It’s encouraging that more and more people are becoming aware of the risks of toxins that they encounter on a daily basis. It’s obvious why “green” cleaners have such an appeal. The household cleaning industry has caught on to this and responded in full force with product lines that claim they are natural. These products are labeled “green” and “all natural” for marketing reasons and often cost 20-30% more. You’re trying to make good decisions, so you buy a cleaning agent that touts “plant based” or “all natural”, but most of the time these products actually contain the same harmful chemicals. This practice is called “greenwashing” – misleading marketing to make products appear safer – and an estimated 95% of products are guilty of this practice. “All natural” and “green” doesn’t necessarily mean non-toxic. Many naturally occurring chemicals, such as arsenic, mercury, and formaldehyde, are poisonous. It can be overwhelming to think about all the toxins to which we are we exposed. While it may not be possible to avoid ALL toxins in our lives, there are plenty of ways to significantly reduce your family’s exposure through simple lifestyle changes.
TIP: There is no regulation of the word “natural”. This can mean that some of a product’s ingredients come from natural sources, but manufacturers aren’t required to disclose how much or little of those ingredients are present. The term “natural” can mislead consumers into thinking a product is safer or more environmentally friendly than it actually is. Learn to read labels and be wary of product claims!
Roos, Gina. (2010, October 26). “95% of Consumer Products Mislead Buyers with ‘Green’ Claims”. Retrieved from: https://www.environmentalleader.com/2010/10/95-of…
Now that you know that all the talk about toxins isn’t just hogwash, let’s move on to some practical action steps! The first thing you should do is educate yourself! Learn about ingredients to avoid, and train yourself to read labels. Label reading can be tricky business! Did you know that the European Union has banned more than 1,000 harmful chemicals from personal care products, but the United States has banned only 10 of those? Ingredients in cleaning and personal care products are not listed in the order of quantity, unlike food labels. U.S. manufacturers are not required to list ingredients of cleaning supplies unless they are known to be hazardous. Considering how few chemicals are actually banned in the U.S., there is little to no regulation regarding harmful chemicals in our products. Where does one begin to tackle this dilemma? Familiarize yourself with the bad ingredients. Reading labels with long, unpronounceable ingredients might seem daunting at first, but a quick online search can reveal lots of cautions and warnings. You’ll find that many common ingredients are carcinogens, endocrine disruptors, respiratory irritants, etc.
TIP: There is an APP you can download, or get someone who is technical to download it for you, it’s called, “THINK DIRTY”! No, not what you’re thinking… hahaha Anyway, it allows you to scan the bar code on the products you are using in your home today, and it will rate the product with a toxicity level of 1-10 (10 being the most toxic). You will be amazed!!!!
Check back tomorrow because we will be ready to begin the Ditch & Switch Process of removing these toxins from your home!!