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10 toxic chemicals to avoid in personal care products

Opting for locally sourced, whole foods is a critical step in taking care of your personal health. But, being concerned about what food goes into your mouth is only half the battle. You may be surprised to learn the personal care items you and your family are using – every day – are putting your health in jeopardy because of the toxic chemicals inside.

From cleansers to cosmetics, the personal care products in your home may contain known cancer-causing chemicals.  Make the switch (today), because the use of chemical-free shampoo and other natural personal care products will greatly reduce your exposure to disease-causing substances.

Top 10 toxic chemicals to avoid

1. Sodium lauryl sulfate (SLS) and sodium laureth sulfate (SLES): These closely related chemicals pop up in everything from industrial soaps to toothpaste, and are contained in nearly all shampoos and foaming products. They are known to cause skin irritation, serious eye damage, diarrhea, breathing difficulty – even death – in laboratory animals.

The American College of Toxicology has found these chemicals can cause malformation in the eyes of children, while other research shows SLS in particular can damage the immune system, potentially leaving the body open to damage, disorders and disease, including cancer.  Toxic residues can be left behind in the heart, brain and liver.

2. FD&C color pigments: They may seem like harmless colorants, but the many pigments finding their way into personal care products can damage the skin. In addition, it’s been shown that absorption of some of these colorants can deplete the body of oxygen, and in extreme cases, lead to death.

The majority of these pigments are made from coal tar – a substance known to cause cancer in laboratory animals.

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3. Isopropyl alcohol: How many times have you noticed this chemical listed on the ingredients of lotions, fragrances, cosmetics and similar products?  You might think because of its widespread use that isopropyl alcohol is safe.

But in reality, this petroleum-derived substance is the same chemical used in antifreeze and as a solvent in shellac. Both inhalation and ingestion are dangerous – leading to dizziness, depression, vomiting, nausea and coma.

4. Polyethylene glycol (PEG): These harsh chemicals are used to dissolve oil and grease, as well as thicken products.  They are even used as oven cleaners.

Yet, PEGs also find their way into many of the personal care products you use every day. Potentially carcinogenic, PEGs are known to damage the immune system and exposure can help to trigger cancer cell growth.