AN UP CLOSE LOOK AT WHAT IS IN YOUR PERSONAL CARE PRODUCTS, HOME AND GARDEN
PERSONAL CARE PRODUCTS:
ANTI-PERSPIRANTS AND DEORDORANTS:
Anti-perspirants contain ALUMINUM CHLOROHYDRATE, which blocks sweat glands and prevents wetness. The possible build up of this chemical may be a cause in Alzheimer's disease. If the deodorant or anti-perspirant you use is an aerosol the problem is worsened as particles are easily inhaled and are propelled from the optic nerve directly to the brain where they can cross the blood brain barrier.
Another problem is that these aluminum salts create estrogen-like effects on the growth of cancer cells. Especially in vulnerable tissues of the armpits, where there may be nicks and opening from shaving.
Deodorants that are not necessarily anti-perspirants may contain TRICLOSAN, a bacteria killing agent that can lead to liver damage.
Replace toxic Deodorants and Anti-perspirants with safe alternatives. You can use baking soda that you put into a powder tin and apply with a powder puff or cornstarch that you have mixed in 6–10 drops of Essential Oils of sage, and/or lemon, of course you can use other oils if you choose. Or mix your choice of Essential Oils into 8 ounces of filtered water you have placed in a mister/spray bottle and add a drop of vegetable glycerin to help the mixture emulsify. Spray under arms as needed. Deodorant Crystals are also available at most Health Food store or online.
Skin cancer is the most common cancer in the USA with 1.3 million cases a year reported and a rate that is growing 6% a year. Though sun screens are meant to protect us from the cancer causing UV rays, they actually end up exposing the skin to carcinogens. These can come in the form of DEA and TEA, which can cause damaging effects on the liver and bone marrow and there can be the disruption of the endocrine system, through the effects of ingredients like BENSOPHENONE (OXYBENZONE), HOMOSALATE, OCTYL-METHOXYCINNAMATE and PARABENS.
These chemicals are not only harmful to you they are harmful to the environment, posing their treat as they enter our waterways. It is also best to avoid NANO particles as science is not exactly clear about their effects. Their very small size allows them to be more penetrative and if they prove to be harmful this would mean greater exposure.
Other damaging ingredients include ALCOHOL, which can destroy the skins pH and cause drying and MINERAL OIL, PHENOLS and PETROLATUM, all of which can increase photosensitivity of the skin, cause dryness and suffocate the pores of the skin eventually leading to enlargement of the pores.
The body needs sunlight to manufacture Vitamin D, a substance that has a protective effect over a dozen types of cancer, however, it would be best to get your sun by exposing your body to 10-15 minutes of sun once a day, in the early morning or later afternoon. During the rest of the day seek shade between the hours of 10 AM and 2 PM wear a wide brim hat and light weight long sleeve shirts and pants. It is said that 1 inch of brim cuts the odds of skin cancer on the face by 10%.
Eating carotenoids, the colorful nutrient that gives foods their orange color, can help to protect you from the sun in the same way it works to help plants survive the damaging effects of the sun.
Nutrients like lycopenes, from tomatoes, and astaxanthin, from algae and spirulina, can help protect us from the suns UV rays from the inside out. Natural sunscreens include shea butter, avocado oil (best for free radical repair), sesame oil (blocking 45% of UV rays) and coconut oil (reflects radiation and cools).
Look to companies, like Aubrey Organics, for non toxic alternatives.
Our skin is our first line of defense. Many soaps contain petroleum derived synthetic fragrances or anti-microbial agents, which are harmful to your health. Look for products without these agents to maintain the integrity of your skins immune function. Anti-microbial soaps kill all the bacteria on the skin, even those that are beneficial and protective. By using anti-microbial soaps we create a strain of resistant bacteria, as the germs begin to mutate in response to the anti-microbial agents in the soap. These anti-microbial agents can also cause liver damage.
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 avoid using Dr. Bronner's Sal Suds however because it contains Sodium Lauryl Sulfate, which you will learn more about later in this paper. I like the Safer Soap best as it only has botanical proteins, minerals and enzymes from various seeds, leaves and other plant parts.
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 ¼ cup epsom salts, ½ cup of sea salt and 2 ounces of a carrier oil of your choice.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Though our hair does not absorb toxic chemicals directly, our scalp does. During washing warm water opens up the pores so there is even greater absorption. Out of 413 shampoos, 11% had carcinogens, 17% were linked to breast cancer and a full 82% had ingredients that helped carcinogens penetrate into the body. Shampoos commonly contain FORMALDEHYDE as a preservative. Though some products with formaldehyde need to have warnings on the label, shampoos are exempt.
