Tag Archives: xenoestrogens

Baby Products Contain Cancer-Causing Chemicals

Lisa Says: This title was so alarming I almost had to rephrase it. REMEMBER, just be aware. For any products you use, review them at EWG.ORG and make the most informed decision. Do NOT assume if a product says “natural” that it is. After a little research, you’ll find products that are safe, and [...]

Lisa Says: This title was so alarming I almost had to rephrase it. REMEMBER, just be aware. For any products you use, review them at EWG.ORG and make the most informed decision. Do NOT assume if a product says “natural” that it is. After a little research, you’ll find products that are safe, and wonderful, and worry free, and not have to think twice when you’re shopping.

Baby Products Contain Cancer-Causing Chemicals
by David Gutierrez, staff writer
Originally published May 2 2009
(NaturalNews) Baby shampoos, lotions and other toiletries advertised as safe may actually contain known carcinogens, according to a study conducted by the nonprofit organization Campaign for Safe Cosmetics.

“Our intention is not to alarm parents, but to inform parents that products that claim to be gentle and pure are contaminated with carcinogens, which is completely unnecessary,” Campaign for Safe Cosmetics spokesperson Stacy Malkan said.

The group analyzed 48 baby bath products for two known carcinogens, formaldehyde and 1,4-dioxane, finding that 23 contained the former, 32 contained the latter and 11 contained both.

Among the big-name products containing the carcinogens were Johnson & Johnson Baby Shampoo and Baby Magic lotion.

Although neither chemical is deliberately added to any of the products or listed among their ingredients, both can be produced as byproducts of the manufacturing or aging process. Formaldehyde is a byproduct of the normal decay of some cosmetics ingredients over time, while 1,4-dioxane is produced from the reaction of foaming agents with certain petrochemicals.

Both chemicals are classified as probable carcinogens by the Environmental Protection Agency, and 1,4-dioxane in lotions has been shown to penetrate human skin. 1,4-dioxane is prohibited as a cosmetic ingredient in the European Union.

“The levels we’ve found are relatively low, and the industry often says ‘there’s just a little bit of carcinogen in my product,’” Malkan said. “The problem is, we’re finding a little bit of carcinogen in many products. Many of these products are used every day, so we’ve got repeated and frequent exposure to these low levels of chemicals. They’re not the safest and purest products, and parents ought to know that.”

The Campaign for Safe Cosmetics has called on the government to impose more strict regulations on personal care products. Several congresspeople have thrown their support behind the effort.

“The fact that we are bathing our kids in products contaminated with carcinogens shows how woefully out of date our cosmetics laws are and how urgently they need to be updated,” said Rep. Jan Schakowsky of Illinois. “The science has moved forward; now the FDA needs to catch up and be given the authority to protect the health of Americans.”

Sources for this story include: www.washingtonpost.com

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Natural Skin Care is Right at Home

Lisa Says: more info on natural ways to healthfully care for our skin.
Natural Skin Care is Right at Home
Friday, April 17, 2009 by: Melanie Grimes, citizen journalist
(NaturalNews) Healthy skin reflects outer beauty and inner health. Treat your skin from both inside and out to create a radiant glowing complexion. Internally, you can feed your [...]

Lisa Says: more info on natural ways to healthfully care for our skin.

Natural Skin Care is Right at Home
Friday, April 17, 2009 by: Melanie Grimes, citizen journalist

(NaturalNews) Healthy skin reflects outer beauty and inner health. Treat your skin from both inside and out to create a radiant glowing complexion. Internally, you can feed your skin by nutrition and lifestyle changes. External treatments protect the skin from damage, replenish moisture and nutrients.

Skin elasticity
The skin is made of collagen and elastin, which are elastic fibers that relax as we age. This relaxation causes wrinkles. To rebuild collagen, eat foods high in vitamins and anti-oxidants.

Moisturize
Another important factor in vibrant skin is moisture. Drink plenty of water daily and protect the skin with skin lotions to create a barrier from environmental factors. Many skin creams contain moisture-retaining ingredients.

Nutrients for healthy skin
Taking healthy nutrients into the body is the best way to keep skin health.
1.Vitamins. Vitamins A, E, and C improve the synthesis of collagen. Vitamin CoQ10 also promotes collagen production.
2.Anti-oxidants remove free radicals that damage skin. One of the foods with highest anti-oxidants is chocolate, if you get health chocolate without additives and sugar, as well as acai berries and blueberries.
3.Products to avoid
Keep your skin free of damaging chemicals.
1.Petroleum jelly. This prevents the skin from breathing and traps toxins.
2.Mineral oil. Derived from petroleum, mineral oil speeds up the aging of the skin.
3.Sodium lauryl sulfate. The ingredient dries the skin and breaks down the natural moisture barriers.
4.Talcum powder. A known carcinogen.
5.Color. Most colorants are made from coal tar.
6.Paraben. Used as a preservative, this is a known toxin.

