What is in your Personal Care Products?

I have always thought of myself as an environmentally educated person, but since having cancer I have realized that I had no idea about the true amount of chemicals that were in my everyday life. I found an organization online, Environmental Working Group, that has changed the way I think about my daily exposure to cancer causing chemicals.

Like most of you, we each have a daily routine that includes quite a few products that we don't give much thought about. My morning shower includes washing my skin with soap, then I wash my hair with shampoo and conditioner. After drying off, I put gel in my hair and lotion on my dry skin, plus a product on my breast surgery scars. I brush my teeth with toothpaste and use a mouthwash. My make up routine includes, sunscreen, face moisturizer, foundation, face powder, eye shadow, mascara, eye brow pencil and lip balm or lip stick. Like a lot of men and women, we have a favorite perfume we spray onto our skin. I consider myself a minimalist and the routine I just described included 18 different products, all with different chemicals and compounds that I put directly onto my skin. 

Walk around your house and you expose yourself to hand soap, dish detergent, laundry detergent, various assortments of cleaners for tubs, toilets, floors, and counters. Then you light a scented candle that contains fragrance and more chemicals. In your yard, you might spray poisons to kill bugs or spiders, rats or rodents...it is a veritable toxic soup and you haven't even left your house.

So I don't want to totally freak you out, but I do want you to consider the amount of environmental exposures you and your children come into contact with on a daily basis. It is a little overwhelming and scary when you think about the over 84,000 chemicals that humans use every single day!  Out of 84,000 chemicals, only 1% of them have actually been tested on humans. Yikes! 

So, this is the part where I encourage you to do a little research at http://www.ewg.org/

You can enter a specific product that you currently use and it will tell you what ingredients are in that product along with a number designation of how toxic each ingredient is to you on a scale of 0 to 9. O is the least toxic and 9 is the most. I had a few "natural" products that turned out to be a "9" on their list when they were marketed to me as being non-toxic and safe. I was really bummed out about the expensive sunscreen I bought that I thought was fine, it wasn't, it had a hormone disrupting chemical that I definitely want to avoid after my hormone positive breast cancer.

Oprah said once on her show something close to "When you know better, you do better." A little bit of research and effort can eliminate some of the most known toxic chemicals that we are using everyday on ourselves and our families. Having survived a very aggressive form of breast cancer, I am no longer willing to trust the marketing on personal products. Even "organic" products can contain harmful chemicals. Check it out today. http://www.ewg.org/