So, What is the "Toxic Issue"?
Here are some facts:
In Europe, there are over 1371 chemicals banned from personal care products because they've been scientifically linked with disease and disorder. In the US, we ban 11. That means there are at least 1360 chemicals linked with toxic issues that are completely legal in the US. These are in our mainstream products from shampoo to baby products.
The FDA is the governing body who "oversees" the personal care industry but they have a LOT on their plate. They have come right out and said that the Personal care industry will have to "self regulate". To put it simply, that just isn't happening. No one is holding companies accountable for labeling, safety testing, ingredient disclosure, or product safety in general.
In 2005, the EWG found that there are an average of 200+ synthetic chemicals found in the cord blood of newborn infants. This means the mother, whether aware or not, either breathed, consumed or put toxins on her skin while pregnant that transferred to the baby through the umbilical cord.
The skin is an incredibly effective and efficient vehicle from the outside of our body to our bloodstream. Think of "patch" drug delivery systems like those used for birth control and smoking cessation. Some doctors, such as Dr. Samuel Epstein (former head of the Cancer Prevention Coalition) say it's actually more dangerous to put a harmful chemical on your skin than to eat it.
The "Toxic Issue" extends far beyond the impact of toxins on humans. Our waterways, ocean life and wild animals are beginning to show significant negative impacts. From fertility and mutation problems to decreased population and premature death, our enormous personal care industry is proving dangerous to our natural resource.
What can I do about it??
How can I keep my family safe? (3 Steps!)
Use the free app "Healthy Living" (iPhone or android) or "Think Dirty" (iPhone only) to scan in products BEFORE you buy. These give you a rating for safety: 1 = safe, 10 = dangerous. I suggest making a cut-off line for yourself and your family. Mine is 3. I won't buy anything that rates 3 or over because I now know there are safer options. You come up with your own. Many times I'll scan in a product and it's not in the database, while this can be frustrating, keep in mind a few things: 1. There are millions of products and these databases can't possibly contain them all. 2. They are getting better all the time. 3. You might have to use your own knowledge (keep reading!)
READ your labels and use Pure Haven's Pocket Guide to Harmful Ingredients for a list of the top 20-ish worst/common chemicals to avoid. (Join my email list below to download this FREE!)
To look up products on a computer or to investigate individual ingredients, use the amazing Skindeep website.
How can I be a force for change?
Take unsafe products back to the store! Sometimes you'll get money back but it's really about the conversations you can start... let the customer service people know that you discovered unsafe ingredients were used and you don't want that product in your household. Do you know what they do with returned personal care products in most cases? The put them in a HAZERDOUS WASTE bin. WHY are products we would have put on our bodies disposed of in this way? Because they are unsafe to our environment.
Vote with your wallet. When you buy only SAFE products from companies you trust, you are telling the big manufacturers that this is what you want. Our hope is, that over time, the demand for safer products will actually change the marketplace, making it safer for everyone!
Host a Pure Haven workshop. Whether online (Facebook) or in person (even better). I'd be honored to empower your friends and family to choose safe products (while earning you pretty sweet host rewards in the process!)
Join my Pure Haven Team. This is an amazing company. Check out the information about joining here. The BEST part is that there's no pressure to sell. Some people join just to use the discount and get the $400 in products for the started kit price of $149.
Business owners - book a DIY workshop or class for your clients or staff and pass this empowerment on to others!
Keep learning! See organizations below that are terrific forces for change and places to learn more about the issue!
Sign up for email updates from the EWG to get news about the toxic issue and what they're doing to fight for legislative change. (They're awesome!)
Check out the Campaign for Safe Cosmetics "Red Lists" for what specific harmful chemicals to watch for depending on what you're shopping for!
For tips about finding safe cosmetics and companies that make them, visit here.