How Toxic Are You?

From an article in the Formby Community Times, by Rosa Hughes

By the time we leave the house in the morning for work or to drop the kids off, go shopping etc most of us have exposed ourselves to 100s of chemicals by the simplest actions of cleaning our teeth, showering, washing & conditioning our hair, spraying on antiperspirant & deodorants, spraying on after shave or perfume & in the case of some women, applying make up. The problem is that the cosmetic & toiletry industry is self regulated & most of today’s toiletries & skin care products are chemical based mostly petrochemical based.

The industry reassure us that their products have been tested for safety & that those chemicals that are shown to be toxic to humans are only used in small amounts. These bland reassurances ignore the fact that it is not the single chemical that causes the problem but the combination of several chemicals in one product. While some chemicals have been tested for safety, there is little data on combinations of chemicals. World wide there are approximately 70,000 chemicals in day to day use with 1,000 new chemicals being introduced each year. To test the commonest 1,000 of these in cobinations of 3s would require at least 166 million different experiments which would take scientists approximately 180 years to compile. Today a number of scientists have grave reservations about the chemical soups that we use on our bodies. Lets face it we don’t just use these products once, we use them regularly even daily & in hot baths & showers where the chemicals are absorbed in greater quantities straight into the blood stream! Add up all the small amounts of chemicals in body wash, shampoo, conditioner, antiperspirant, body lotion, toothpaste used on a daily basis & the potential for toxic exposure is disturbingly high. What is even more disturbing is that it affects children on a much greater scale. Did you know that a family size toothpaste has enough toxic fluoride & other harmful chemicals in its ingredients to kill a 5 year old if ingested. That’s why there is now a warning on the label about children under 5 only using a pea size amount under supervised brushing. Did you know that sodium lauryl sulphate the foaming agent in toothpaste, body washes, shampoos is a skin irritant. The same chemical that is used to clean car engines & garage floors. The same chemical if labeled sodium laureth sulphate includes ethoxylates that can be contaminated with the carcinogen 1,4 dioxine. In fact many of the chemical ingredients in our toiletries are listed as known human carcinogens including formaldehyde, mercury, titanium, fluoride, aluminium, cadmium & lead to name but a few.

However the most dangerous chemicals that we put on our bodies are endocrine, hormone disruptors that are water soluble ammonia derivatives. DEA (diethanolamine) contained in bubble bath, body washes, shampoos, soaps & face cleansers. Related compounds are TEA (triethanolamine) & MEA (monoethanolamine). Parabens (preservative) & parfum that can contain artificial musks are also hormone disrupters that mimic, block or trigger hormones such as estrogen. Endocrine disruption can lead to disorders such as diabetes, hypothyroidism, cancer, reproductive or development disorders. Many cancers such as breast cancer & endometrial cancer are caused by too much estrogen in the body.

As well as all these daily toiletries that we take for granted as safe, probably the most toxic of all is perfume. Even the simplest ones consist of 40-50 toxic chemicals. There is nothing natural in the ingredients & again to test the toxicity of all the ingredients together would take 100s of years. Many of the ingredients are Central Nervous System stimulants or depressors which are linked to Multiple Sclerosis, Parkinson’s Disease, Alzheimer’s, Depression, Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (cot death). Other associated illness from these toiletries & related products include asthma, eczema, liver & kidney damage, cancer, oedema, nausea, headaches, Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, Autoimmune Diseases, Infertility & Reproductive problems, toxemia, anemia, Attention Deficit Disease to name a few.

Just by switching your basic toiletries to natural products & saving the perfume for special occasions you will be reducing your toxic load dramatically. As I said it only takes small changes to see your health & that of your families improve.