Toxic chemicals are found in all areas of our life, even if we eat organic food and filter our water. Pesticides sprayed in one area have been reported 24 miles away, even on a calm day. Aerial drift has been traced half way around the world on a windy day.
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Chemicals are in the places we go to everyday. The gas station, the dry cleaners, the stores and offices we frequent. They are in the synthetic material in our clothes, rugs, upholstery, drapes, mattresses, alcohol, drugs, birth control pills, other artificial hormones, tobacco, food additives, dyes, colors, flavorings, waxes, pesticides, herbicides, household cleaners, detergents, soaps, shampoos, personal care items, cosmetics, deodorants, perfumes, room deodorizers, paints, building materials, processed leather and more.
There are also toxins blasting us from our furniture, mattresses, carpeting and building materials. PARTICLE BOARD furniture out-gasses toxic fumes of PETROLEUM BASED GLUES and FORMALDEHYDE.
Remove these toxic items if you can or at least be sure to adequately ventilate the rooms they are in. Choose furniture made from sustainably grown solid wood (Smart Wood, Green Cross Label), glass or metal. If you can not replace your furniture, then seal the wood with a non toxic sealer such as Crystal Air available from www.nontoxic.com or be sure to filter your air.
An instant Air Freshening can be accomplished by placing a couple of drops of an Essential Oil of your choice to your cold light bulb then turning it on or using an electric or ceramic diffuser. A drop or two of your favorite Essential Oil on a cotton ball works well to. You can also make a spray bottle with 6-10 drops of an essential oil of ice
Upholstery and pillows can contain POLYURETHANE FOAM PLASTIC filling and FORMALDEHYDE RESIN to resist stains on the fabric. Just adding this toxic furniture to an empty room can triple the FORMALDEHYDE levels. Look for furniture older than 50 years old as it does not have these chemicals.
Most CARPETS are made from SYNTHETIC FIBERS and can emit 120 hazardous chemicals. These include neurotoxins such as TOULENE, XYLENE and carcinogens such as BENZENE. The padding and backing on these carpets are even more hazardous and many times they are treated with various repellants that are toxins as well. Carpets also trap toxic chemicals out-gassing in the air from your furniture and other items.
Replace PLASTIC VINYL shower curtains with tightly woven cotton. The heat from showering will increase the amount of vapor particles that enter your lungs from these fabrics. They are a source of PHTHALATES.
PAINTS are made from RESINS and SOLVENTS. The most hazardous ingredients in these SOLVENTS are called VOLATILE ORGANIC COMPOUNDS (VOC'S). They are found more in oil based paints than water based paints. They can affect the central nervous system, causing dizziness, headache, breathing difficulties and vomiting. These gases can out-gas for years. There are non VOC paints available, so look for them. Check the references above for healthy building materials.
PESTICIDES and HERBICIDES in your garden are a health hazard to you and the environment, so it is very important to use organic products in your yard to protect yourself, your family and the earth.
The typical suburban homeowners use 6 times the PESTICIDES and SYNTHETIC FERTILIZERS per acre in order to keep their lawns, as compared to a non-organic farmer, according to the Organic Center. The USA consumes one-third of all pesticides used in the world. Another shocking statistic states that 20% of all air pollution is caused by power equipment used on lawns and gardens and a power mower emits more exhaust in one half hour than a car driven 187 miles
A National Cancer Institute study stated, children who live in households where outside pesticides were used regularly developed leukemia six to nine times more than others. When inside pesticides were used the figure was four-fold higher. Pesticide poisoning is the 2nd most common household poisoning in the USA, with 2.5 million poisonings a year by ant, roach, fly and insect repellants. Of the 1400 active pesticide ingredients available more than 100 are known to cause cancer. The worst of these are CHLORPYRIFOS, DIAZINON, BANVEL, BENOMYL and DACONIL.