Other toxic chemicals in shampoos include EDTA, UREA, PEG-7 GLYCERYL COCOATES and PROPYLENE GLYCOL, which combine with other chemicals making them carcinogenic and SODIUM LAURYL SULFATE, a sudsing agent, that can damage and disrupt cells, SELENIUM SULFIDE, found in dandruff shampoos can cause degeneration in cells if swallowed and RESORCINAOL, which is irritating to eyes is known to cause drowsiness and convulsions.
I have found that the Safer Soap botanical cleanser, which I already mentioned, works well for shampooing, as well as Aubrey Organics products. To make a shampoo you can put Safer Soap in a squeeze or suds pump bottle, diluted between 1:7-1: 15.
TOOTH PASTE/MOUTH WASH:
Most tooth pastes include PETRO-CHEMICALS, ARTIFICIAL COLOR, that can be coal tar derivatives, FLUORIDE, which myth says protects us from tooth decay yet is dangerous in even small amounts and in larger amounts can lead to osteoporosis, cancer and nerve damage, MINERAL OIL and SWEETENERS, including SACCHARIN a substance known to cause bladder cancer. Many tooth pastes contain SODIUUM LAURYL SULFATES to promote foaming.
There are several recipes included for making ones own tooth powder from baking soda, sea salt and 3% hydrogen peroxide, using Essential Oils for flavoring and to refresh the breath. Early humans used crushed shells, bones and egg shells mixed with powdered charcoal and flavors to create tooth powder.
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, 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.
When you eat a balanced diet with includes a lot of chewing and raw foods your saliva remains alkaline and this helps to re-mineralize teeth and keeps plaque from sticking to the teeth.
Many mouth washes used today boost that they kill bacteria, often using a dangerous chemical called TRICLOSAN, a broad spectrum anti–microbial that kills all bacteria, even the helpful bacteria in the mouth needed to start the digestive process. It is far better to prevent bad breath by eating cleanly and by brushing and flossing regularly then using harmful mouth washes.
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 and swishing and gargling. Thyme, cinnamon, peppermint and myrrh make good choices.
Twenty two million American women and one in eight men use hair dye according to a consumer report. At least twenty chemicals are
used in these dyes and most are carcinogenic. Studies of long term use have shown an increased risk of non-hodgkins lymphoma and
multiple myelomas. A study from Xavier University in Louisiana showed the lead content in some dyes as being higher than the
allowable level in paints. Lead is a carcinogen and hormone disruptor. Non permanent dyes are better than permanent dyes and
lighter shades are healthier than darker shades. In non permanent brands there are
P-PHENYLENEDIAMINES which can cause cell irritation. Even natural and non permanent brands can have this toxic chemical. Henna is a
safe alternative to hair coloring and many botanicals can shade the hair though I have never seen them do a very good job at coloring
gray hair. They also wash out over time, usually in a gentle way so there is no "roots" to contend with as in permanent coloring. Some brands that contain henna and botanicals include Lagona, Surya Brasil and Light Mountain.
A number of chemicals including PHTHALATES are found in hair spray. What makes it more dangerous is that the particles are in an airborne mist that makes them more easily absorbed into the blood via the lungs. These chemicals are endocrine disruptors and especially seem to decrease the semen count in men that use them.
As we already mentioned cosmetics are on the body for hours and can be absorbed easily as they are used in fragile areas of the body - areas where mucous membranes have a direct access to blood vessels that take their ingredients directly into the body. You can now find safe cosmetic alternatives from companies such as Ecco Bella, Burt's Bees and Dr. Andrew Weil's, Origins.
1. LIPSTICK is the most toxic of the cosmetics, containing POLY VINYLPYRROLIDIDON PLASTIC, SACCHARIN, MINERAL OIL and ARTIFICAL COLORS. Glamour magazine states that the average woman who wears lipstick swallows 4 to 9 pounds of lipstick in her lifetime.
2. MASCARA contains FORMALDEHYDE, ALCOHOL, PLASTIC RESIN and sometimes LEAD, all entering through the mucous membranes of the eyes.
3. EYE SHADOWS, BLUSH and FACE POWDER are made from talc which is irritating to the lungs and can sometimes be contaminated with asbestos. Alternatively you can use safe products which use colored clays and natural waxes.
