I am not sure what happened, but somewhere along the way, I turned into a health nut. It started with eating more fruits and veggies and fewer processed foods. Then I began to switch over my toxic personal care products to ones that claimed to be natural, organic, and pure. But the more I learned about healthy eating and ‘green’ products, I discovered that what you see on the label can be misleading. These ‘green’ and ‘natural’ products can actually contain a whole slew of harmful chemicals! Some are known carcinogens and endocrine disruptors and may contribute to all sorts of diseases and disorders, including autism and Alzheimer’s.
Toxins can actually be absorbed through your skin at an alarming rate. Your skin does not detoxify what you put ON it, unlike the things that you put IN it (though I am still very much a healthy eating advocate!!).
You may think, like I did, that household cleaners are less important because you are not ingesting them or putting them on your skin like makeup. However, according to the EPA, the air inside a home is 2 to 5 times more polluted than the air outside due to household cleaners!!! I’ve been cleaning with natural (truly natural!) cleaners for at least a year now, and the smell of Lysol has become repugnant to me. It’s amazing how things can change once you make the switch!
I urge you to research and discover the truth about the cosmetic industry for yourself. Even a quick search about untested chemicals in our marketplace can raise some alarming questions.
I recently became a consultant for a safe, non toxic company that has the same passion I do for ensuring we have products that are safe, yet still effective! If you are interested in checking out this safer line of products, click the ‘Shop Non Toxic‘ tab at the top of the page.
I am tired of companies trying to greenwash consumers with trendy catchwords like ‘natural’ and ‘pure’, so now I read labels and I know what to avoid when I go to the grocery store! Here is my list, so you can avoid these ingredients, too:
List of Ingredients to Avoid:
FRAGRANCE can be legally hidden in hundreds of ingredients in “fragrance” or “parfum”: a “trade secret” in the industry. More than 75% of the time if you have fragrance, you have legally hidden phthalates (THAL ates), known endocrine disruptors, that are linked with birth defects, breast cancer, infertility, liver, cancer, diabetes, obesity, and now with autism and ADHD in pregnancy by Dr. Philip Landrigan, Mt Sinai, Children’s Environmental Health Center.
PARABENS: Preservatives linked to breast cancer, endocrine disruption, reproductive toxicity, and developmental defects. California Study (10/11) of BPA and methylparaben combination turned healthy cells into cancer cells, and rendered tamoxifin ineffective.
TRICLOSAN: is the active ingredient in “anti-bacterial” products, is registered with the government as a pesticide, and is a known endocrine disruptor. Triclosan is believed to disrupt thyroid function and contribute to liver and inhalation toxicity.
OXYBENZONE and OCTINOXATE: (and other chemical sunscreen “active ingredients”) are UV ray filters that are also known endocrine disruptors.
PETROLATUM & TETROLEUM INGREDIENTS: endocrine disruptors and carcinogens.
IMPORTANT NOTE: ALL SIX OF THE ABOVE ARE “ENDOCRINE DISRUPTORS” and are in many products that you use daily – and some will have multiples! They are important to avoid, because the endocrine system regulates ALL biological processes in the body: development of the brain and nervous system, growth and function of the reproduction system, metabolism and blood sugar levels, ovaries, testes, pituitary, thyroid and the adrenal glands. (Natural News)
The World Health Organization and the UN recently released a report that called endocrine disruptors a “Global Threat.” Small amounts matter, especially to the developing fetus.
PEG’s (polyethylene glycol) are petroleum byproducts. During manufacturing process carcinogenic contamination is created: 1,4 dioxane, which is a known human carcinogen, with liver and kidney effects.
SODIUM LAURYL SULFATE (SLS) and sodium laureth sulfate (SLES) are considered carcinogens. SLES is something contaminated with 1,4 dioxane. You will never see 1,4 dioxane on a label, as companies are not required to list carcinogenic contaminants.
INGREDIENT THAT ENDS IN “-eth”: like ceteareth, triceteareth, etc. Also carry the contamination concern for 1,4 dioxane.
IMPORTANT NOTE: all THREE of the above ingredients carry carcinogenic contaminant concerns created during manufacturing of 1,4 dioxane. The government allows 10 ppm (parts per million) in any one products, but no one is testing. 1,4 dioxane can be stripped for pennies, and must be done for any product exported to EU.
RETINYL PALMITATE: in the presence of sunlight enhances skin cancer lesions by 21% (FDA, 2011 Report). It is in many sunscreens and moisturizers.
NANOPARTICLES: can cross the cell barrier and drive into organs, including the brain in humans. There is no way of knowing particle size, unless stated on the label. EU manufacturers must list any nanoparticles.
ALUMINUM and metals: these are bio-accumulative, meaning they store in your fat cells and accumulate, and are very hard to get rid of, in many deodorants.
DIETHANOLOMINE (DEA) and COCAMIDE DEA, LAURAMIDE DEA: DEA reacts with other ingredients to become the extremely carcinogenic nitrosodiethanolamine. Beware of other ethanolamines like triethanolamine (TEA) and monoethanolamine (MEA).
FORMALDEHYDE RELEASERS – DIAZOLIDINYL UREA, DMDM HYDANTOIN, QUATERNIUM: found in most personal care products. Formalydehyde can cause allergic reaction, dermatitis, joint pains and headaches, cancer and immune dysfunction.
SYNTHETIC COLOR/DYES: made from coal tar, which is a mixture of many chemicals, derived from petroleum. These colors may be contaminated with low levels of heavy metals and some are combined with aluminum substrate. Aluminum compounds and many heavy metals are toxic to the brain. ie. FD&C Blue 1, Green 3, Yellow 5 & 6, Red 33.
GLYCOL (propylene, butylenes, etc): synthetic petrochemical mix known to cause allergic and toxic reactions. Has been linked to cancer, developmental/reproductive issues, neurotoxicity and endocrine disruption.
MINERAL OIL: a petroleum ingredient that coats the skin like plastic wrap, disrupting the natural immune barrier, inhibiting its ability to breathe and absorb natural moisture and nutrition, and its ability to release toxins, which can promote acne and other disorders. The process slows down skin function and normal cell development causing premature aging.
TALC: in the same family as asbestos, talc is dangerous to inhale and has been linked to ovarian cancer.
SILOXANES: cyclomethicone and ingredients ending in “siloxane” (e.g., cyclopentasiloxane) are toxic, persistent, and have the potential to bioaccumulate. The EU classifies some as endocrine disruptors and possible reproductive toxicant that may impair fertility. Research shows some to cause uterine tumors and harm to the reproductive and immune systems. Some siloxanes can also influence neurotransmitters in the nervous system. Cyclomethicone is a mixture of three siloxanes.