Common Household Toxins: Are They In Your Home?
16 September 2013
Most people are not aware that there are well over 50 toxic chemicals found in the average home in the US. Toxins that can, over time, raise havoc with your body! It’s no wonder why more and more people are beginning to suffer from asthma, hormonal problems, headaches, depression and frequent illnesses, fatigue, etc. Many of the most commonly used cleaning products in kitchens and bathrooms throughout America contain harmful toxins that are stored in the fatty tissues of your brain via inhalation and skin absorption during usage.
It’s not only the cleaning products found in most homes that are dangerous; it’s also cleaning products for your body (so called, “body care products”) that are potentially harmful. Shampoos, conditioners, hair sprays, hair colorings, body washes, deodorants, shaving lotions and after-shaves, make up, mouth washes and the list goes on…
So it cannot be stressed enough, the importance of checking the labels on all the products used for your home and your body. Educate yourself and avoid any products with words that you don’t know or understand especially if there is a warning label on it.
Most of the suspected products’ labels bear a “signal word,” such as Danger, Warning or Caution, providing some indication of a product’s toxicity. Products labeled Danger or Poison are typically the most hazardous and should be avoided; those containing a Warning label are moderately hazardous, and formulas listing a Caution label are considered slightly toxic. It’s always best to remain on the safe side and only choose products that are nontoxic enough that they don’t require any of the signal words above on their label. Keep in mind that the signal word is often found in a phrase that describes the nature of the threat to your health, such as “may cause skin irritation,” “flammable,” “vapors harmful,” or “may cause burns on contact.”
A good “rule of thumb” is to ask yourself, “would I put this in my mouth or am I willing to taste it”, if not, then don’t on on your body. Studies have shown it can take as little as 26 seconds for whatever you put on your body to be absorbed through your skin and into your bloodstream.
These ingredients in cleaning and “body care” products vary in the type and intensity of the threat to our health that they pose. Some will cause acute, and/or immediate, hazards such as skin or respiratory irritation, watery eyes, even chemical burns, while others are associated with chronic or long-term (accumulating) effects such as cancer.
Among the most dangerous cleaning products known are corrosives, like drain cleaners, oven cleaners, and acidic toilet bowl cleaners. These corrosive chemicals can cause severe burns on eyes, skin and, if ingested (God forbid), on the throat and esophagus. Next in line are products that list active ingredients of chlorine or ammonia, which individually can cause respiratory and skin irritation; and they will create highly toxic fumes if accidentally mixed together.
More common chemicals that you should be aware of, and consider avoiding include:
Alcohol – Alcohol is mostly found in mouthwashes, creams, moisturizers, lubricants and many commercial hair and skin products. Alcohol derivatives by themselves can severely impact your skin. Alcohol has a drying effect to the skin, and has even been linked to mouth and throat cancers.
There are alternatives alcohols that are actually safe for your skin and health. They are known as fatty alcohols, such as:
• Cetyl Alcohol – Derived from coconuts.
• Stearyl Alcohol – Also derived from coconut oil.
• Cetearyl Alcohol – Derived from natural oils.
Aluminum – Aluminum is found in many commercial skin deodorant and antiperspirants. Its compounds have been associated with Alzheimer’s disease, respiratory disorders and breast cancer. When used as an aerosol spray, it can cause almost immediate brain damage, because it’s readily absorbed through your nasal/sinus passages into your brain.
Butane/Propane – Butane and Propane are colorless and odorless gases that are used in many over-the-counter cosmetic and personal products. Formulations of various cleansing products, shaving creams and hair conditioners often include these compressed gases.
In extreme doses, oxygen deficiency can occur, which can lead to asphyxiation. Butane and Propane are known to be toxic for the environment and dangerously flammable.
Diethanolamine (DEA) – Diethanolamine is a carcinogenic substance used as a “wetting agent” and added to confer a creamy texture and foaming action to most lotions, creams, shampoos and cosmetics, making them more easily absorbed by your skin. It becomes extremely toxic when mixed with other ingredients in certain products, causing a bad carcinogen reaction that is likely responsible for stomach, liver and bladder cancers.
Artificial Flavorings and Colorings – There is a kaleidoscope of colored dyes available to create any color combination meant to make any household or edible product more appealing. These artificial flavorings and colorings are found in nearly everything, from toothpastes and mouthwashes to flavored cough syrups and children’s medicines.
These harmful dyes cause changes at the cellular level, which are carcinogenic, and highly suspect of causing cancer. Children consuming such products often become hyperactive.
It’s best to completely avoid these artificial ingredients in foods and other products for health reasons; not only are they are toxic, they lack nutritional value.
Propylene Glycol – Propylene Glycol is actually a form of anti-freeze for many household products. It is found in processed foods, pet food, laundry detergents, floor wax, paints, deodorants, shaving creams/gels, shampoos and conditioners.
Purchasing a bottle of Propylene Glycol has its own a warning label that says “Avoid contact with skin.” Even at low levels of concentration, this solvent has found to inhibit skin cell growth, cause skin irritations, inflammations, certain types of dermatitis along with liver and kidney damage.
Sodium Lauryl Sulfate (SLS) – Sodium Lauryl Sulfate is found in most detergents, stain removers, carpet cleaners, dish soaps, shampoos, bubble baths and toothpastes.
This is another type of solvent and is a cheap sort of foaming agent which, over time, builds-up in your heart, lungs, liver and brain. It can also cause cataracts and lead to abnormal eye development in children especially those under the age of six.
Additionally, it’s commonly used as a cleaning agent in the automotive industry. Car wash soaps, garage floor cleaners and engine degreasers are some common examples. SLS breaks doen grease, attacking all greasy surfaces and it is highly corrosive.
Recommended whenever possible and practical…
Try to use safe, simple household ingredients like pure soap, water, baking soda, vinegar, lemon juice and borax; when aided by a little “elbow grease” and a coarse scrubbing sponge anyone can take on most household cleaning chores. Plus, they can save you lots of money that would ordinarily be wasted on unnecessary, specialized and toxic cleaners!
Of related interest, click on: You Too Can Apply The Ultimate Beauty Treatment
*Rae Indigo is ERYT500
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