What's Lurking in Your Personal Care & Household Cleaning Products?
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After your discover what hidden toxins are lurking in your everyday personal care and household cleaning products it's only natural to be concerned and worried that you may unintentionally be poisoning yourself and your family. So now that you know are you willing to make a change to safeguard your family's health.
An article from the National Safety Council makes for a very chilling read.
Did you know that more than 90% of all poisonings actually occur within the apparent safety of our homes. Highly toxic household cleaning products and pesticides can easily fall into the wrong hands, our young children!
The leading cause of unintentional death in the United States is poisoning. It surpasses even fatal motor vehicle accidents (crash deaths). These cases of home-based poisoning include inadvertent ingestion of drugs or toxic chemicals, due to excessive use of a drug (i.e. an accidental overdose) and/or exposure to environmental toxins.
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Looking our best! Smelling clean! A fresh smelling home! We were raised to accept these as standards to live by. No one told us that we could be poisoning our body, our family, and our community by using many of current cleaning products found on the store shelf.
For the past one hundred years, how manufacturers make personal and home cleaning products have changed. Mass produced products started with basic organic based ingredients and gradually moved to the chemically based formulas we use to clean our home and ourselves. After much research, results are showing that many of the chemicals are having a toxic effect on our bodies, homes, and the environment. It is time to go full circle and return to taking care of us with safe, eco-friendly, organic based products.
Personal cleaning products should be safe. Most of us never thought that soaps, shampoos and conditioners, deodorants, lotions, and toothpaste can contain harmful chemicals that will be ingested, absorbed through the skin, inhaled, and affect our health.
Take the time to read the labels on products. We need to be educated about the listed ingredients. Most of them are unknown to us. Some toxins are not even required to be listed or posted. They are labeled under a general term such as fragrances.
Beware of these toxic chemicals listed on the container:
Formaldehyde also labeled as quaternium-15. Used as a preservative. Affects the immune system and respiratory tract. Known to cause cancer. It can be found in sunscreens, makeup, lotions, body washing gels, shampoos, conditioners, and nail polish.
Propylene glycol is best well known as antifreeze. It is linked to liver and kidney disease. Often listed as an ingredient in stick deodorants, toothpaste, shampoos and conditioners, cosmetics, and even ice cream.
Sodium Laureth sulfate was made to be a pesticide. Forms cancer-causing nitrosamines. Used in toothpaste, shampoo and body wash.
Pthalates are petrochemicals. Also labeled DBP and DEHP. Developed to make rigid plastics pliable. Causes elevated rates of endocrine disruption. Increases hormonally related cancers such as breast cancer. It affects both men and women. It is found in many personal care products such as hair sprays, nail polishes, lotions, and perfumes.
Parabens are xenoestrogens, i.e. false estrogens that can lead to early puberty in children as well as interrupt the fertility cycle. Commonly used in shampoos and conditioners as well as moisturizers.
DEA (diethanolamine), MEA (monoethanolamine) and TEA (triethanolamine) are all hormone disruptors. Linked to liver and kidney cancer. Often found in facial cleansers, bubble baths, shampoos, and soaps.
The chemicals mentioned are just a few that are harmful. Dyes that are used to color products are often toxic. We may not be aware that chemicals, when they touch the skin, can be absorbed and enter the bloodstream. The chemicals may remain in our bodies and accumulate in our organs and muscle tissue. During a pregnancy, they may transfer to an unborn child. These and other chemicals have been found in the umbilical cord.
Very little research results have been released on how these chemicals react to each other while they in our body. We also have very little information on how long our bodies retain these toxins. With organ disease and cancer on the rise, it is wise to make knowledgeable choices.
Home cleaning products are now almost all chemicals from the fragrance to the active cleaning agents. These cleaning products should never be allowed to touch the skin. They can easily be absorbed and remain in our body. These chemicals also find their way into the soil and water supply.
These are some of the most common toxic chemicals found in household cleaning products:
Chlorine is a respiratory irritant and may be a thyroid disrupter. Fumes, as well as the liquid, are harmful. Found in toilet bowl cleaners, laundry whiteners, mildew removers, and scouring powders. This toxin has been used in swimming pools. It is still being used in household tap water to control bacteria. Water filters are suggested.
Ammonia is also respiratory irritant. Fumes are often inhaled. Use can aid in developing chronic bronchitis and asthma. It is found in glass and jewelry cleaners as well as polishing agents for bathroom fixtures and sinks. Be aware that ammonia mixed with chlorine bleach will make a poisonous gas. These chemicals should never be mixed.
Triclosan is an antibacterial agent. Currently being tested by the FDA. Some preliminary tests have shown it may disrupt endocrine (hormonal) function and may cause cancer. It will be in items labeled "antibacterial" such as liquid dishwashing detergents, hand soaps, and hand sanitizers. There is hand sanitizer on the market that is alcohol based without using Triclosan.
2-Butoxethanol is a chemical member of the glycol ethers. The law does not require it to be listed on labels. When inhaled at high levels (such as in poorly ventilated areas) these ethers can cause severe liver and kidney damage as well as narcosis, pulmonary edema, and sore throats. It is often an ingredient in window, kitchen, and multipurpose household cleaners.
Perchloroethylene also known as "Perc" is a neurotoxin. It is inhaled. Known to cause loss of coordination, dizziness, and suspected to cause cancer. It is used in carpet and upholstery cleaners and spot removers. Dry cleaned clothes reek of the smell. Always ventilate your home when cleaning with products that contain Perc and air out dry-cleaned clothing.
Sodium Hydroxide is known as lye. It is a corrosive material. If it touches the skin or gets in the eyes, it can cause severe burns. It will cause an intense, long-lasting sore throat if inhaled. Lye is most often found in drain openers and oven cleaners.
Often the skin absorbs more than we realize. These toxins can enter the bloodstream and go directly to our organs. We inhale these toxins when they are being used and often the smells linger after use. Next time, while shopping for a cleaner or laundry soap, notice the smells that are emitting from the products on the shelf. It is hard to make sense of the fact that items created to clean and safeguard us and our homes are poisonous.
Research organic naturally based products. Look for ingredients on labels that are familiar and easily related to. There is a wide range of choices that are perfectly safe for the whole family. Often we have healthier alternatives already in the home. Vinegar, baking soda, and essential oils have a wide range of uses and are a much better choice.
Check out health food stores, on-line sites and whole food groceries to see what products are available. We need to take good care of our families, our homes, and the environment we live in. How you spend your dollars sends a strong message. Educating ourselves about the products we are using is the key to protecting our family and ourselves.