Label reading – Part 2

Check out Part 1 here

It can be such a challenge to figure out what ingredients are okay and which ones aren’t…..especially with all the folks out there who are greenwashing.  Those companies are praying on your inability to read a label – the fact that it takes extra time and care to really figure out what is going on in your day to day products.  They know that most of us are assuming that the government is taking care of us – that they are looking out for us – but time and time again we’ve seen that this is not the reality.  The biggest reminders of this are the recent issues with Flint, Michigan and in Canada although this was awhile back now Wiarton, Ontario.  Things can come up far faster than we imagine and it is our job to stay aware and alert and figure out who is telling us the truth and who isn’t.

So onwards we go with a few more ingredients that you need to be on the watch for……

Fragrance – this is a huge one

This is found in so many products – from air fresheners to perfumes, laundry detergents, almost all household cleaners (unless you are using the unscented versions), as well as a huge variety of personal care products.  This one lonely word on your bottle can include up to 4,000 separate ingredients.   Most of these are synthetic and most of them individually are known to cause asthma attacks.  The US EPA found that 100% of perfumes contain toluene, which can cause liver, kidney and brain damage as well as damage to a developing foetus. Symptoms reported to the FDA from fragrance exposure have included headaches, dizziness, rashes, skin discolouration, violent coughing and vomiting, and allergic skin irritation.

Parabens 

This one is probably a little bit more familiar to you.  It’s been in the news lots over the last few years.  Products that are still using these most often are pharmaceuticals, cosmetics and cleaning products.  Parabens are hormone disruptors and have been shown to be a reproductive toxin in animal studies. High levels of parabens have been detected in breast tumours,with one UK-based study finding high concentrations of parabens in eighteen out of twenty samples of breast tumours. Parabens may cause contact dermatitis in some individuals.

Phthalates 

This is another that has spent a fair amount of time in the news.  It’s a wonder that any companies are still using them but they are. This is often an ingredient that can be masked under the label of fragrance.  Which means that you can never really be sure if you are using them or not if the bottle has the ingredient fragrance on it.  These can be found in cosmetics, hairspray, shower curtains, floor polish, toys, and nail polishes.  High level exposure causes irritation of the eyes, nose and throat, nausea, vomiting, dizziness, and headache. An endocrine disruptor that harms the developing foetus and the male testes. Long-term exposure causes liver and kidney damage.

Paradichlorobenzene

This ingredient is more commonly found in moth balls, room deodorizers, urinal blocks, and pesticides.  It is a suspected carcinogen, and may cause lung, liver and kidney damage. A highly volatile registered pesticide is in the same chemical class as DDT. Under California’s Proposition 65, it is listed as “known to the State to cause cancer”.

Triclosan

This ingredient can be found mostly in products that say they are anti-bacterial.  This can include toothpastes, deodorants, antibacterial hand washes, mouthwashes, toys, bedding and lately I’ve been seeing this in shoes.  Triclosan is linked to liver and inhalation toxicity. Low level may disrupt thyroid function. Triclosan may encourage bacterial resistance to antibiotics. The American Medical Association recommends that it not be used in the home. Wastewater treatment does not remove triclosan completely, which means it ends up in our lakes, rivers and water sources, where it forms dioxins, which are extremely toxic.

Take a moment and think about your closest friends and family, how many people do you know who have thyroid issues, who have endocrine issues, people whose liver and or kidneys are not functioning at their highest level…sadly I know far to many and without us making changes and making sure our dollars talk to the type of world we want this number will just continue to grow.  Isn’t it time you took charge of your health and wellness?  Join me on this journey – sign up for the monthly newsletter below.

Missed Part 1?  find it  here