Lifestyle
Simple lifestyle changes can enhance your skin inexpensively.
1.Drink plenty of water to keep skin hydrated.
2.Protect skin from environmental pollution and ultraviolet light by using a daily sunscreen and moisturizer.
3.Use a gentle daily cleanser. Electronic face-scrubbing brushes are especially helpful to unclog pores.
4.Avoid sun exposure and alcoholic drinks. Both are known to age skin.
5.Eat plenty of health-giving natural foods and vegetables.

Natural skin products
Many creams contain these valuable ingredients, or you can use them as individual additions to your daily skin care regime.
1.Buttermilk contains natural alpha-hydroxyacid, used in chemical peels.
2.Coconut oil provides a natural moisture barrier.
3.Almond oil contains Omega 3 fatty acids and has been used since Biblical times.
4.Lavender tightens the skin with natural tannins.
5.Grape seed extract is a strong anti-oxidant that protects the collagen and forms more elastic skin cells.
6.Amla fruit has been used in India for thousands of years for its anti-aging properties.

To make your skin glow drink plenty of water, use natural moisturizers, eat nutrients to encourage collagen production and keep your skin clean. Nourish your skin from the inside and the outside to bring out your inner glow.

http://1stholistic.com/Beauty/skin/…

http://www.skin-care-recipes-and-re…

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lavender

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Think you’re preventing Breast Cancer? See “The Ugly Side to the Beauty Industry”

Lisa Says: Rex and I had the unique thrill of stumbling upon award winning Stacy Malkan’s live presentation of her groundbreaking expose’ about toxic chemicals in personal care products “Not Just a Pretty Face: The Ugly Side of the Beauty Industry” (New Society Publishers 2007) last fall at the GreenFestival in DC. Rex was at [...]

Lisa Says: Rex and I had the unique thrill of stumbling upon award winning Stacy Malkan’s live presentation of her groundbreaking expose’ about toxic chemicals in personal care products “Not Just a Pretty Face: The Ugly Side of the Beauty Industry” (New Society Publishers 2007) last fall at the GreenFestival in DC. Rex was at first awkward being one of few men there, but quickly became enthralled, and outraged, and the petrochemicals in skin and beauty products clearly contributing to illness such as breast cancer, closely related to his own prostate cancer (for some reason, he was most angry about lead in lipstick and forbade me to use lead-laced-lipstick again which I thought was charming). Stacy’s campaign for truly natural products is revolutionizing the cosmetic industry. There’s a wealth of information at “The Campaign for Safe Cosmetics“, and you can also learn more about Stacy’s award winning book Not Just A Pretty Face.

To review your cosmetic and skin care products (I think you’ll be amazed), go to the Environmental Working Group’s SKIN DEEP cosmetic safety FREE database and search under your product’s name.

Due to the fact that these petrochemicals in everyday items such as soap, shampoo, and deoderant, cause the (bad) estrogenic effect on the body linked to breast and prostate cancer just to start, we started switching over after Rex was diagnosed. Even mainstream american medicine is now acknowledging this link for envrionmental or xenoestrogens (see other blog post). We didn’t throw everything out at once, but as items were used up, the new products we bought after a review of the EWG site.

Here is a  MUST SEE 3 MINUTE VIDEO FROM CORNELL

 So when Rex went for his bike ride at 6:30am this morning, I went on my web ‘ride’ for quality, truly pure cosmetics and skin care products at the EWG site. Rather than searching a particular brand, I simply searched ‘mascara’ or ‘ eye shadow’ and began reviewing website related to all of their products rated 0-2. I’m sure there’s more out there, but here were 4 that I was impressed with, in order ‘WOW!” to ‘they sound good”. I felt all the pricing reasonable and about the same across each company. I’m going to order some of the products and will let keep you posted. If ANYONE has any related info, please let us know !

Coastal Classic Creations from California (gotta love their passion). This website is SERIOUS about cosmetic safety and related environmental issues.

Think Before You Pink

Zosimos Botanicals  Maryland

Daisy Blue Naturals  Minnesota

Rejuva Minerals  Florida

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Recognize Toxic Chemicals in Body Care Products

Lisa Says: another article about the health issues we have caused by chemicals we use in every day life. These chemicals have a hormone like effect in the body (xenoestrogens) linked to many imbalances such as breast and prostate cancer.
Recognize Toxic Chemicals in Body Care Products
by Jo Hartley, citizen journalist
(NaturalNews) A common belief [...]

Lisa Says: another article about the health issues we have caused by chemicals we use in every day life. These chemicals have a hormone like effect in the body (xenoestrogens) linked to many imbalances such as breast and prostate cancer.

