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The High Performance Journal

7 Toxic Ingredients To Avoid In Your Everyday Household Products

high performance journal Feb 06, 2024

The High Performance Journal - February 6th, 2024


The average American uses 10 personal products with a total of 168 chemicals found in the ingredients.

While most of them are safe there are a few that have been found to harm our body, hormones & endocrine system.

Your skin acts as a barrier to protect your internal system from the outside but the problem is that it's semi-permeable where some chemicals may be able to enter.

Due to this, the more you use these products the more you accumulate them in your body.

There are 7 specific ingredients you should be watching out for the next time you purchase a common household product.

Print this list and make sure to read your labels the next time you go purchase a household item.

Here they are...

7 Toxic Ingredients To Avoid In Your Everyday Household Products:


#1 - Phthalates

Phthalates are a group of chemicals used to make plastics more durable.

They can be harmful to humans due to their potential to disrupt our hormonal system. It has also been linked to reproductive issues, developmental problems, and increased cancer risk. 

They’re commonly found in plastics, cosmetics, fragrances, and PVC products, posing exposure risks through ingestion, inhalation, or skin contact.


How To Avoid Phthalates:

  • Steer clear of products that list phthalates or fragrances in their ingredients.
  • Choose glass, silicone, or stainless-steel food containers over plastic ones.
  • Limit fast food consumption. People who ate more fast food had higher phthalate exposures.


#2 - Parabens

Parabens are chemicals that are commonly used as preservatives in cosmetic and pharma products.

They can be harmful to humans as they can mimic estrogen, potentially disrupting the endocrine system, and have been associated with breast cancer and hormonal imbalance.

They’re commonly found in cosmetics, personal care products, and some foods, increasing exposure through skin absorption, ingestion, and topical use.


How To Avoid Parabens:

  • Examine product ingredient lists and avoid items that contain parabens, such as methylparaben, ethylparaben, propylparaben, and butylparaben.
  • Choose paraben-free products: Look for skincare, cosmetics, and toiletries specifically labeled as "paraben-free" or "free of synthetic preservatives."
  • Explore natural and organic brands: Many natural and organic brands use alternative preservatives or no preservatives at all, making them a suitable choice.


#3 - Sulfates, SLS, & SLES

Sulfate is a group of mineral salts that can have a natural or human-made origin.

Sulfates, like Sodium Lauryl Sulfate (SLS) and Sodium Laureth Sulfate (SLES), are harmful to humans due to their potential to irritate skin, eyes, and scalp. They can also strip natural oils from hair and skin, causing dryness.

They're commonly found in personal care products like shampoos, soaps, and toothpaste, they pose risks through direct contact and absorption.


How To Avoid Sulfates:

  • Check product labels for ingredients like "Sodium Lauryl Sulfate" (SLS) or "Sodium Laureth Sulfate" (SLES), and choose products without these chemicals.
  • Choose sulfate-free products: Look for shampoos, conditioners, soaps, and skincare items labeled as "sulfate-free" or "no sulfates."
  • Go organic or natural: Explore organic or natural brands that prioritize avoiding sulfates in their formulations.


#4 - Oxybenzone

Oxybenzone is one of the most common chemical filters found in commercial chemical sunscreens.

This compound can be harmful because it acts as a potential hormone disruptor. It may interfere with your endocrine system and can potentially lead to allergic reactions when it penetrates the skin.

It’s commonly found in sunscreen, lip balm products, and over 3500 skincare products around the world.


How To Avoid Oxybenzone:

  • Check sunscreen labels and avoid products containing oxybenzone or its alternative name, benzophenone-3.
  • Choose mineral sunscreens: Opt for sunscreens with zinc oxide or titanium dioxide as the active ingredients, which provide effective protection without oxybenzone.
  • Look for "oxybenzone-free": Seek sunscreens specifically labeled as "oxybenzone-free" or "reef-friendly."


#5 - Synthetic Dyes

Synthetic dyes are sometimes referred to as ‘coal tar dyes’, since they are manufactured from substances which, until recently, were only obtained from coal tar.

They can be harmful due to potential links to allergies, carcinogenic concerns, and hyperactivity in children

They are widely used in processed foods, beverages, cosmetics, and medications, contributing to exposure through ingestion, skin contact, and inhalation.


How To Avoid Synthetic Dyes:

  • Check product labels for artificial colorings like "FD&C" or specific dye names (e.g., Red 40, Yellow 5) and choose products without them.
  • Opt for natural alternatives: Look for food and cosmetics that use natural colorants like beet juice, turmeric, or spirulina for coloring.
  • Buy organic: Organic products often use natural colorants and avoid synthetic dyes and artificial additives.
  • Research brands: Choose brands that prioritize using natural dyes or those that explicitly mention avoiding synthetic dyes.


#6 - Synthetic Fragrances

Synthetic fragrances are made primarily with compounds and materials that have been developed in a lab. This is to replicate the scent of natural ingredients such as fruit and flowers, without extracting them from nature itself.

They can be problematic due to undisclosed chemical ingredients that may trigger allergies, respiratory issues, and skin irritation.

They are found in numerous personal care, cleaning, and household products, they pose exposure risks through inhalation and skin contact.


How To Avoid Synthetic Fragrances:

  • Read labels: Check product labels for terms like "fragrance," "parfum," or "perfume" and opt for products that use natural essential oils instead.
  • Choose unscented products: Opt for unscented or fragrance-free versions of personal care items, detergents, and cleaning products.
  • Research brands: Look for brands that prioritize natural, organic, or eco-friendly ingredients and avoid those known for synthetic fragrances.


#7 - Bisphenol A aka. BPA's

Bisphenol A is a chemical compound primarily used in the manufacturing of various plastics.

They are concerning because they can leach from plastic containers into food and beverages, potentially disrupting hormones and leading to various health issues, including reproductive problems, developmental disorders, and cancer.

BPA is commonly found in plastic bottles, food can linings, and thermal paper receipts, raising concerns through ingestion and skin absorption.


How To Avoid BPA's:

  • Choose BPA-free products: Look for labels that specifically state "BPA-free" on plastic containers, bottles, and packaging.
  • Opt for glass, silicone, or stainless steel containers for food and drinks instead of plastic.
  • Check recycling codes: Avoid plastics with recycling codes #3 (polyvinyl chloride) and #7 (other) as they may contain BPA.
  • Reduce canned food consumption: Limit canned food and beverage consumption, as BPA can leach from can linings.


Conclusion

A big part of being healthy is to know what to avoid.

While you can't expect to be completely protected against these compounds you can be diligent to make sure they don't end up in your home.

A great resource to add to this is to check your products on the website www.EWG.org as they have great consumer guides on which products to choose.

One thing I need to mention is the psychosomatic impact an article like this may have.

Although, it's recommended to avoid these as best you can your life won't be perfect, and fearing a certain compound going into your body (and its potential effect) can have a psychological impact on you.

Your body is more resilient than you give it credit for and it's protected you for as long as you've been alive.

Instead of being fearful, I recommend to be aware and avoid when you can.

Onwards and upwards 🚀

- Dan

 

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