Frequently, environmental concerns are coupled with health concerns. Personal care products are an excellent example of this relationship, because the ingredients in traditional personal care products can have adverse effects on both the environment and your health. For example, do you know what is in the shampoo that you used this morning or in the mascara that you use? Sure, the ingredients are listed on the back, but what exactly is tocopheryl? What is retinyl palmitate? What is octenylsuccinate? What is methylparaben?
Clearly, most consumers are unaware of what really goes into the personal care products that they use. EnviroCitizen.org recently discovered that extracts from human and cow placentas were being found in lotions! It makes sense, considering that placentas nourish fetuses in the womb. But do you want a placenta nourishing your hair, as well? Mercury was also recently found in several mascaras and eye drops. It is hidden under the ingredient name, thimerosal. Lead can be found in many hair dyes, even though the government banned the use of lead in gasoline and house paint due to the harm that it causes in brain development.
Many personal care products also contain nanoparticles, which can enter in the optic nerve and burrow in the brain or inside red blood cells. Phthalates (pronounced tha-lates) are found in many nail polishes. Phthalates can damage sperm and cause infertility. Pregnant women are advised to avoid phthalates!
Many products that are advertised as natural have dangerous ingredients as well. Take for example, the ingredients of one major company’s line of products, which includes ingredients like tocopherol, potassium aspartate, dimethicone, ethylparaben, propylparaben, phenoxeythanol, disodium lauroamphodiacetate, and hydroxypropyldimonium. Some of the ingredients present in this natural line of baby products have been linked to cancer, developmental and reproductive toxicity, allergies, endocrine disruption and biochemical or cellular level changes.
Hair dye is another example of a personal care product heavily laden with chemicals that have the potential to damage both the environment and personal health. P-phenylenediamine, an ingredient found in hair dye, has been linked to cancer, developmental and reproductive toxicity, neurotoxicity and organ toxicity. DMDM Hydantoin, another hair dye ingredient, is a form of formaldehyde that is linked to allergies, immunotoxicity and irritation.
Another example of a dangerous personal care product is deoderant. Some of the ingredients found in many deodorants, such as tetrahydroypropyl and ethylenediamine, have been linked to cancer, bioaccumulation (when the chemicals accumulate in your body over time) and allergies.
The problem with traditional personal care products is that dangerous chemicals get slipped into the mix under the guise of ingredient names that consumers have a hard time pronouncing or recognizing. There are many informative resources (including websites) where you can search for a product to determine its potential threat. EnviroCitizen.org’s bottom line is that there are better alternatives that don’t come with the same environmental and health risks that are associated with traditional personal care products. Consider switching today!
Shop through EnviroCitizen.org’s selection of natural, eco-friendly personal care products.