Recognize Toxic Chemicals in Body Care Products
by Jo Hartley, citizen journalist

(NaturalNews) A common belief among consumers is that products labeled “natural” must be safe and beneficial to consume or use. Often the ingredient lists on these “natural” products contain chemicals that are unrecognizable and unfamiliar to most people. The bad news is that the products that are labeled as “natural” by manufacturers are usually far from natural and safe. The good news is that it is possible to be an informed consumer with the information necessary to avoid these products. Learning about these toxic chemicals is the first step toward avoiding them and this is quite simple to do, using the Internet as a tool.

Almost every synthetic chemical that exists has a Material Safety Data Sheet (MSDS) that contains the facts about the chemical as well as any potential dangers associated with human health. The MSDS lists a summary of the facts for each chemical and summarizes other facts such as hazard identification, first aid instructions, exposure limits, and other names that are associated with the specific chemical. It can be very surprising to read MSDS information for “natural” chemicals and find information warning of dangers associated with these chemicals.

One can’t help but wonder how and why these chemicals can be labeled as natural under these conditions.
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) Hazard Communication Standard (HCS) has stipulated that a MSDS must be created for any chemicals that are considered hazardous according to criteria described in the Hazard Communication Standard. All hazardous chemicals must be indexed and an MSDS must be published for each of them.

An enlightening exercise for any consumer who is concerned about toxic chemicals is to perform a Google search for specific ingredients contained in his/her personal care products. Entering the specific chemical name along with “MSDS” in the search field will return MSDS results for the specific chemicals searched for. Another resource for researching specific ingredients is www.hazard.com/msds.

Within this website are three search options:

1.Search by manufacturer
2.Search by name of chemical
3.Search the Chemical Toxicity Database

Chemicals to Avoid in Personal Care Products:

Cocoamide DEA, diethanolamine, TEA, triethanolamine, MEA — Used as a shampoo thickener and foam stabilizer. According to the MSDS for Cocoamide DEA, this chemical is harmful if swallowed or inhaled and contact with skin, eyes, and clothing should be avoided.

Propylene glycol, propylene oxide, polyethylene glycol — Listed on the FDA government website as a known carcinogen. This is a common ingredient in many moisturizers and lotions. It has also been connected with kidney and liver damage in scientific testing. Propylene glycol has also now been connected with common skin rashes and skin damage.

Sodium lauryl sulfate, sodium laureth sulfate — A common ingredient in shampoos and liquid soaps. SLS may be the most dangerous ingredient used in personal care products. SLS is the active ingredient in garage floor cleaners, engine degreasers and industrial strength soaps. This is a very corrosive chemical used to clean industrial and greasy surfaces.

Sodium Fluoride — The fluoride that is added to drinking water is hydrofluoric acid. This is a compound of fluorine, which is actually a chemical byproduct of aluminum, steel, cement, phosphate, and other assorted ingredients. Fluoride in this form has no nutritional value and is one of the most caustic industrial chemicals. Fluoride is also an active ingredient in rat and cockroach poisons.

Mineral Oil, Petrolatum and Coal Tar — Used in many moisturizing products. Mineral oil is a petroleum by-product that interferes with skin’s ability to eliminate toxins. Because of this it promotes acne and other skin disorders. Mineral oil has also been associated with premature aging. Any product that contains mineral oil may be contaminated with cancer causing Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons.

Consumers who are armed with accurate information about toxic ingredients contained in common personal care products will be able to make informed decisions that will protect their health.

Source: http://www.inspiredliving.com/organ…

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What in the World are you Putting on your Skin?

Lisa Says: XENOESTROGENS, or false estrogens, are produced in the body when chemicals enter, and cause havoc in our health.  They disable the body’s ability to utilize naturally occurring hormones.Getting rid of these chemicals in our shampoos, soap, cleaners, deoderant, etc. has been a BIG priority for us this past year in healing Rex’s Prostate [...]

Lisa Says: XENOESTROGENS, or false estrogens, are produced in the body when chemicals enter, and cause havoc in our health.  They disable the body’s ability to utilize naturally occurring hormones.Getting rid of these chemicals in our shampoos, soap, cleaners, deoderant, etc. has been a BIG priority for us this past year in healing Rex’s Prostate Cancer which (like Breast Cancer) has been linked to XENOESTROGENS.

For Omega 3’s we use flax oil, try to eat at least 3 avocados a week, and if we feel the need, take Nature’s Sunshine’s Omega 3 capsules (ESSENTIAL for BRAIN FUNCTION) http://www.mynsp.com/rex/products/guide.aspx?stockNum=1515

ARTICLE from http://products.mercola.com

Ever wonder why so many skin care products you buy — even at the health food store — have ingredients on their labels that you can’t even read or pronounce?

In my view, if you can’t read or pronounce the ingredient, there is a high likelihood it should not be in your lotion or other skin care product.

Obviously, you really want to avoid using anything potentially toxic on your skin!

Because this is such a common problem, I’ve been searching for a product that you could be confident was made of real, recognizable, natural and organic ingredients. So you could enhance your health from the ‘outside in’, as well as the ‘inside out’.

