In our modern world toxins are all around us. Sometimes they are obvious, so we avoid them. Often times, they are unnoticed or easily ignored. It is these ignored toxins that can be the most dangerous. Let us focus on the bathroom to locate some of these unnoticed and ignored toxins. For many, the bathroom is the place to unwind, cleanse and rejuvenate. Unfortunately there are harmful toxins present in the typical American bathroom. Why we should avoid them and what we can do to avoid them?
What are toxins and why should we avoid them?
Hazardous and toxic substances are defined as those chemicals present in our environment which are capable of causing harm.1 Toxins have been linked to birth defects, learning disability, hyperactivity and set the stage for cancers and other diseases.2
Where can I find toxins in my bathroom?
Let’s start with anti-bacterial soaps and cleaners. Many people reach for anti-bacterial soaps and cleaners thinking that they are the best way to get rid of any dangerous germs that may be lurking about. In some ways, the ingredients in the cleaning products can be more dangerous than the germs. Anti-bacterial hand soap, wipes and cleaners contain the chemical Triclosan. What happens to this chemical when people use triclosan-containing products to wash their hands? About 96 percent of it ends up in residential drains, leading to large loads of triclosan-contaminated water that enters treatment plants. In addition to the environmental danger that arises from triclosan”s ability to morph into dioxin, the chemical has also been linked to disruptions of hormonal function and may play a role in the evolution of bacterial resistance to antibiotics.3
So, what is the alternative? For hand washing, a mild castile soap like Dr. Bronner’s works well. You don’t need all the chemicals to get rid of germs on your hands, just wash and rinse them well. For cleaning, use green cleaning products like those made by Seventh Generation, Biokleen, and Ecover to name a few. If you are up for making your own cleaners, try one of these recipes:
- 50% mixture of distilled water & white vinegar in a spray bottle
- mild castile soap (like Dr. Bronners) and water in a spray bottle
- 1 cup filtered water
3/4 cup white vinegar
2 teaspoons rubbing alcohol
Mix well, add to an unused spray bottle. 4
- You can also save the peels from citrus fruits, place them in a quart jar, cover with vinegar, and let it sit casino online for about two weeks. At the end of the two weeks, strain the liquid, pour into a spray bottle, and use as you would any other household cleaning product.
Personal Care Products
We should try to choose personal care products such as lotion, shampoo, conditioner and the like that are botanically based, natural and free of toxins. It is important because we are applying those things directly to our skin, the largest organ of our body.
Fragrance – what makes your lotion smell the way it does, can actually be made up of hundreds of different chemicals, but it almost always contains an ingredient called a Phthalate. Phthalates are a plasticizer that helps to hold the scent on your skin for a long time, but it’s actually a synthetic estrogen, and can mimic estrogen in the body, causing all kinds of problems in our delicate hormonal system.4
So, what”s the alternative? Look for more naturally based products at your local health food store. You might consider making your own. Then you know exactly what the ingredients are! Here are a few websites that have great recipes and instructions for making your own bath and body products:
For centuries women have been putting their health at risk with the use of makeup. We should try to shift toward products that are supportive to our health rather than detrimental. Some of the most sensitive skin on our bodies is located on our face, exactly where we are putting the toxic chemicals!
Let”s talk about mascara. Yes, I know it makes your eyes “stand out” and your lashes “long and beautiful”. But, it is loaded with some highly synthetic and toxic ingredients, including ones linked to cancer and neurotoxicity. As the mascara dries and flakes off, small particles of those chemicals end up in your very delicate eye!4
So, what”s the alternative? There are some really great cosmetic companies that make products that are safe and natural, and they really work! Go to your local health food store and read the labels of the cosmetics they sell, or do an online search for natural, non-toxic makeup. If you want to know how safe the cosmetics are that you are currently using, Go to the Environmental Working Group”s Skin Deep database and type in the name of each of your cosmetics. To give you an example of how it works, I went to the Skin Deep Database and typed in the name of an old mascara that I had kept “just in case”. The mascara is Maybelline Great Lash, the site gave it a score of 4 in the orange color range. That means that it is somewhere near the middle between safe and really toxic. I then entered the product that I am currently using, Honeybee Gardens Truly Natural Mascara, and it scored a 2 in the green category. If the product is in the green category (1-3), then it is considered among the least toxic. If a product scores in the red category (8 or above), you should consider “upgrading” to a safer rated alternative.
It really is easy to remove toxins from our bathrooms. Look for products that support your body with natural and non-toxic ingredients. And, look for ways to substitute what you are using now, with something that will be healthier for you in the long run.
What are some of your favorite natural cosmetic and body care products? Do you like them better than their “conventional” counterparts? Do you make your own?
- Rogers, Sherry, “Detoxify or Die”. 2002, ISBN 1-887202-04-8
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