It is far better to utilize techniques such as companion planting and the introduction of beneficial predators in the garden, rather than relying on toxic chemicals. Should your plants be infested, a 1:62 dilution
of Safer Soap sprayed on the plants will often omit the problem. However, a healthy well balanced soil will do the most to create plants that can resist infestation. Use common sense when gardening and do what you can to keep toxins out.
There are many ways we can cut down on our exposure to these chemicals. Learn how to read labels and become more aware of what is actually in the products you are using. Find the products that are toxic and replace them with non-toxic products. Start speaking to your friends, family and neighbors about toxic chemical use and discuss how you can decrease or stop using such products. Let your shopkeepers know what types of non-toxic products you would like them to carry. When possible make your own products using non-toxic ingredients.
Avoid commerical name BRAND lipsticks such as Christian Dior, Clinique, Estee Lauder, Red Earth lip gloss, Chanel, Lancome, Shiseido, Market America-Motnes lipstick and Yves-St. Laurent which all have the high levels of lead content. Yves-St. Laurent has the highest level of these brands. The higher the level of lead content in your lipstick the greater chance it has of causing cancer. If your lipstick stays on longer it may be because it contains lead. Look to alternative vegetable based lip colorings if you must.
Here is a simple test you can do to see if your lipstick has lead. Rub some of your lipstick on your hand, then take a gold ring and rub it through the lipstick. IF THE LIPSTICK TURNS BLACK, your product contains lead.
The government cannot mandate safety studies of cosmetics, and the cosmetic industry's review panel has assessed only 11 percent
of 10,500 ingredients in products so you may want to check the safety of the products you are using. California recently passed
a law that would publicly list products containing ingredients linked to cancer and birth defects. You can go to the
Skin Deep database to learn what's in - or unknown about - products and brands you use, and find safer choices for you and your family.
You can also read more about personal care items that you can purchase or make yourself on my web pages: here. As well as, here.
SOME SIMPLE PERSONAL CARE RECIPES YOU CAN USE:
Simple skin care protocol includes cleansing, toning and moisturizing. Or
PURIFY ~ REVITALIZE ~ REPLENISH as I like to say.
* Cleanse with Safer Soap, Non-toxic soap OR a pure Castile Soap (Dr. Bronner's Baby soap makes a good cleanser and so
does California Baby). I like the Safer Soap ~ it only has botanical proteins, minerals and enzymes.
* Once a week use a simple exfoliating scrub which can be made with organic oats, almonds and dried flowers. Mix 2/3's cup of finely ground almonds with 1 cup of ground oats and add powdered flowers of your choice. Rose, lavender, chamomile and /or calendula make good choices. Or use these flowers in the form of several drops of their Essential Oil.
* This formula can double as a Facial Mask by leaving it on the skin for 10-15 minutes then washing with warm water to rinse.
* Use finely ground cornmeal instead of oats and you now have an exfoliating Body Scrub.
* Looking for a Salt Scrub? Easy, just mix 50 drops of Essential oils of your choice, with 1/4 cup epsom salts, 1/2 cup of sea salt and 2 ounces of a carrier oil of your choice.
* Facial Toners can be made simply by adding 6-10 drops of an Essential Oil of your choice to 8 ounces of filtered water or hydrosol. This mixture can also double as an Air Freshener.
Always eat organically grown non-GMO food, with as much as possible being raw and unprocessed. If possible grow your own food. Eat more light protein foods (green foods) rather than high protein acid ash producing foods (animal products). Replace what you are unable to get through your food with quality, whole-food based nutritional and supplemental products. Filter your water or buy known pure bottled water.
HERE ARE SOME SIMPLE RECIPES TO REPLACE TOXIC HOUSEHOLD PRODUCTS YOU MAY BE USING:
Use Safer Soap, non-toxic soap as an All Purpose Non-Toxic Household Cleanser in a 1:3 dilution or create you own cleanser. To do this mix 1 teaspoon of borax with 4 tablespoons of white vinegar, 1/4 teaspoon of liquid castile soap, 3 cups of hot water and 10 drops of tea tree, pine or thyme Essential Oils.
