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I've become very concerned lately about the toxic lifestyle we've been living. No, we don't huff from aerosol cans or take illegal drugs or regularly play in nuclear waste... but that doesn't stop us from getting a regular, depressing dose of poison.
For example, let's say you use hairspray. The likelihood of it containing pthalates - which have been found in conjunction with damage to the kidneys, liver, lungs, and reproductive organs and have been found concentrated in breastmilk - is very high. Just that one source alone, used daily, exposes you and the rest of your family to extremely dangerous toxins. And that's not mentioning things like commercial deodorants, perfumes, air fresheners, nail polish, hair gels, shampoos and conditioners, lotions, eye make-up, concealers... the list is endless, because in America a product had to be proven, through multiple tests, that it is poisonous before it will be taken off the market. Compare that to the UK, where a product must be proven to be non-toxic before it is allowed on the market. Scary. (this is not to say the UK is toxin-free... just that the US is more toxic by comparison)
So, recently I began feeling pushed to try and limit the amount of toxic substances I willingly bring into the house or put on my body. There are some sources I can't avoid - the new carpet and living room furniture that are out-gassing formaldehyde, for example - but there are some that I can, and that is where the 'Poo-less hair-cleaning, natural homemade deodorant, and organic soap came into the picture. I also use a non-toxic hairspray and have started cleaning all the hard, non-porous surfaces (like countertops, toilet seats, sinks, tables) with nothing but white vinegar and hydrogen peroxide, which work just as well - if not better - than pretty much every commercial cleanser on the market, without the pesky side-effect of dangerous chemicals being left all over surfaces that your skin will be in contact with.
I think Earth Motherhood summed the problem up well. In fact, why not head over to her blog, and check it out? Living in a World Where Everything Is Toxic
And once you've read her blog, if you're still interested in learning about the toxins in your life, what you can cut back on to preserve you health, try visiting your local library to see if they carry "Green Housekeeping" by Ellen Sandbeck, a guide to everything around you house that is probably poisoning you and causing everything from headaches to stomach upset to persistent allergy symptoms.