Air fresheners, laundry detergent and even shampoos are often packed with toxins that may be affecting everything from your lungs to your endocrine system.
To make matters worse, many of the ingredients within are possible carcinogens; ie: they are linked to cancer development.
Since 2008, personal care products like shaving gel and facial creams must include a full list of ingredients. According to Health Canada, this regulation is in place to ensure Canadians can easily identify and avoid ingredients that they may be sensitive to.
However, companies are not required to include health warnings for products containing suspected carcinogens or other potentially harmful chemicals. And with so many unfamiliar ingredients listed on the back of household products, it’s hard to know what’s safe.
Products to Avoid & Suggested Alternatives
1) Plug-in air fresheners
The ingredients emitted combine to form formaldehyde, a suspected carcinogen. Another chemical, called dichlorobenzene, was found to cause difficulty breathing, and increases the risk of athsma development.
Natural alternative – simmer cinnamon sticks and cloves together in hot water. Or, visit Escents Aromatherapy in Vancouver, and purchase a ceramic diffuser. Then, add your favorite 100% natural essential oil to diffuse safe, non-toxic scents.
2) Laundry detergents that contain phosphates. Phosphates kill fish and other marine life, and deplete oxygen from water.
Natural alternative – Plant-based laundry detergents, such as Seventh Generation. This brand is hypo-allergenic, and free of phosphates and chlorine bleach. This safer alternative detergent is available in Vancouver at IGA, Stong’s, Choices Market, and Capers.
3) Hair products that contain parabens, phthalates, sulphates, DEA & MEA, and formaldehyde.
These chemicals are listed as possible carcinogens and are believed to cause numerous health problems. Also, be wary of the “fragrance” label. ‘Fragrance” can contain up to 4,000 separate ingredients, most of which are synthetic and can have negative health effects.
Natural alternative – hair care products that are free of toxics and chemicals. Burt’s Bees has an extensive line of hair, skin, and cosmetic products that are earth-friendly, safe, and effective. You can purchase Burt’s Bees products in Vancouver at Shoppers Drug Mart.