When my children were babies, I never suspected that there were toxic chemicals in their baby shampoo. I figured that these companies had been around for decades and could be trusted to be safe.
Well, I was in for a shock when I discovered that not only was baby shampoo unsafe, but so was baby bath, baby lotion, and baby powder. Now my mind was reeling – what was in MY shampoo and body wash? What about all the other personal care products my family and I used on a daily basis? Were those long and unpronounceable words on my bottle of lotion representative of dangerous chemicals?
I found this list naming the most common and most dangerous chemicals and started comparing the names to the ingredient list on my lotion bottle, my shampoo and conditioner, soap and shaving cream, toothpaste and mouthwash. Talk about an awakening! I have been putting on my body over 160 toxic chemicals a day, just in personal care products.
The Environmental Working Group
did a study in 2004 on a unique group of individuals: newborn babies. Umbilical cord blood was collected from 10 babies born in August and September of 2004 from hospitals in the U.S. This study revealed 287 chemicals in the group: pesticides, consumer product ingredients, and wastes from burning coal, gasoline, and garbage.
“Of the 287 chemicals we detected in umbilical cord blood, we know that 180 cause cancer in humans or animals, 217 are toxic to the brain and nervous system, and 208 cause birth defects or abnormal development in animal tests. The dangers of pre- or post-natal exposure to this complex mixture of carcinogens, developmental toxins and neurotoxins have never been studied.” http://archive.ewg.org/reports/bodyburden2/execsumm.php
A developing child in the womb, or an infant, is much more susceptible to harm from toxins than an adult. Their organs are rapidly developing and their defense system is incomplete, and they are not able to withstand the onslaught of these chemicals.
Another study conducted by EWG, discovered 16 chemicals from 4 chemical families in the bodies of 20 American teen aged girls. Teens have been found to use an average of almost 17 personal care products per day – the average adult woman uses about 12. Teens using up to 17 products daily are exposed to approximately 174 unique cosmetic ingredients. This study is also available at the Environmental Working Group website. Teens are also developing rapidly, and are thought to be particularly sensitive to the hormone disrupting properties of these chemicals.
So what are these chemicals, and what harm do they actually do?
Go to my home page
! There’s a whole list of them there, the harm they cause and what types of products you’ll find them in. When you are through, visit Cosmetic Database
and research your shampoo, baby bath, etc… You’ll be glad you did!