Quality skin care is not a replacement for good internal health — it is a part of your entire package of wellbeing.

One of the first strategies you can use to improve your skin health is to make sure you are getting enough high quality omega-3 fats. This is such a reliable indicator that I frequently am able to tell someone’s omega-3 needs just by shaking their hand.

If their hand is not smooth as a baby’s behind, it’s usually a strong indication that they need some more high quality animal-based omega-3 fats — like krill oil.

So if you struggle with dry skin, make sure you are taking enough of these omega-3 fats. In the colder dry winter months, you may even need to increase your dose.

Your skin grows from the inside out, so your overall nutritional levels really matter. That said however, caring for your skin is not just an inside job — it’s an outside job too.

The ‘Outside’ Job of Skin Care

Your skin is much more than an outer surface for the world to see — it’s the largest organ of your body!

Natural Body Butter
Do something extraordinary for your youthful looks today.

Plus, it has a number of amazing responsibilities that you probably don’t think about on a daily basis:

  • Protects your internal organs from injury and infection.
  • Helps detoxify wastes through perspiration.
  • Provides an important line of immune defense against infections — your healthy skin creates a barrier to viruses and bacteria.
  • Protects you against extreme changes in temperature, through its thermoregulatory effect of controlling heat flow between you and your environment.
  • Produces and stores vitamin D, which is important to your immune system.
  • Rich in receptors, it allows you to sense conditions around you — like hard/soft and hot/cold — and send information to your brain so you can react to it for self-preservation.
  • Protects your body from sunburns.
  • Protects you from dehydration.

The loss of any of these functions will compromise your best health — and can accelerate signs of normal aging.

Put simply, your skin plays a major role in your health.

It functions as an organ that can absorb and excrete both nutrients and toxins through its pores. The condition of your skin is a powerful reflection of just how healthy you are on the inside.

Because your skin has the ability to absorb whatever you put on it, careful choices are critical. You want to give your skin the same thoughtful care you give your internal organs. In a moment, I’ll tell you about some things that help support the health of your skin.

But first, let’s take a quick look at some of the ingredients in today’s skin care products that can compromise the health of your skin (or even more of your body functions).

What if Looks Really Could Kill?

We believe containers when they show a “danger” warning, or a “skull and crossbones” to warn of toxins in a product. And we respond by not applying them to our skin or eating them!

Body Butter
Potential toxins used in the name of beauty – not a fair trade…

Yet many skin care products use ingredients with unrecognizable and unpronounceable names.

Personally, I rarely put anything consciously on my skin that I wouldn’t be willing to put in my mouth.

It is well-proven that when you apply these chemicals to your skin, they enter your bloodstream and become integrated into your body tissues, In fact, it is probably safer to eat these ingredients than to rub them on your skin (although I strongly recommend you don’t do either!).

However, if you do happen to eat these chemicals, your digestive system can produce specific enzymes  to break down these toxins and excrete them… something that doesn’t  readily occur when you absorb them through the skin.

Potentially harmful ingredients continue to be used. Why? Because they are cheap, readily available, and easily diluted.

Does Your Skin Care Product Contain These Chemicals?

Why don’t you run and get a bottle of any of the skin moisturizers that you are currently using. You might find that your personal care products contain one or probably more of many possibly dangerous ingredients.

Here are a few of the most common suspicious ingredients:

  • Mineral Oil, Paraffin, and Petrolatum – Petroleum products that coat the skin like plastic, clogging pores and creating a build-up of toxins, which in turn accumulate and can lead to dermatologic issues. Slows cellular development, which can cause you to show earlier signs of aging. Suspected cause of cancer. Disruptive of hormonal activity. By the way, when there’s an oil spill in the ocean, don’t they rush to clean it up – fast? Why put that stuff on your skin?
  • Parabens – Widely used as preservatives in the cosmetic industry (including moisturizers). An estimated 13,200 cosmetic and skin care products contain parabens. Studies implicate their connection with cancer. They have hormone-disrupting qualities – mimicking estrogen – and interfere with the body’s endocrine system.
  • Phenol carbolic acid– Found in many lotions and skin creams. Can cause circulatory collapse, paralysis, convulsions, coma and even death from respiratory failure.
  • Propylene glycol – Used as a moisturizer in cosmetics and as a carrier in fragrance oils. Shown to cause dermatitis, kidney or liver abnormalities, and may inhibit skin cell growth or cause skin irritation.
  • Acrylamide– Found in many hand and face creams. Linked to mammary tumors in lab research.
  • Sodium laurel or lauryl sulfate (SLS), also known as sodium laureth sulfate (SLES)– Found in car washes, engine degreasers, garage floor cleaners… and in over 90% of personal care products! SLS breaks down the skin’s moisture barrier, easily penetrates the skin, and allows other chemicals to easily penetrate. Combined with other chemicals, SLS becomes a “nitrosamine”, a potent class of carcinogen. It can also cause hair loss. SLES is sometimes disguised with the labeling “comes from coconut” or “coconut-derived”.
  • Toluene Poison! Danger! Harmful or fatal if swallowed! Harmful if inhaled or absorbed through the skin. Made from petroleum or coal tar, and found in most synthetic fragrances. Chronic exposure linked to anemia, lowered blood cell count, liver or kidney damage, and may affect a developing fetus. Butylated hydroxytoluene (BHT) contains toluene. Other names may include benzoic and benzyl.
  • Dioxane– Found in compounds known as PEG, Polysorbates, Laureth, ethoxylated alcohols. Common in a wide range of personal care products. The compounds are usually contaminated with high concentrations of highly volatile 1,4-dioxane, easily absorbed through the skin.

