“Safe” Chemical Levels in Conventional Self-Care Products

If you take time to have a look at some of the ingredients in your personal care products, you’re likely to see there are quite a few ingredients that are chemical compounds. These chemical compounds have long names that are often hard to pronounce with a quick glance. Now, you probably assume that because these chemicals are put in your shampoo, body wash, soap, etc, that they’re safe because surely the manufacturer and TGA wouldn’t approve chemicals that could be potentially hazardous.. Right?

There are a few concerns with how the “safe” levels of chemicals in conventional self-care products are evaluated.

♦ Sadly, the way they evaluate and set “safe” levels of chemicals in our products is floored. These limits often don’t take into account the impact of chemical interactions. For example, if sodium lauryl sulphate (Foaming Agent) typically found in conventional shampoo and soap combines with an amine (such as triethanolamine), may form nitrosamines and these are carcinogenic. You’ll find this combination in most conventional personal care products.

♦ The toxicology tests used to determine the exposure limit, don’t take into account chemicals found in their packaging. Chemicals such as BPA found in canned foods, some baby bottles and plastic containers can leach into the food/liquid contained inside. These can cause adverse health effects and hormone imbalance at levels below what is currently accepted.

♦ These levels are based on adult exposure, not children.

♦ These levels don’t take into account the individuals susceptibility. I’ve mentioned bio-individuality in the Naturopathy section of my site and this is a similar concept. Each person can be affected differently to even the lowest levels of chemicals. Some may experience symptoms from the lowest exposure and others may take a little more to generate a response. This can be due to genetic predispositions, low immune system, immune impaired, adolescents, the elderly, underlying health issues and the list goes on.

The fact is, you really don’t know how these chemicals are going to affect your health and the health of your family. You’re not only being exposed to the chemicals that are listed on these products, you’re being exposed to the chemicals in the packaging and when you consider how many self-care products you use, you’ve probably already been exposed to over 200 chemicals before you leave the house in the morning and that’s just from self-care products.

To move towards using more natural products, get to know the chemicals that are in your products and their potential hazards. There is a great app called chemical maze where you can search ingredients, additives and products to see the potential hazards and symptoms that are connected to these chemical ingredients and additives. You can head to your local health food shop and ask about natural alternatives to the products you use or research online. If you’d like to read more about organic products and what organic really means, click here.

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