Sunday, October 24, 2010
Are Your Organic Products Really Good For You?
Eco friendly and green products are all the rage now days. What would you do if you found out that it was all just a marketing scam? Well, I'm not saying that the entire green movement is a marketing scam. That's a bit conspiracy theory for me. I do think there are a lot of companies that are taking advantage of the general populace and their fears of global warming and eco maintenance. I hugely support caring for the environment and being good stewards of what our creator has given us. Shouldn't that include keeping our bodies free from disease causing toxins? I am going to show you why buying an organic product just because it has the word "organic" on it, isn't always the healthiest choice.
1,4, Dioxane, A Carcinogen in a Bottle
We have to either tackle this organic beast with full knowledge or just don't bother to tackle it. Many of us tend to avoid store bought shampoos and such because they have SLS (Sodium Laureth Sulfate) in them. We've heard that this product causes a range of things from hair loss to cancer, but did you know that most products with the "eth" sound in them (either at the beginning of the word or the end) contains a super ultra bad toxin known as 1,4 Dioxane? (Julie Gabriel, The Green Beauty Guide 2008)
This tiny little molecule (Photo courtesy Wikipedia) packs a powerful punch. It is the by-product of all these eth ingredients and therefore is not required to be on the ingredient label. This hugely cancer causing ingredient is gaining mega attention in the beauty industry and alternatives are beginning to be considered. This is good news considering the vast majority of organic products (in their well meaning desire to be healthy) have inadvertently (we hope) put these eth chemicals into their products not realizing the horrible 1,4,Dioxane molecule would suddenly manifest its ugly little self.
It Gets Worse
You know all those great baby products you just bought your sister for her baby shower? You know, the ones you get at Wal-Mart claiming to be gentle on baby's skin? Well, these products are the worst for this terrible ingredient. They purposely add this stuff as a way to make the soap less harsh for the new baby's precious skin. "Less harsh?" you ask, "I thought you said it causes cancer." Oh yes. It does, but at least the babies won't be bothered with a sudden eruption of eczema or pimples or, dare I say it, dry skin. Castile soap is the best for a baby. The pure olive oil kind. And no, I'm not just trying to sell you something. You don't have to buy mine. Dr. Bronner's brand is just as wonderful, but please, don't use that department store carcinogen in a bottle on your precious baby! Just use castile soap and rub olive oil or apricot kernal oil or (honestly any oil will work) on the baby after the bath to hold moisture in. If you want a nice smelling oil there are beautiful smelling essential oils you can add to the oils. Just be careful to use only the baby safe ones as some will harm baby. If you would rather someone else do it there are plenty of shops on Etsy that would be happy to oblige. Desert Soapstone just happens to be one of them.
What Products Contain 1,4 Dioxane?
This terrible stuff can be in anything from sunscreen (maybe that's why so many people seemed to get skin cancer after the media started to push the use of sunscreen (maybe that's just me)) to shampoo, from lip balm to mascara, toothpaste, hand cream etc..The list goes on and on. Just look for the eth in the ingredient list next time you go shopping. If its got an eth ingredient, its got 1,4 Dioxane.
So Now What?
Well, that's up to you. You can do what I did and replace your shampoos with your own handmade castile soap (I rinse with a 1 Tbs. vinegar to 1 cup water solution to keep my hair shiny and no, I don't smell like apple cider vinegar head)and start making your own bar soap or or or or...You can buy handmade soaps and castile soap. Whole Foods Market has a pretty nice selection, but Etsy has an even greater selection. Desert Soapstone is also willing to customize an order for you for less than what it would cost for 8 bars at Whole Foods and that includes shipping.
Cancer is creeping up on America! Let's squash the causes so we don't have to find that impossible cure! Organic products can be good, you just have to look for the right ones.