Is chemical-free living even important? Does it really matter what you’re putting onto your body, your face, what you’re cleaning your house with or breathing in the air?
If you visit the Environmental Working Group’s website you’ll learn that “one of every 24 women, 4.3 million altogether, are exposed daily to personal care product ingredients that are known or probable reproductive and developmental toxins, linked to impaired fertility or developmental harm for a baby in the womb or a child!”
These statistics don’t even include phthalates, which testing shows are included in about three quarters of all personal care products (EWG et al. 2002).
This is dangerous news for all women, especially if you’re pregnant. As companies are allowing harmful ingredients in their products (mainly because they’re cheap to produce) it’s now up to us to decipher ingredient lists and make the best choices.
If you’re pregnant this is extra important, as you have your own health plus your developing little one to protect from developmental toxins.
I know that this is often easier said then done. The amount of companies that try to fool us by using the term “natural” (which really doesn’t mean anything by industry standards) are everywhere!
So how can we win?
Thankfully, with the right resources and information, this is possible.
Here’s 4 ways to help avoid toxins in your daily routine:
- Avoid the “Dirty Dozen”
You’ve probably heard by now of a little list called “The Dirty Dozen” – the list of fruits and vegetables that are most recommended to purchase organic because of they’re found to have a higher amount of pesticides on them. Personal care products have a similar list, except there’s 15 of them.
Check out Ecoholic Body by Adria Vasil, a Canadian written book, which does an excellent job of outlining these ingredients and much more on natural living in Canada. The main ones to avoid are:
- BHA + BHT
- Oxybenzone + Octinoxate
- Palm oil (palmate or sodium palmate)
- DEA (diethanolamine)
- PEGs (polyethylene glycol compounds)
- Petrolatum/Paraffin/Mineral oil/Petroleum distillates
- PPD (p-aminoaniline; 1,4-benzenediamine; p-benzenediamine CI 76060; p- or 1,4 diaminobenzene; 1,4-phenylenedia-mine)
- Phthalates (aka fragrance)
- Retinyl palmitate
- Siloxanes (cyclosiloxanes or methicone)
- Sodium Laureth Sulphate
- Download the app “Think Dirty”
Think Dirty is an app which lets you scan thousands of products and gives them a rating on the “dirty meter” based on ingredients and health concerns. This can help you to decipher which products to keep buying and which ones you need to find a replacement for.
- Make the Biggest Impact with Littlest Change
Start replacing the products that make the biggest impact on your home. For example, all-purpose cleaner that you use daily on surface and floors. I use Young Living’s Thieves Cleaner because it’s highly concentrated, non-toxic, and cost-effective. For example, I scrub my sinks with a capful of Thieves, baking soda, and a drop of Lemon essential oil – shiny and clean in no time! I also love to use it on my floors because that’s where my little ones crawl, play, and sometimes lick (it’s true!) and I know it’s totally safe for them.
- Avoid the Overwhelm
Changes like this can seem overwhelming at first – how do you get rid of your cleaners, makeup, sunscreen, bug spray, and more all at once? The answer is, you don’t have to. This change doesn’t have to happen over night or in one big shopping trip. The next time your usual product runs out, choose a non-toxic alternative instead.
Start small and before you know it you will have drastically reduced the chemicals and toxins for yourself, your family, and your unborn little one!