There are so many toxic chemicals we use on our skin, mouth and in our daily household cleaning regimen that IS making you and those you love sick! Your body is meant to naturally detox.
But, we are overloaded with harmful chemicals that are wreaking havoc on your health. These toxins also travel through our blood stream directly absorbed from our skin. It might not be apparent in your everyday life that they are making you sick until something goes wrong. Hello breast cancer! Hello depression! Hello weight gain! Hello hormonal disruption! Hello infertility! Hello thyroid condition! Hello liver & kidney damage! Hello skin rash! Hello brain & gut disfunction! Hello allergies! Hello developmental delay! You get the picture ~ it IS affecting your health every single day in every single way!
The US is about the only country that allows all these harmful chemicals in our products. Most of these chemicals are banned from other countries. Would you believe the US only bans 11 toxic chemicals but Europe has 1,300 on their list of banned chemicals? What? This is crazy!
It’s really up to us – the consumer – to stop buying and using these products that are killing us and our children. Apparently, children absorb 40-50% more than adults making them at higher risk for disease. Not to mention the rate of children with learning disabilities, ADD, ADHD, autism, depression, mood disorders and allergies has skyrocketed the last 50 years!! This is just sad but often ignored as a trigger!
There are so many people still using harmful chemicals on their bodies and household cleaning. These chemicals have direct impact to how well our endocrine and neurological system is working especially your Thyroid! Once absorbed they produce systemic damage to internal organs.
13 Toxic Chemicals You Need to Avoid:
1. BPA – (bisphenol-A) is a chemical that is added to many commercial products. Most widely used in the lining of cans, plastic food containers, bottles as well as hygiene products. The reason why they use it in the lining of cans is to keep metal from corroding. It is also found in CDs/DVDs, thermal receipts, plastic containers and bottles, toiletries, feminine hygiene products, eyeglass lenses to name few. Because BPA is estrogenic (mimicking estrogen properties), it has the potential to affect hormone-mediated neurologic and behavioral development in early life(1) and is recognized as an endocrine-disrupting chemical as well as linked to breast cancer. It can bind to estrogen receptors which can influence growth, cell repair, fetal development, energy level and reproduction. It also can alter the function of your thyroid and your entire endocrine system. Unfortunately, recent research is showing BPA has been replaced by bisphenol-S (BPS) or bisphenol-F (BPF) which may also disrupt the function of your cells similar to BPA(2). Using glass whenever possible is best for food storage and avoiding plastic overall when possible to avoid these harmful chemicals.
2. Plastic – Use glass whenever possible especially heating your food (not that microwaving your food is good either). Toxic chemicals leach out of plastic and are found in the blood and tissue of nearly all of us. Exposure to them is linked to cancers, birth defects, impaired immunity, endocrine disruption and other ailments.
3. Parabens –Parabens are widely used preservatives that prevent the growth of bacteria, mold and yeast in cosmetic products. While that might sound good, parabens possess estrogen-mimicking properties and are linked to breast cancer and are found in biopsies of breast tumors. The skin is one of the largest organs and it’s directly absorbed into your body. Parabens can be found in makeup, lipsticks, body washes, deodorants, shampoos, conditioners and facial cleansers, lotions and creams, etc.(3)(4)(5)
4. Imidazolidinyl Urea and Diazolidinyl Urea – These are the most commonly used preservatives after the parabens. According to the American Academy of Dermatology they are the primary cause of contact dermatitis.
5. Sodium Lauryl Sulfate (SLS) – is used as a sudsing and foaming agent which penetrates the skin. Harmful effects include reproductive and developmental toxicity, tissue damage that could result in chronic liver, brain, heart, lung damage and may include cancer. SLS has been found in the tissue of these organs so it accumulates in the body. It is found to be a contributor to acne, eczema and other dermititis skin irritations. It also disrupts your skin’s natural oil balance because of its harsh agents.(6)
6. Tricolsan and Tribclocarban – found in toothpaste, deodorant and antibacterial soaps and handsanitizers. We have become so obsessed with germs that it is actually causing bacterial resistance which is opposite of what we want. We need microbes in our gut to keep us healthy. It also disrupts our endocrine system, impairs muscle and immune function and allergies.
7. Benzalkonium chloride, benzethonium chloride, and chloroxylenol – these are the chemicals that have been replaced in some antibacterial products and are showing just as harmful affects as Tricolsan and Tribclocarban (7).
8. Phthalates – a group of chemicals used in products to increase the flexibility and softness of plastics. It is used in cosmetics and personal care products such as nail polish, perfumes, moisturizers, deodorants, and hair spray. They are endocrine disruptors and have been linked to breast cancer as well. Unfortunately, companies are not obligated to disclose their secret formula of fragrance which is a major flaw in the law.
9. Polyethylene/PEGs – PEG, which is the abbreviation of polyethylene glycol. It’s most common form is plastic and when combined with glycol, it becomes a thick and sticky liquid. It’s found in cosmetics as emollients which help soften and lubricate the skin, it’s also an emulsifier and it helps deliver other ingredients deeper in the skin (ugh!!!). They are used in cosmetics for scrubs and exfoliants as well as body wash. These PEGs wind up traveling through our waterways and collecting more pollutants along the way ultimately being consumed by fish and other marine mammals.
