*I had to edit this post to add something that has been on my mind lately. Regardless of what food you eat, or what products you use, let’s be a team of moms. Don’t judge each other. There is a lot of judgment on both sides of the non-toxic/natural living front. I share about my lifestyle because it’s my passion. I truly believe that we should have access to products that are not toxic. It just isn’t necessary. I do not share this to make people feel less-than or judged. If you aren’t interested in non-toxic living or it doesn’t work for you, I still love ya! If you want to know more, check out the post below.
These days, we are inundated with products that contain nasty ingredients that cause cancer, reproductive issues, birth defects, and hormonal imbalances. Scary stuff, right? What is even scarier is that these ingredients are in products that we are using for ourselves and our families every day. This is exactly why I am striving for a non-toxic home.
My journey to a non-toxic lifestyle all started when I found out I was pregnant with Jack. I started reading about products and ingredients that I shouldn’t use while pregnant. It doesn’t seem like it now, but I won’t be pregnant or nursing my entire life (I’m on my 3rd year). If a product could possibly hurt and unborn child, what does it do to me when I’m using it daily? I started researching and was shocked. Many of the ingredients in personal care products, cosmetics, and household products in the United States are completely banned in several European countries. Why? Because people know these ingredients are dangerous. Research proves it. Let’s take a look at just a few of the toxins in our homes.
Neurotoxins, and endocrine disrupters, and carcinogens, OH MY!
Parabens – Are used as preservatives in many cosmetic products. They are known endocrine disrupters that interfere with our endocrine, or hormone, systems. Recent studies have found parabens in cancerous tumors. They are also known to cause reproductive issues in males.
Parfume (synthetic fragrance) – Known to cause issues such as allergies and asthma. A known neurotoxin. Neurotoxins are destructive to our nerve tissue.
Formaldehyde – While actual formaldehyde may not be an ingredient, there are multiple ingredients that generate it over time. Formaldehyde is a known carcinogen.
Phalates – Have been linked to asthma, ADHD and other behavioral issues, breast cancer, neurodevelopmental issues, and reproductive issues.
This list goes on and on. Check out the EWG’s tips for safer products for more information about what you should avoid when choosing personal care products.
My family is the number one reason I choose to eliminate toxins from my home. I have a responsibility to my babies and myself. I don’t believe all of the preservatives and additives are necessary. There are so many great products out there that don’t contain toxic ingredients. I can’t depend on the FDA or big companies to eliminate known toxins, so I do it myself. While I know I cannot eliminate everything, I can make empowered decisions that will contribute to our overall health and wellness.
How to start
If you want to take the steps towards a non-toxic home, start by doing a little research. You can check the toxicity of most personal care products on the Think Dirty app for iPhone or online, here. Always check ingredients! If you can’t pronounce it, that’s not good. Be wary of products labeled “natural.” It doesn’t mean a darn thing.
Start small. Don’t just throw out everything you own. Doing so is overwhelming and expensive. First, start by replacing your children’s products. This may seem like a lot, but I believe it is SO important for our children to have non-toxic products. Childhood is a critical stage for physical and cognitive development and these toxins can wreak havoc on their little bodies, even if you don’t see it now.
I also recommend removing all candles and plugins from your home. I know, I know. You are mad at me right now. Like I mentioned earlier, this is bad stuff. Synthetic fragrances are one of the most toxic things in our homes. I once had a plugin melt the stain off of my kitchen cabinets. I don’t know why that happened, but I don’t want to breathe that stuff in. Say goodbye to these products. I noticed an immediate decrease in migraines and headaches when I did.
Next, throw out old products you no longer use. Then, start replacing things as you run out. While I did do an overhaul on some products (skin care items), I didn’t replace everything at once. I started this journey almost 3 years ago and I’m still working on it! I just replaced my toothpaste and cleaning products within the last several months. Essential oils allowed me to make a huge impact. They helped me replace so much more than I could have imagined and have really changed our lives. Learn more here.
If you want to make a change, do what you can, when you can. Everything you do is making an impact on your overall wellness. I’d love to chat with you if you have additional questions! Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org or comment below.