Did you know that in the past few decades more than 80,000 synthetic chemicals have been introduced to our environment, many in the form of chemicals found in everyday products we use – shampoos, lotions, body soap and other personal care products. The dangerous and long term effects on our health and especially on the health of our children is now coming to light with more and more research and evidence finding links between these and the following health conditions:
- Certain types of cancer
- Learning and developmental disabilities
- Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s diseases
- Reproductive health and fertility problems
The good news is that there are plenty of safe & natural alternatives to these products, but the downside of this is that the sheer number of products promising ‘natural’ IS overwhelming and not always guaranteed to be free from ‘safe’ or free from harmful chemicals, even if the marketing about a product contains words like ‘natural’, ‘organic’, ‘hypoallergenic’ or even ‘fragrance free’!
How can I pick a safe product?
Learning to read labels is a must and the things to steer clear from are:
1. Anything starting with methyl, ethyl, propyl and butyl.
These are parabens and used as a preservative in deodorants and many other products. They’ve been found in breast cancer tumors and may also cause infertility in males & hormone inbalances and early puberty in females.
Are used in many products and may cause liver/kidney damage, birth defects or even early breast development in boys and girls.
3. Any ‘laural’ compounds such as sodium laurel sulphate, ammonium lauryl sulfate & monoethanolamine sulfate.
These are usually anything that foams or bubbles and can cause a range of problems ranging from eye damage, skin irritation, affect breathing or even in some cases death.
4. DEA, TEA or MEA compounds (such as cocamide DEA, linoleamide MEA)
More foaming chemicals that can cause skin and eye irritation and contact dermatitis.
5. Any ingredient starting with the prefix, word, or syllable PEG, as well as ‘-eth’ ingredients, as in sodium laureth sulfate
These usually contain a dangerous byproduct called Dioxin which can cause cancer, , nervous system disorders, miscarriage, birth defects and affect immunity.
6. Polyethylene glycol & butylene glycol
These are petrolatum plastics that the Environmental Protection Agency in the US requires people to wear protective clothing, gloves and goggles when handling and it must be disposed of by burial. It should also not come into contact with skin and can contribute to brain, liver & kidney damage.
An antibacterial chemical suspected to be cancer causing.
Commonly known to cause allergic reactions. Sometimes products will be labeled ‘fragrance free’ but actually contain masking fragrances to make their odour neutral. So the only way to ensure a product is fragrance free is to make sure fragrance isn’t mentioned on the ingredients list, despite anything else written on marketing labels!
How can I pick a natural product?
Many products are deceptively designed to look like natural products when they may in fact contain the harmful chemicals already mentioned. And while some might not contain the harmful chemicals, they may still contain unnatural synthetic ones instead of all pure, natural ingredients.
This is why when looking for a natural product it is important to:
1. Look for mainly plant-based ingredients
You’ll know these because no interpretation will be required like the chemical names above!
2. High % of certified organic ingredients
This means the ingredients are grown and processed without the use of synthetic chemicals, fertilisers, herbicides, pesticides, fungicides, antibiotics or genetically modified organisms. Being certified organic is more than just a single test on a product to give it the label. It takes into account every step along the way from how a product’s ingredients have been grown, prepared, processed and packaged.
3. Look for any of the following common Australian Certified Organic logos on products
The health of your family, especially the sensitive and developing bodies and minds of your children is too important to risk by using products linked to cancer, autism and countless other chronic illnesses.
While it is true that we can’t eliminate all toxic products from daily life, we can start by learning to make informed choices in everyday personal care ones we use and which we can easily switch to safe, natural ones and control.
By doing so, we CAN improve the quality of life for our families, communities and the environment we live in as a whole.
About Bruno Cirillo
Bruno Cirillo is the Director of MyEco Group Pty Ltd which has grown from an healthy, safe & eco-friendly cleaning company to now include an online retail store MyEco Wellness, where his past 10 years of experience in piloting and researching products extensively has been utilized to provide families with safe, high quality and proven products to ensure their health and wellbeing.
Bruno and his staff are always happy to provide more information about switching to safe, natural products on their Facebook page at http://www.facebook.com/myecoproducts or visit www.myecowellness.com for further information about the MyEco Wellness range.
Originally posted on our sister site www.babybargains.com.au