10 Chemicals Found In Every Home and How To Easily Eliminate Them Today
When trying to live a healthy lifestyle by eating right and exercising, sometimes the last areas we may think to change are our cleaning and personal care products. We pay a lot of attention to what we put in our mouth. We read food labels and see how much sugar, fat, and sodium are in food products. But we don’t seem to pay just as much attention to what we put on our skin.
There have been high associations to toxins in conditions such as cancer, neurological dysfunctions, hormonal imbalances, respiratory issues, skin rashes and problems as well as developmental issues.
Yet we are continually bombarded with hundreds of them day to day. So as consumers, why would we want these toxic chemicals around us and our families?
The problem is that most consumers are not aware of these hidden dangers and how pervasive these health threats can be. This is why it is so important for us to educate ourselves and find out what toxins we are regularly exposed to, ways to limit or reduce our exposure, and what products to use that are safe and effective alternatives.
Here is a review of some of the chemicals found most frequently in our personal care and household products:
Triclosan is classified as a pesticide and probable carcinogen by the EPA. In fact, the EPA gives triclosan high scores both as a human health risk and as an environmental risk. It is a synthetic antibacterial ingredient that contributes to the creation of resistant forms of bacteria like MRSA (Methicillinresistant Staphylococcus Aureus).
Triclosan impairs muscle function and skeletal muscle contractility, researchers report in a new study done at the University of California Davis. Although the study was done on mice, researchers said the effects of the chemical on cardiac function were "really dramatic."
After mice were exposed to one dose of triclosan, heart muscle function was reduced by 25 percent, and grip strength was reduced by 18 percent.
Triclosan has also been strongly linked to the following:
- Abnormalities with the endocrine system, particularly with thyroid hormone signaling
- Weakening of the immune system
- Birth defects
- Uncontrolled cell growth
- Unhealthy weight loss
Triclosan is found in almost every antibacterial hand soap and hand sanitizer and can even be found in many popular toothpastes, skin cleansers, cosmetics, first aid sprays, and even some deodorants.
Parabens are used as a preservative and not always labeled. They are a cheap way for companies to make their products last longer without collecting bacteria. A study done by the Journal of Applied Toxicology detected high amounts of parabens in breast cancer cell growth. Parabens are able to bind to estrogen receptors, where they encourage breast cancer cell growth. It mimics natural estrogen that leads to cancer and may contribute to sterility in males, hormone imbalance in females, and early puberty.
You will find these in most skin care products, makeup, hair care products, lotions, creams and deodorants.
Phthalates are extremely common in plastic products. They act as binding agents and are what makes plastic flexible. Phthalates make nail polish chip resistant and fragrances last longer. They are banned in Europe and are a known carcinogen. They are also strongly linked to:
birth defects lower sperm counts hormone disrupting leading to early puberty in young females.
Phthalates are commonly found in vinyl flooring, detergents, automotive plastic,soap, shampoo, deodorants, hairspray, plastic bags, food packaging, garden hoses, inflatable toys, IV medical tubing, shower curtains, baby bottles, sippy cups, pacifiers, teethers, and many other plastic products.
BPA (Bisphenol A) though not as common anymore; was for a long time a common ingredient found in many plastics including water bottles, children's toys as well as the lining of most canned goods. An easy way to decrease your BPA exposure is to use glass containers and water bottles.
Do you ever get headaches or just feel “weird” when someone is wearing a strong perfume or you walk down certain aisles of the supermarket? There is a very real reason for that. It’s your bodies way of saying it is coming into contact with something that does not agree with it. It is giving you a warning message.
“Fragrance” is basically a secret mixture of chemicals. Companies are not required to list these chemicals on product labels. Toluene, which is in fragrances, is a known neurotoxin that causes:
- loss of muscle control
- brain damage
- memory loss
- speech, hearing, and vision problems
Fragrances are found in many soaps, cleaners, candles, perfumes, lotions and shampoos. Fragrances are one of the top five allergens in the world.
Sodium Lauryl Sulfate (SLS)
SLS is one of THE most dangerous ingredients used in cleaners and personal care products. It is the foaming agent in shampoos, bubble bath, bath soaps, and conditioners.
Laboratories use it to purposely irritate the skin on animals and humans so that they can then test the effectiveness of healing agents on irritated skin.
It is a mouth irritant that is in almost every toothpaste and can cause canker sores. It’s also been found to cause:
- hair loss
- loss of hearing and eyesight and can cause eye deformity in children
- can damage the immune system
- causes skin inflammation
- shown to cause DNA mutations
It is used as engine degreaser, concrete floor cleaner and car wash detergent.