4. PERFUMES and AFTERSHAVES contain a soup of SOLVENTS, NATURAL OR SYNTHETIC ESSENTIAL OILS IN A BASE OF ALCOHOL. These fragrance products can include TOLUENE, KETONES and other HAZARDOUS SUBSTANCES. Ninety five percent of the ingredients in perfumes are PETRO-CHEMICAL derived and are notorious for causing skin irritation, headaches and nausea.
A safer alternative is to stick with Essential Oils or Botanical Fragrances. You can blend several oils together to make your own personal scent and put them in a base of jojoba oil as a carrier, or create a mist.
5. FEMININE HYGIENE PRODUCTS consist of tampons and napkins. Many of these products are made from rayon, a PETRO-CHEMICAL based fiber, or cotton which has high levels of PESTICIDES when it is not organically grown. These products are often bleached with DIOXIN (TETRACHLORODIBENZO DIOXIN or TCDD) which is considered a very dangerous chemical even if only small amount are present. Remember these particles are next to fragile mucous membranes and can be easily absorbed by the body and taken directly into the blood stream. Unbleached dioxin-free products are available. If you can not find them you can check with www.seventhgeneration.com
This page includes some of the most common products we use everyday on our bodies, however, what about the products we have in our homes and gardens. These also have an impact on our health.
THE TOXIC WASTELAND YOU CALL HOME:
It is better to clean with green products, as many household cleaning products have toxic chemicals that can negatively affect the central nervous system and/or cause allergic reactions, irritating the skin, lungs and eyes.
are well known for causing allergic reactions. Just go down the household cleanser aisle at the grocery store and you can feel the effects of these products. Safe alternatives include Safer Soap in a 1:3 dilution of Ecover and other non toxic brands.
A Wash for Delicate Clothes can be made by adding 10 drops of rosemary Essential Oil to ½ cup of liquid castile soap or Safer Soap that is in a 1:3 dilution. Keep stored in a glass jar and use ½ 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.
ALL PURPOSE CLEANSERS
often contain CHLORINATED PHOSPHATES, DRY BLEACH, KEROSENE, PETROLEUM BASED SURFACTANTS, SODIUM BROMIDE, GLYCOL ETHER, EDTA and NAPHTHA which are all toxic to the central nervous system and can lead to symptoms such as headache, brain fog and mental illness.
For healthier choices, use Safer Soap, non-toxic soap as an All Purpose Non-Toxic Household Cleanser in a 1:3 dilution or create your own cleanser. To do this mix 1 teaspoon of borax with 4 tablespoons of white vinegar, ¼ teaspoon of liquid castile soap, 3 cups of hot water and 10 drops of tea tree, pine, lavender, lemon, eucalyptus, patchouli or thyme Essential Oils.
contains concentrated CHLORINE, a broad spectrum anti-microbial which kills good bacteria, as well as harmful bacteria, and breeds new strains of resistant bacteria because it is over used. It also forms harmful ORGANOCHLORINE COMPOUNDS that are stored in the fat and can enter breast milk.
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.
WOOD CLEANER AND POLISHER
A simple product can be made by mixing 2 tablespoons of distilled vinegar (optional) with 5 drops of orange and/or cedar oil in ¼ 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.
Can be made 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 ¼ 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.
can have SOLVENTS such as BENZENE, which is known to cause cancer, AMMONIA and BUTYL CELLUSOLVE, which is very toxic to humans.
A non toxic window cleaner can be made by using a 1:62 dilution of Safer Soap and water or use white vinegar mixed with water.
can be loaded with PETROLEUM BASED SURFACTANTS, NAPHTHA, which is a neurotoxin that can cause mental malfunctions, DIETHANOLAMINE PHOSPHATES, which can lead to liver poisoning, SODIUM NITRATES and CHLOR-O-PHENYLPHENOL, which is a metabolic stimulator.
You can find safe alternatives from Ecover and Seventh Generation and a 1:3 dilution of Safer Soap and water works as well.
Besides the household cleaners we use, 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.
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.
are generally 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.
shower curtains can be replaced 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.
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.
THE TOXIC GARDEN:
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 ½ 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 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.
Start anywhere, just start, and you will see how easy these healthy choices are to add into your routine personal and household cleaning routines, as well as your gardening.
Be Wise and Stay Healthy!
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