Nontoxic products: Why we should all go green

There has been a huge shift in the marketplace towards embracing eco-friendly, non-toxic and cruelty-free body care and home care products the past few years and for good reason. As more and more research is being done on the safety of our everyday products we are understanding that there is a direct correlation between man-made chemicals and the toxins they contain with free radical damage and the diseases that may result from frequent exposure to them.

While a lot of these discoveries haven’t been talked about much on mainstream media outlets, it’s pretty easy for anyone to find data through accessing research studies, lectures on YouTube from well-respected doctors and wellness professionals, and science-based blogs. We now know that free radical damage causes inflammation in the body and we have known for a long time that inflammation is at the root cause of essentially all disease. In addition, we understand that man-made chemicals act as toxins in our bodies in the form of free radicals which strip cells of vital components that keep them healthy and whole. Therefore we have to take precautionary measures from ingesting these chemicals through our breath, absorption through the skin, our eyes, and mouths.

While one could simply use personal protective equipment at least in the case of cleaning products, why not just purchase safer products, to begin with? Fortunately, we now have access to many safer, earth-friendly cleansers but we need to get the word out so that more and more people understand what they could be exposing themselves to if they don’t choose these options. The most common complaint I’ve heard from consumers is that they find these eco-friendly products more expensive and that’s why they have yet to make the shift. This is when we need to educate people the most. For one, like with anything else, we vote with our spending dollars. So the more of us who purchase these products, the greater the demand will be, which means the greater the need to increase supply which will eventually drive costs down. Second and even more importantly, we need to explain that while it may cost a couple of dollars more to invest in these green products today, the cost of treating cancer and autoimmune disorders that may result from chronic toxin exposure will be far greater in the long run.

As far as personal care products go, this is probably even more important as we are putting these chemicals directly onto our bodies, primarily onto our skin which is our largest organ. Anything that’s absorbed by the skin goes directly into our bloodstream making body care products even more harmful than a toxic diet because the liver has no opportunity to filter out contaminants as it would through the process of digestion. According to the Environmental Working Group, the average woman uses 15 different products on her body daily resulting in over 150 different chemicals (that we know of) and the average man uses about 6 products on daily translating to roughly 85 different chemicals their bodies are absorbing. That’s a lot of exposure of toxins especially if these people aren’t employing detoxing techniques to help their bodies eliminate these chemicals.

In addition to the mention of disease earlier, chronic exposure can also result in early aging, a loss of energy and brain fog. I imagine these symptoms don’t sound appealing to you so I encourage you to take inventory of your products and if funding allows, replace them with cleanser versions. A more cost-effective option would be to make your own cleaners through use of vinegar, your own perfumes through essential oils and your own lotions through vegetable oils like coconut oil for example.

The last point I want to mention here is that potentially harmful products are also generally tested on animals causing them undue harm and in many cases death. So if you wouldn’t want to test products on yourself, please don’t subject innocent animals to the same thing. Look for products with the labels “cruelty-free” or “vegan” on them or ones that specifically state that they do not employ animal testing. Please share this information with your friends and loved ones. We are in this together, there is strength in numbers and knowledge is empowering.