5 Harmful Chemicals in Household Products You Should Avoid
In these COVID-sensitive times we’re constantly reminded to clean and sanitize. While keeping fresh and clean is no doubt important, there are hidden toxins in many of the household products we take for granted. Because they’re being sold, we assume they’re safe, but often there’s lots of nasties lurking within.
When routinely exposed to them on a regular basis, these chemicals can have a drastic impact on our health and wellbeing. From parabens to phthalates, here we reveal the harmful chemicals in household products that you should avoid.
Found in: Moisturizers, skin cleaners, sunscreens, shampoos, shaving gels, toothpastes and cosmetics
Added to beauty and grooming products as a preservative, parabens are used to increase their shelf-life. Aside from causing skin irritation, they’re hormone disruptors that can harm fertility and reproductive organs, affect birth outcomes, and increase the risk of cancer. Shockingly, a 2006 study detected the presence of parabens in nearly all urine samples taken from adults in the USA. Thankfully, the beauty industry has cottoned on and there is all manner of paraben-free products to choose from instead.
2. SODIUM HYDROXIDE / CAUSTIC SODA
Found in: Oven cleaner, sink and drain un-blockers
This seriously corrosive substance is added to almost all oven cleaners and drain un-blockers. If it gets on your skin or eyes it will cause severe burns or even hair loss, while inhalation may result in a sore throat. Why not make your own, safe oven cleaner with three parts baking soda to one and a half parts water?
Found in: Fragrance, hand soap, air fresheners, household cleaners, some toilet paper, vinyl flooring
Used as a binding agent and to make plastics flexible, this harmful chemical is found in more household products than you can imagine, even lurking in unexpected places like vinyl flooring. A known endocrine disruptor, phthalates enter our body’s through inhalation or skin contact, going straight to organs. Recent research linked phthalates to conditions like asthma, ADHD, breast cancer, obesity and type II diabetes, neurodevelopmental issues and male fertility. Avoid them where possible and switch to phthalate-free alternatives.
4. SODIUM LAURYL SULPHATE
Found in: Detergents, soaps, shampoos, toothpastes
Sodium Lauryl Sulphate (SLS) is a surfactant. This helps blend solutions of differing textures, creating a smoother, foamier finish. That’s why it’s prevalent in your everyday shampoos and soaps. Not only is it recognized as an irritant that can aggravate the eyes, lungs and skin by stripping its natural oils, but SLS is a penetration enhancer, meaning that its molecules are so small they’re able to cross the membranes of your body’s cells, enabling other chemicals to enter your body too. Many natural beauty companies sell SLS-free products so make the switch.
5. ETHYLENE GLYCOL
Found in: Antifreeze, de-icer, some ballpoint pens, plastics
This damaging chemical is a synthetic liquid that absorbs water which is why it’s the key ingredient in anti-freeze and de-icing fluids. When accidentally ingested directly it can cause major damage to your body’s organs, or if inhaled it causes severe dizziness. Thankfully, there are now non-toxic antifreezes on the market so always read the label before buying to ensure its ethylene glycol free.
At True Vine Organics we’re committed to promoting optimum health and wellbeing naturally, without the aid of chemical additives. Discover our chemical-free natural solutions that are packed with antioxidants to support health and vitality.