Thursday, January 28, 2010

Toxins in our hygiene products

You probably never thought of it but there are toxins everywhere on the store shelves including your hygiene products. The following excerpt is cut and pasted from the Rodale website:

Regardless of loopholes in government agencies and industry's lack of proof of ingredient safety, emerging research indicates these are some of the household chemicals you should avoid:

1. Pesticides. Chemicals used to control weeds, disease, and insects have been linked to everything from birth defects, Parkinson's disease, certain cancers—including childhood leukemia and brain tumors—to lupus, rheumatoid arthritis, developmental problems, and other ills. Learn how to control weeds and garden diseases naturally at, practice nontoxic pest removal using tips from the Nickel Pincher's natural home pest-control arsenal, and choose organic whole foods as much as possible to limit your exposure.

2. Triclosan and triclocarban. These synthetic antimicrobial chemicals kill aquatic life after they go down your drain and into the local water supply, and have been shown to disrupt proper thyroid functioning in humans. Use of triclosan is also associated with the rise of antibiotic-resistant strains of bacteria, producing dangerous infections that don't respond well to antibiotic medicine. Triclosan or its cousin, triclocarban, can be found on the ingredients labels of soaps, toothpaste, and other personal-care items. It's not clear what happens if you ingest a little bit while brushing your teeth twice a day over a long period of time.

3. Parabens. These common soap and shower gel ingredients can be found in any product containing some form of "paraben" in the word and should be avoided. Parabens hinder proper functioning of your endocrine system, which includes your thyroid, pituitary, adrenal glands, pancreas, and ovaries or testes.

4. Fragrance, parfum, linalool, limonene. These ingredients listed on the label are tip-offs that your product contains artificial scent chemicals. Companies can add any of about 7,000 chemicals to your shampoo or any other personal-care product and simply call it "fragrance" or "parfum" on the label. Many of these contain phthalates, chemicals that make plastics softer, help makeup and lotions stick to your face better, and also help carry fragrance chemicals. Studies link phthalate exposure to hormone disruption, asthma, birth defects in babies, dizziness, headaches, runny nose, allergies, and eczema. Since cleaners, air fresheners, candles, and laundry products aren't required to label ingredients, it's best to choose unscented products as much as possible. Another way to avoid phthalates is to avoid vinyl products, such as flooring, rubber duckies, fake leather purses, and plastic vinyl shower curtains.

5. DEA, diethanolamine, cocamide DEA, lauramide DEA, and monoethanolamine, MEA. These wetting, thickening, and foaming agents are used in shampoo and bath products, liquid hand soaps, shaving products, and deodorants. These chemicals have been shown to react with other product chemicals in the can or bottle to form a potent carcinogen called nitrosodiethanolamine (NDEA).

6. PEG, polyethylene glycol, polyethylene, polyoxyethylene, oxynol, or words ending in the letters "eth," such as myreth, oleth, laureth, ceteareth. You won't ever see the cancer-causing compound 1,4-dioxane on a label, but the aforementioned ingredients are often contaminated with 1,4-dioxane during the manufacturing process, according to the Organic Consumer Association.

If you want to read the whole article, click here. And the next thing you're going to want to do is check out my archives and start making your own soap ;o)

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