For the new year, many of us are making resolutions that include living a healthier lifestyle, eating better, or doing a cleanse or detox. But what about dangerous chemicals you’re putting on your face and body, and what is hiding in your cleaning supplies? Doing a body and home overhaul is a great way to start the new year.
We are exposed to all kinds of toxins and chemicals daily just by doing things like pumping gas, eating non-organic foods, or walking through the cleaning section of a grocery store. Some of us are more sensitive than others, but it’s undebatable that environmental toxins can cause cancer, disrupt our endocrine system and create many other health problems.
Endocrine disruptors interfere with reproduction and development and can cause serious neurological and immune system effects. Some of the chemicals mimic hormones in your body, including the female sex hormone estrogen, the male sex hormone androgen, and thyroid hormones.
Environmental toxins show up in the form of things like lead, formaldehyde, BPA, pesticides, mercury, and benzene. Mercury can be found in foods like seafood, pesticides on produce, and in livestock that are fed contaminated fish meal, as well as things like batteries, tooth fillings, and some vaccines (flu). By simply eating less sushi or fish and/or eating smaller fish like sardines, you can help reduce exposure. Staying away from plastics with BPA also helps. Check your plastics and do not use any with #7 or #3 on the bottom, don’t microwave plastics, and try and eat fresh food instead of food from a can.
There are hidden toxic chemicals in many beauty products like face and body creams, hair products, shampoos and conditioners that are known endocrine disruptors and carcinogens. Most of these chemicals have not been tested for safety. The Environmental Working Group says about 7 percent of the approximately 3,000 high volume chemicals (used in excess of a million pounds a year) have been tested for safety.
Unfortunately, our government doesn’t know if chemicals used in everyday cleaning products are safe because they do not test them, and manufacturers are not required to test them either. Federal law fails to provide the EPA and FDA with the tools needed to ban or even limit carcinogens in everyday products. The World Health Organization estimates that as much as 19 percent of cancers are due to environmental exposures.
What can you do? Keep it simple.
You don’t need chemical cleaners in your home. Go look wherever you keep your cleaning supplies and look at the warnings on the side of the bottle. If it says it’s dangerous to touch your skin or breathe, you can assume it’s not safe.
Here is a list of natural household cleaners you can feel good about:
Great for cleaning windows and counters. It naturally deodorizes and disinfects almost anything. Add some water and wash your floors. Naturally anti-bacterial. You can also mix with baking soda for a deeper clean.
Use instead of toilet and shower scrubs. You can make a paste with water to clean grout and deodorize. It also works amazingly for food stains and burns on roasting pans.
It is effective at removing microorganisms, including bacteria, yeasts, fungi, viruses, and spores, making it a good choice for cleaning your bathroom. You can mix with baking soda to treat stains, toilets, and floors.
Here is a list from EWG’s Hall of Shame for household cleaners to avoid at all costs.
Remember you vote with your dollar. Every time you choose toxin-free products you are part of the movement towards a cleaner planet.
Face & Body Products
See safe cosmetic lists of ingredients to avoid http://www.safecosmetics.org/get-the-facts/chemicals-of-concern/
Thankfully there are many beauty lines out there that are toxin free like Credo, Beauty Counter, Jane Iredale, Eminence, Epicurean, Juice Beauty and many more.
I stopped using hair dyes years ago when one of my mentors told me about the highly toxic chemicals used in hair dyes and how they are filled with chemicals known to cause cancer. Ingredients like PPD, ammonia, and lead just to name a few. Some of the so-called natural hair dyes swap PPDs for other untested ingredients that are questionable.
I personally use all-natural henna to color my hair. Natural henna products provide natural, safe, and permanent hair coloring through plant powders that should be (when you buy from a reputable company) tested in an independent lab to be free of PPD, pesticides, metallic salts, heavy metals, and other chemical adulterants. You can even cover grey hair with henna and indigo mix.
Use a Hepa air filter to filter dust and toxins found in the air. I personally use an Air Oasis and a Molekule as well to deal with mold and allergens in the environment.
House plants are also a great natural way to clean your indoor air. Buy some plants that naturally filter the air like spider plants, ficus, peace lily and dracaena.
Many municipal water supplies are still adding fluoride to the water as well as chlorine. Recent water testing has also showed pharmaceutical drugs in the water supply. I highly recommend using a water filter in your kitchen and bath.
I prefer natural spring water home delivery like Alive Water for drinking and reverse osmosis home systems to remove the fluoride and all heavy metals. You can add back minerals in the form of liquid mineral drops. Or investigate structured water filters.
Choose organic nutrient dense foods. All vegetables, especially those with dark vibrant colors; think lots of dark green, purple, red, and yellow ingredients
Grains like brown rice, millet, quinoa, and amaranth
Any beans, legumes and lentils (sprouted)
Nuts and seeds (soaked is best)
Chicken, fish, eggs, meat (pastured/organic)
Unfiltered cold-pressed flax, olive, sesame, , almond, coconut, hemp, nut oils; try not to heat oils, except for coconut which has a high smoke point.
8 to 12 glasses spring/filtered water daily (add things like liquid chlorophyll, minerals, pink salt)
Fermented foods like miso and sauerkraut if you don’t have histamine issues.
Probiotic drinks like coconut kefir and kombucha if you don’t have histamine issues.
Cured or processed meat (bacon, sausages, and the like)
Factory farmed meat, eggs and dairy.
Nonorganic animal flesh
White flour products (pasta, bread, cookies, crackers)
Foods that contain hydrogenated fats and preservatives
Refined sugars and all products containing them
Artificial sweeteners like aspartame, saccharin, NutraSweet
Dairy (milk, cheese)
All genetically modified foods
If you are worried about your exposure to toxins and chemicals, go see a functional medicine or naturopathic doctor and they can do tests to see if you have an overload of heavy metals or mycotoxins and then can help you safely detox from them.
See a biological dentist if you have silver fillings to have them safely removed. Not doing so can create worse problems over time, as certain protocols need to be taken when removing the fillings like a dental guard, oxygen, and charcoal mouth swish.
Doing things like infra-red sauna and ionic foot baths can help remove some heavy metals and previous exposure to things like black mold and mercury fillings. It’s always a good idea to have guidance from a health care provider.
For a deeper dive on endocrine disruptors read this https://www.ewg.org/research/dirty-dozen-list-endocrine-disruptors#.Wlk4CSOZNE4
To a happy and healthier new year!