* Specifically on Floors you can use 2 gallons of hot water in which you have mixed 2 tablespoons of liquid castile soap, 2 cups of white vinegar and 20 drops of two (or more) of your favorite Essential Oils - pine, eucalyptus, orange or lemon work well.
* A simple Wood Cleaner and Polisher can be made by mixing 2 tablespoons of distilled vinegar (optional) with 5 drops of orange and/or cedar oil in cup of jojoba, olive and/or sweet almond oil. Jojoba is really a wax so it won't go rancid like the other oils can. Dip your dust cloth into the mix and rub into your wood surface. Vinegar can be added for cleaning and polishing, otherwise the mix is more polishing and conditioning.
* Make and Oven Cleaner by mixing baking soda and water with a few drops of liquid soap in a spray bottle. Spray on the oven and let sit over night. Rinse in the morning.
* A Soft Scrub can be made by mixing ? cup of baking soda with 1 -2 drops of lemon Essential Oil with enough liquid castile soap to make a paste (it will be the consistency of cake frosting).
* A Toilet Bowl Cleaner can be made by adding 1 cup of borax to your toilet bowl with 10 drops of pine Essential Oil, let sit overnight and scrub with a toilet brush in the morning.
* Laundry Soap can be created by using Safer Soap in a 1:3 dilution with Essential Oils of patchouli, tea tree, pine, rosemary or lavender (to name a few) added once the water has filled. There are also washing Balls which work well, if your clothes are not heavily soiled, by breaking up the static energy so dirt can be lifted.
* A Wash for Delicate Clothes can be made by adding 10 drops of rosemary Essential Oil to 1/2 cup of liquid castile soap or Safer Soap that is in a 1:3 dilution. Keep stored in a glass jar and use teaspoon to a sink filled with water to wash your delicate pieces.
* A few drops of an Essential Oil of your choice works well on a handkerchief that can be added to the clothes in your dryer to replace commercial, often toxin laden, Dryer Sheets, which can contain CHLOROFORM, CHLORINE and BROAD SPECTRUM ANTI-MICROBIALS.
Start anywhere, just start, and you will see how easy these are to add into your routine personal and household cleaning routines, as well as your gardening practices.
By taking charge of your own health and making healthy lifestyle choices one does not continue to pollute the body. This break gives it an
opportunity to detoxify, repair and heal any damage. This also allows the body to be in balance and homeostasis without having to work so
hard, thus creating less disease and suffering. Our resources are now freed up so they can be used for other processes, such as creating
vibrant health, joy and a feeling of well being. Be Wise and Stay Healthy!
Phthalates, Beauty Products and the FDA
Five percent of the 20 to 40 year old women tested by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)
are getting up to 45 times more phthalates (pronounced tha-lates) than previous daily intake estimates.
They are at levels of concern. While the CDC found evidence of phthalates in virtually every one of
the cross-section of Americans tested, evidence of the highest levels of exposure to the phthalate
DBP (dibutyl phthalate) were found in women of childbearing age.
What are phthalates?
Phthalates are a family of industrial chemicals that are used as a plastic softeners or solvents in many different consumer products. They can be absorbed through the skin, inhaled as fumes, ingested when they contaminate food or when children bite or suck on toys, and are inadvertently but directly administered to patients from some PVC (polyvinyl chloride or vinyl) medical devices.
Phthalates are dangerous.
Hundreds of animal studies have demonstrated that phthalates can damage the liver, the kidneys, the lungs and the reproductive system, especially the developing testes. Some patients who receive treatment using PVC medical devices softened with phthalates have developed the same health problems that animal studies show come from exposure to these chemicals. Other health problems seen in animal studies have never been looked for in people. But scientists in the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), Health Canada and the National Institutes of Health's Toxicology Program agree that animal studies predict that phthalates can
be dangerous to humans.
Where are these phthalates coming from?
