Tag Archives: chemicals

Top Eight Toxins In Your Home

We are all exposed to cleaners whether we like to clean or not. While we have good intentions, many of our cleaners are dangerous and even deadly. What are you using to clean your home is important, as important as what you put in your body. Here are our top eight toxins to avoid. We’ve also provided a few recommendations as an alternative, toxin-free options.

BPA

BPA is found in many household plastic items. This chemical imitates estrogen in our bodies. BPA has been linked to cancers such as breast, reproductive issues, weight gain, early puberty, and heart disease. According to the Environmental Working Group 93% of Americans have BPA in their bodies! BPA can be found in plastic water bottles and food containers. Plastics with the recycling labels #1, #2, and #4 on the bottom are better choices because they do not contain BPA. Avoid putting any plastic containers in microwaves.  Better yet, avoid plastic altogether. It is bad for you and the environment. Check out clean, BPA Free reusable food and beverage containers here.

AIR FRESHENERS

You may think it’s a smart move covering up those pesky odors with an air freshener. Think again! The danger here is many of these air fresheners contains irritants which can impair lung function and bother the eyes, throat, and skin. Some air fresheners have been linked to cancers. Don’t second guess your fresh smelling air in the house again. Try a non-toxic, non-irritating alternative like Indigo Wild or J.R. Watkins here.

BORAX

Found in laundry and dishwashing detergents, borax, and boric acid have been linked to reproductive issues. After chronic exposure to these ingredients at high doses, studies have shown decreased sperm count. Animal studies have shown this substance can cross the placenta and impact skeletal development and birth weight. Clean clothes and dishes are supposed to be clean, don’t question them again work with brands you can trust like laundry soaps from Better Life, Seventh Generation, and Zum here. Keep your dishes safe enough to eat of off with these soaps here.

CHLORINE

Also seen as sodium hypochlorite, this chemical is very toxic to aquatic life and can cause severe burns, respiratory issues, and eye damage. You can find this in many household cleaners. If exposed to chlorine gas, a person can develop asthma after a single intense exposure. You can find non-toxic formulas that don’t have chlorine, you can even find a free & clear non-chlorine bleach that Seventh Generation makes here.

1, 4 – DIOXANE

Found in many households liquid laundry detergents. A study commissioned by the Campaign for Safe Cosmetics found dioxane in children’s bath products. Why?!? This chemical has been linked to cancer and skin allergies. There are natural, safe alternatives, that do exactly the same job. Find better baby bathing items here.

PINE OR CITRUS OIL

It may sound safe and smell pretty sweet but when these scented oils mix with the ozone in the air, they can create formaldehyde, a known carcinogen. Understand the difference in your products.

GLYCOL ETHERS

You can find these listed in 2-butoxythanol (EGBE) and methoxydiglycol (DGME) on your cleaning products, paint solvents, brake fluid, and cosmetics. These ethers can cause blood abnormalties, lower sperm count and aggravated allergies and asthma in children.

PERFLUORINATED CHEMICALS (PFCS)

Commonly used to make non-stick cookware, this chemical has been linked to decreased sperm quality, low birth weight, kidney disorders, thyroid disease, and high cholesterol. Avoid non-stick pans to avoid PFC’s sticking to your body. Yuck!

We encourage you to continue to read your labels, understand the ingredients in your products and food, and always know that you deserve the best quality of ingredients. Continue learning and growing in your understanding of what is best for you and your family.

Not Puppy Love: Why is Formaldehyde in Shampoo

When you last went to the store, did you buy soap or shampoo? Have you recently purchased shampoo for your dog or cat? If so, did you even consider that there might be formaldehyde in shampoo, soap, and other skin care products you use every day for your pets, your baby, or yourself? This is the sad, but sometimes true reality of the products we have in our homes. But it doesn’t have to be this way.

Really, there’s formaldehyde in shampoo?!

By now you’ve probably seen the adorable pictures that blogger Jessica Shyba took of her son Beau napping with the family dog Theo.

Puppy and baby got us talking here at Soap Hope about what goes into products for kids and pets.

We picked up a bottle of dog shampoo at the local pet store and had a look at the ingredient list. It started off fine – water, honey extract, and chamomile extract seemed like winners to us — but why was artificial fragrance, DMDM Hydantoin, and Tetrasodium EDTA in dog shampoo?

Formaldehyde is for the Dogs

DMDM Hydantoin is a preservative that works by releasing formaldehyde into the product continuously over time. Formaldehyde does a great job inhibiting the growth of mold; but it’s also a known carcinogen, and most people don’t want it on their bodies or on their pets – especially when the puppy is snuggled up with the kids.

The consumer goods industry in the U.S. has a lot of leeway. If they want formaldehyde in shampoo, for example, but you don’t want to tell their customers, they can just add DMDM Hydantoin instead. The DMDM Hydantoin will slowly break down into formaldehyde in the shampoo throughout the life of the product. Problem solved!

(In the European Union, companies can’t get away with this trick: if an ingredient in their product breaks down into formaldehyde, they have to write “contains formaldehyde” on the label.)

In the Dog House

It’s not just Theo’s shampoo we think about at Soap Hope, it’s young Beau’s as well. Until 2014, Johnson & Johnson baby shampoo had Quaternium-15 in it. You guessed it – Quaternium-15 releases formaldehyde in shampoo and other products they designed for babies. Years of public outcry finally caused Johnson & Johnson to reformulate their baby shampoo.

J&J Removing Formaldehyde in Shampoo
J&J removes formaldehyde-causing ingredients in their shampoo.
Image Source: NYTimes.com

Shampoo needs a preservative to prevent the growth of bacteria. Big manufacturers don’t care that Quaternium-15 and DMDM Hydantoin produce formaldehyde; they care that they are very cheap and give their products a shelf life of over a year. These manufacturers know they can put pretty pictures on the products and make commercials with happy kids and pets, and that most people won’t look any further.

“No more tears!” Not quite.

Better Ways

There are better ways for manufacturers to preserve shampoo rather, than putting formaldehyde in their products. They can use a low-risk food-grade preservative like potassium sorbate, which has the same toxicity level as table salt. Even better, they can use vitamin e (tocopherol).

Some manufacturers don’t even require a preservative. For your pooch, try the totally natural Woof Wild Dog Shampoo Bar. Hand made by Maggie Hanus at A Wild Soap Bar, this shampoo bar has organic oils, aloe, oats, clay, sea salt, essential oils, yucca root and horsemint. It will leave your dog’s coat soft, shiny, and smelling great.

For moms and dads looking for a safe shampoo, we recommend any products from Acure Organics.

For baby’s bath time, try Hugo Natural’s Chamomile Vanilla Shampoo and Wash, followed by Badger’s Chamomile & Calendula Baby Oil, which contains nothing but certified organic essential oils.

What other ingredients are you worried about in your body care products? Let us know.