Toxins All Around Us – Part 1
Have you ever looked at lists like the one below and wondered what the big deal is? It’s hard to decide to make a change without knowing what the ingredients are or what they mean to your child. I hope that will change today.
Here is information from an
Well that is a crazy list of chemicals that I cannot pronounce...if I cannot pronounce them, should I really care? Is it worth getting worked up over seven or eight ingredients?Here is why you may want to consider following the recommendations from EWG and other companies that make consumers aware of harmful chemicals…
Parabensare considered a potential health risk because they have been shown to be endocrine disruptors in laboratory animal testing. From Wikipedia:
Endocrine disruptors are chemicals that interfere with endocrine (or hormone system) in animals, including humans. These disruptions can cause cancerous tumors, birth defects, and other developmental disorders. Specifically, they are known to cause learning disabilities, severe attention deficit disorder, cognitive and brain development problems, deformations of the body (including limbs); sexual development problems, feminizing of males or masculine effects on females, etc. Any system in the body controlled by hormones, can be derailed by hormone disruptors. The critical period of development for most organisms is between the transition from a fertilized egg, into a fully formed infant. As the cells begin to grow and differentiate, there are critical balances of hormones and protein changes that must occur. Therefore, a dose of disrupting chemicals can do substantial damage to a developing fetus (baby).
THE PRESERVATIVESDMDM hydantoinFrom Wikipedia:
DMDM hydantoin is an antimicrobial formaldehyde releaser preservative with the trade name Glydant.Antimicrobial - that is good, right? Don't we want to get rid of germs? And, didn't I use formaldehyde in high school science class? Yes, you probably did. So what is the big deal?
The big deal about formaldehyde… From Wikipedia:
Formaldehyde is highly toxic to all animals, regardless of method of intake. Ingestion of as little as 30 mL (1 oz.) of a solution containing 37% formaldehyde has been reported to cause death in an adult human. Water solution of formaldehyde is very corrosive and its ingestion can cause severe injury to the upper gastrointestinal tract.
Imidazolidinyl urea: another formaldehyde releaser preservative.
The next two on the EWG list are unfriendly to microorganisms and belong to the isothiazolinones group.
Together with their wanted function, controlling or killing microorganisms, isothiazolinones also have undesirable effects: They have a high aquatic toxicity and some derivatives (namely CMIT) can cause hypersensitivity by direct contact or via the air.
Methylchloroisothiazolinone (5-chloro-2-methyl-4-isothiazolin-3-one) is a preservative with antibacterial and antifungal effects within the group of isothiazolinones. It is effective against gram-positive and gram-negative bacteria, yeast, and fungi… In pure form or in high concentrations, methylchloroisothiazolinone can be a skin and membrane irritant or cause chemical burns. It was largely removed from most cosmetic products except for those with only short duration skin contact such as rinse-offs.
Methylisothiazolinone or MIT FromWikipedia:
Methylisothiazolinone or MIT, sometimes erroneously called methylisothiazoline, is a powerful biocide and preservative within the group of isothiazolinones, used in personal care products… Some studies have shown MIT to be allergenic and cytotoxic [toxic to cells], and this has led to some concern over its use.
Now we move on to the "tri" family...
Triclosan From Wikipedia
Triclosan is an antibacterial and antifungal agent. Triclosan also reacts with the free chlorine in tap water to produce lesser amounts of other compounds, like 2,4-dichlorophenol. Most of these intermediates convert into dioxins upon exposure to UV radiation (from the sun or other sources). Although small amounts of dioxins are produced, some dioxins are extremely toxic and are very potent endocrine disruptors. They are also chemically stable, so that they are eliminated from the body slowly (they can bioaccumulate to dangerous levels), and they persist in the environment for a long time… Triclosan is toxic to aquatic bacteria at levels found in the environment. Triclosan inhibits photosynthesis in diatom algae which are responsible for a large part of the photosynthesis on Earth.
Triclocarban From Wikipedia
Triclocarban (TCC), or 3,4,4'-trichlorocarbanilide, is a substance with anti-bacterial and anti-fungal properties that is used in disinfectants, soaps and other household products.
Triethanolamine (or "TEA") From Wikipedia
serves as a pH balancer in many different cosmetic products - ranging from cleansing creams and milks, skin lotions, eye gels, moisturizers, shampoos, shaving foams etc. TEA is a fairly strong base: a 1% solution has a pH of approximately 10, whereas the pH of skin is below pH 7. Cleansing milk/cream emulsions based on TEA are particularly good at removing makeup. Because of its high alkalinity and the possibility that it converts to nitrosamines (carcinogenic compounds), its use in cosmetics was once expected to diminish. It is still widely used as of 2009.
Penultimate on the list...the "eth"s
“eth” in the middle: these products are probably detergents, therefore possible irritants, and they are on the watch list for carcinognes…
In the example of sodium laureth sulfate from Wikipedia
PEG and Polyethylene – May contain harmful contaminants
– Products with “Fragrance” on the label have the potential to contain 100s of different chemicals and trigger allergic reactions. There is no regulation on the cosmetics and personal care industry so it might be a good choice to play it safe.
Motivated yet? If the answer is yes and you want to check out your baby's personal care products, click HERE to read Part 2 of Toxins All Around Us.
Here is a cheat sheet you can print out and take with you on your next shopping trip.
EWG Cosmetic Tip Sheet
So I discovered some more chemicals to be aware of as I continue to search for the right products for our family:
Phenoxyethanol…the first site I saw said this:
Here is what the FDA has say about it:
From the phenoxyehtanol link, I came across another little nugget. There is another alternative preservative that is used in cosmetics…and food…called sodium benzoate.
The natural form, benzoic acid, is found in foods like cranberries, prunes, cinnamon, apples…and fairly benign on it’s own. Sounds fairly benign, right? Here is the catch:
Parabens and endocrine disruption
Triethanolamine or "TEA"
Sodium Laureth Sulfate
PEG and Polyethylene
It is not intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. The reader should always consult her or his healthcare provider to determine the appropriateness of the information for their own situation. Krystyna and Bruss Bowman and Bowman House, LLC accept no liability for the content of this site, or for the consequences of any actions taken on the basis of the information provided. This blog contains information about our classes available in Chandler, AZ and Payson, AZ and is not the official website of The Bradley Method®. The views contained on this blog do not necessarily reflect those of The Bradley Method® or the American Academy of Husband-Coached Childbirth®.