Why do women between the age of 20 to 40 years have higher levels of dibutyl-phthalate (DBP) in their bodies than anyone else? We don't know for sure, but government databases state that DBP is used in cosmetics, toys, flooring, adhesives, wallpaper, furniture, raincoats and shower curtains. So cosmetics and other personal care products seem the most likely reason that women would be more exposed than anyone else. While more than 5,000 beauty and personal care products for women can be found on a drug store website, phthalates are only listed as an ingredient on some nail polishes. Could nail polish be the only source?
To answer that question, Health Care Without Harm, the Environmental Working Group and Coming Clean recently released "Not Too Pretty," a report that outlines the harmful effects of aggregate exposure to phthalates and discusses human exposures. [link to the report] The report tested popular fragrances, hair sprays and deodorants purchased from four drug stores. To see which brands were tested and which ones tested positively for phthalates you can read more on their website http://www.nottoopretty.com
The testing done for Not Too Pretty covers less than one percent of the beauty products sold in drug and discount stores across the United States. But it appears to be the most comprehensive phthalate testing ever made available to American consumers. Because the FDA has not mandated and enforced a strict labeling requirement, we cannot know if there are 5 or 50 or 500 more beauty products that contain unlabeled quantities of phthalates.
American products containing phthalates are virtually everywhere. Deodorants, car seats, hair spray, IV bags, perfume, vinyl flooring, wallpaper, and siding all contain phthalates. Some of the leading beauty manufactures use phthalates in their products -- such as Pantene Pro V "Healthy Hold" and Aqua Net hair sprays, Arrid and Degree deodorants, many fragrances including Poison by Christian Dior and Coty's Healing Garden contain phthalates, as well as Cover Girl, Sally Hansen and Maybelline (L'Oreal) nail polishes. However, for every ubiquitous use, there are readily available alternatives that are already in use.
Because of lax FDA labeling rules, we cannot know if there are 5, 50 or 500 more beauty products that contain unlabeled quantities of phthalates. So just because you don't see your favorite product on the list doesn't necessarily mean it's phthalate free. We encourage you to check with the manufacturer.
Exposures to phthalates are unnecessary because alternatives are available. For virtually every single product that contains phthalates there are phthalate-free products on the market that perform just as well. The limited testing done for Not Too Pretty revealed that the same big companies that produce phthalate-laden beauty products also make products free of phthalates.
What can you do?
We can't protect ourselves unless we get manufacturers and the government to change. The FDA and the cosmetic industry need to stop living in a make-believe world where people are exposed to single chemicals, one at a time. We need public policies that recognize how, in the real world, exposures from many products are adding up. Cosmetic, food-containing and medical products that contain phthalates must be labeled and manufacturers should publicly pledge to voluntarily remove phthalates as quickly as they can.
Let your voice be heard by the FDA and manufacturers. Go to
and learn more about chemicals in your body and how they got there.
Take action by emailing the FDA directly.
You can find a sample letter there to send to your local newspaper.
The link of parabens to breast cancer
Breast Cancer Action is the co-filer of a resolution that is being submitted to Avon shareholders for consideration.
The resolution calls on the company to study the feasibility of removing parabens -
a preservative commonly used in cosmetics - from Avon products. Parabens, based on recent scientific studies,
mimic the behavior of estrogen, a hormone closely linked to the development of breast cancer.
You can help make history by urging Avon to take a precautionary approach to their product line.
Here's what you can do: Send a letter (http://www.bcaction.org)
to Avon explaining why you are supporting the paraben resolution.
MORE RESEARCH YOU MAY WANT TO KNOW ABOUT
Researchers in the U.S.A. Germany, Switzerland and Japan have found that some of the common ingredients in hair shampoos, skin creams and toothpastes can be linked to baldness, cataract formation, contact dermatitis, environmental cancers and possible eye damage in young children.
