Sunday, July 15, 2007

Allergins and Toxins and Chemicals Oh My


Remember the movie, "Incredible Shrinking Woman?" That was a family fave back in the 70's. In it, Lily Tomlin plays a mom who begins to shrink and discovers that the products she is using around her home are the cause. I've been checking out Environmental Working Group's Skin Deep cosmetics database where I have been learning about the products I use and how their ingredients are linked to all sorts of lovely things like cancer, allergies and immunotoxicity to name a few. It's scary.

I started by looking at sunscreens and learning that the one I slathered on the kids and complained about being totally greazy had a hazard rating of 8 based on the contents. I found one made by California Baby in a convenient stick form that has great safety ratings and will still block the sun for the kids. I also invested in low hazard bug repellent because we are due to be camping up a storm quite soon. Did I pay more than I might have when I bought our sunscreen the first time around? Yes, but only because I bought multiple sticks. It's not more expensive and it's available online and I'm going to use it if it's safer for my kids.

But then I thought, what about everything else? There's deoderant, lotion, shampoo, make-up, purfume......the list goes on and on. I started to check out the products I use and found that my purfume only has a hazard rating of 3 out of 10, not bad, but my shampoo has a 7 rating. I'm trying not to dive into the deep end about this but it's still freaking me out. I am glad there's a resource to make consumers aware, and I believe that it is a credible resource. The scariest reality is that we know how these products can impact us, but the long term effects at this point are unclear. So we know that there is scary stuff in our products and we know that kids have more sensitive systems because they are younger. We just don't know the effects of the combination of products we use over time.

In the meantime I continue to wash my hair with hazardous shampoo running the risk of shrinking.

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