Saturday, September 11, 2010

Let's Get Chemicaled.....(sung to the tune of "Let's get physical")...

"What does she have in her mouth" it, she will choke on that......boil that plug, it just fell on the floor....don't let her play with that, she will put it in her mouth and swallow it"..... and on and on, go the sayings of watchful parents over their babies and part of parental caretaking 101, the primary task is to ensure that only "good & approved" things can go into their little children's mouths....

Then, we grow up....and that means, we have our own "mouth patrol and control"...that is, if we like it, if we want it, we eat it! We certainly know what is GOOD for us, don't we?!? Just in case we don't, we can read the fine print on the outside of the package.....because that is the truth, right??!?! Well, i'm afraid to tell you...............well, let's just start from scratch.....

The truth is...there are chemicals, toxins, carcinogens, volatile organic compounds (vocs), everywhere....let's just step back for a minute and go through our day and see what we put in our mouths and on our bodies that we THINK is GOOD for us?!?!

Let's back up a bit and start with a good nights rest - right?! Well....not so much.....

11pm - Time for bed - climb into that nice mattress full of polyurethane foam and particleboard containing formaldehyde (YEP YOU READ THAT RIGHT, YOU AREN"T DEAD YET, BUT ARE ALREADY GETTING SOME EMBALMING FLUID TO GET YOU READY!).....and if you have the bonus of "fire retardant" in your mattress, then you get some bonus chemicals such as polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs) which accumulate in humans and may promote things such as breast cancer in woman and interfere with brain development in children. Some states have banned certain forms of PBDEs.....

Cold??? Next, cover yourself up with some nice sheets and if they aren't "organic", they are likely sprayed with 1.25 pounds of pesticides - YIKES! INTERESTING UNBELIEVABLE TIDBIT HERE - conventionally grown cotton uses 25 percent of the world's insecticides and 10 percent of all pesticides, which of course are carcinogens (i.e. cancer causing!) - PLUS BONUS, regular cotton sheets are also usually treated with formaldehyde (YEP MORE EMBALMING FLUID! So that is why they don't wrinkle~?~) which is also a carcinogen and can cause throat irritation and headaches among other things! So SWEET DREAMS...............go to sleep!!!

7A - Alarm clock rings - jump up and head to the shower......How about cutting your shower a little short...did you know that the average faucet runs through 3 gallons of water PER MINUTE!
So if you leave the water running, just while you are brushing your teeth for 2 minutes, 2 x day, that is 12 gallons a day, 4380 gallons per year. Beyond the whole "conserving water" piece, just think about all that water that literally had to be "treated" to just go back down the drain and the energy that took! 4380 gallons of water equates to 25 pounds of CO2 into the environment and that is just YOU brushing your TEETH! Turn off the water while you brush!!! You can only imagine how many gallons are going down the drain during our leisurely showers!!! How about shaving your legs before you shower, or turning off the shower, while you soap up!? I didn't say this was going to be easy....or fun.....

So on to your shower.....
get your shower gel or soap, shampoo, conditioner and lather up....oops wait a minute - more chemicals.....
Most body care products are produced in a lab and have harmful chemicals including 1) Phthalates (found in deodorants, baby wipes :(, baby powders :(, liquid soad, sunscreen, lotions, referenced only in the ingredient list as "other" ARE YOU KIDDING ME?! Scientists have shown they are probably carcinogens as well as "endocrine disruptors" which means"gender bender chemicals that make girls develop earlier and reduce testosterone levels in boys!!! Because of commercial "trade secrets", there is no need to list "phthalates" on the labels :( VERY SAD INDEED;
2) Next look for "parabens" which are chemicals found in most soaps and shampoos made commercially; whether they are shown as "methyl, prophy or butyl" they are endocrine disruptors;
3) Lastly, look for DEA, which is a wetting, thickening and foaming agent used in shampoos (including baby wash :(, liquid hand soaps, shaving products, deodorants....this group of chemicals interfered with normal brain development in baby mice when applied to the skin of pregnant mice based on a study at the UNC at Chapel hill - OMG!!!!!! Plus, bonus, DEA can react with other ingredients in a formula, whether on the store shelf or in your cabinet, to form extremely potent carcinogen called NITROSODIETHANOLAMINE (NDEA) which is readily absorbed through the skin and linked with stomach, esophagus, liver and bladder cancers!!!

Basically, try to avoid buying products with ingredients that end in the letters "eth", "oleth", "laureth", "ceteareth", PEG, "polyethylene" and "polyethylene glycol" or "polyoxyethylene" or "oxynol".......Even some of the "natural" and "organic" products have this stuff in them....Best idea is to use trusted info from organizations such as the Environment Working Group (EWG) online database of personal care items (

Fragrance?? Buy things with the fewest ingredients listed, that are fragrance free or even make some of your own!!! Even toothpaste isn't free from these things!!!!