    Dioxane’s carcinogenicity was first reported in 1965 and later confirmed in studies including one from the National Cancer Institute in 1978. Nasal passages and liver are the most vulnerable. Dioxane is easily removed during the manufacturing process by “vacuum stripping”. Warning: It is a synthetic derivative of coconut. Watch for hidden language on labels, such as “comes from coconut”.

So, do you want to put these chemicals on your skin? Hopefully not…

You’d be better served by switching to skin care products made of plant names you recognize, can pronounce, and could even eat (if you had to).

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Synthetic Estrogens Wreak Havoc on Your Reproductive System

Researchers are developing a clearer understanding of why the synthetic estrogens found in many widely-used plastics can cause damage to a developing fetus, fertility problems, and vaginal and breast cancers.
Past research has shown that exposure to the synthetic estrogen diethylstilbestrol (DES) alters the expression of HOXA10, a gene necessary for uterine development, while increasing the [...]

Researchers are developing a clearer understanding of why the synthetic estrogens found in many widely-used plastics can cause damage to a developing fetus, fertility problems, and vaginal and breast cancers.

Past research has shown that exposure to the synthetic estrogen diethylstilbestrol (DES) alters the expression of HOXA10, a gene necessary for uterine development, while increasing the risk of cancer and pregnancy complications. By studying the DNA of the offspring of 30 pregnant mice injected with DES, researchers found changes in certain regions of the HOXA10 gene that continued beyond the time of development and persisted into adulthood.

This indicates that exposure to DES and similar substances results in lasting genetic memory, known as “imprinting,” which is actually changing the structure of the HOXA10 gene.

Though DES is no longer on the market, pregnant women are frequently exposed to similar substances with estrogen-like properties, such as Bisphenol-A (BPA).

Sources:
  • The 2008 Society for Gynecologic Investigation (SGI) Annual Scientific Meeting, San Diego, California, March 26-29, 2008
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"Cleaner" personal care products – remove chemicals from your healthstyle

from dailytip@idealbite.com
What just underwent a transformation, inside and out?
The Bite
The Pure & Natural line of cleansers. While it’s always been better for sensitive skin than a lotta other soaps, the new eco-formula and -packaging has metamorphosed the brand into a…how do we say…purer and natural-er way to freshen up your hands and body.
Company Background
Pure & [...]

from dailytip@idealbite.com

What just underwent a transformation, inside and out?

The Bite
The Pure & Natural line of cleansers. While it’s always been better for sensitive skin than a lotta other soaps, the new eco-formula and -packaging has metamorphosed the brand into a…how do we say…purer and natural-er way to freshen up your hands and body.

Company Background
Pure & Natural stepped up its game this year with the makeover of its entire line of soaps and body washes – including ditching animal tallow for plant-based oils (we’d personally rather lather with cherry blossoms than bovines). The company itself is also greening HQ - for example, it provides reusable mugs to all employees and incentivizes biking to work. Not at all an un-sud-isfactory start.

Why Care?

  • A biodegradable, veggie-based formula that steers clear of typical petroleum-based oils (saving more than 19,000 barrels of oil per year) and preservatives (such as cancer-linked parabens).
  • Eco-friendlier packaging. Pure & Natural bar soaps come in 100% post-consumer waste recycled paper that’s embedded with seeds (so you can actually plant it and flowers will grow), and the line’s bottles are 100% recyclable.
  • Pure & Natural contributes at least $100,000 to the World Wildlife Fund each year.
  • It works with eco-org Earth Pledge to build awareness around programs such as Seed Blitz, which teaches urban kids the value of growing their own food.
  • Three posh scents: almond oil and cherry blossom, grapefruit and pomegranate, and rosemary and mint.
  • Easy access, since it’s available at tons of big retailers, such as Kroger and Wal-Mart, and costs about $4-$6 each, so you won’t go broke getting clean.

Keeping It Real
The plastic containers for Pure & Natural’s hand soap and body wash are made from 25% recycled plastic. As marketing manager Sami Myohanan says, “We know we’re not perfect, but we’re trying to progressively do more over time.” Also, the seeds in the bar soap packaging are baby’s breath. Some species of baby’s breath are considered noxious in some areas, so check first before planting.

