I’m not sure what finally got the fire under me to do it, because for a while now I’ve been meaning to extract several known and unnecessary toxins from my family’s home but just haven’t gotten around to it. Maybe it was the third story of a mom under 40 diagnosed with cancer, or maybe it was the zillionth article I’ve read about autoimmune diseases in children increasing. Either way, I got rid of them and found the right non toxic solutions in their place:
1) Aluminum-based deodorants and anti-perspirants
For years now, research has suggested that aluminum in deodorants becomes trapped in our lymph nodes and cause changes in DNA that increases our risk of breast cancer. Some research shows it is absorbed further into the body and may be involved in Alzheimer’s disease.
Even with a family history of breast cancer, my propensity for sweating and my active lifestyle held me back from trying anything but my “super clinical strength” deodorants. Then my daughter, although still pre-pubescent, asked to start wearing deodorant. This was my chance to start her on the right track, and I of course had to set the right example.
There are tons on the market now, but I found my favorite that really does the job!
- Schmidt’s deodorant (lavender & sage scent my favorite!)
2) Phthalates in Soaps and Cleansers
Phthalates (also know as “plasticizers”) are used to make plastics tougher and more flexible. They are also a primary ingredient in tons of hair, body, and face cleansers.
This group of chemicals has shown in animal studies to affect liver, kidney, and lungs. Most notably the studies have shown profound effects on the reproductive system and hormonal balance, but this research is ongoing.
CDC research confirms that we all buildup metabolites of phthalates in our bodies. For some reason, women build up higher amounts than men- up to five times more in women of childbearing age! We still don’t know just what level of exposure is dangerous, we just know that it is likely cumulative buildup over time that affects us somehow.
- Jason brand soap (comes in so many versions – scented and unscented – and I like the large bottles with easy pumps for the kids)
3) Phosphates in Laundry and Dish Detergent
Since we were short of soap during WW2, we developed many man-made chemicals to use in detergents, and we still use them today.
Phosphates are widespread and when they go down the drain they aren’t broken down by water processing systems. So they end up polluting lakes, rivers and oceans, leading to contamination and death of the sea life we rely on. One study in California found phosphates levels in city wastewater jumped 8-fold from 1940 to 1970 – that’s scary!
It’s not just about the environment here. Phosphates are often found along with phenols and sodium lauryl sulfates, chemicals associated with disrupted metabolism, hormonal imbalance, fertility issues, and mood disorders.
The good news is most gentler detergents don’t have any of these chemicals and still clean as well as the “strong” stuff.
Remember, healthy living is a balance and shouldn’t cause stress. When we travel, I’m not necessarily stressing about bringing these items along in travel size; it is okay to use whatever the hotel or family we are visiting uses. Toxins build up in our system over time; we have to pick and choose what we focus on.
Is this by any means an exhaustive list of removing ALL toxins from my home? Of course not – but it’s a great start.
Success at anything is the sum of multiple small steps. This is my road to successfully detoxing what my family is exposed to.