. It adjusts the melting point and thickens products. Also used in caustic spray-on oven cleaners.
Propylene Glycol (PG): gaseous hydrocarbon which in a liquid state act as a "surfactant" (wetting agent and solvent). It easily penetrates the skin and can weaken protein and cellular structure. Commonly used to make extracts from herbs. PG is strong enough to remove barnacles from boats! The EPA considers PG so toxic that it requires workers to wear protective gloves, clothing and goggles and to dispose of any PG solutions by burying them in the ground. Because PG penetrates the skin so quickly, the EPA warns against skin contact to prevent consequences such as brain, liver, and kidney abnormalities. But there is no warning sign on products. Alternative: water extracted herbs, essential oils. Etc.
Sodium Lauryl Sulfate (SLS) & Sodium Laureth Sulfate (SLES): detergents and surfactants that pose serious health threats. Used in car washes, garage floor cleaners and engine degreasers - and in 90% of personal care products that foam. Animals exposed to SLS experience eye damage, depression, labored breathing, diarrhea, severe skin irritation, and even death. Young eyes may not develop properly if exposed to SLS because proteins are dissolved. SLS may also damage the skin's immune system by causing layers to separate and inflame. When combined with other chemicals, SLS can be transformed into nitrosamines, a potent class of carcinogens. Your body may retain SLS for up to five days, during which time it may enter and maintain residual levels in the heart, liver, the lungs, and the brain.
Have you ever noticed how you can smell cleaning products even though tightly sealed. The fumes in home products are known as volatile organic compounds or VOCs. VOCs are carbon based chemicals that form gases at room temperature. Examples of VOCs are phthalates, butyl cellosolve ( found in windex), formaldehyde, benzene, toluene, dichlorobenzene, acetone, xylene, vinyle chloride, naphthalene, ethylene chloride, and dioxane ( found in dish soap and hand cleansers. Pledge, Clorox wipes, Lysol disinfectant and many others carry dangerous fumes that are released when used in our homes.
You will find many product alternatives on our link pages to help you and your family breathe fresh air while cleaning and healthy body products for skin and hair.