Filed under: General Health
Though I am still on vacation I wanted to quickly touch on an article I came across while reading the news this morning. It was a piece on aol.com called It’s Not Easy Breathing Green, and it brought up some interesting information on a recently conducted study.
The researchers at Silent Spring looked at 42 conventional products and 43 “green” products to determine their chemical content and whether they contain compounds that are known hormone disruptors (which may affect cancer risk, growth, and reproduction) as well as triggers for asthma. All 42 conventional products contained potentially harmful chemicals, and 32 of the 43 “green” products did as well. Interestingly many of these compounds were not listed on the ingredients label.
They found the highest concentrations in vinyl products, such as shower curtains and pillow protectors, and fragranced products, such as dryer sheets, and sunscreens. Recall how I recently blogged about the term “fragrance” on bottles can be as many as 200 different chemicals which the companies do not have to specify.
Silent Spring Institute’s earlier research, as well as the Centers for Disease Control’s biomonitoring studies, have found many of the study chemicals in people’s homes and bodies. Now this study adds information about where the exposures are coming from in everyday products.
Here are the tips the researchers recommend to reduce your exposure:
- Using fewer products
- Exercising caution with products applied directly to the skin and products used indoors, where chemicals accumulate in the air and dust
- Avoiding vinyl products, products containing fragrances, and anti-bacterials (triclosan and triclocarban)
- Using soap and water for cleaning
- Getting involved in local and national efforts to modernize chemical safety testing to keep harmful chemicals out of products in the first place.
I would like to add to that a bit to make it a little more applicable. For example I am currently in sunny Florida, and after doing some research on the Environmental Working Group’s exhaustive Sunscreen Guide, purchased BurnOut Ocean-Tested Physical Sunscreen SPF 30+. It has been fantastic. It is a pure physical sunscreen without any chemical UV absorbers. It is paraben-free, phthalate-free, fragrance-free, petroleum-free, biodegradable and ocean safe. Not too mention that is has worked incredibly well, goes on smooth without leaving a chalky white residue (like many zinc oxide products) and has kept my wife and I sunburn free.
Avoiding products with the term fragrance is pretty easy and will be a big part of keeping your indoor air as well as your skin clear of harmful chemicals.
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