Take a minute to think about your day-to-day routine and what you put on and in your body. From the start of your day to the time you close your eyes at night. We are constantly surrounded by different toxins, and we are not even aware of them. Some of these toxins can try and be avoided, some are unavoidable. The overwhelming amount of toxins in our daily lives can affect our health. These toxins are also known as endocrine disruptors, a chemical that acts as a hormone, disrupting normal hormonal function. A few products we use daily that contain endocrine disruptors are perfumes, cleaning products, air fresheners, plastic food containers, cosmetics, and non- stick cookware.
Synthetic fragrances are in majority of the products discussed above, which can lead to harmful effects being used over time. The FDA does not require companies to disclose what they use for fragrance and cosmetics to label what they use for the scents of their products. When reading an ingredient labeled with fragrance this can be a blanket term of 3,000+ chemicals. Often that means a fragrance is an unidentified mixture of ingredients including carcinogens, endocrine disruptors, environmental toxins, respiratory irritants, and allergens (Internal, 2022). Therefore, it is important to always read product labels to try and avoid these toxic ingredients.
We use 6 to 12 cosmetic products a day. Each of these products can contain over 3,000 chemicals in them; that is a lot of chemicals on our body in one day. One way to help eliminate the chemicals is again, getting use to reading the ingredient labels. Making sure they’re free of synthetic fragrance, choosing organic to decrease the exposure, and looking for a mineral-based or natural oils. A lot of companies are coming out with “non-toxic” products that are free of parabens, sulfites, and other harmful ingredients. It is important again, to do your research and make sure these companies are creating safe and non-toxic products.
Some ways to avoid these synthetic fragrances is to purchase fragrance free products. Using essential oils in a diffuser to replace household air fresheners. Replacing your dryer sheets with wool balls and placing essential oils on the wool balls for a fresh scent. An important reminder when using essential oils, is to make sure to do your research and find ones that are not filled with synthetic fragrances. Making your own home cleaners can help to reduce those synthetic fragrances and other harmful chemicals as well.
Let’s look at a cleaning product that is claimed to be a “safe and clean” product. Meyers Peony Multi Surface Cleaner. Here is the list of the ingredients straight from (Mrs Meyer’s Clean Day, n.d.)
Water; Coco-glucoside; Coco-Glucoside; Capryleth-4; Benzisothiazolinone; Methylisothiazolinone; Sodium Citrate; Tetrasodium Glutamate Diacetate; Citric Acid; Sodium Methyl 2-Sulfolaurate; Methylenedioxyphenyl Methylpropanal; Tetrahydro-methyl-methylpropyl)-pyran-4-ol; Trimethyl-1-cyclohexenylbutan-2-one; Tetramethyl Acetyloctahydronaphthalenes; Dipropylene Glycol; Benzyl Benzoate; Geraniol; Citral; Eugenol; Hydroxycitronellal; Limonene; Citronellol; Linalool
Contains Fragrance Allergens
This site allows you to use an ingredients glossary to see what each ingredient means and what it is used for. Methylenedioxyphenyl Methylpropanal is another name for a synthetic fragrance used in this product that claims to use essential oils. It is easy to just pick up the bottle and see the front that says “essential oils and no synthetic ingredients” but the reality is vast majority of ingredients in this product is synthetic fragrances. When ingredients names are hard to pronounce or may not have even heard of should raise a red flag.
Now you are probably sitting there wondering what is in all the cleaning products you own and what to do with them all. In these days of inflation, throwing them out may not be an option and that’s okay. Just start making note of what you have and when it is low replacing it with a homemade cleaning solution or finding a true clean product. Here is a recipe for a low-cost cleaning product you can use to replace those toxic products.
INGREDIENTS FOR NON-TOXIC BATHROOM CLEANER
2 tablespoon white vinegar
½ cup liquid soap
1 2/3 cups baking soda
One cup water
1 clean 16-ounce squirt bottle with closing cap
Mix liquid soap and baking soda in a bowl. Dilute the water by adding vinegar. Now stir the mixture using a fork until the lumps are dissolved. Take a bottle and pour the liquid in it. Always shake well before using the cleaning solution.
Squirt on the area you want to clean. Use a nylon-backed sponge to scrub it. Rinse off using water and don’t forget to keep a cap on between uses.
This might be overwhelming and scary seeing how many products are filled with endocrine disruptors and are harming us daily. Just remember to take it one room at a time, one product at a time. A good start is removing candles and air fresheners and replacing them with a diffuser filled with authentic essential oils. Next, with your own personal cosmetics or hygiene products and start swapping out the toxic products with clean and safe ones. Then move to the cleaning and laundry products. Just keep track of what is in the home and when it is time to replace it, make it the toxic free option.
Internal, A. (2022, March 10). The Dangers of Synthetic Fragrances. Alitura. Retrieved August 2, 2022, from https://alitura.com/blogs/beauty-benefits/dangers-synthetic-fragrances
Mrs Meyer’s Clean Day. (n.d.). Mrs Meyer’s Clean Day | Mrs. Meyer’s. Retrieved August 2, 2022, from https://www.mrsmeyers.com/