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Unsuspecting Americans

Many of the personal care products that you use on a daily basis pose a danger to your health.

But did you know that ingredients that are banned in Europe for use in personal care products such as shampoos, deodorants, and body lotions, are sold to unsuspecting Americans every day. Several of these products are probably in your home right now.

Personal care products, as I've stated in other blog posts, are not regulated by the FDA. There are over 10,500 ingredients used in these products and only about 11 percent of them have ever been tested for safety!!

Some of these contain not just one harmful ingredient but a whole cocktail full of them. If you look on the ingredient labels you'll see words like "diethanolamine or DHA, phthalates, formaldehyde, benxene, para-dioxane, propylene glycol, sodium lauryl sulfate and petroleum. Most of these are not familiar household words so we don't pay too much attention to them (sometimes we don't even look at the ingredients on the labels). However all of the above-mentioned ingredients have been linked to many diseases and cancers.

Here's a brief description of the most frequently used offenders:

Sodium lauryl sulfate (SLS). SLS is an ingredient used in commercial shampoos, but it's also used in engine degreasers. It can be stored throughout the body including in the eyes, brain, heart, and liver, and can even change genetic information in cells. It can react with other ingredients in shampoos and body cleansers to form carcinogenic nitrates and dioxins. With just one shampooing, large numbers of nitrates can be absorbed by the skin and enter the blood supply.

Propylene glycol. Propylene is a major ingredient in industrial antifreeze as well as brake and hydraulic fluid. In personal care products, it helps retain moisture. It's used in toothpastes, deodorants, lotions and shampoos, and it can cause kidney and liver damage.

Para-dioxane. Para-dioxane, also known as 1,4-dioxane, is a probable carcinogen that is found in some children's shampoos at levels above those deemed safe by the FDA. In 2007, the Campaign for Safe Cosmetics commissioned a study of baby-care products that found 1,4-dioxane in 67 percent of products tested. The Environmental Working Group estimates that more than 25 percent of all personal-care products contain the chemical. Personal care products containing para-dioxane have been banned in Europe.

Diethanolamine (DEA). DEA is found in hundreds of personal care products and is probably in your soap and shampoo. It causes cancer in rats when applied to the skin as well as damage to the liver, kidneys, and other organs.

Rules of thumb for avoiding harmful products:

Don't buy products that contain ingredients with long names. They are usually synthetic and haven't been tested for safety.

Don't buy highly scented products. They contain volatile organic compounds (VOCs) which easily enter the bloodstream, killing brain cells and causing cancer. Avoid products listing perfume, fragrance, or scent, as ingredients. Quite a few of my friends have bad reactions to these chemicals. One friend can't stay in a room where a lot of women have applied perfume.

Instead, choose products labeled organic or all-natural and products made with plant-based oils such as almond or jojoba.

Please get in the habit of reading labels before you purchase a product.

To find all-natural shampoo and conditioner go here: For The Hair


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Unsuspecting Americans
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