10 Products Making Your Family Sick
Cleanliness, is next to Godliness, right? Well, in today’s world, that couldn’t be further from the truth! Many of us, in a vain attempt to keep our homes and bodies clean are actually polluting our bodies with a plethora of toxic ingredients which have been making us sick! That’s right, the products we love, trust and use to keep us healthy are actually killing us softly. These are the products making your family sick. They smell so good and so clean, we are left with a false sense of wellbeing. The irony is, the smells we find so appealing and are drawn to, are actually what we should be pushing away. Yes, these products can make you sick! What are these products I speak of? Well, I am certain they are items you use in your house everyday, they are our go-to cleaners, soaps, beauty products. We expose ourselves to these toxins and even worse, we expose our children to them!
How do they hurt us?
Our skin is porous, our nose and mouth a direct path to our lungs and circulatory system. We allow these products to come into contact with our skin and we inhale them not realizing the detriment they are to our health. What’s worse is that children are even more susceptible to the effects of many of these products. Their skin is more absorbent and their immune systems and organs are not yet fully developed. At least the food and drink we digest is broken down and some of the toxins are filtered out. Our skin doesn’t have the same filter.
They say it’s safe for us!
So why do we do it? How did we get here? THAT is the million dollar question. We have been sold a bill of goods by the FDA, quite unfortunately. Many chemicals that we use in this country are illegal for use in other countries and many chemicals should be! Why do manufacturers insist on adding all of this junk to our products?? Without speculating, I cannot answer that question. What I can do, is give you a list of products you really should think twice about having in your home. Keep in mind, most of these products are not required to show ingredients, I am sharing with you the known ingredients in most products, of course there are plenty of other ingredients, but I am certain they wouldn’t make any of the following information any easier to swallow (not literally).
These are the products making your family sick!
- CANDLES- that’s correct. They seem so harmless and some smell so good, but they can actually be toxic. Paraffin, an ingredient in some candles, is a waste product of petroleum. When you burn a paraffin candle it releases 2 toxic chemicals, Tolulene and Benzene. These chemicals have been known to aggravate asthma and create symptoms similar to allergies (read: that stuffy nose you just can’t explain). Soy candles aren’t any better. They are distilled with Hexane, then bleached with Chlorine, deodorized with with boric acid then hydrogenated. Exposure to Hexane can cause dizziness, nausea, vertigo, tinnitus (ringing in your ears) and so much more!
- DISH DETERGENT- Again, it smells so good, but it’s oh so bad! Many dish soap’s contain Tryclosan (anti-bacterial), it is a hormone disruptor and can be harmful to our thyroid and endocrine system. This product accumulates in our body over time and has been blamed for accellerated growth of superbugs. Dish detergent contains formaldehyde, a known carcinogen, 1,4 Dioxane, also a known carcinogen that is easily absorbed through skin and Sodium Laureth Sulfate which causes irritation of your skin. This is on the utensils and plates we put our food on and in our mouths.
- FABRIC SOFTENER– I had always felt like my laundry wasn’t clean without this product. Problem is, the ingredients, Alpha-Terpineol and Benzyl Alcohol are known to cause nervous system disorders, loss of muscle coordination and central nervous system depression. Chloroform can also be found in fabric softener and is a known neurotoxin and carcinogen. Linalool and Pentane have been known to cause muscle coordination impairment, depression, headaches, nausea and dizziness.
- LAUNDRY DETERGENT- This also contains 1,4 Dioxane (cancer causing, toxic to brain and central nervous system). It also contains Sodium Laurel Sulfate, which has been shown to cause organ toxicity, skin and eye irritation, developmental / reproductive toxicity (think problems making a baby, problems with baby’s development or cancer of reproductive organs) , gene mutations and cancer. Nonylphenol Ethoxylate (NPE) this too is an endocrine disruptor, it has been shown to cause kidney and liver damage, decreased testicular growth and sperm count, disrupted metabolism and increased mortality. (Im guessing your clothes aren’t feeling so clean right now, are they?)
