Whew… that was exhausting!  I’m sure you are thinking right about now that this is completely overwhelming, so many things to remember, look for, learn about.

I felt, and still feel the same way.

It is sad, scary, and a tad mind-boggling that we have to spend so much time, energy, and brain power trying to make informed decisions about the simplest of things… like soap.  There are so many questions that come up?

Why are companies putting these chemicals in our products?

Why are they so reluctant to take them out?

Why can I not just trust that the product on the shelf is safe and doesn’t have the potential to harm me or those I love?

Simple answer… because they can.

The regulating agencies can say that certain ingredients can or cannot be in certain products, but there is absolutely no oversight to make sure that these regulations are followed through on.

It’s like handing your kids a pint of ice cream and an apple to choose from, walking away and hoping they make a healthy decision.

They have highly paid, powerful lobbyists who make sure that legislation continues to go their way.  But we have power too, the kind that also comes also with money. It’s called purchasing power.  We can say we are not going to buy their products unless they clean up their act.

In the end…

What I want readers to come away with from this series is a bit more knowledge and the spark to make some changes in the way we look at the things we use.  You don’t have to completely overhaul your life and have a panic attack every time you walk in the store to buy shampoo.  Small changes can do a wonder in the long-term.

Believe me, I am the first to tell you that I am not perfect when it comes to Cleaner Living everywhere possible.  I do not compost, I eat junk food more than my waistline would like, I REALLY like red lipstick, I use disposable diapers, I get manis and pedis, and my kids have had McDonald’s enough times for them to recognize the golden arches from afar.

But I am trying to make small changes in our lives that we can stick to and feel better about.  I can take some of the worst offenders and eliminate them or dramatically decrease them from our every day use.  I can send a message to manufacturers that i want safe products for my family.

And you can too.

I said I would compile a list of all of the ingredients we talked about to look out for so here it is in alphabetical order.  The toxin is in parentheses next to it:

  • _eth_ such as sodium laureth sulfate (possible contamination of 1,4 dioxane- carcinogen)
  • 1,4 Dioxane (carcinogen)
  • 2 Bromo-2 nitropane- 1,3 Diol (formaldehyde releasing preservative- carcinogen, skin irritant and asthmagen)
  • 5-Bromo-5-Nitro-1,3 Dioxane (formaldehyde releasing preservative- carcinogen, skin irritant and asthmagen)
  • Anti-bacterial products (can promote antibiotic-resistant bacteria)
  • BHA (Butylated hydroxyanisole- carcinogen)
  • Butylated hydroxyanisole (carcinogen)
  • butylparaben (Parabens- carcinogen)
  • ceteareth (possible contamination of 1,4 dioxane- carcinogen)
  • Coal Tar (carcinogen)
  • DEP (Phthalates- hormone disruptor)
  • diethyl phthalate (Phthalates- hormone disruptor)
  • DMDM Hydantoin (formaldehyde releasing preservative- carcinogen, skin irritant and asthmagen)
  • ethylparaben (Parabens- carcinogen)
  • formaldehyde (carcinogen, skin irritant and asthmagen)
  • Fragrance (Phthalates- hormone disruptor)
  • Hydroquinone (carcinogen, skin irritant)
  • Methenamine (formaldehyde releasing preservative- carcinogen, skin irritant and asthmagen)
  • methylene glycol (formaldehyde+water- carcinogen, skin irritant and asthmagen)
  • methylparaben (Parabens- carcinogen)
  • oleth (possible contamination of 1,4 dioxane- carcinogen)
  • Oxybenzone (carcinogen)
  • oxynol (possible contamination of 1,4 dioxane- carcinogen)
  • PEG’s (possible contamination of 1,4 dioxane- carcinogen)
  • Phthalate derivatives (Phthalates- hormone disruptor)
  • polyethylene (possible contamination of 1,4 dioxane- carcinogen)
  • polyethylene glycol (possible contamination of 1,4 dioxane- carcinogen)
  • polyoxyethylene (possible contamination of 1,4 dioxane- carcinogen)
  • polyurethane foam with a label reading TB117 (Tris fire retardant- cancer, hormone disruptor, neurotoxin)
  • propylparaben (Parabens- carcinogen)
  • quaternium-15 (formaldehyde releasing preservative- carcinogen, skin irritant and asthmagen)
  • Retinol (Retinyl palmitate- carcinogen)
  • Retinyl palmitate (Retinyl palmitate- carcinogen)
  • Sodium Nitrite (nitrosamines in foods- carcinogen)
  • Toco- roots (may contain hydroquinone impurity- carcinogen, skin irritant)
  • Triclocarban (hormone disruptor, can promote antibiotic-resistant bacteria)
  • Triclosan (hormone disruptor, can promote antibiotic-resistant bacteria)
  • Urea (formaldehyde releasing preservative- carcinogen, skin irritant and asthmagen)
  • Vitamin A (carcinogen)

I hope that this has been helpful to some of you, and that you can take at least one thing from this series and make a few changes for a healthier tomorrow.

Links to each toxin rundown can be found below:

#1: Phthalates

#2: Retinyl Palmitate (Vitamin A)

#3: Oxybenzone

#4: Coal Tar

#5: Triclosan

#6: Fire Retardants

#7: Parabens

#8: Hydroquinone

#9: 1,4 Dioxane

#10: Formaldehyde

#11: BHA

#12: Nitrosamines

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