What did you put on your skin today?
An average American uses nine personal care products daily. These contain approximately 126 unique chemical ingredients that are linked to hormone imbalances, cancer, neurological problems, and other serious health effects. Keep reading to find out the 9 toxins to avoid in your daily personal care routine.
You Don’t Have to Suffer
There are hundreds of chemicals in your environment. Some of which you don’t have any control over, but others that you do. You have a choice when it comes to what you put on or into your body.
My dear sweet mother once asked me, “why do companies sell things that are harmful?” My response was simple – “money.” Unfortunately there are very few, if any regulations on what chemicals can be used in body care products.
The Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) of 1976 gives the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) the right to track over 85,000 chemicals used in the US, but there isn’t any basic safety testing of the 2,000+ new chemicals that are introduced each year. When TSCA was enacted it “grandfathered” about 62,000 chemicals into use without any testing. They presumed they were safe. The fact is that about 3/4 of the chemicals used in the US today have never been tested for safety.
Be an Informed Consumer
TSCA covers individual chemicals, but it’s the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) that regulates personal body care products. The FDA does not review or approve ingredients for shampoo, soaps, lotions, deodorant, shaving cream, perfume, toothpaste or cosmetics other than color additives (other than those used in hair dyes), etc. The FDA does regulate cosmetics and requires manufacturers to disclose most of their ingredients, but they can easily hide hundreds of chemicals under vague terms such as “fragrance.” “Companies and individuals who manufacture or market cosmetics have a legal responsibility to ensure the safety of their products. Neither the law nor FDA regulations require specific tests to demonstrate the safety of individual products or ingredients. The law also does not require cosmetic companies to share their safety information with the FDA.” *
That’s certainly not good enough for me, my family, my friends, my community or my world! There are so many things in our environment like pesticides and herbicides in foods, hormone disrupting phthalates in lotion fragrances, lead in lipstick, carcinogenic toluene in nail polish, parabens in shampoo, sodium laureth sulfate often contaminated with 1,4 dioxane a probable carcinogen, to name a few. Clearly, it’s necessary to be an informed consumer of your body care products, so I’ve compiled a list to help inform my community of followers.
The 9 Toxins To Avoid in Personal Care Products: **
- Parabens: These are found in shampoos and lotions. They mimic estrogen and can lead to cancer.
- Fragrance: A single product’s proprietary fragrance mixture can contain hundreds of toxic volatile organic compounds that are dangerous to you.
- Nanoparticles: These are very small, untested particles that can penetrate cell walls and are highly reactive. They are found in sunscreens, make-up, lotions, and moisturizers. They won’t be labeled so you can check CosmeticDatabase.org or NanotechProject.org/inventories/consumer/.
- Formaldehyde:This is commonly used as a hardener in nail polish and bath products. It’s also used to embalm the deceased. If it’s meant for dead people, you as a living human shouldn’t use it.
- Phthalates:Hormone disruptors have been linked to male genital abnormalities, liver and kidney lesions and higher rates of childhood asthma and allergies. They are often hidden under “fragrances” and listed as dibutyl phthalate in nail polish.
- Petroleum:By-Products: These are listed as mineral oil, petrolatum, liquid paraffin, toluene, or xylene and they seem to be in almost everything conventional. They are often contaminated with 1,4 dioxane, which is a probable carcinogen (cancer causing agent).
- Triclosan: A primary ingredient in antibacterial soaps and products. It has been linked to hormone disruption and the emergence of bacteria resistant “super bugs.”
- Lead: This is a potent neurotoxin and found in popular lipsticks and men’s hair coloring kits.
- Mercury:Often listed as thimerosal and found in cosmetics like mascara. It is a severely damaging neurotoxicant.
You have Choice & Power Over Purchases
As a consumer, you have a huge impact on what retailers stock and sell. You have the power to choose with every purchase you make.
Things are beginning to change with the EPA, so there is hope. They are trying out new safety testing methods on about 400 potential developmental neurotoxicants. They are adamant that this is for research purposes only and not intended for regulatory use; however, it could help bring us a healthier and less toxic future.
Remember to shop smart and keep you and your family healthy, happy and safe!
Blessings of Vibrant Health,
Kristin Grayce McGary
Health and Lifestyle Alchemist
** Green American April/May 2011 Issue 83