Part of an article on Mercola.com – this whole article need to be read and understood. It is NOT difficult to move away from mainstrean personal care and other life items we use. It just takes a bit of knowledge and the gumption to make a decision to make things better for yourselves.
You CAN take away ANY doubt by clicking on the yellow button on this site and sign up for known safe and effective products, both to help in the safe ingredients and nutrition.
Make the decision this year and help your family benefit. Read the More Tips section below and you will see just what is included in the dodgy chemical production!
Simplify Your Life and Reduce Your Toxic Burden
In 2004, a six-month study was done about personal care product use. More than 10,000 body care product ingredients were evaluated, involving 2,300 participants. One of the findings was that the average adult uses nine personal care products each day, containing 126 different chemicals. The study also found that more than 250,000 women, and one out of every 100 men, use an average of 15 products daily.
Does this sound like someone you know? It’s important to remember that your skin is your largest, and most permeable organ. Just about anything you put on your skin will end up in your bloodstream and distributed throughout your body. Once these chemicals find their way into your body, they tend to accumulate over time because you typically lack the necessary enzymes to break them down. This is why I’m so fond of saying “don’t put anything on your body that you wouldn’t eat if you had to.”
If you insist on buying commercial products, you’ve got a little bit of work cut out for you in terms of researching the ingredients. Still, it can be done. I recommend using the EWG’s Skin Deep Cosmetics Database7 to research the potential toxicity of ingredients. Products bearing the USDA 100% Organic seal are among your safest bets if you want to avoid potentially toxic ingredients. Beware that products boasting “all-natural” labels can still contain harmful chemicals, so be sure to check the full list of ingredients.
Another alternative—and perhaps both the safest and easiest one—is to make your own personal care and household cleaning products. Coconut oil, for example, is a multipurpose powerhouse that can be safely used on your body from head to toe. When absorbed into your skin, coconut oil helps to reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles by helping to keep your connective tissues strong and supple. It also helps exfoliate the outer layer of dead skin cells, making your skin smoother. Coconut oil is also great for nurturing and conditioning your hair, and many rave about the oil’s ability to prevent “the frizzies” in humid weather.
Baking soda is another inexpensive basic that can replace multiple products.8 You can use it in lieu of shampoo9, face- and body scrub, and toothpaste, for example. It’s also a natural odor neutralizer, so rubbing a pinch of it into your arm pit may be all you need to replace your toxic antiperspirant.
As for household cleaning products, tried and true items such as liquid castile soap, hydrogen peroxide, white vinegar, baking soda, and lemon juice can get the job done just as well — sometimes even better — than their commercial counterparts. To learn more, please see my previous article on this topic. You can also search EWG’s Healthy Cleaning Guide10 for safety ratings on more than 2,000 different cleaning products.
More Tips to Help You Avoid Toxic Chemicals
Implementing the following measures—many of which are included in the EWG’s recommendations for avoiding the worst endocrine-disrupting culprit11—can also help you protect yourself and your children from toxins from a wide variety of sources.
- As much as possible, buy and eat organic produce and free-range, organic meats to reduce your exposure to added hormones, pesticides and fertilizers. Also avoid milk and other dairy products that contain the genetically engineered recombinant bovine growth hormone (rBGH or rBST).
- Rather than eating conventional or farm-raised fish, which are often heavily contaminated with PCBs and mercury, supplement with a high-quality purified krill oil, or eat fish that is wild-caught and lab tested for purity. Wild caught Alaskan salmon is about the only fish I eat for these reasons.
- Buy products that come in glass bottles rather than plastic or canned, since chemicals can leach out of plastics and into the contents. Bisphenol A (BPA) is a serious concern; make sure plastic containers and canned goods are BPA-free.
- Also store your food and beverages in glass rather than plastic, and avoid using plastic wrap.
- Use glass baby bottles and BPA-free sippy cups for your little ones.
- Eat mostly raw, fresh foods. Processed, prepackaged foods (of all kinds) are a common source of chemicals such as BPA and phthalates.
- Replace your non-stick pots and pans with ceramic or glass cookware.
- Filter your tap water—both for drinking and bathing. In fact, if you can only afford to do one, filtering your bathing water may be more important, as your skin absorbs contaminants. To remove the endocrine disrupting herbicide Atrazine, make sure the filter is certified to remove it. According to the EWG, perchlorate can be filtered out using a reverse osmosis filter.
- Look for products that are made by companies that are earth-friendly, animal-friendly, green, non-toxic and/or 100% organic. This applies to everything from food and personal care products to building materials, carpeting, paint, baby items, upholstery and more.
- Use a vacuum cleaner with a HEPA filter to remove contaminated house dust.
- When buying new products such as furniture, mattresses, or carpet padding, ask what type of fire retardant it contains. Be mindful of and/or avoid items containing PBDEs, antimony, formaldehyde, boric acid, and other brominated chemicals. As you replace these toxic items around your home, select those that contain naturally less flammable materials, such as leather, wool and cotton.
- Avoid stain- and water-resistant clothing, furniture and carpets to avoid perfluorinated chemicals (PFC’s).
- Make sure your baby’s toys are BPA-free, such as pacifiers, teething rings and anything your child may be prone to suck on.
- Only use natural cleaning products in your home, or make your own. Avoid products that contain 2-butoxyethanol (EGBE) and methoxydiglycol (DEGME)—two toxic glycol ethers that can damage fertility and cause fetal harm12.
- Switch over to organic brands of toiletries such as shampoo, toothpaste, antiperspirants and cosmetics. Remember, you can replace many different products with coconut oil and baking soda, for example. The Environmental Working Group has a great database13 to help you find personal care products that are free of phthalates and other potentially dangerous chemicals. I also offer one of the highest quality organic skin care lines, shampoo and conditioner, and body butter that are completely natural and safe.
- Replace feminine hygiene products like tampons and sanitary pads with safer alternatives.
- Avoid artificial air fresheners, dryer sheets, fabric softeners or other synthetic fragrances.
- Look for products that are fragrance-free. One artificial fragrance can contain hundreds — even thousands — of potentially toxic chemicals.
- Replace your vinyl shower curtain with one made of fabric.