Must-Have Information on Harmful Chemicals in Your Home
Whether you are buying personal care and household products for yourself or as a gift for others, you need to be aware of the toxic substances that lurk in these products. Manufacturers lure you in with sexy ads and bright packaging. Chemical-laden choices promise to make your life easier and more fun.
Don’t fall for it. You are probably washing your hair, moisturizing your skin, and cleaning your kitchen with harmful petrochemicals. These toxic materials end up in your body, often dissolved in your fat. The residues wash downstream to deform and kill wildlife. No effective laws slow down industry practices in this area, and many ingredients are not even listed on the packaging. Over 85,000 manmade chemicals are now in use.
There is another way. You can protect yourself, your family, and the planet with facts to make nontoxic choices. But where will you get unbiased information to avoid toxic materials? The popular media, industry groups, and anyone with a monetary interest in the status quo are not going to be reliable guides.
Here are five top sites of nonprofits that are not afraid to speak out with the truth about personal care and household products. These sites have so much useful information you might get overwhelmed. To avoid this, a helpful strategy is to browse one or two sites with a specific product in mind. It might be shampoo, toothpaste, soap, baby products, or kitchen cleaners. See what you can find. Pick up some easy tips to start implementing. Any change in the right direction is better than doing nothing.
If you make every trip to the store a learning experience, soon you will be well down the road to a nontoxic body and nontoxic house. The important thing is to get started and don’t expect to make all changes overnight. It’s easy to keep your head in the sand and be put off by fear of knowing. But actually it’s much scarier not to know. Soon you will be teaching others.
You definitely don’t need a degree in chemistry. Read labels. If you can’t pronounce an ingredient or don’t know what it is, it’s a safe bet you don’t want to put it on your body or give it as a gift. Remember everything you put on your skin gets absorbed through your skin into your bloodstream and eventually your cells. Ditto with chemicals you breathe. Time to begin learning and exploring.
SITE ONE. Environmental Working Group. This comprehensive site showcases toxic materials as a public health issue. The information is specific enough to start you off making better choices after five or ten minutes browsing.
Here are a few of the site’s most to-the-point pages to get you started.