"Why are you making everything at home?"
"Are you going all granola?"
"Why does it matter what's in this stuff?"
"If it was bad for you, they wouldn't be able to sell it, so why should I be worried?"
To quickly answer these questions...
1. Because I control what goes into everything (and it's way cheaper).
2. No, taking poisons out of the house is not considered "going all granola..." It's considered being safe.
3. It matters because if it's in the air, you're breathing it; if it's on surfaces, you're touching (or eating) it; and if it's on your skin, you're constantly absorbing it into your body.
4. Yes, companies are still able to sell dangerous products to you...there is nothing illegal about that. Not only do they sell you the poisons, but they tell you that you NEED them in order to be healthy. FAIL!
Let's look at a quick rundown of a couple products...
TOOTHPASTE! This has to be safe, right? I mean, it goes in your mouth. Of course we're all ignoring the fact that toothpaste has a disclaimer on the package that says to contact poison control if swallowed...but whatever.
The first dangerous ingredient found in toothpaste is sodium fluoride. I can find hundreds of "granola" websites that will tell you all about the dangers of NaF...but because the larger percentage of my audience isn't of the "hippie" persuasion, I'll use a commonly visited website for this information: livestrong. Let's look past the fact that sodium fluoride is one of the main ingredients in rat poison and was used by the Nazis to sterilize prisoners, and look at THIS LINK. We see three sections: toothpaste, water treatment, and industrial uses. Sure, we can extol the dental benefits and talk about water...both things that, at some point, are in YOUR MOUTH. Now, let's look at the first sentence of the "industrial uses" section:
Because sodium fluoride is poisonous it is commonly used in pesticides, including fungicides and insecticides.
Um...why are we brushing our teeth with something commonly used in products that were specifically developed to KILL things? Yes, NaF is used in a much higher concentration in those products; however, you are putting it into your body multiple times a day, and at this point, probably hoping that your kidneys and liver will just "take care of it." Oh, and did I mention that it's a key component in sarin nerve gas? Yeah...you do the math.
Next fun product? FD&C Blue Dye 1 and 2. Here is a chemical information sheet on these. Food coloring...vegetable dye...not considered hazardous...scroll down to the first aid precautions. Here are the guidelines for ingestion:
Call Poison Control immediately. Rinse mouth with cold water. Give victim 1-2 cups of water or milk to drink.
Induce vomiting immediately.
And yet we eat it in many things daily, it's in our toothpaste, and it's even used to dye vegetables...you know, so they look like they're "fresh and in season," when they really aren't. These dyes are made from petroleum...you know...one step above crude oil (and in fact, were originally made from coal tar). They have been known to cause asthma attacks, nausea, headaches, fatigue, nervousness, lack of concentration, and cancer. But hey, if you're okay with those, keep on with the dye!
The next ingredient of toothpaste is sodium lauryl sulfate. Sounds all natural, right? Right. Aha! We've all seen the increasing popularity of sulfate-free shampoo lately, yes? It is a surfactant (foaming agent) that is used to disperse ingredients and make your toothpaste all foamy and bubbly. SLS has been linked to cancer, neurotoxicity, organ toxicity, skin irritation, and endocrine disruption...and those are the "safer" problems. In fact, when researchers are in testing phases of body products, they use SLS to irritate the skin before trying out their product on it. Enough said.
Now here's the deal on the aluminum: the stance of researchers and safety personnel seems to be "let's wait and see." It shouldn't be hard to decide...aluminum doesn't belong in pore- and gland-clogging areas.
Propylene Glycol--made from petroleum oil...that was discussed up under blue dye.
Triclosan--well, the FDA classifies this as a pesticide...need I say more?
Butylated Hydroxytoluene--causes hyperactivity in children and is considered a carcinogen. It has been linked to biochemical cellular-level damage. The Skin Deep site ranks it as a high toxic hazard. So...we're using this...why again?
So really, LOOK at your product labels! Look up every single ingredient. If it touches your skin at any point, it is being sucked into your body. Next week I'll do another post about shampoo and laundry detergent...YEP! They're equally (if not more) scary!