Propylene Glycol is the main ingredient in antifreeze. It is used in many deodorants to prevent them from drying out. Can also be found in paint, floor wax, laundry detergent, pet food, shampoos, lotions, toothpaste, baby wipes and even some brands of cereal! The EPA considers Propylene Glycol so toxic that they require gloves and goggles when disposing of and burying it. It is linked to liver and kidney damage and can damage cell membranes leading to rashes, dermatitis, and dry skin.
Mouthwash products with an alcohol content of over 25% are linked to cancer of the mouth, tongue, and throat. It is also associated with developmental/reproductive toxicity and organ system toxicity (non-reproductive). It acts as a solvent in the mouth, making tissues more vulnerable to carcinogens.
Blocks the absorption of choline, a nutrient necessary for brain development. Diethanolamine is mostly used in hair and skin care products (shampoos, shower gels, body washes) to produce a rich lather and create a creamy texture. It is also used to adjust the ph of cosmetics and it helps to form emulsions so that water and oils can blend together.In fact, it is found in over 600 home and personal care products and is a suspected cause of cancer.
Metals (lead, aluminum, arsenic, mercury, nickel, iron)
Women with breast cancer have been found to have higher levels of these metals. Aluminum which is in most deodorants (even the crystal salt ones) and antiperspirants, is the ingredient that prevents your skin from sweating. It can be found in foods such as baking powder and baby formula, drugs, vaccines, lotions, sunscreen, cans, foil, juice boxes, and water bottles. In fact, there are even heavy metals found in the very water we bathe and shower in.
In our home we filter our shower water with the Berkey shower filter.
Petrochemicals such as mineral oil (think Vaseline) can cause fatigue, memory loss, personality changes, headaches, sleep disturbances, sexual dysfunction and even cancer.
Are you an animal lover?
Many lubricants, cosmetics, waxes, and soaps are also made with animal renderings.
How could the fatty leftovers of dead, diseased and euthanized animals possibly be good for you?
It is amazing that all these toxins and chemicals, and many more that were not listed, are present in products that are designed to protect us. The European government has banned 1,222 times more chemicals than the U.S. Under the Federal Hazardous Substances Act, household cleaners are the only household products for which manufacturers are NOT required to list all ingredients.
Certain ingredients, like fragrances for example, are considered trade secrets, and government regulations are designed to protect proprietary information.
The power of large companies’ well funded government lobbying efforts have allowed them to avoid legislation, often hiding behind the principle of “trade secrets.” Most people assume the government oversees the multi billion dollar household cleaning products industry, but the reality is that it is largely unregulated. According to the EPA, of the nearly three thousand top selling chemicals in the U.S., only 7 percent have a full set of basic toxicity information.
For the most part, the EPA simply relies on voluntary testing agreements with major manufacturers. Without full disclosure, consumers can unknowingly expose themselves and their families to unhealthy chemicals. The Natural Resources Defence Council recently tested 14 air fresheners and found that 12 contained phthalates, and none of the products listed this on the label.
Until the government enacts laws to force companies to fully disclose their ingredients, or better yet test the safety of their ingredients, it is important for consumers to educate themselves.
Many people have grown tired of putting their health in jeopardy just to clean their bathroom, bedroom, or kitchen. It’s very obvious why green cleaners have such an appeal and why people want to use them.
The household cleaning industry has caught on to this and responded in full force with product lines that claim they are green and natural. These products are labeled “green” and “natural” for marketing reasons and to charge 2030% more. They usually contain the same amount of chemicals! This is a practice called “greenwashing”—misleading marketing to make products appear green and healthy.
For example, arsenic, uranium, mercury, and formaldehyde are all naturally occurring and poisonous. “All natural” and “green” isn’t necessarily nontoxic. It is hard to tell what exactly is in your cleaning products under the Federal Hazardous Substance Act.
We live in a chemical world; every day we are exposed to toxins, chemicals, and pollutants. It can be overwhelming to even think if we can avoid all of this exposure. Even some of the so called “green” products are damaging to our health. It may not be possible to avoid ALL of the toxins in our lives, but there are plenty of ways to significantly reduce your family’s exposure through simple lifestyle changes and behaviours. One way you can greatly decrease your family’s exposure to toxins is by using essential oils for cleaning.
With more and more research coming out all the time about the effects of toxins in our household and personal care products, we knew we needed to make some changes in the products we were currently using.
