Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Ecoholic: Bathroom Products

So a couple months ago, I borrowed this book from the library: 
Ecoholic (When you're addicted to the planet) by Andria Vasil
Your guide to the most environmentally friendly information, products, and services. 

I was absolutely blown away and it was really an eye opener for me. I mean, I have been on the path to more green/organic/sustainable products for a little bit but this gave me the info and the extra push I needed to be persistent and make it more of a mission to swap our products for ones that won't give us cancer. It's really insane how many carcinogens can be found in everyday products and I wanted to share this with you all so you can be aware. It's very overwhelming but I think knowledge is the key to changing how our products are made. If only everyone was this informed, we could change the way we make/use products. For our own health, but also for the health of our earth. If I can make an impact on even one person, that's good enough for me. 

This book covers just about everything. So that it's not an information overload, I'm going to break it up into sections and share with you the info I came across as well as some solutions and the products I use to avoid harmful chemicals. 

Products we use in the bathroom: 
Antibacterial soap: First off, antibacterial soap lowers defenses against germs and could breed drug-resistant bug strains. Here is a little excerpt from the book- "Triclosan and triclocarbon, the active ingredients in a lot of antibacterial soaps are scarily finding their way into rivers, streams, and lakes... not to mention breast milk (they're actually in 75% of Americans tested). Even though the stuff is supposed to quickly break down in water, research out of Johns Hopkins University indicates that about 75% makes it down our drains and past sewage treamtment plants. The thing is, researchers at the University of Minnesota found that when these chemicals are exposed to sunlight in water, they create a mild dioxin (a carcinogenic hormone disrupter that accumulates in the food chain even at low levels). And when you throw chlorinated water into the mix, the result could be a much nastier form of the pollutant. If your municipality is spreading its sewage sludge on famers' fields, as many are, triclosan and triclocarbon are essentially fertilizing the crops in your area" Scary stuff. Solution- regular old soap does the job just as good. Wash your hands for 30 seconds in hot water. That's it! So simple.
Dandruff shampoo: Loaded with toxic ingredients such as coal tar (aka the black liquid distilled from coal) which has been linked to cancer. Funny thing is, lots of these dandruff shampoos contain a chemical called sodium lauryl/laureth sulfate which is a known skin irritant and DRIES out your skin. So how is this suppose to help dandruff?! Solution- Don't use dandruff shampoo. There are lots of natural products you can use in aid of fighting dandruff such as tea tree oil which kills bacteria, vinegar which cures an itchy scalp, olive oil for moisture, or baking soda to get rid of flakes. 
Hair dye: Alright, we already know this is loaded with chemicals. I myself use(d) a lot of hair dye but sheesh! Here are some scary facts, "If you've been dyeing for more than 15 years, your chances of getting cancer, according to the study, jump to three times more than nondyers, and longtime hairdressers are five times more likely to develop cancer." Yikes! I'm weaning myself off my hair dying fetish. However, the journey back to my original color may take a while. In the meantime, I plan on using Henna hair dye to satisfy my color cravings. There are also some natural/less toxic dyes available. Google it! 

Shaving creams: Loaded with petrochemicals and formaldehyde-releasing DMDM hydantoin and chemicals that have to be labeled as cancer causers in CA. Can you even imagine? Buying a thing of shaving cream that says "cancer causer"? No thanks. Something I've found to use as an alternative is plain old Dr. Bronner soap. I just slop some on my legs and make sure I lather it up before shaving. And I apply more when needed. This works just fine and with some organic lotion afterwards? Perfect! 

Antiperspirants: Contains aluminum based compounds that clog pores to reduce the amount of perspiration we normally have. Aluminum? In my pores? That stops me from perspiring? And deodorants aren't much better, many of which contain formaldehyde. Here's a product I just bought and will be testing out, I'll get back to you how well it works! 
MAKEUP: This is a biggy. Lead can be found in drugstore lipsticks, and mercury is still legally allowed to be used in mascara and eyeliner. That stuff is deadly! Some other harsh chemicals that can be found in mascara include polyurethane and polyethylene (made from oil and are used to make plastics such as plastic grocery bags). And products such as pressed powders and eye shadow are made with teflon! Seriously?! I'll do a full post about organic makeup but you can find them easily through google. 

Nail Polish: I threw most of ours away after reading this post. You know that smell? It comes from VOC's (volatile organic compounds) like carcinogenic formaldehyde and the neurotoxin toluene which if you inhale can cause damage to your kidneys, brain, and liver. I found two great companies that provide all natural nail polish. Piggy Paint (natural & non-toxic) which can also be found at Wal-Mart. Hopscotch Kids, non-toxic nail polish for kids (a little pricey though) and the adult alternative, Scotch

So that's that. What do you think about this info? My dad thinks it's a huge "scam". Is that what you think? Or are you as scared as I am? I think this is the reason everyone has cancer nowadays. And it's our own fault!! Carcinogens are everywhere. 

I want to do a full post on makeup (because there's so much!), do you guys have any suggestions as far as natural/organic makeup or any other body products? 
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