8a - Time to put on your makeup - yikes - what is in all this stuff we are putting right near our eyes and on our face!?!?! And what about your nails - do they need some polish!???
Avoid these 5 ingredients in makeup:
-petroleum (adds moisture to skim, listed as "mineral oil" p"paraffin" or "propylene glycol" - besides petroleum being a "nonrenewable resource" i.e. limited quantity, this ingredient adds to "clogged pores" - just what we want - petroleum loaded up in our pores!

Buy things "unscented" when possible, as the word "fragrance", innocent as it appears, indicates there may be formaldehye, phthalates or parabens present! Man, lots of sneakiness going on!!!

Lipsticks are the worst :( - and that is bad because over your lifetime you eat pounds of lipstick! Estimated 4 to 9 pounds per person! They are often petroleum based and contain formaldehyde in the form of preservatives....but there are good ones out there.....i.e. (haven't tried it yet, but plan on it!) and also Burtsbees!

Eye makeup - watch out for the lead (usually listed as lead acetate) because it is a "neurotoxin"..

I actually read (and someone from Holland on my recent trip to Curacao confirmed this!) that some makeup/perfume companies actually put certain things in their products for AMERICA that are actually BANNED in Europe!!! So they make up 1 "batch" for America and the other "batch" for Europe! That was shocking and made me sick!

Next up - time to get dressed! Opt for "organic cotton" when possible! Why? As mentioned above, conventional cotton crops use the most pesticide-intensive farming process in the world! Consider this - 3 percent of the world's farmland is used to grow cotton but 24 percent of all the insecticides IN THE WORLD as well as 11 percent of all the pesticides are required (which then permeate the air, damage the soil and seep into our water supply - YUCK!!!!!!!)
This translates to every POUND of cotton (which is about what it takes to make 1 shirt) is sprayed with 1/3 of a POUND OF PESTICIDES!!!! Smell your shirt now!? And if you have gone to the cleaners, they have added even more chemicals to your shirt! Really amazing that the cotton doesn't just disintegrate, isn't it!?!? And that material is right next to your skin - makes your skin crawl a bit doesn't it!?!?

So each cute little cotton tee, has about 1/3 of a cup of chemicals, including cancer causing agents! If you would have just bought organic cotton, there are no pesticides or chemicals used!
Wool isn't much better! Linen actually is made from the flax plant and doesn't get near the chemicals as cotton. And workout gear?! Well, most workout gear is made from nylon and polyester which are manufactured from petrochemicals, the creation of which releases nitrous oxide into the environment :(....Nitrous oxide is a greenhouse gas that is 310 (YES 310!!!) times stronger and worse than carbon dioxide!!!

Good news - you can actually find lots of workout apparel made from ecofriendly fabrics, such as bamboo - believe it or not!!! Check out or

Once dressed, time for a nice cup of coffee (never actually touch the stuff, never have, but most of my friends and husband do!!! So here's the dirt on coffee.........

Sorry to add 1 more thing to stir the pot, but coffee is 1 of the most chemically treated food crops ON THE PLANET!!! It is sprayed with 1) pesticides 2)grown with chemical fertilizers, 3) herbicides 4) fungicides......all those "cides" can't be good! Most coffee is imported from countries that use chemicals that are BANNED IN THE US! Yikes, bottoms up peeps!

And then there is the whole thing about coffee used to be grown in the shade of tropical forests, which provided habitat for over 150 species of birds and wildlife....but now we want faster, cheaper, so forests are cleared and coffee grown in full problem, right? WRONG!! What's the problem? Negative impact on the environment, and wildlife, when the birds are removed, more pests come in which equals, you guessed it, more chemicals!!!

So what to do?! Look for "shade grown" coffee - it's on the package! They use significantly fewer chemicals.....better yet, choose organic! BTW, Starbucks buys "certified fair trade coffee"!

Okay, enough for 1 day.....but just pointing out that while our bodies are STRONG, come on, we need to give them a break from SOME of these chemicals........I'm not suggesting you throw out everything in your medicine and food pantry! That isn't green either - use up what you have! However, every little change you make, makes an impact!!!

And speaking of "green"....not only are plants pretty, they also help ELIMINATE TOXINS in your home, such as formaldehyde, toluene, xylene and others.....for example
1. gerber daises - reduce formaldehye levels
2. chrysanthemums - reduce benzene and trichloroethylene levels
3. orchids - reduce xylene and toluene levels
4. english ivy - reduces benzene levels
5. bamboo reduces formaldehyde levels

So just for today.....what's 1 little thing you can do to start making this world a bit greener and YOU a bit less CHEMICALLY INDUCED!?!? GO FOR THE GREEN!