Tuesday, July 3, 2007

Chemicals in your Bathroom

Have you ever read the labels on your soap, shampoo, conditioner, deodorant, shaving cream, children’s bubble bath, mouthwash etc? Product warning labels are shown for a reason. It is a fact that many manufacturers use certain harmful chemical ingredients mainly because they’re cheap and give the illusion of working properly. But more importantly for the manufacturer, they cost very little to fill the bottle, so it is a bigger profit margin for them. But residues of more than 400 toxic chemicals have been found in human blood and fat tissue. Researchers at the National Institutes of Health have found a correlation between an ingredient found in shampoos and nervous system damage. The experiments were conducted with the brain cells of rats and they show that contact with this ingredient called methylisothiazoline, or MIT, causes neurological damage. Many well known brands that advertise regularly on TV all contain this ingredient. Researchers are concerned that exposure to this chemical by pregnant women could put their fetus at risk for abnormal brain development. In other people, exposure could also be a factor in the development of Alzheimer’s disease and other nervous system disorders. The chemical causes these effects by preventing communication between neurons. Essentially, it slows the networking of neurons, and since the nervous system and brain function on a system of neural networks, the slowing of this network will suppress and impair the normal function of the brain and nervous system. Your skin is the largest breathing organ of your body, and many chemicals can be absorbed through it. Nicotine and medicine skin patches wouldn’t work if the skin couldn’t absorb. Yet almost ALL shampoos, conditioners, soaps and other bathroom products contain many dangerous ingredients. Shampoo Shampoos cause the most number of adverse reactions of all hair care products. They frequently contain harsh detergents, chemical fragrances and numerous irritating and carcinogenic compounds including: sodium lauryl sulfate/sodium laureth sulfate (Engine Degreaser, Garage/Concrete Floor Cleaner, Car Wash Soap, irritant, can form carcinogenic nitrosamines, accumulates in your body organs, surrounds hair follicles in shampoo to keep it from growing, causes hair to fall out, keeps children’s eyes from developing properly, causes cataracts in older people; DEA (diethanolamine is readily absorbed through the skin, is a potentially cancer causing ingredient found in many mainstream cosmetics and toiletries); TEA (Triethanolamine) causes various allergic reactions including eye problems, and dryness of hair and skin. Causes severe facial dermatitis, irritation and sensitivity. Used as ph adjuster.) May contain nitrosamines (most nitrosamines are mutagens and a number are transplacental carcinogens); MEA (Acetamide MEA: Used in lipsticks and cream blusher to retain moisture, causes adverse reactions, carcinogenic, mutagenic, toxic hormone disruptors, can release carcinogenic nitrosamines); quaternium-15 (a preservative found in many cosmetics and industrial substances that releases formaldehyde. It can be found in numerous sources, including but not limited to: mascara, eyeliner, moisturizer, lotion, shampoo, conditioner, nail polish, personal lubricants, soaps, body wash, baby lotion or shampoo, facial cleanser, tanning oil, self-tanning cream, sunscreen, powder, shaving products, ointments, personal wipes or cleansers, wipes, paper, inks, paints, polishes, waxes and industrial lubricants. It can cause contact dermatitis, a symptom of an allergic reaction, especially in those with sensitive skin, on an infant’s skin, or on sensitive areas such as the genitals); DMDM hydratoin (can release carcinogenic nitrosamines.); polyethylene glycol (irritant); coal tar (carcinogenic); propylene glycol (neurotoxin, dermatitis, liver and kidney damage); and EDTA (irritant). Cleaning agents and water comprise about 93% of a shampoo. The cleaning agent itself is the most important ingredient. Soap Mainstream soap contains perfumes, dyes, mineral oil and other petroleum-based chemicals that clog pores, irritate, and dry skin. Seventy-six percent of liquid soaps and 30% of bar soaps now contain anti-bacterials. Many people pick up anti-bacterial soaps without even realizing it. Others choose anti-bacterial soaps and cleaners because advertising implies that using them will help protect your family against colds and flus. But colds and flus are viruses, and anti-bacterials have no effect on them at all. In fact, anti-bacterials soaps and cleaners are an unhealthy choice for several reasons. * In addition to being unnecessary, they expose us to harmful chemicals. The two most commonly used anti-bacterial chemicals are triclosan and chloroxylenol (or PCMX). Triclosan is a suspected immunotoxicant, and a suspected skin or sense organ toxicant. Triclosan is classified as a high volume chemical and is a derivative of the herbicide 2,4-D. It creates dioxin, a carcinogen, as a by-product. A Swedish study found high levels of this bactericide in human breast milk. Chloroxylenol is also a suspected immunotoxicant and skin or sense organ toxicant, as well as a gastrointestinal or liver toxicant. * Not all bacteria make people sick. Some are beneficial. Anti-bacterial soaps and cleaners kill both beneficial and harmful bacteria. By killing the beneficial ones, they actually leave us more vulnerable to the harmful ones we encounter. Children especially need exposure to some germs, to develop their immune systems. Next month, more on bathroom products

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