Reduce your Exposure to Toxins in the Home

Good nutrition, exercise and sleep are excellent ways to maintain good health. But despite all these efforts, our bodies are bombarded by toxins every day! But with a little effort, removal of a few can make a big difference. 

Sources of toxin exposure:

Have you ever wondered why personal care products don’t “go off or mouldy” like food does? You can keep a bottle of shampoo, or a roll-on deodorant for months; however, it seems that no bacteria has acted on it. This is due to the addition of an ingredient known as formaldehyde, which acts as an antimicrobial and preservative. It’s found in other products such as shampoos, cosmetics, bubble baths, moisturisers and nail polish. Did you know that Formaldehyde is a compound known to cause cancer and has been banned in many countries? Maybe it’s time to rethink about what we are exposing our bodies to. Consumers are often unaware of these harmful compounds, as they are not usually listed on the product. However, by law, a company is obliged to list their ingredients, which can be found in an online search. 

Sweating is Bad, right?

Aluminium is also found in anti-perspirants and blocks up the pores to prevent sweating. Most people are aware that sweating is a great way to remove toxins from the body. (Nearly all Scandinavian homes have a sauna to regularly sweat it out. And they have the most amazing complexions!) So when we use anti-perspirants, we are preventing the body from eliminating toxins. Otherwise, they get recycled back into the circulation. People with Alzheimer’s disease often have higher levels of aluminium in the blood, which suggests an accumulative effect over many years. Deodorants act a little differently. They allow sweating, but mask the smell of the bacteria that creates the odour. The skin is a highly absorbent organ, which allows the entry of potential toxins. Pthalates (pronounced THA-lates) make up a large group of synthetic chemicals used in deodorants to provide fragrance. You will find them in multitudes of personal hygiene products, cosmetics, perfume, plastics and household cleaning products. However, they are often irritating to the skin. Recent research has discovered that pthlalates have been detected in the blood of anyone who has been tested for them; and have potential to produce birth defects, asthma, ADHD, obesity, Type 2 diabetes, low IQ, infertility and behavioural issues. 

Knowledge is Power

Every day, new chemicals are being produced and sold. Whilst you may call me alarmist, be aware that pretty much all of these chemicals have had no health research to determine the effects on human health. Please don’t rely on the government or the companies making these products to advise you; this is an area that you need to educate yourself. It’s pretty important to research your products, as there is no legislation to force these companies to provide proof that their products are safe.Here’s an example of a skin care product I searched for: 

Ways to minimise exposure to Chemicals:

  1. Reduce use of cleaning chemicals. My favourite products include Abode, Eco Store and Enviro Care. You will find them in good health food shops. They last longer than their synthetic counterparts and are much kinder to the environment.
  2. Switch to greener personal hygiene products. Despite their packaging, most supermarket brands are mainly harmful to your body. Try the Sukin range, which is available in many supermarkets and is a good price point.
  3. Do your research. Google a brand and item and Material Data Safety Sheet. This will provide the company listing of all the ingredients. It’s up to you to find out what health effects these ingredients have.
  4. Try using natural home made products. I use essential oils for dusting, air fragrance, and in the mop bucket. Sodium bicarbonate makes an excellent fabric softener and is great for cleaning tiled areas. Lemon juice is a fabulous glass cleaner and stain remover. Vinegar removes grease and mildew in the kitchen and wet areas. Besides, they are so much cheaper to use!
  5. Purchase The Chemical Maze app. This little app lists all of the harmful ingredients in many products you buy, including foods and cosmetics. It’s a great resource when you are shopping!

 It is always prudent to limit our exposure to chemicals if we want to stay healthy. Yours in Health, Lynda.

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