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Don’t Offend Others With Second-Hand Chemicals (Xenoestrogens)

Rex Says: Xenoestrogens, chemicals in our environment which cause an estrogenic effect in our bodies linked to breast and prostate cancer, are a cause for serious concern for our health.  After my cancer diagnosis, we have easily switched out deoderant, soaps, cleaning chemicals, etc. to natural products.  There’s so many natural products on the market [...]

Rex Says: Xenoestrogens, chemicals in our environment which cause an estrogenic effect in our bodies linked to breast and prostate cancer, are a cause for serious concern for our health.  After my cancer diagnosis, we have easily switched out deoderant, soaps, cleaning chemicals, etc. to natural products.  There’s so many natural products on the market now, it’s a SUPER EASY WAY TO IMPROVE YOUR HEALTH.

******************************************

ARTICLE by Roger Harris

(NaturalNews) Feel overwhelmed by cleaning tasks? There’s one way to actually take control over the toxins that may be stressing out your nervous and detoxification systems – stop using chemicals on your body and in your house. You’ll also be doing your family, friends, neighbors and the environment a favor by not putting chemical fumes in the air.

Smelly chemical cleaners leave behind a film which can make a person ill, even if they’re not the one using them. Second-hand cleaning chemicals, perfumed detergents and fabric softeners can be compared to second-hand smoke – they can affect others negatively too.

Most modern cleaning formulas are concoctions of chemicals, many of which are toxic. A 1991 EPA study of 31 fragrance products found toluene; a neurotoxin, carcinogen and a chemical designated as Hazardous Waste, in all of them. Other petroleum derivatives were also found in fragrances, including known toxins capable of causing birth defects, thyroid and central nervous system disorders in addition to allergic reactions, according to a report to the legislature by a Committee on Science & Technology.

I and my chemically-sensitive partner have banned such cleaning chemicals from our house, replacing them with non-toxic cleaning supplies, some which were our grandmothers’ favorites and others new to the market, such as a botanical soap which can be used for everything from brushing your teeth to doing your laundry.

Recently, my partner and I were enjoying the morning sunrise from our deck when our neighbor cranked up her fabric softener-filled dryer, which exhausted the “spring breeze” fragrance into the neighborhood air. My partner contracted a headache and dizziness and had to retreat indoors to “fresher” air. One look at the ingredients in fabric softener helps us to understand why fabric softener can cause a toxic assault.

What’s In Those Dryer Sheets?*

* Benzyl Acetate: Linked to pancreatic cancer

* Benzyl Alcohol: Upper respiratory tract irritant

* Ethanol: On the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) Hazardous Waste list and capable of causing
central nervous system disorders

* A-Terpineol: Can cause respiratory problems, including fatal edema, and central nervous system
damage

* Ethyl Acetate: A narcotic on the EPA’s Hazardous Waste list

* Camphor: Causes central nervous system disorders

* Chloroform: Neurotoxin, anesthetic and carcinogen

* Linalool: A narcotic that causes central nervous system disorders

* Pentane: A chemical known to be harmful if inhaled

Natural Solutions

To help ourselves and the neighbors breathe more easily, we’ve ordered an amazing new alternative – Static Eliminator™ woven sheets – which take static cling out, and soften fabric without any toxic chemicals. Author and long-term advocate of natural cleaning methods, Annie Berthold-Bond, suggests making your own dryer sheet by placing a teaspoon of a natural, fragrance-free hair conditioner on a cotton cloth that you throw in with your dryer load. Since we often line dry our clothes, we use a little baking soda to soften and deodorize them in the wash.

For the washer, there are now many fragrance-free, chemical-free laundry soaps available although old-fashioned Borax works well on its own, or to boost other detergents. Or simply opt out of laundry soap altogether by using Laundry Disks or natural “Soap Nuts.”

Don’t be fooled by national detergent brands that say they are “unscented.” They usually contain masking fragrance that can be just as irritating to your skin, lungs and nervous system.
According to the Hawaii Department of Health’s Alternatives to Household Hazardous Products guide, “Detergents are derived from scarce petroleum, are non-biodegradable and usually contain chemical additives such as fragrances and colors. Dish detergents cause more child poisonings than any other household product. Automatic dishwashing powders contain high concentrations of phosphates which, when released into streams and storm drains, kill fish and other aquatic life.”

Seventh Generation now makes a Free & Clear (no dyes or fragrances) version of its biodegradable, non-toxic soap for the sink and automatic dishwasher. Or you can use the old favorites, Borax or baking soda, which work especially well in hard water because of their alkalinity.

Grandma’s staple, baking soda, can not only be used as a deodorizer in the laundry as well as in the refrigerator, but as an all-around household cleanser too. A little on a sponge can be used to wash your dishes, as a non-abrasive scrub for your ceramic cook-top surface, and to clean spills from the inside of your oven. For baked-on goo, just sprinkle some baking soda and hot water on the mess, leave overnight, and wipe off with a scrub sponge in the morning.

