Product Review: CleanWell Botanical Cleaners and Fabric Spray

Jun 27, 2013 by

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CleanWell Cleaning Line: Fabric Spray, Bathroom Cleaner, All Purpose Wipes, and AP Spray
Photo Credit: Dena Fleno

When it comes to cleaning my house, if you follow me you know that it is a reluctant chore that is not on the top of my list.  I do not have floors you can eat off of and the bathroom sink often looks like an alpine slide from all the toothpaste spit (Win for brushing the kids teeth, though!).  The good folks at CleanWell have come out with a newer cleaning product line and were kind enough to send over some for me to try!

My experience with this company has been good.  I usually stock up on their Hand Sanitizer to put in school backpacks or keep in the car.  It really helps in the potty training years when “I gotta go!” means I had to go five minutes ago and you better PULL OVER NOW LADY!  I have known their products to be toxin free and rate well with my trusty EWG.  I was excited ( and so was my husband) to try out their cleaning products!

A Working Mom’s Guide to Food Allergies

Jul 18, 2012 by

All my life I never really gave much thought to the food I put in my mouth and I never seriously contemplated the consequences of what I ate.  Like when I was 9 months pregnant and eating spoonfuls of peanut butter out of the jar, I never thought to myself “Gee, is this going to cause an allergic reaction consisting of skin rashes and loose stool?”  That is…until I had a beautiful baby girl who suffered from food allergies.

Without getting into the graphic details of how we discovered these allergies (just imagine various colors and textures of poop, rashy skin, etc.), when I suspected there was a digestive issue, my pediatrician told me to avoid dairy and soy without even doing any testing, as those are the most common allergens for babies.  Soon after, we discovered that wheat and nuts were also causing some pesky digestive issues.  Since I was nursing, I had to eliminate those items out of my diet too.  And poor hubs, well, he had no choice but to eat what we eat!

Cleaner Living: Toxin #4- Coal Tar

Jan 18, 2012 by

Um, what?

I hadn’t heard of this one until I started researching.

Coal Tar in personal care products is the same as the stuff they use in pavement sealant, just in lower doses.  It is a known human carcinogen, with industrial coal tar recently being banned in Washington after it started turning up in ordinary house dust as well as in streams, lakes and other waterways at levels that concern government researchers. It is banned for use in cosmetics in the European Union. It is also a photosensitizer, making skin more at risk for burning and overexposure in sunlight.

As for its use in personal care products, it gets a big whopping 10 on the hazard scale that EWG uses.  Coal tar used to be found in  dark-colored hair dyes , but has since been removed from those products (though what they use now may not be any better) since it caused allergic reactions in some people (the cancer thing is just icing).  It is, however, still being used in dandruff shampoo such as Neutrogena T-Gel Shampoo and some psoriasis creams.

Cleaner Living: Toxin #3- Oxybenzone

Jan 17, 2012 by

Oxybenzone is another sunscreen culprit.  According to Wikipedia oxybenzone is an organic compound that has been shown to penetrate into the skin where it acts as a photosensitizer. This results in an increased production of free radicals under illumination, possibly making this substance a photocarcinogen.   It is a derivative of benzophenone, which can attack DNA when illuminated.  The European Commission on Endocrine Disruption has found moderate evidence of it being an endocrine disruptor, meaning it mimics human hormones, specifically in this case estrogen, which has been known to promote cancer.   Oxybenzone is found in nearly 950 products on the EWG Skin Deep Database, and in the urine of 95 per cent of six-to-eight-year-old girls tested (in 2007), as well as in waterways, soil and air.

What to do:

  • Wear sunscreen, but find one without Oxybenzone or Toxin #2, retinyl palmitate.
  • Look for products whose active ingredients are zinc oxide or titanium dioxide. They’re stable in the sun and provide good UVA and UVB protection.

Cleaner Living: Toxin #2- Retinyl Palmitate (Vitamin A)

Jan 16, 2012 by

Retinyl Palmitate is also known as retinol and Vitamin A

I’m not talking about the stuff in your Multi- vitamin.  Moderate intake of vitamin A-rich foods or dietary supplements is essential for health; it has also been reported to reduce skin cancer in organ transplant recipients.

But Vitamin A and its derivative, retinyl palmitate, is often found in sunscreens and other skin lotions.  Manufacturers promote this chemical to even out skin discoloration, reduce roughness and wrinkling.

The industry claims that toxicological tests have determined products with retinyl palmitate to be safe, however government and independent scientists have been investigating this chemical as a possible photocarcinogen.  This means that it may speed the development of skin tumors and lesions on sun-exposed skin.

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