Sunday, May 20, 2012

Everything in Moderation?

Recently a friend of mine posted a question to our Meetup message board. She wondered what natural products other moms used for their baby's hair. She only uses chemical-free products and needed something for detangling messy curls. The responses she received provoked me to do some digging around. A lot of moms recommended Johnson & Johnson products. One mom even suggested that even if the products contained chemicals, it was OK because it was occasional and only used in moderation. But what is moderation? We are bombarded by chemicals in our food, our water, our soil, our personal care products, and the air we breathe. Nothing is moderate.

Today I decided to investigate personal care products. Johnson & Johnson products may be nostalgic , but they are also laden with chemicals.
In the regular formula of Johnson's Baby Shampoo it lists water, cocamidopropyl betaine, PEG-80 sorbitan laurate and sodium trideceth sulfate. Citric acid, PEG-150 distearate, polyquaternium-10, fragrance and tetrasodium EDTA are also ingredients. The last three ingredients are quaternium-15, yellow 10 and orange 4.

Johnson's Baby Shampoo with Lavender
The newer formula of Johnson's Baby Shampoo adds chamomile and lavender to the mix for a soothing aromatic fragrance to lull a baby to sleep. It lists as its ingredients water, cocamidopropyl betaine and PEG-80 sorbitan laurate. Sodium trideceth sulfate, fragrance, PEG-150 distearate and polyquaternium-10 are also ingredients. The last four ingredients are tetrasodium EDTA, citric acid, violet 2 and quarternium-15.
The Campaign for Safe Cosmetics came out with the news two years ago that Johnson & Johnson’s iconic baby shampoo contained the formaldehyde-releasing preservative quaternium-15, as well as the chemical byproduct 1,4-dioxane. Formaldehyde and 1,4-dioxane are known carcinogens. The federal Consumer Product Safety Commission has reported that “the presence of 1,4-dioxane, even as a trace contaminant, is cause for concern,” and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services added formaldehyde to its list of known human carcinogens in June 2011.

This is just one product that we slather on our newborns. Think of the myriad products we use on a daily basis and the compounding chemical onslaught our skin receives. We brush our teeth with sodium lauryl sulfate (SLS) and flouride (which is a heavy metal); we shampoo with SLS, rub lotions on our skin that contain parabens (which may increase the risk of breast cancer and cause endocrine disruption); we use makeup that contains various chemicals that cause cardiovascular, respiratory, kidney, liver and neurotoxicity; hairspray and nail polish that contain toulene, sunscreens with PABA, Padimate A & O which are suspected carcinogens and may increase breast cancer cell division and disrupt endocrine function. Then there's perfume, lipstick, hair dyes, bath wash, soaps, deodorant, shaving creams, insect repellent, self-tanners, and more all containing chemicals that are known to cause some sort of toxicity, skin irritations, allergic reactions, hormone disruption, and cancer.

Some of these chemicals are even banned in other countries, but not in the U.S. Daily use of these products results in a progressive build up of chemicals in our system that results in a cumulative poisoning.

So if you have begun your journey into clean eating and have removed processed food from your life, it's now time to remove the chemicals your skin ingests. Read the labels on your personal care and beauty products. The next time you go shopping, compare the labels and look for "natural" ingredients. Go to your favorite products' website and read the ingredients.  There are so many new options out there and more and more companies are producing products without harmful chemicals. It's up to us to make a conscious effort to purchase wisely.

No comments:

Post a Comment