Natural Family Health Care
If you’re like many women – you wouldn’t even think of leaving your house without your “face” on – meaning skin lotions, cosmetics and anything else you might use to enhance your natural beauty. Are these products safe?
According to some research, not only are cosmetics potentially toxic, but so are hair products, deodorants, and perfumes. In her book, Not Just a Pretty Face: The Ugly Side of the Beauty Industry, Stacy Malkan reveals the extent of toxic chemicals in personal care products that millions use every day – chemicals that often don’t appear on any ingredient listing for the products.
The result of our rampant use of chemicals in our culture produces some disturbing findings:
• In 2004, scientists discovered pesticides in the blood of newborns
• In 2005, researchers found perchlorate, a substance used in rocket fuel, in human breast milk
• Many people are testing positive for flame retardants, phthalates (oil-based softening agents and preservatives that can affect hormone function and have been linked to birth defects) and lead (contained in lipsticks)
• In 2004, English researchers identified parabens in breast tumor samples. Parabens are found in the vast majority of deodorants, body sprays and skin creams. Because they are absorbed into the body, they are believed to produce an increased risk and incidence of breast cancer
Health and beauty product manufacturers will argue that there are only small amounts of toxic chemicals in their products. This may be true if they were used once, but day after day, over time, is quite a different story. And some countries don’t even require manufacturers of these products to list the ingredients!
There are alternatives. Many people have stopped using a lot of personal care products. As with food, only those labeled, “certified organic,” can be considered safe to use. There is an online database that you can access to determine the toxicity of many of these products. You can also email or call manufacturers who don’t list their product ingredients and ask for them for a list.
There is a lot of money generated from the sale of these products, and a lot to be lost by those who use them without knowledge of the toxins they may contain.