One of these is found in approximately 90% of all commercial shampoos. It is a detergent called sodium lauryl sulfate (SLS). It is also known as sodium dodecyl sulfate and sodium laureth sulfate. This chemical has been found to damage protein formation in the eye tissue of young animals. These animal studies show the uptake of this harmful chemical is greater in young animals ocular (eye) tissue as compared to that of adult animals. Not only does it penetrate the ocular tissue, it also penetrates the systemic tissues of the brain, liver, heart etc., through the skin. There was also long term retention in the tissues of up to 5 days after exposure to a single drop. Sodium laureth sulfate is a main ingredient in most baby shampoos. Some researchers are concerned about cataract formation and the extended healing time of corneal tissue (5 times longer) when SLS is present.
Another tendency of SLS is to react with other ingredients to form NDELA, a nitrosamine that is a potent carcinogen.
According to the FDA, if a shampoo is contaminated with NDELA it can lead to absorption in the body at higher
levels than eating a nitrate-contaminated food. The rate from one shampooing is equal to that of eating a
pound of bacon. The FDA has found unacceptable levels of another carcinogen called dioxin in shampoos as well.
Unfortunately you can only tell if these carcinogenic compounds are in your shampoo by having the product
tested in a laboratory.
SLS can permeate the skin and is known to cause skin irritation and contact dermatitis. Once it damages the skin
barrier function you are more susceptible to allergic responses to other toxins and allergens. Skin cells may be altered,
becoming extremely rough, with altered structure noted in some cases from SLS exposure. Reactions to SLS seem to be
increased in those with seborrhea and eczema. In some cases there is an inflammation of the lymph nodes.
Those with fair skin seem to be more susceptible to SLS irritation.
It seems obvious that these chemicals do not belong on the skin. With all these harmful effects and the scientific information
regarding its toxic nature, one wonders how come SLS is allowed in our shampoos. It is one of the main ingredients in commercial
toothpastes too. Only one major brand (Sensodyne) did not have it in the list of ingredients. It is shocking.
We know the gums are one of the quickest ways to get a substance into the bloodtream, so why is this deadly
substance in all major brands of toothpaste?
SLS may be responsible for thinning hair and premature hair loss in both men and women. It is a caustic cleanser.
It corrodes the hair follicles which impairs hair growth.
It acts as a scalp irritant and is implicated in dandruff, eczema and itchy scalp. Many times it is included in products designed to alleviate these scalp conditions. SLES (sodium lauryl ester sulfate) is especially harmful to the hair growth cycle. It prolongs the hair loss phase of the follicle by 8 times.
Even so called natural brands may include SLS. Many high priced and exclusive brands may also contain this toxic ingredient. Do think because you are paying a high price you are exempt. Always check the label.
A non-toxic Shampoo choice is available from Aubrey Organics or use Safer Soap in a suds pump bottle diluted 1:7-1: 15.
Another common ingredient in cosmetic products is propylene glycol. The material data safety sheet for this product reads "avoid skin contact", yet it is in many skin creams on the market. It is found to cause contact dermatitis, ototoxicity, kidney damage and liver abnormalities, according to various animal and human studies.
Animal studies have shown it to cause inhibited cell respiration, irreversible deafness, tissue and bone degradaton, skeletal muscular damage and changes in the middle ear. It directly alters skin membranes to cause skin thickening, dehydration and surface damage. Poisoning with this substance has caused seizures, and cardiopulmonary arrest. Propylene glycol was introduced into cosmetics 30 years ago and is still the major ingredient in most skin creams. New research indicates that this type of product may actually lead to premature aging of the skin.
Another product you want to be aware of are deodorants, especialy antiperspirants that contain aluminum chlorohyrate or aluminum zirconium. Both of these ingredients are highly soluable and absorbed easily into the skin. Once in the body the aluminum passes across the cell membrane and is absorbed by the liver, kidneys, brain, cartilage and bone marrow. This is of great concern as this may create aluminum-based blood poisoning and may be implicated in condtions that affect the nervous system and brain. Conditions such as Alzheimer's disease.
These aluminum-containing antiperspirants block our pores to keep us from sweating. This is not a good idea. Our body needs to sweat so it can get rid of toxins. Sweating also regulates our body's temperature. Body odor is created from our sweat coming in contact with bacteria on the skin. It is a far better idea to eliminate the bacteria, not prevent the sweating.
