5. Triclosan– Triclosan is normally used as a bacteria killer. Found in tons of products from deodorants to toothpaste to household cleaners, triclosan mainly acts like an antibiotic, trying to kill anything that it comes in contact with. It can also combine with chlorine in our tap water to make chloroform gas, and one study even showed that triclosan was broken down into dioxins in river water because of the presence of sunlight. Because everyone wants “antibiotic” soaps and lotions, triclosan is very popular with product makers, even though regular old soap is just as effective. Tricolsan is similar to the pesticide Agent Orange and can cause decreased fertility, birth defects and damage to major body organs. More on Triclosan.
6. Bisphenol A – Otherwise known as BPA, this is a chemical compound primarily used to harden plastic. A 2010 report from the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) raised concerns regarding exposure of fetuses, infants, and young children. BPA mimics the sex hormone estradiol when exposed to high temperatures and/or certain dish detergents, and in mice and rats there is evidence that low doses of bisphenol A can cause structural damage to the brain, hyperactivity, abnormal sexual behavior, increased fat formation, early puberty and disrupted reproductive cycles. BPA-laden plastic is used in some baby and water bottles, sports equipment, medical and dental devices, dental fillings and sealants, eyeglass lenses, CDs and DVDs, and household electronics. Look for “BPA-Free” labels on any plastic you buy. More on Bisphenol A
7. Polyethylene – Polyethylene is a plastic with an annual production of approximately 80 million metric tons, and while most of it ends up in landfills and takes several centuries to degrade, it is also used in some skincare products as an abrasive, adhesive, binder, bulking agent, and emulsion stabilizer. It has been linked to cancer, allergies/immunotoxicity, organ system toxicity (non-reproductive), skin irritation, neurotoxicity, and biochemical or cellular level changes.
8. Sodium Lauryl Sulfate – Although the jury is still out on this ingredient, I would rather err on the side of caution when it comes to stuff like this. This synthetic substance is a surfactant and is used in any task requiring the removal of oily stains and residues. For example, it is found in higher concentrations with industrial products including engine degreasers, floor cleaners, and car wash soaps. It is also used in lower concentrations with toothpastes, shampoos, and shaving foams. It can cause cause eye irritations, skin rashes, hair loss, scalp scurf similar to dandruff, and allergic reactions.
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