To kill mold, our favorites are vinegar, Borax, Bon Ami cleanser, or the strong hydrogen peroxide solution in Ecover Bleach, available at our local health food store.

To clean windows, a small amount of vinegar and a squeeze of dish soap in a bucket of water will replace those blue, ammonia-based window cleaners, and newsprint will wipe the glass streak-free.

Opt For Fresh Air

My partner and I are lucky to live in Hawaii because we don’t need air fresheners as warm trade-winds usually blow in our open windows 24-hours-a-day. But for those of you who can’t always leave the windows open, turn on your exhaust fan and put out a bowl of baking soda, vinegar or organically grown flowers instead of reaching for commercial air freshener.

Last fall, a group of environmental organizations – the Natural Resources Defense Council, Sierra Club, Alliance for Healthy Homes and the National Center for Healthy Housing – asked the federal government to begin regulating air fresheners. Scientific studies show that air fresheners coat our nasal passages and “freshen” by deadening our nerves with harmful chemicals linked to asthma, developmental problems in babies (fragrances cross the infant’s blood brain barrier unimpeded), and cancer in laboratory animals, according to the petition sent to two federal agencies.

The environmental groups complained that in houses, offices and restrooms, Americans suffer significant exposure “to a veritable cocktail of dangerous and potentially dangerous volatile organic compounds. In cases of mold and damp indoor environments, air fresheners may hide an indicator of potentially serious health threats to the respiratory system.”

One inventive alternative developed by a chemically sensitive individual to freshen the air and reduce mold is the Hygenaire® device, which fans out a small amount of citrus seed extract into the room. Since mold can be a huge problem in humid areas, we put one in our bathroom as well as our closet.

So to reduce your body’s toxic load, clean, disinfect and deodorize with the simple, natural, non-toxic standbys of your grandmother. Or shop wisely and explore the “green” offerings of responsible companies that are defining the future of the marketplace and the health of your home.

Reference:

* Par a 1991 EPA Study, and the possible effects of exposure.

About the author

Roger Harris is a writer and environmental advocate living on the Big Island of Hawaii. He has formed a network to provide alternatives to pesticides and chemicals, www.GreenerWorld.net to help the citizens of Hawaii and the world choose a healthier future.

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8 Skin Moisturizer Ingredients You'd Best Avoid

Lisa says: Since Rex was diagnosed with cancer last year, part of our journey to health has been eliminating unnatural chemicals from our life which includes lotions, soap, and for me – MAKEUP.  These products have xenoestrogens which promote both prostate and breast cancer astronomically in our society.  If you have dry skin, you need [...]

Lisa says: Since Rex was diagnosed with cancer last year, part of our journey to health has been eliminating unnatural chemicals from our life which includes lotions, soap, and for me – MAKEUP.  These products have xenoestrogens which promote both prostate and breast cancer astronomically in our society.  If you have dry skin, you need to hydrate from the inside out, most usually it’s a lack of Omega 3 fats.  http://www.mynsp.com/rex/products/guide.aspx?stockNum=1515

here’s an article from http://products.mercola.com/

Ever wonder why so many skin care products you buy — even at the health food store — have ingredients on their labels that you can’t even read or pronounce?

In my view, if you can’t read or pronounce the ingredient, there is a high likelihood it should not be in your lotion or other skin care product.

Obviously, you really want to avoid using anything potentially toxic on your skin!

Because this is such a common problem, I’ve been searching for a product that you could be confident was made of real, recognizable, natural and organic ingredients. So you could enhance your health from the ‘outside in’, as well as the ‘inside out’.

Quality skin care is not a replacement for good internal health — it is a part of your entire package of wellbeing.

One of the first strategies you can use to improve your skin health is to make sure you are getting enough high quality omega-3 fats. This is such a reliable indicator that I frequently am able to tell someone’s omega-3 needs just by shaking their hand.

If their hand is not smooth as a baby’s behind, it’s usually a strong indication that they need some more high quality animal-based omega-3 fats — like krill oil.

So if you struggle with dry skin, make sure you are taking enough of these omega-3 fats. In the colder dry winter months, you may even need to increase your dose.

Your skin grows from the inside out, so your overall nutritional levels really matter. That said however, caring for your skin is not just an inside job — it’s an outside job too.

The ‘Outside’ Job of Skin Care

Your skin is much more than an outer surface for the world to see — it’s the largest organ of your body!

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Plus, it has a number of amazing responsibilities that you probably don’t think about on a daily basis:

  • Protects your internal organs from injury and infection.
  • Helps detoxify wastes through perspiration.
  • Provides an important line of immune defense against infections — your healthy skin creates a barrier to viruses and bacteria.
  • Protects you against extreme changes in temperature, through its thermoregulatory effect of controlling heat flow between you and your environment.
  • Produces and stores vitamin D, which is important to your immune system.
  • Rich in receptors, it allows you to sense conditions around you — like hard/soft and hot/cold — and send information to your brain so you can react to it for self-preservation.
  • Protects your body from sunburns.
  • Protects you from dehydration.

