Don’t just detox your body, detox your home –
When you hear the word detox it’s usually associated with detoxing your body. Google the word detox and you will see what I mean. However, I’ve never quite understood why someone would only want to detox their body and not make sure they are also detoxing the environment around them, particularly in their home. Years ago when I started learning about all the chemicals found in mass-produced food, I also started learning just how toxic household cleaning products are as well. It all came to a head last year after watching the documentary The Human Experiment, which goes behind the scenes in the fight to reveal the truth about toxic products that could very well cause irrevocable harm to our health. So, if you’ve never thought about it before, I would say it’s time to detox your home.
Here are some facts and information about the everyday products we use:
Many all-purpose cleaners contain diethanolamine (DEA) and triethanolamine (TEA). When DEA and TEA come into contact with nitrites they react to form nitrosamines – carcinogens that readily penetrate the skin.
Many cleaners contain “fragrance,” which can contain as many as 200 undisclosed chemicals.
61% of children’s bath products contain formaldehyde and 1,4-dioxane, which are linked to cancer and skin allergies, according to a report by the Campaign for Safe Cosmetics
Phthalates and parabens, that are found in most commercial skin, body and hair care products, have estrogenic effects that have been linked to breast cancer
Aluminum is the main ingredient used in most antiperspirants. It’s a metal used to block sweat from escaping the pores. It has been linked to breast cancer in women and an increased risk of Alzheimer’s disease
Most antibacterial hand soaps contain triclosan, which has been linked to liver and inhalation toxicity, and even low levels of triclosan may disrupt thyroid function
- (Source: The Human Experiment – Switch to Safer)
Some of you may be aware of these chemicals already and have made the switch to safer products. For those that aren’t aware and still using conventional products, this isn’t to scare you, this is to make you aware that as important as it is to consume food that’s organic or have very few chemicals, it’s as important to use household products that are also clean and safe.
Many reviews criticized the movie The Human Experiment that it was more of an emotional plea rather than having the hardcore science to back up its claims. However, is it any wonder why Jessica Alba started the Honest Company?
“When I was pregnant with my daughter, Honor, I read Christopher Gavigan’s book, Healthy Child Healthy World: Creating a Cleaner, Greener, Safer Home. This book served as my handbook on toxic chemicals in products and their link to illnesses. I learned that our current chemical regulatory system is doing an abysmal job of protecting us, the consumers. Simply put, manufacturers are allowed to use questionable, untested, toxic chemicals in everyday consumer products like baby shampoo, diapers and household cleaners.” – Jessica Alba, “Why I Started The Honest Company,” The Huffington Post
That was written four years ago when Alba launched The Honest Company, three years before The Human Experiment was released. More and more information and evidence is coming out about the dangers of conventional household products. One of the best resources is the Environmental Working Group, a non-profit focused on educating the public about cleaner, healthier alternatives to everyday products.
There are some amazing products on the market that have been around for years. Here are some of my favorite brands:
ECOS: Since 1967, ECOS has been producing clean and safe household cleaning products.
Mrs. Meyers: Launched over twelve years ago, this brand has become a big name in the ‘clean, eco-conscious’ category of household products. Although, SC Johnson did acquire them in 2008, which may or may not have changed some of the ingredients to handle market demand.
J.R. Watkins: This brand has been around since 1868 if you can believe it. Although their household products line was only introduced in 2007. To learn more about the ingredients they avoid using, here is the full list.
Seventh Generation: Since 1988, Seventh Generation has been producing plant-based products, headquartered in Vermont.
Method: Founded in 2001, Method Products is a San Francisco-based corporation that produces nontoxic, biodegradable natural cleaning supplies with a focus on minimalist product design.
Biokleen: What started out in 1989 as a family owned and operated business has remained that way ever since.
Ecover: Founded in 1980, Ecover is a Belgium-based company that manufactures ecologically sound cleaning products.
I buy most of my products in Whole Foods, Sprouts or Natural Grocer’s. Just as I’m willing to spend a little more money on eating clean, organic, whole foods, the same goes for what I clean my home with, as well as the products I use for my skin, hair and body.
So the next time you feel your body needs a detox, you should also consider your home.