10. Dibutyl phthalate, toluene – linked to endocrine disruption, respiratory issues, birth defects and headaches. They are found in nail polish and nail products and other cosmetics.
11. BHA (butylated hydroxyanisole) and BHT (butylated hydroxytoluene) – synthetic antioxidants used as preservatives in lipsticks and moisturizers, among other cosmetics. They are also widely used as food preservatives such as some potato chips, cereals as well as oils. They are beneficial because they help prolong the shelf life of certain items. This doesn’t mean it’s safe. Though the U.S. Food and Drug Administration has determined that BHA is “generally recognized as safe,” The Department of Health and Human Services, however, cautions humans to avoid BHA because certain studies show it is linked to cancer. It also can accumulate in the body and can be considered a human carcinogen. Evidence shows high doses of BHT may mimic estrogen resulting in hormone disruption.
12. Formaldehyde – Formaldehyde is a known carcinogen and poses significant danger to human health (it has been linked to nasal squamous cell cancer(8). It is also skin irritant that can cause allergy-like reactions including watery, burning eyes and throats, stuffy noses, and skin rashes. It is mainly used in the production of industrial resins such as particle board. It also can be found in furniture, permanent press clothing, draperies, glues, adhesives, cleaning, beauty products and in some brands of baby wipes(9).
13. Mercury – Exposure to mercury impairs neurological development, and recent research has linked high levels of mercury to ADHD. Because neural development happens rapidly in pregnancy and early childhood, it is important to eliminate exposure where possible(10) (11) Oxidative stress is associated with the cause of neurodegenerative diseases such as amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, Parkinson’s disease, and Alzheimer’s disease(12)(13). Mercury enters the environment through air pollution and industrial waste. When mercury enters water, fish absorb it through their gills. The primary exposure to mercury is from consuming large, older, and predatory fish (ahi tuna, swordfish, shark, orange roughy, mackerel, yellowfin tuna, sea bass, blue fish, grouper). Here’s a list of the levels of mercury found in fish/seafood from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration so you can decide which seafood is best for you to consume.
As you can see every single one of these chemicals are an endocrine & neurological function disruptors. They are linked to many cancers and diseases.
Now, if you think I’m being overly cautious, I’m not. It’s up to us to start making these changes for our health and our children’s health. I don’t even like the fake and strong smells from the cleaners that are on the market. If you think Mr. Clean, 409, Fantastic, Gain, Palmolive or Dawn dish detergent is safe to use they are not. Once you switch to a healthier cleaning regimen and skin care you will notice the difference. I know it has made a difference in my own thyroid function and that is coming from someone that no longer even has a thyroid.
One of the most popular laundry detergents on the market – Tide – is loaded with toxins for example. I’ve ditched Tide about 20 years ago! There are many natural detergents that are on the market today that work well! You can also make a homemade natural detergent too using simple ingredients like borax, washing soda and natural soap such as Dr. Bronner’s.
Companies are tricky in making you think something is natural and safe – like Tide Free and Gentle is not “free and clear” of all chemicals!! Thankfully, in a 2013 press release noted on EWG’s website, Procter & Gamble has agreed to reformulate Tide and other popular laundry detergents to reduce contamination with 1,4 dioxane, defined as a carcinogen by California consumer product safeguards known as Proposition 65. The giant multinationalâ€™s action came in response to a lawsuit filed by an Oakland-based nonprofit called As You Sow. My understanding is as of today, 1,4 dioxane has been taken out of Tide Free and Gentle, however, EWG.org website still rates this product an “F”. I would stay away from all conventional detergents that are in the market despite Tide being the most popular laundry detergent. Read your labels – natural or free doesn’t mean that it is non-toxic and chemical free. I try my best not to use harmful chemicals on my skin or in my home. The chemicals that are in your products have a direct connection to how your hormones work (both in women and men!) as well as can cause many different cancers. We must all be conscious consumers and realize that these very products are making us sick in more ways than we care to believe.
Unfortunately, the cosmetic industry is also unregulated and the FDA doesn’t require them to make safety assessments on their products. There are tons of products on the market starting from the conventional deodorant that has been linked to breast cancer to the foundation make-up that is loaded with chemicals that are being absorbed through our skin. Harmful ingredients are often masked with the label of “fragrance” or sometimes they are labeled with the actual chemical but are not required to inform the consumer of its harmful affects on our health. Wouldn’t it be nice to know if the products you use everyday are harming your health?
Check out how your product rates.
Check out The Environmental Working Group (EWG) website which was developed in 1992. Although some ratings may not seem totally fair, they are based the available data and still a good resource to see where your product rates.
I know I was very disappointed to see method brand products not rate well. I really liked them. I have since switched to greener products or usually make my own. While method products are definitely “greener” than conventional products apparently they are using ingredients that are still considered unsafe. Since there is no regulation, I’d rather be safe than sorry. Not all the method products are rated poorly but a lot of them are. As consumers it’s extremely important to read labels because many of these products are misleading making you think they are perfectly safe and natural.
Please tell me some of your favorite products that you love down in the comments!
These toxic chemicals are a huge factor in so many diseases that we are an aware of. The first place we need to clean up is our skin care and cleaning products. Many chemicals cross the skin barrier and are absorbed directly into your blood stream. Once absorbed they produce systemic damage to internal organs.
Click Here to download a FREE guide to safe and natural products I love and use.