This is what originally led us to Young Living Essential Oils (yes it's an MLM product, not all essential oils are equal these are the ones we've found to be the most effective and the ones we've grown to trust.) It's comforting to know that by using an essential oil based products, not only are we avoiding all the chemicals, but we are also getting the therapeutic benefits of breathing in the aromas.
Young Living has developed an extensive line of plant based oralcare, skincare, haircare, nutritional, and household cleaning products that are safe, toxin free, and infused with therapeutic grade essential oils to make them more effective. Applying products derived from plants and minerals is a smart and natural way to make your skin appear both healthy and beautiful. Essential oils in natural skincare products can work wonders for your complexion and improving the overall health and wellness of your skin and hair.
So how can you start replacing some of your everyday toxic products in your home? Well there are a few ways.
You could make your own using essential oils or you could buy the premade products specifically developed with chemical free living in mind.
Our favourite household cleaner is Young Livings Thieves cleaner. Thieves oil is one of the best essential oils for cleaning because of its antimicrobial effect.Thieves household cleaner is an all purpose cleaner formulated with 100% plant and mineral based ingredients. It gets out tough stains and problem areas in the home without harsh or abrasive cleaners, and is so safe it can actually be consumed (though I don't recommend it.)
It is biodegradable and complies with EPA standards. We use it for everything in our home whether we are cleaning windows, granite or our hardwood floors. This stuff could replace every single cleaner in your home. The great thing about Thieves cleaner is it is highly concentrated so a little goes a long ways.
Here are the dilution ratios: light degreasing 60:1; medium degreasing 30:1; heavy degreasing 15:1; floors 100:1; walls 30:1; upholstery, fabrics, carpet spotting 40:1; carpet 100:1; glass 320:1; pots and pans; 100:1 hand cleaner 1:1.
In fact we love the Thieves line from Young Living so much that we have used it to replace other common chemical laden household products such as dish soap, laundry soap, and hand soap.
The Thieves laundry detergent is free of SLS, Dyes, Petrochemicals, Formaldehyde, Phosphates, Synthetic Perfume and optical brighteners (synthetic chemicals that make fabrics appear to glow in the presence of ultraviolet light). If you are looking for a safe and effective fabric softener to go with the Thieves soap, try straight up vinegar. About half a cup will do. (Alternatively we've also found Nellie's Laundry Soap sourced typically from Amazon to be another great chemical free detergent option.)
Thieves dish soap is the most potent dish soap I have ever used. It cuts through grease like nothing. A little bit goes a long long ways. It is also free from all chemicals and dyes and is 100% plant based.
So now that we have looked at how to replace your household cleaners, dish soap and laundry soap, what about our personal care products?
Have you used some type of personal care product this morning? What did you use? Women use an average of 15 personal care products a day, and men use about 6. Each product contains at least a dozen or so chemicals, so if you think about it, you are slathering, spritzing, and soaking in well over a hundred different potentially harmful chemicals. Each time we put on lotion or deodorant, shave, brush our teeth, or shampoo, we expose ourselves to harmful chemicals. In fact, 89% of chemicals present in these products have not been tested for public safety.
Chemicals are absorbed into the body through the skin. Putting on chemicals may actually be worse than eating them. Toxins that enter through the skin can enter the bloodstream and cause harm before they are filtered by the liver. With all the pollutants in the environment today, it is important that we use personal care products that are made from natural and healthy ingredients.
It is not a secret that plant foods nourish our bodies. The saying “You are what you eat” has been around forever. When we eat a healthy, nutritious diet full of veggies, fruits, and antioxidants, we can see the beneficial health effects, both internally and externally. You can see it in your skin, energy level, body weight and shape, endurance, and overall well being. These are the benefits we get from eating better. Now think of the benefits we can reap if we apply these nutritious ingredients topically? It’s no longer just “You are what you eat,” but it’s also what you put on your skin and in your hair.
One very overlooked area in toxic personal care products is toothpaste. Many unsafe chemical additives in toothpastes and mouthwashes are absorbed into the bloodstream through the mucosal lining inside the mouth. In addition to triclosan, fluoride in toothpaste is a major problem and it could be why we are seeing an increase in thyroid issues. Fluoride competes with iodine receptors which is a very important mineral in thyroid health. If these receptor sites are occupied by fluoride it's no wonder hypothyroidism is seen so often. Thieves oralcare products are comprised of only safe, nontoxic, natural, and effective ingredients that are infused with essential oils. We love the Thieves Dentarome toothpaste! (I never realized how ill fluoride actually made me feel until I stopped using it and saying no to my dentist.)