The loss of any of these functions will compromise your best health — and can accelerate signs of normal aging.

Put simply, your skin plays a major role in your health.

It functions as an organ that can absorb and excrete both nutrients and toxins through its pores. The condition of your skin is a powerful reflection of just how healthy you are on the inside.

Because your skin has the ability to absorb whatever you put on it, careful choices are critical. You want to give your skin the same thoughtful care you give your internal organs. In a moment, I’ll tell you about some things that help support the health of your skin.

But first, let’s take a quick look at some of the ingredients in today’s skin care products that can compromise the health of your skin (or even more of your body functions).

What if Looks Really Could Kill?

We believe containers when they show a “danger” warning, or a “skull and crossbones” to warn of toxins in a product. And we respond by not applying them to our skin or eating them!

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Potential toxins used in the name of beauty – not a fair trade…

Yet many skin care products use ingredients with unrecognizable and unpronounceable names.

Personally, I rarely put anything consciously on my skin that I wouldn’t be willing to put in my mouth.

It is well-proven that when you apply these chemicals to your skin, they enter your bloodstream and become integrated into your body tissues, In fact, it is probably safer to eat these ingredients than to rub them on your skin (although I strongly recommend you don’t do either!).

However, if you do happen to eat these chemicals, your digestive system can produce specific enzymes  to break down these toxins and excrete them… something that doesn’t  readily occur when you absorb them through the skin.

Potentially harmful ingredients continue to be used. Why? Because they are cheap, readily available, and easily diluted.

Does Your Skin Care Product Contain These Chemicals?

Why don’t you run and get a bottle of any of the skin moisturizers that you are currently using. You might find that your personal care products contain one or probably more of many possibly dangerous ingredients.

Here are a few of the most common suspicious ingredients:

  • Mineral Oil, Paraffin, and Petrolatum – Petroleum products that coat the skin like plastic, clogging pores and creating a build-up of toxins, which in turn accumulate and can lead to dermatologic issues. Slows cellular development, which can cause you to show earlier signs of aging. Suspected cause of cancer. Disruptive of hormonal activity. By the way, when there’s an oil spill in the ocean, don’t they rush to clean it up – fast? Why put that stuff on your skin?
  • Parabens – Widely used as preservatives in the cosmetic industry (including moisturizers). An estimated 13,200 cosmetic and skin care products contain parabens. Studies implicate their connection with cancer. They have hormone-disrupting qualities – mimicking estrogen – and interfere with the body’s endocrine system.
  • Phenol carbolic acid– Found in many lotions and skin creams. Can cause circulatory collapse, paralysis, convulsions, coma and even death from respiratory failure.
  • Propylene glycol – Used as a moisturizer in cosmetics and as a carrier in fragrance oils. Shown to cause dermatitis, kidney or liver abnormalities, and may inhibit skin cell growth or cause skin irritation.
  • Acrylamide– Found in many hand and face creams. Linked to mammary tumors in lab research.
  • Sodium laurel or lauryl sulfate (SLS), also known as sodium laureth sulfate (SLES)– Found in car washes, engine degreasers, garage floor cleaners… and in over 90% of personal care products! SLS breaks down the skin’s moisture barrier, easily penetrates the skin, and allows other chemicals to easily penetrate. Combined with other chemicals, SLS becomes a “nitrosamine”, a potent class of carcinogen. It can also cause hair loss. SLES is sometimes disguised with the labeling “comes from coconut” or “coconut-derived”.
  • Toluene Poison! Danger! Harmful or fatal if swallowed! Harmful if inhaled or absorbed through the skin. Made from petroleum or coal tar, and found in most synthetic fragrances. Chronic exposure linked to anemia, lowered blood cell count, liver or kidney damage, and may affect a developing fetus. Butylated hydroxytoluene (BHT) contains toluene. Other names may include benzoic and benzyl.
  • Dioxane– Found in compounds known as PEG, Polysorbates, Laureth, ethoxylated alcohols. Common in a wide range of personal care products. The compounds are usually contaminated with high concentrations of highly volatile 1,4-dioxane, easily absorbed through the skin.

    Dioxane’s carcinogenicity was first reported in 1965 and later confirmed in studies including one from the National Cancer Institute in 1978. Nasal passages and liver are the most vulnerable. Dioxane is easily removed during the manufacturing process by “vacuum stripping”. Warning: It is a synthetic derivative of coconut. Watch for hidden language on labels, such as “comes from coconut”.

So, do you want to put these chemicals on your skin? Hopefully not…

You’d be better served by switching to skin care products made of plant names you recognize, can pronounce, and could even eat (if you had to).

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