Posts tagged ‘Toxicity’

March 2, 2011

Wednesday Wellness::Natural Beauty

by heatherkp
The hazard symbol for carcinogenic chemicals i...

Image via Wikipedia

Use natural and organic health and beauty products (that are not tested on animals and that do not contain parabens and other carcinogens).

Your skin is your largest organ so what you put on it is as important (if not more) as what you put in it!  A lot of people don’t realize how many products they use on their body contain formaldehyde and other carcinogens.

In the past may people have questioned the importance of avoiding some of  these ingredients and research in this area is ongoing with continuing evidence that supports a variety of health problems.  It’s becoming more widely recognized that certain ingredients are in fact carcinogens and in some cases are linked to specific forms of cancer.  The ingredients I try to avoid and an explanation of their uses are as follows:

  • sodium lauryl/laureth sulfates~ used as a foaming agent, can damage hair and skin follicles and even cause eye damage and liver toxicity.
  • mineral oil~used as a moisturizer or moisture barriers and derived from petroleum, can clog pores instead of allowing oxygen while moisturizing
  • propylene glycol ~used as a solvent, surfactant and wetting agent and derived from petroleum, can penetrate the skin extremely quickly and cause brain, liver and kidney abnormalities.  This is the main ingredient in Anti-freeze!
  • animal products (ethical reasons)~ can be listed as keratin, elastin, collagen, stearic acid and tallow.  Several of these are said to improve skin texture but the jury is still out weather there is in fact any significant benefit or harm to their use
  • parabens~widely used as a preservative, there is a low level similarity to estrogen which is still being studied to see if it can cause hormonal interference

Many products may also become contaminated by chemicals and because of this you may not even realize there is a problem since those ingredients are not listed (by law contaminants don’t have to be even if the company knows about them).   Some large corporations create huge quantities of products that are intended to have longer shelf lives and  preservation is one of the main reasons for some of these chemical ingredients.

I’d like to make a point about being overly paranoid and living in a bubble here.  As my grandfather, who is a retired Medical Doctor (General Practice) of over 45 years has pointed out to me, people need to be careful not to be too careful!  We live in a world that is increasingly paranoid (in my opinion) about germs and for babies and young children we need to allow them to be exposed to a certain level of “harmful substances” so their own immune systems can learn to build antibodies.  But, we also need to be aware of the ever increasing level of toxic substances that we are exposed to on a daily basis from a variety of sources.  These substances can have a cumulative effect and doing a little research can help you make a more educated decision.  My hope is that you will make your own choices based upon what you are comfortable with.

February 23, 2011

Wednesday Wellness::Natural and non-toxic

by heatherkp
The skull and crossbones, a common symbol for ...

Image via Wikipedia

Use natural and non-toxic cleaning products in your home.

I do this and I think you should too.  Maybe you don’t care what I think but if your reading this, maybe you do, just a little.

Nasty Stuff-Chlorine, Formaldehyde, Chloroform, Lye,  Hydrochloric Acid, Ammonia , Phthalates, Parabens, Petroleum Distillates, VOC’s…these are the worst offenders causing a whole spectrum of health problems that you probably don’t want to know about but should.  I don’t have kids but I care deeply about how and what I surround myself with and if I had children I’d probably be even more fanatical about this topic (I’ve been known to buy bleach on occasion and use products that may contain Lye and maybe a hint of Ammonia-I’m not perfect, I confess!).

Now that I listed the Nasty why the HECK would you want to use toxic products?  Hello?

From my experience there are 2 reasons people haven’t already made the switch to non-toxic:

1.) They think that toxic means cleaner…!*@#???=healthier (please refer to the Nasty above, does that seem healthy to you?).

2.) They think natural means more $$

Seriously, do you want to have anything with a skull and crossbones in your house (and I’m not talking about your sense of fashion or your funky taste in art)?

I don’t and sense I’m not paid to endorse any products here (or anywhere) I’m not going to.  I’m sure you know how to use a search engine of your liking to find the ton of websites, books and blogs out there that already give you the specifics about what to look for and how to make your own-it’s easy and cheap (so you can eliminate #2 from your excuses now). 

As for #1, there are a lot of germaphobes out there and I’m not one of them.  I’m very healthy, I don’t get sick often (neither does my husband) and I spend a lot of time in my home (I work from home) so something must be working for us.  If this is your excuse for not using natural cleaners than I urge you to do a little research and give some products a try, you just might find that they smell better, don’t require using heavy duty plastic gloves to apply and work just as well as the toxic avengers!

One note of warning, so-called “green” cleaners are a big area of revenue for business but not all products are created equally.  Some “green” products are nothing more than the same old toxic cleaners diluted and with “essential oils” added.  Beware, read up and be a smart consumer (read the ingredients).   Seriously, it’s not that much work and you and your family are worth it.

Your life is worth living well so don’t pollute it when all your trying to do is clean it up a little!

PS.  For those of you who are lucky enough to hire cleaning help, supply them with the cleaners you want them to use in your home and make sure they are using them:)