Have you ever read the fine print on tube of supermarket toothpaste? There is enough poison to kill 2 two year olds. According to the Physician’s Desk Reference, the mucosal lining inside of the mouth has an absorption efficiency of over 90 percent. Because of this, these carcinogens can get into your blood, brain, and cells in no time at all—especially when you consider that most people use dental care products 2 to 3 times a day. EPA lists fluoride as a contaminant. It’s considered a toxic waste in the fertilizer industry.
Did you know the average supermarket mouthwash can contain up to 26% ethanol? In other words, you're actually gargling more alcohol than your last glass of wine. Toxins in mouthwash alcohol can actually dissolve fillings, sealants, bonding, and the cement used to fasten braces to teeth.
If you go to PubMed, you can see many studies linking mouthwash to oral cancers. Thieves mouthwash is a great alternative; it is a blend of Peppermint, Spearmint, and Vetiver for a clean and fresh mouth. As an added bonus it has colloidal silver in it which is documented as a powerful natural antibiotic.
Let’s take a look at a few other personal favourites of ours from Young Living that have helped our family go chemical free:
Orange Blossom face wash is a gentle non abrasive, free rinsing cleanser that removes dirt, makeup, and toxins collected throughout the day without stripping the skin of its natural oils. It contains MSM to promote healthier and clearer skin. Methylsulfonylmethane (MSM) is a naturally occurring sulfur compound found in all humans. Sulfur plays an important role in the production of glutathione—one of the most important antioxidants that your body produces and uses for detoxification. Without sulfur, glutathione cannot work. So, while not an antioxidant by itself, MSM helps improve your body’s ability to make its own antioxidants. It also has Wolfberry seed oil to hydrate your skin and essential oils to soothe the skin.
Young Living has created essential oil infused shampoo and conditioner options for every hair type.They gently cleanse hair while nourishing and restoring balance without all the toxins. They have clarifying, volumizing, and moisturizing formulations. Our favourite is the lavender shampoo and conditioner.
Young Living also has lotions that combine essential oils and MSM to promote soft, healthy skin.They moisturize, normalize, and protect skin against chemicals, cleaners, and harsh weather. We love the lavender hand and body lotion. The lavender in it is great if you’ve spent a bit too much time in the sun!
Young Living’s bar soaps are created through a proprietary process that minimizes the presence of skindrying alkali salts, which are a major cause of dryness and irritation. The chemical free, all natural ingredients cleanse, soothe, and soften skin, as carefully selected essential oils energize and rejuvenate your mind and body.
Just like the soaps, their bath and shower gels are free of chemicals and synthetic preservatives.They contain plant based ingredients like coconut oil and star anise. It’s always fun to buy the unscented shower gel and personalize it by adding your favourite essential oil scent to it.
Young Living has designed the first natural deodorants formulated exclusively from therapeutic grade essential oils and all natural, toxin free ingredients. They provide a pleasant, safe alternative to commercial deodorants and are free of Propylene Glycol and aluminum salts. . Aluminum is a highly known neurotoxin commonly linked with brain disorders such as alzheimer's, parkinson's and dementia.
Young Living also offers a complete skincare line that is 100% chemical free from moisturizers, toners, beauty masques, brightening cream, eye cream, and reconstructive serums/sprays to lip colours and lip chaps. No more worrying about whether your skincare products are safe.
Need something specific to children? No problem! There is a Kidscents product line! The products are gentle, safe, nontoxic, and all natural alternatives made specifically for children. Children are more susceptible to toxicity because of their smaller bodies. The bath gel, lotion, shampoo, skin ointment, bum cream, and toothpaste are all made without artificial perfumes, toxic chemicals, or dyes. The essential oils help protect children’s sensitive skin.
So even though most common household cleaners and personal care items are toxic, this doesn’t give us a reason not to clean and be beautiful right?! Young living has the perfect solutions to meet your all natural lifestyles! The best part? You don’t even need to leave your house! These products can be shipped right to your front door.
You might be feeling overwhelmed with where to even begin on your chemical free journey, we found ourselves in the same boat, and I guess that's where we've grown pretty proud to promote Young Living both as an MLM opportunity for those we know, like, love and care about, and especially the products because it's so convenient to be able to source so many better alternatives in just one place and have them delivered to your door.
Whatever you decide, I hope this information has impacted you and may help you make the best choices for your family, if you'd like to know more about Young Living products we hope you'll contact us, or if you find great alternatives of your own we'd love to hear about them through our contact form.