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Home Style Skin Care Effects Of Toxic Chemicals
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Effects Of Toxic Chemicals

effects-of-toxic-chemicalsBe Aware of What Goes in and on Your Body

Increased awareness about the quality of food seems to have recently skyrocketed to national attention. It's easy to see that this has been helped along by the numerous food recalls in the past couple of years, some of them having resulted in serious illness and deaths. The effects of toxic chemicals in personal care and beauty products are, however, every bit as dangerous as those found in foods.

Non-Toxic Skin Care Body Lotion

Skin absorbs more than most people realize. In fact, it is through the skin that most toxic chemicals find their way into the human body. While with food there is some regulation and control concerning what chemicals can be used and how, with personal care, hygiene, and beauty products this is not always the case. The end result is that there are many harmful chemicals in soaps and shampoos that we use with our families every day. The toxic effects on the body from personal hygiene products can be quite far reaching.

Toxic Chemicals in Beauty Products

When looking at the labels on these products, most people have no clue what they are looking at. The degree of education and information available to the public concerning food labels has become extensive, whereas the label on a bottle of shampoo may as well be in a foreign language. Those that try to stay cognizant of what they are using will likely at least look before they buy, even though they don't know what they are looking at. 

Common things to see on these lists are sodium lauryl sulfate (SLS), sodium laureth sulfate (SLES), propylene glycol, and 1,4 dioane. Unless you're a chemist, chances are you don't know what any of that is.

The first two listed are actually forms of sulfuric acid. Their known toxic effects on the body range from mild, such as an increase in dandruff, to the extreme, such as infertility and cancer. Why are sodium lauryl sulfate (SLS) and sodium laureth sulfate (SLES) used when all this is known and documented about them?  The simple answer is because they are cheap. These same chemicals are used as industrial engine degreaser. Propylene glycol is antifreeze. It is often found in many soaps and lotions. The same stuff put in your car engine gets rubbed and lathered all over your family. Finally, 1,4 dioxane is a known carcinogen. That means that it is known to cause cancer, and again it is a harmful chemical in soaps and shampoos.

Switching to Non-Toxic Beauty Products

The effects of toxic chemicals on the human body are extensive, with a wide range of reactions and responses. While some may wonder what the big deal is, others see the possibilities and switch their families to all natural products so that they can reduce the toxic effects on the body. Many natural, non-toxic skin care products are available now. Though often more expensive, the more widely used they become the more people will see the prices go down. Though efforts have been made to ban known hazardous chemicals in the past, over the course of more than a decade now, it is still perfectly legal to use toxic chemicals in skin care and personal care products. Perhaps with increased awareness of the issue that will change in time.

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Shanti Bradley

Shanti Bradley

I grew up in Northern Indiana, near the University of Notre Dame.  I have a B.A. in Liberal Arts from Holy Cross College.  Aside from writing I am also a family health educator at Memorial Hospital of South Bend.  I work also as a Birth Doula and Lactation Specialist.  I love providing education and support for growing families.  I find it incredibly rewarding.

I have a husband and two children of my own.  They are three and five years old.  My three year old has Autism.  In addition to running around after them, I have a St. Bernard that I enjoy cuddling with.  I have also in the past worked as a nanny to three children, two of which were special needs.  Long before that, in what almost seems like another lifetime altogether, I worked as a restaurant general manager.