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The Body Burden of Toxic Chemicals...More on the Importance of Going Green

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For decades scientists have studied how land, air, and water pollution impact human health. Now they’re documenting the toxic effects of industrial chemicals that are accumulating in everybody from grandparents to babies still in the womb.

A study published May 4, 2009 showed that traces of up to 48 chemical contaminants were present in the blood of the women tested. The women had been educated to avoid direct contact with these chemicals such as flame-retardants, synthetic fragrances, and some plastics. The chemicals identified in their bloodstreams were mostly from unregulated household goods, plastics, beauty products, and food and water.

If you’re like me, you love to slather, spritz or powder yourself with the yummy beauty care products available to us. But the reality is that the skin, our largest organ, is a porous protector. Here’s something scary. It has been estimated that over a lifetime, a woman absorbs four pounds of lipstick, most of which contains toxins. And lipstick is just one of many products absorbed by the skin.
Some current (yes I did say current) cosmetic ingredients include formaldehyde, a known carcinogen and 1,4-dioxane, a by-product of cosmetics manufacturing. It is a known eye and respiratory tract irritant and is suspected of causing damage to the central nervous system, liver and kidneys. It may contaminate deodorants, shampoos, toothpastes and mouthwashes. These products are unregulated and often pass through our skin with toxins that can disrupt development and the endocrine system.

What to do?
1. Seal outdoor furniture to avoid the possibility of leaching arsenic
2. Leave your shoes at the door
3. Avoid perfume, cologne, and products with added fragrance
4. Buy products with natural fibers such as cotton and wool that are naturally fire resistant to help reduce your exposure to flame-retardants
5. Switch to natural and environmentally friendly cleaning products including dishwashing and laundry detergents and bathroom and counter cleaners. For fresh smelling air, use a ventilator fan and/or open a window. Avoid using plug-in chemical air fresheners

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We value and respect our HERWriters' experiences, but everyone is different. Many of our writers are speaking from personal experience, and what's worked for them may not work for you. Their articles are not a substitute for medical advice, although we hope you can gain knowledge from their insight.


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