When shopping for everyday household products, what do you tend to consider? Do you look for the best price, or name/brand recognition? Do you take into consideration a commercial you watched, a review you read on a website, or a personal recommendation from a friend? To be honest, back in the day, that’s how I shopped. I took all of those into consideration while neglecting the most important things – how was the product going to impact my health and what chemicals were in the product? Those should have been my top considerations. It wasn’t until my health began to deteriorate that I stopped to give that some thought.
We Are Bombarded By Toxins!
Unfortunately, many of today’s everyday household products sitting on store shelves are filled with harmful chemicals. It’s a fact – today we are bombarded by toxins! They are seemingly everywhere – from the air we breathe, to the food we eat and water we drink, to the soaps, lotions and perfumes we put on our skin, to the products we use to “clean” our house. The good news is that although there are, indeed, toxins we cannot control, there are others we can. By the choices you make when you shop, you can reduce the amount of harmful chemicals to which you and your family are being exposed.
There are over 80,000 chemicals registered for use in the United States and only a small percentage of those chemicals have been thoroughly tested for safety. Out of the 80,000 chemicals used in everyday products, nearly 1,300 are known endocrine disruptors. According to the Environmental Working Group (EWG), “no premarket safety testing is required for the industrial chemicals that go into personal care products or the chemical industry as a whole.”
For example, take a product as seemingly innocent as baby powder. Talcum powder used in baby powder has been linked to a higher risk of ovarian cancer & lung disease (according to ConsumerSafety.org). In regards to testing and regulation, cosmetic products are not currently required to be reviewed by the FDA. There is no federal ban on the use of talcum powder in cosmetic products, despite bans on the use of the ingredient by the European Union.
With all of the chemicals that are untested and used in today’s products, it is imperative we all become educated consumers!
Helpful Resources to Become an Educated Consumer
Fortunately, there are organizations that help us as the consumer decipher which products are better than others. They also provide information as to what chemicals might be in products and why we want to avoid them for the sake of our health. There are also some organizations which provide certification as to safer products we can choose.
- The Environmental Working Group provides a ton of beneficial product and chemical information. Their “mission is to empower people to live healthier lives in a healthier environment. With breakthrough research and education, they drive consumer choice and civic action. They are a non-profit, non-partisan organization dedicated to protecting human health and the environment.” The EWG certifies products and offers various databases and guides of products which they have ranked for safety. The EWG guides are definite go-to-resources when shopping for products!
- MADE SAFE is a nonprofit organization providing comprehensive human health-focused certification for nontoxic products across store aisles. Their “goal is to change the way products are made in this country to ultimately eliminate the use of toxic chemicals altogether.” They “screen ingredients against their Toxicant Database of known harmful chemicals, which is made up of thousands of chemicals found on scientifically authoritative lists from organizations and agencies around the world.”
- ConsumerSafety.org “strives to make information about recalls and safety-related news about drugs, medical devices, food, and consumer products accessible to everyone in a transparent, easily understandable way.” “ConsumerSafety.org uses a variety of sources to collect data about recent recalls, news stories, and dangerous products. They then build on that data by adding their own research and content, and making safety information available for free.”
There are additional organizations and resources that provide helpful product information, but the ones I mention here are a great place to start.
The next time you shop for everyday household products, I hope you will do your research before reaching for a product to purchase on a grocery aisle shelf. Your health depends on it!