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Toxic Chemicals in Products to Avoid

Updated on April 6, 2022
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Angela loves non-toxic living and markets for an online store where she educates people about healthier living choices.


Ingredients to Avoid

It can be very overwhelming trying to find products that are natural and non-toxic. Most cleaning products have so many products in their ingredient label that it is hard to know what is good and bad. Although it would be impossible to list all the harmful substances, here are some of the biggest culprits.

  • Ammonia - burns the skin, eyes, throat, and lungs. It is also irritating and corrosive.
  • Chlorine bleach - is very toxic. It can be fatal if a child accidentally drinks it. It can permanently damage your skin. Breathing it in can damage your lungs. It is not practical for cleaning away dirt. It only turns it white.
  • D&C color - a synthetic material that can cause health issues.
  • Formaldehyde - is a prevalent allergen that affects the eyes, skin, etc. It also causes the eyes, nose, and throat to burn.
  • Paraben - is found in many cancer cells, even though it cannot be created by the human body, which means it always comes from outside sources. It also disrupts normal hormone functioning.
  • Phosphates - can cause excessive algae growth, which disrupts the water concentration and can be harmful to fish and other aquatic creatures.
  • Phthalates - are connected to asthma and breast cancer.
  • Preservatives - are very toxic. Currently, there are no effective plant-based preservatives.
  • Propylene glycol - is a synthetic chemical that can cause health problems.
  • Quaternary Disinfectants - are not very effective against viruses and decrease with hard water. It is also poisonous if ingested.
  • Sodium lauryl sulfate - is linked to cancer, neurotoxicity, skin irritation, and endocrine disruption.
  • Triclosan - can cause bacteria to become resistant to antibiotics.


Smarter Choices to Look for in Products

Although there are many things to avoid, there are some great alternatives. Some safe fragrances and antibacterial products that healthy products will use include:

  • Botanical Extracts - is a safer way to add fragrance to a product.
  • Citric acid - is a better choice in cleaning products than bleach. It dissolves hard water, mineral deposits, and soap scum.
  • Essential oils - are a safer way to add fragrance to a product.
  • Glycolic Acid - safer choice, yet still dissolves soap scum and mineral deposits.
  • Melaleuca Oil - is tough on stains and boosts cleaning power, yet is gentle.
  • Thyme Oil - has been proven to kill viruses.

Healthy Labels to Look For

A lot of marketing is supposed to entice people to buy the product, assuming it is healthy. Unfortunately, some marketing phrases can be deceitful, while some are more direct and are not often used to deceive. Some excellent terms on a label to look for include:

  • Biodegradable - breaks down in the environment. Although you may need to research to ensure that a company does not use this as a selling tactic, it makes it sound healthier than it is.
  • Chlorine-free/Bleach alternative - because bleach can be irritating and corrosive. It also releases harmful gases. In addition, studies have proven that excessive use of bleach has led to asthma and other lung diseases, which are also dangerous if accidentally mixed with vinegar and other substances.
  • EWG Verified - which stands for Environmental Working Group, which specializes in personal care products. They will only verify things that do not have any ingredient on their unacceptable lists, which are any ingredients that can cause health problems, ecotoxicity, and contamination concerns.
  • Non-Toxic - means that there are no hazardous ingredients. Unfortunately, the government does not regulate this classification, so there is no guarantee that it is genuinely toxic-free.

It is essential to research the ingredients on a bottle and the company that sells it. For example, fragrance oil from one company may be a very toxic chemical, while another may use a natural compound. Although it may be nearly impossible to truly live toxic-free, at least by being educated about products, you can reduce the toxic levels in your home and environment and improve your family's health.

Shopping nontoxic helps reduce migraines, asthma, skin issues, among others. I hope, as a result, my children will grow up with fewer inflammatory issues than I have.

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and does not substitute for diagnosis, prognosis, treatment, prescription, and/or dietary advice from a licensed health professional. Drugs, supplements, and natural remedies may have dangerous side effects. If pregnant or nursing, consult with a qualified provider on an individual basis. Seek immediate help if you are experiencing a medical emergency.

© 2019 Angela Michelle Schultz


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