The bad, the ugly, and the why!
It’s time to cover one of the most important subjects for natural living?
It is an area that can create an incredible impact on you and your family's overall well-being with a teeny tiny bit of change. A hard fact to wrap our minds around is that the government really has no idea whether most of the chemicals we use in our cleaning products are safe.
According to Sloane Barnett, author of Green Goes With Everything:
"…under the terms of the Toxic Substances Control Act of 1976, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), which administers the act, can't require chemical companies to prove the safety of their products unless the agency itself can show the product poses a health risk — which the EPA does not have the resources to do since, according to one estimate, it receives some two thousand new applications for approval every year. How tough is their review? You decide: In 2003, according to the Environmental Working Group, an agency watchdog, the EPA approved most applications in three weeks, even though more than half had provided no information on toxicity at all."
Sloan continues, "Here's another way of understanding how little is known: According to the EPA, of the nearly three thousand top selling chemicals in the U.S., only 7 percent have a full set of basic toxicity information. For the most part, the EPA simply relies on voluntary testing agreements with major manufacturers. Last time I checked the dictionary, "voluntary" meant "if you feel like it."
Not good. Ingredients matter. They can affect us in countless ways, including:
Sleep, fertility, energy, weight gain, diseases, endocrine system disruption (also known as the hormones that basically control every bodily function), and so much more.
Not good…but don't worry! Breath easy. I've got you.
But first, let’s talk about the “F” word. No, not THAT “F” word but the Top Offender to avoid we don’t talk about nearly enough..
That “F” word is…Fragrances. A cute word for unknown synthetic chemicals, also called parfum or perfume.
Synthetic scents or "fragrance" represent at least 3,000 ingredients that could possibly be used to form a product's scent. That's according to the online "Transparency List" put out by the International Fragrance Association.
It is an unidentified mixture of ingredients, including carcinogens, allergens, respiratory irritants, endocrine disruptors, neurotoxic chemicals, and environmental toxicants. These artificial scents are almost always found in body care products, cosmetic products and air fresheners, cleaning supplies, and laundry detergents.
The reason companies continue to use synthetic scents that are so bad for our health is simple — they are cheaper. Synthetic scents can be an extremely cheap way to give everything from shampoo to lotion to candles a desirable scent.
Unfortunately, just because you enjoy a scent doesn't mean it's good for you. We have been trained to think that clean has a smell…nope!.
Companies do not have to list every ingredient they are using. So what it all comes down to is - you trust the company when they say they're using fragrance, but it is not toxic.
Fragrances are linked to so many profound health risks, and avoiding them is probably the #1 change you can make to reduce your family's exposure to toxins.
It is therefore obvious to avoid all products that contain the “F” word or similar. Many of us don't have the time to check every label. There are a few companies out there that make above organic certified essential oil-based products where every product is worry free.
Where you can trust everything they make. No more label checking.
Why Air Quality Matters
On to indoor air quality and an interesting study on Air Quality done in a hospital. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/30795725/ The related article is linked in the description if you are interested in reading it in its entirety, but check out this one line from it:
"In the first two hours, the mean concentration of airborne bacteria and fungi was reduced by approximately 40% and 30%-60%.... The selected EO (Essential Oil) mixture [was] effective in reducing the microbial contamination of the indoor air."
This study was done without knowing the quality of Essential Oils, but I know the quality of what I am using. It’s a great idea to start diffusing essential oils in your home and workplace adding many benefits beyond improved indoor air quality.
According to the EPA, most spend about 90 percent of our time indoors. "… a growing body of scientific evidence has indicated that the air within homes and other buildings can be more seriously polluted than the outdoor air in even the largest and most industrialized cities - and I want to add that we, living in the tropics with high humidity and a permanent risk of mold - were able to significantly reduce that exposure inside of our hoem.
Thus, for many people, the risks to health may be greater due to exposure to air pollution indoors than outdoors," advises the EPA. Even opening your windows for 5 minutes at a time increases air quality. So open those windows and diffuse those oils. Don't have oils yet? (Find out more here: Essential Oil 101 Basics)
Let’s make a plan
There is no end to the tricks that endocrine disruptors can play on our bodies. Whether it's increasing production of certain hormones or decreasing the production of others or imitating hormones; turning one hormone into another; interfering with hormone signaling; telling cells to die prematurely; competing with essential nutrients; binding to our critical hormones and even accumulating in organs that produce hormones.
So how do you make the switch to products that are safer for you and your family??
Some start big and walk around the house with a trash bag. Other people slowly replace the harmful stuff after it’s all used up. I've put together a six-month plan with monthly favorites to help you ditch the toxins for good!
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