Guys, did you know that you are exposed to over a hundred harmful chemicals every morning even before leaving your home? From your perfume and makeup to the spray you wipe your vanity down with. Did you know that these chemicals lead to allergies, lung disease and even cancer? Swear. Did you also know that there are no federal regulations of chemicals in household products? What the actual fuck?
Unfortunately, these toxins that we are exposed to everyday are taking a toll on our bodies. For example, toxic cleaning products aren’t just tough on your respiratory function—they can absolutely destroy you and your home’s microorganisms. Environmental toxins are often endocrine disruptors; that is, they can block hormones or actually impair the production of hormones by the endocrine glands. Laments terms, they are effing with our moods, sleep, and production causing allergies, cancer and tumors. Guys, kids products. There’s Formaldehyde found in some baby shampoos, and body washes. Formaldehyde. I shit you not. The toxin they preserve dead people in that is linked to cancer and other allergies. That is horrifying.
Let’s look at some of the scary chemicals that are in SO many of the products that are used daily and even products that are “recommended for kids” ……
First and foremost, one of the most dangerous ones of all. Fragrance!
Fragrance: Whenever you see this word on a label, SAY NO. This is a MAJOR loophole in US labeling regulation that lets manufacturers include just about any ingredient they want in a product under the umbrella term of “fragrance.” It keeps you from ever really knowing what’s in your products. The EU took the sensible route of closing up this loophole altogether. FRAGRANCE = Chemical Nightmare. (Cancer, Infertility, Respiratory Issues, Allergies, Asthma, Skin disorders, just a few issues that “fragrance” causes. It’s no wonder these are all on the rise in todays world. It’s not a coincidence friends, it’s facts.)
Formaldehyde: “Formaldehyde,” you may say. “You’ll find formaldehyde most commonly in hair straightening treatments, as well as some nail polish and eyelash glue. It’s legal to include in US made cosmetics, however it is banned in Europe. It’s a known carcinogen and can cause breathing issues.
Petroleum: Petroleum is derived from the same stuff that fuels your car. It goes by a few different names, including mineral oil, petrolatum, and paraffin oil. Whatever gets into your body just kind of… sits there. What does that mean over the long term? Who knows! Which is likely why it’s not used in the EU. Keep your eye out for petroleum in moisturizing products for lips and skin.
Parabens: known by many different names (including methylparaben, isopropylparaben, pentylparaben, isobutylparaben, phenylparaben, and benzylparaben) are a preservative, they have a tendency to mimic estrogen in the body, wreaking havoc on your hormonal system. Their impact may even be enough to reduce fertility!!!! Parabens are extremely common in conventional skin and hair products, so keep a sharp eye out for them whenever you shop.
Triclosan: Steer clear of this ingredient in soaps and toothpastes. There are other ongoing studies that involve the safety of triclosan. One is a study investigating the potential of developing skin cancer after a long-term exposure to triclosan in animals.
Hydroquinone: This ingredient is found in products designed to brighten or lighten the skin. It’s also bad, bad news. Europe and Japan have outlawed it due to its cytotoxic nature. Hydroquinone kills cells and chromosomes if it is used too much, which sets the stage for some forms of cancer. While high doses of hydroquinone are banned in the US, prescription level amounts of 4% are readily available. There’s no evidence that this dosage doesn’t lead to cancer, so it makes the most sense to avoid hydroquinone completely.
P-Phenylenediamine: Otherwise known as PPD, this ingredient is derived from coal tar. It leads to (very severe) allergic reactions and can be found in a huge number of conventional hair dyes. The EU has banned it altogether, and I’d encourage you to ban it from your bathroom as well.
Quaternium-15: Manufacturers use this to help their makeup last as long as possible. Which is all well and good, until you realize that it can release formaldehyde. Yup, the same stuff that causes cancer and breathing issues. You’re most likely to find this banned ingredient in facial cosmetics, especially powders.
Talc: Talc shows up in cosmetics and hair care products that help get rid of oil (dry shampoo, powdered makeup, deodorants and even baby powder). It contains asbestos and increasing your risk of lung growths and mesothelioma. While there is strict quality control on talc in the United States, it’s much safer to take the route the EU chose and avoid it altogether.
And those are just a handful. There are THOUSANDS more. Ignoring it doesn’t make it go away. Ignorance isn’t bliss when it comes to your health. Sugar coating things isn’t helping either. This stuff is serious. It’s happening and it’s causing an epidemic of issues.
We are all just trying to get by in this life, right?
So it’s easy for us to just grab the cheapest body lotion that smells like yummy cucumbers or the glass cleaner that’s on sale without checking the labels. Windex is good right? Everyone uses Windex! Bleach? I grew up using bleach and I’m fine. Yeah, for right now I’m fine. I LOVED the smell of bleach growing up. Why wouldn’t I, it means a clean home right? CRUSHES your respiratory system, agitates your lungs, ears and eyes and you are advised not to inhale it when you are pregnant. Not concerning at all. Not concerned about my long term health at all. *Everything’s fine.*
Here’s a real kicker, if a cleaning product at your supermarket proclaims itself “green,” “natural” or “biodegradable,” that doesn’t necessarily mean it’s nontoxic. In 2010 the environmental consulting firm TerraChoice Group produced a report called “The Sins of Greenwashing.” In it the group found more than 95 percent of so-called green consumer products had committed at least one “greenwashing sin,” like making an environmental claim that may be truthful but unimportant. “CFC-free,” for example, is a common one, since CFCs are banned by law. Greenwashing is at an al time high. Companies are catching on. “Ohh let’s just put a leaf on our product and it will be more appealing and seem natural!”
So what do you do?
Throw out the fragrance products. Anything that says fragrance, throw it the f$%^ out. It contains acetone, benzaldehyde, benzyl acetate, benzyl alcohol, camphor, ethanol, ethyl acetate, limonene, linalool and methylene chloride – usually in some combination. Many fragranced household products, such as air fresheners, dish soap, even toilet paper contain these. Because of proprietary laws, companies don’t have to disclose what’s in their scents, so you won’t find phthalates or any of the above on the label. If you see the word “fragrance” on a label, there’s a good chance these are present. Here is the issue, unlike the digestive system, the skin has no safeguards against toxins. Absorbed chemicals go straight to organs. Again, horrifying.
Know better, do better. Now that you know, research your products. You guys know I use Young Living for absolutely everything because I trust them. I will continue to use YL on myself and my family and my future children and my pupper and my loved ones. Anything I can do to protect from these harmful toxins, I will do.
Listen I am no saint and am far from perfect but my home is my safe place. A place where I let my hair down, relax, and recoup. You may be thinking, “okay Meg act like you’re all high and mighty, you crush red wine and rip heaters after 4 glasses”. Touché, I am absolutely not perfect. Nobody is. But I am finding it really hard to ignore the fact that since I have switched and ditched all of my products my moods have been better, my anxiety has decreased. I no longer have to open the windows when I am cleaning my bathroom. I think I sleep better knowing that I have eliminated these dangers in my own home.
So I’ll ask you again. If you can eliminate toxins in your home, why would you not?