A Homegrown Health Crisis
A recent study shows that 90% of unborn babies’ umbilical cords contain bisphenol a (BPA), a chemical used in the production of polycarbonate plastics and epoxy resins. Given this information and multiple other studies with similar results, it is rather apparent that there is reason to be alarmed. Bisphenol a can be found in many consumer products, with groups such as the American Medical Association (AMA) opposing its usage as a whole. Bisphenol a is not the only toxic chemical that most of us are exposed to. There are numerous consumer products containing similarly-harmful ingredients.
When discussing toxic consumer products, it is impossible to ignore the ingredients that are in many personal care products. Methylisothiazolinone (MIT), the active chemical that is in most personal care products, has been compared to Agent Orange by some health experts. Multiple studies have also shown MIT to be cytotoxic, meaning it is toxic to cells. Even if this chemical is not as toxic as some health experts may believe, it seems logical to remove it from many personal care products due to the risk that is associated with its use.
Consistently studies are finding that upping your exposure to bacteria is actually a good thing, especially in young children. Your first line of defense is not antimicrobial soap, or various personal care products, but your immune system. You can wash your hands all day, but if your immune system is not in order then you are at risk. You are exposed to viruses on a daily basis, and it is your immune system’s responsibility to fight off sickness. Without proper nutrition and exercise, your immune system will be considerably weakened.
Another harmful giant in the world of personal care products is aluminum. A popular ingredient in many deodorants, aluminum is a toxic additive in many personal care products.
“Especially avoid aluminum, which is found in high levels in the brain plaques linked to Alzheimer’s disease. And with deodorants, avoid phthalates, which are plastics used to help the fragrance stay on our skin and block endocrine function, especially in the male fetus. Parabens, which are used as preservatives in these products, should also be avoided since they could be linked to breast cancer. ”
– You: Staying Young: The Owner’s Manual for Extending Your Warranty by Mehmet C. Oz., M.D. and Michael F. Roizen, M.D.
There is much controversy surrounding the use of aluminum in antiperspirant products. There are few trials done on the matter, but one that was conducted linked exposure to aluminum to a higher risk of Alzheimer’s disease. Aluminum (especially aluminum chlorohydrate) is easily absorbed through the skin. This means that if aluminum is truly a threat to our health, which the trial indicates, then it is truly a considerable one due to its ability to absorb through the skin.
The article is titled Homegrown Health Crisis for a reason. The products that we use on a daily basis contain potentially-dangerous ingredients, even in the face of much opposition. This threat is not something we have no control over – it is truly homegrown. Doing your best to avoid products containing these ingredients is the best way to protect yourself and your family. Seek out products made with natural ingredients, or at least the best alternative.
 A. Schnuch, J. Geier, W. Utur, P. J. Frosch: “Patch testing with preservatives, antimicrobials and industrial biocides. Results from a multicentre study”, British Journal of Dermatology, 137(3), 467-476 (1998).
 ^ A. C. De Groot, A. Herxheimer: “Isothiazolinone Preservative: Cause Of A Continuing Epidemic Of Cosmetic Dermatitis”, The Lancet, Volume 333, Issue 8633, Pages 314-316 (1989).
Natural Society staff contribution