Tag Archives | cosmetic database

Are Cosmetics Killing Us?

It’s such a harsh title for an article, but the Environmental Working Group posted a similar title ‘Beauty Secret: Your Make-Up Can Kill You’ and not only did I sit up and read it, I agree.  I’ve long wondered why so many young people seem afflicted with disease and problems that used to happen later in life, and weren’t so common.  Why are 30 year old woman getting breast cancer, why are so many couples struggling with fertility problems, and why the high rate of immune problems?  The list goes on and even to a lesser degree…why have most children you know at one point been diagnosed with either eczema or asthma and why do girls in Grade 6 look so overdeveloped?  Most will agree it’s environmental.  Well what if it’s the chemicals that leech from our plastics, the body care and household products we use to ‘clean’ with, the air freshener we spray around children and pets, or the make-up we apply to make ourselves beautiful?  Even people’s pets these days seem to have higher rates of cancer. 

I’m not a scientist or at all educated on environmental issues, but I do believe much of what watchdog groups like EWG have to say.  After all, they’ve been bang on about bpa and phthalates.  We spend so much time checking labels and ingredients for our children, take a few minutes and review what scores your own body care products receive using the skin deep cosmetic safety database.  If the rating isn’t low, make it a New Year’s resolution to take a trip to Whole Foods, Planet Organic and surround yourself with some natural products.  My Noxzema scored a 4 on the cosmetic database and it’s really the only beauty product I use.  That score doesn’t impress me, so I’ll need to replace with one of the many solutions out there that scored 0-2 which is low level of concern for hidden chemicals, etc.

What are a few easy things you can do today that will remove many chemicals from your home/self immediately?

Use only natural personal care products on yourself and family.  Either that or use nothing at all (when I run out of natural soap and shampoo for my kids, I just use water).  Products purchased with the rest of your groceries (Johnson & Johnson, etc.) contain phthalates and this is not good news if you have boys.  Phthalates attack their reproductive systems and you can’t search for this in an ingredient list…it’s a chemical that manufacturers sneak into products masked with the word ‘fragrance’ on the bottle.  So steer clear of anything with fragrance for your entire family….yes even Johnson & Johnson’s baby shampoo contains phthalates! Read more here: Protect Your Family From Phthalates In Your Home

Get rid of fabric softener or dryer sheets.  One of the most toxic things in your home…they release chemicals two ways:  through the skin and in the air.  Just stop using them and find out natural ways to help with static cling. Read more: Dryer Sheets & Fabric Softener – A Household Toxin

Don’t spray febreeze, air freshener, or plug-in room deodorizers… they are only masking odor with chemicals released through fragrance for your family to ingest.

Replace your cleaning supplies.  Ever wondered why your head is pounding after cleaning the bathroom or glass windows?  If you are spraying traditional cleaning agents, your headache is from inhaling toxins. Your children, family, and pets are also inhaling and touching those products. Eco-friendly cleaning products are sold everywhere these days and not only are they much better for the environment, but it’s much easier to clean thanks to companies like Norwex! Read more: Norwex – Cleaning Without Chemicals

I still find my children bathing or mouthing soft plastic toys.  PVC plastic is dangerous to human health…it’s proven that it releases the most potent synthetic chemicals ever tested, which can cause cancer and harm immune and reproductive systems.  Remove any soft plastic toys that might contain PVC from your home.  Something that still makes me sick is the Vancouver Aquarium gift shop sells isles of soft plastic toys, dolphins, whales, snakes, etc.  Every time I would take my boys there as toddlers, I would buy one of these figures so they could play in the tub with them.  I even bought an octopus for my girl’s to teeth on because the tentacles on the toy felt good against their gums when they were cutting a new tooth.  Last time I was at the aquarium, I noticed a sign under each bucket of these toys that read “PVC”.  It upset me for two reasons.  I had purchased these toxic toys for my kids to mouth, bath, and play with.  I also wondered how many parents know exactly what PVC means and why would they continue to sell them?  If you want to warn people about a product, write the word TOXIC underneath, not an acronym that most people don’t understand.  Sorry to start a rant, but I really suffer from guilt about the world of plastics and how much exposure my family had before the chemicals came to light for parents.

I look forward to highlighting companies in 2009 that are offering natural alternatives to traditional products that we grew up with.  I think we can look around and see that the cleaning agents, cosmetics, fragrances, and world of cooking with plastic, just isn’t working for us anymore.  If you don’t know where to start, check out the wonderfully natural site Nayla Natural Care.  A great place to start to find replacement products for your home.

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Parabens – Moms Should Check Their Cosmetics

We have been learning about health concerns with personal products, toys, and plastics and protecting our children, but have you stopped to think about your own cosmetics?  I watched a video clip on the Environmental Working Group’s (EWG) web site that prompted me to check my own skin care line. If you are like me and attempt to read the ingredient lists of my personal products, I just wind up confused (and convinced that I need to take an English course because I can’t sound our most of the ingredients). Plus, as one of the scientific analysts for EWG stated, that reading the ingredients list if pointless unless you know what to look for. And they go on to say that half of our cosmetics contain an ingredient that is linked to reproductive problems or cancer.

Especially interesting from the video, was the scientist mentioning the chemical paraben.  I’ve seen it mentioned in various places, but didn’t know what the problem was.  Even at the Farmers Market last Sunday, I noticed a vendor selling non-toxic products and she was marketing them as ‘paraben free’. The simplest way I can explain the problems these two chemicals (phthalates and parabens) cause is that phthalates attack a boy/man’s reproductive system and cause an assortment of cancers and parabans attack a girl/woman’s reproductive system and cause female cancers. I thought that I only needed to worry about my boys with the problems that phthalates cause, but after watching this news video, I started checking my own personal product line and noticed many of them contain ingredients ending in ‘paraben’…isopropyl-paraben, isobutyl-paraben, butylparaben to name a few in my Paul Mitchell smoothing hair conditioner. Yikes!  I am also glad that I’ve replaced all personal care products for my girls with the non-toxic Trukid brand.  Especially after reading that parabens are reported to be carcinogens found in breast cancer tissue as well as the problems they cause with reproductive hormones.

More breast cancers in women?  More testicular cancer in men?  Are the chemicals the cause? This is the million dollar question. I’ll put in my two-bits to this debate. From the second I wrapped my mind around the issue with BPA, I knew there was something to the debate about this chemical. Why are so many young people we know battling infertility, MS, cancers, etc.? I think everyone agrees it’s environmental and I would add that the chemicals like BPA, Phthalates, and Parabens contribute to the many health issues that effect the child-bearing public. So, as mother’s especially, we are so diligent about protecting our children from harmful chemicals…maybe it’s time to look at our own personal products. You can check your products on the EWG’s cosmetic database by clicking this link. We need to make sure that we are keeping ourselves healthy as well as our children.  If you are like me, the more you learn, the more aware you are about these issues and it perpetuates around you.  I’m sure my family and friends are tired of hearing about these environmental concerns – but it’s getting us talking about it!  Spread the message of better health through your group of friends.

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