- AIR FRESHENERS- We have been told that a fresh smelling home is a happy home, however, if you are using air fresheners to ‘clean’ the air you are not getting anywhere near clean. Spray air fresheners contain chemicals that cause reproductive problems and developmental problems especially in infants. (I know I had used them to spray the diaper pail I kept in their nursery). These sprays contain carcinogenic chemicals, and may contain Pythalates, these are the chemicals that hold fragrance. California and Washington State have banned toys that use Phthalates (Remember how some dolls smelled like a fragrance?) because they have been shown to be hormone disruptors. There have also been studies that have linked air freshener use and asthma! (hmmm, go figure)
- SHAMPOO- You may have heard that shampoo can strip your hair of natural oils, but did you know that shampoo contains a chemical called Sodium Laureth Sulfate or Ammonium Laureth Sulfate to help them cleanse and foam? This ingredient has been linked to cancer and so has the ingredient Polyetheleyne Glycol. The Polysorbates in shampoo leave a residue on skin, disrupts hair’s natural PH as well as the hair’s natural protective barrier.
- CLEANING PRODUCTS– (think counter tops, windows, surface cleaners, etc) Many of these products contain Butane Propane, Isobutane, Silicones, Propylene Glycol, Ethylene, Ammonium Hydroxide, 2 Butoxyethanol, and Quarternary Ammonium. Like many of the above products, contact with skin or inhalation can cause hormone disruption, asthma, cancer and even damage to your body’s red blood cells. The most affected by all of these ingredients are infants and children because their organs and immune systems are not fully developed. Studies have shown a correlation between cleaning products and cancer.
- SKIN MOISTURIZER- Many moisturizers now contain an ingredient called Retinyl Palmitate (Vitamin A Palmitate), use of this ingredient has been shown to cause cellular level changes, cancer, reproductive and organ system toxicity. Other ingredients have been shown to cause allergies, irritation and cancer.
- NAIL POLISH- (I do love freshly polished nails, but not this much!!) Retinol (vitamin A) has been found in some nail polish brands. Retinol causes cellular level changes, cancer, developmental/ reproductive toxicity and organ system toxicity. Propylparaben, causes many of the same horrendous effects as does the ingredient Butylparaben.
- LIP BALM- The products I am referencing here are used by men and women alike. We often turn to them for very dry chapped lips or for a cold sore. We apply these directly to our lips so the toxic ingredients are definitely ingested. Phenol has been shown to cause developmental/ reproductive toxicity, ecotoxicology and organ system toxicity. The petroleum in the product also has been shown to cause the same toxic reactions.
So there you have it! A list of some basic products we all have or have had in our homes. The one ingredient I didn’t include in each product is fragrance. You may not have known this, but when a product lists ‘fragrance’ it can be one or more of a list of 300 chemicals. Fragrance has it’s own dirty list of known side effects from those 300 chemicals. Fragrance has been shown to cause allergies, immunotoxicity, eye, skin and lung irritation and organ system toxicity. Truth be told, the list of toxic products in most of our homes can go on and on and on. I decided to limit it to ten because that seemed manageable and yet overwhelming enough to get you thinking…
Now that I have scared you, I should probably make some suggestions for what to do next. Firstly, don’t panic. I know this seems overwhelming, I have been there myself. I am going to lay out a list of several actions you can take right now without feeling like you need to start your entire life over.
- Think about your kids first (assuming you have them). Do not put a fancy nail polish brand on their fingernails, do not buy them the cute little character-themed lip balm they sell in stores. When giving them a bath/shower be mindful of the ingredients of the products you use. Many of the HUGE brands have ingredients in their baby products which have been known to cause developmental and reproductive delays. Check out these highly rated products, baby lotion, baby bath soak, sunscreen, baby shampoo, nail polish, lip balm
- Check out the Environmental Working Group website EWG.org. They have a database of over 70,000 products. This is a great resource for finding products safe for you and your family.
- Really think about the personal care products you use. I know it is hard (if not close to impossible) to only use 100% safe products. Consider switching out some of the toxic products you use. No one ever said that it has to be all or nothing here. This daily shampoo and conditioner are very highly rated by the EWG but are really expensive! A more affordable option would be this shampoo and this conditioner.
- When cleaning your house, reassess. Many of the products you use can be swapped out with safe alternatives, simple as vinegar and water! Consider purchasing Young Living’s Thieves Household Cleaner, this cleaner uses the power of the natural blend of Clove, Lemon, Cinnamon, Eucalyptus Radiata and Rosemary to naturally disinfect most areas of your home! Learn how to purchase this incredible and safe product here!
- Buying a candle as a gift, look for those made with beeswax, (click here). This is not a guarantee, but the chances of a beeswax candle being safe is much greater.
- Consider Essential Oils. In addition to the many many physical, mental and emotional benefits essential oils have to offer, many have anti-bacterial properties and smell great!
While this article contains some very frightening information, it is quite eye-opening! Please share this post with those you love and care about. We all can use a product makeover in our homes and this article can get you started on the correct path!