There are harmless ways to eliminate the bacteria. Using a 1:15 Safer Soap Non Toxic Soap solution in a spray bottle works well as a deodorant. There are also 100% natural mineral salt deodorant stones. Dusting your underarms (or feet) with a baking soda and cornstarch mixture works too. You can add some essential oils to this mix to create a scent you enjoy. Sage, lemon, lavender or a number of other essential oils are some of my favorites. Or, they can be put into a mister bottle to create a nice deodorant spray.
Begin to check your products for harmful ingredients. Avoid those that use toxic and harsh chemicals. Especially be sure to keep children away from using such products as they are much more susceptible to the toxic effects of these chemicals. Check not only shampoo, conditioners, creams, lotions, deodorants and toothpastes, but also sunscreens and baby wipes. One sunscreen product for children actually had aluminum in it, along with SLS. This product would be very dangerous and could cause brain cell deterioration.
Start using safe alternatives. See my products page to learn more about safe, nontoxic products for your personal care needs. Products such as Safer Soap NON TOXIC SOAP, personal care products from AUBREY ORGANICS and essential oil products from AMRITA AROMATHERAPY will be described on these pages. click here to read more, Also check my pages here for other healthy alternatives.
HERE ARE SOME HEALTHY RECIPE SUBSTITUTIONS FOR PERSONAL CARE ITEMS YOU MAY BE USING:
• Instant Air Freshening can also be accomplished by placing a couple of drops of an Essential Oil of your choice to your cold light bulb then turning it on or using an electric or ceramic diffuser. A drop or two of your favorite Essential Oil on a cotton ball works well to.
* A Simple Moisturizer can be created by mixing 10 drops of Essential Oil with one ounce of carrier oil such as almond, avocado, apricot and/or sesame base oils or by mixing the Essential Oils with a more solid carrier such as shea or cocoa butters that has been melted in a double boiler. More complex formulas would include adding aloe, other botanically infused base oils, vitamins and anti-oxidants. An example is my Simple Elegance Skin Serum. See my Holistic Body Care web pages for more information here.
* A bath can turn into a Nurturing Bath Soak by putting 6 drops of essential oil into 1 # of Epsom or other salts while the tub water is running. No tub, or time to soak, you can add a drop or two of an Essential Oil of your choice on your wash rag and wash as usual in your shower, creating your own Body Wash. Stay aware of any sensitivity you may have to Essential Oils and do a patch test if you have doubts. Remember hot oils like cinnamon, thyme, peppermint or oregano can be irritating to sensitive skin.
* For a simple Relaxing Eye Treatment to help puffy eyes, or to use after removing eye make up, place Chamomile tea bags that have been soaked in hot water and squeezed out on you eye lids. Be sure they have cooled enough. Sit with your feet up for 10 -15 minutes.
* Replace toxic Deodorants and Anti-Perspirants with safe alternatives. See suggestions listed above.
* To create a healthy Toothpaste replacement, mix 10 drops (more or less) of Essential Oils of peppermint, oregano, myrrh and /or cinnamon with 1/2 cup of baking soda. Store it in a glass jar. Sprinkle a little on your hand and dip your moistened toothbrush into the mixture. Or mix half and half baking soda and salt. You can also add a few drops of 3% hydrogen peroxide to the mix, creating a foaming cleanser that will bubble away material that has lodged under the gums. You can easily do this by using an eye dropper to put a few drops on your brush at the time of brushing.
* A simple Mouth Wash can be created by putting one or two drops of an Essential Oil of your choice into a glass of water, swishing and gargling. Thyme, cinnamon, peppermint and myrrh make good choices.
You can find other healthful tips about safe and non toxic skin care on my HEALTH ESSENTIALS webpages by clicking here. AND on my BODY CARE webpages by clicking here.
Take charge of your health and begin making healthy choices.
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