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Toxic Personal Care Products Used Everyday?

by Anne Gordon, RN

If you thought your hair products, toothpaste, makeup, mouthwash had poisons in them would you continue using them? The power of advertising, marketing and lobbying make for packaged dreams of beauty and bliss absolutely compelling. We buy the illusions for thickly coated shiny hair, delightful smells, exotic ingredients, flawless skin, and pearly whites.

Detox Protocol

Most commercial personal care products contain carcinogens, pesticides, reproductive toxins, endocrine disruptors, plasticizers, degreasers, and surfactants. Lets examine just a few in your shampoo, toothpaste or mouthwash.

There are more than 80,000 chemicals registered in use just in the USA but fewer than 500 have been properly studied for their effects on humans and the environment. Out of those studies, where are the long-term studies, contraindications, or, potentiated results?

The majority of people wash their hair daily with some of these toxic ingredients namely: Sodium lauryl sulfate, Parabens, and propolyene glycol. Sodium Lauryl sulfate is a surfactant (industrial strength), Parabens (preservatives that mimic estrogen) , and propolyene glycol, moisture retainer (cosmetic form of antifreeze). Why consciously put those in your hair, skin and mouth daily?

In cosmetic use these chemicals have consequences, although the regulators will say that in small doses, they are completely safe. It is known however that Parabens are able to be absorbed through the skin and bind to the body's estrogen-receptors, where they can encourage breast cancer cell growth. For example, a study published in 2004 (Darbre, in the Journal of Applied Toxicology) detected parabens in breast tumors.

The MSDS (Material Safety Data Sheet) for Propylene Glycol says: May be harmful by ingestion or skin absorption. This chemical, is absorbed through the skin and scalp. It has been linked to contact dermatitis, kidney damage and liver abnormalities.

Although sodium lauryl sulfate has not been proven to be carcinogenic, its presence in formulations is an indication that the product may also contain other undesirable ingredients, such as formaldehyde and/or cancer-causing agents. The combination of continued use of these chemicals in long term is not known.

There is also the case of mass market moisturizing creams, such as Dermabase, Dermovan, Eucerin and Vanicream inducing skin tumors in mice. Do we really need to wait for confirmation of their carcinogenicity through human clinical research before we avoid using them?

Everyday, deadly accumulative chemistries gush down our drains. And these are just the tip of a toxic slew flushed down into our sewers, water treatment plants, or rivers. When these chemicals go into streams, what does this accumulated lethal soup evolve to? Think about it.

Maybe you already know about these common product contaminants and realize their effect, (i.e. degenerate cell membranes, irritate lungs, neurological system disruption, mimic estrogen, and organs, etc.). Although there is no direct link with cancer proven yet, to this writer, they sound like items to be avoided. Waiting for an absolute cancer proof could put a lot of companies out of business.

Perhaps you’ve reasoned that a little poison is okay and continue using commercialized products. Seeking out responsible skin care products is like making food choices. Just like food, there are alternatives to toxic products. By reading labels, avoiding harmful ingredients might help you feel a little healthier, contributing to wellness, while reducing unintended consequences of compounded toxins in your body and environment. A win-win.

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