Although of course there are tons of incredibly toxic ingredients we as humans should try to avoid, this is a good place to start when looking at the ingredient lists on the products that we all buy. I have covered a few of them here in-depth before, but having a bunch of these must-avoid ingredients in one place is a helpful shopping tool. Have a look…
1. DEA (diethanolamine) – This is a “wetting” agent and is primarily used in shampoos and lotions to provide lather… but it can also be found in brake fluid, degreasers and antifreeze. Supposedly this chemical is not too harmful all by itself; but it reacts none-too-nicely with other chemicals in our products and can create a very potent carcinogen called nitrosodiethanolamine (NDEA), which is readily absorbed through the skin and has been linked with stomach, esophagus, liver and bladder cancers.
2. Parabens Of Any Kind – These have been linked to cancer, immunotoxicity, and organ system toxicity, and exposure of newborn male mammals to butylparaben adversely affects the secretion of testosterone and the function of the male reproductive system.Sounds lovely, no? They can mimic the hormone estrogen, which is known to play a role in the development of breast cancers, and can be found in shampoos, commercial moisturizers, shaving gels, cleansing gels, personal lubricants, topical pharmaceuticals and toothpaste. Basically, everywhere – so be sure to read those labels. More on parabens.
3. BHT (Butylated Hydroxytoluene) – Primarily used to prevent fats in foods from becoming rancid, but it is also used in cosmetics, pharmaceuticals, jet fuels, rubber, petroleum products, electrical transformer oil, and embalming fluid. The Cosmetics Database rates BHT as having a “high hazard to high hazard depending on product usage” and says it has been shown to be linked to cancer, developmental toxicity, allergies, neurotoxicity, endocrine disruption, biochemical or cellular level changes.
4. Propylene Glycol– This is a chemical found in personal care products that acts as a penetration enhancer that keeps products from melting in heat and/or freezing when it is cold. Oh, and it is used as anti-freeze as well as in tons of personal care products. It alters the structure of the skin by allowing chemicals to penetrate deep beneath it while increasing their ability to reach the blood stream. PG also goes by names like 1,2-Dihydroxypropane; 2-Hydroxypropanol; Methylethy Glycol; 1,2-Propanediol; Propane-1,2-Diol, and has been shown to be linked to cancer, developmental/reproductive issues, allergies/immunotoxicity, neurotoxicity and endocrine disruption.
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