10,500: That’s how many unique ingredients are in various personal care products we use every day.
126: That’s how many cosmetics ingredients to which the average American is exposed daily, according to an Environmental Working Group survey.
0: That’s how many chemicals in personal care products – including shampoo, toothpaste, lotion, deodorant, shaving cream and cosmetics – are required to be tested for safety before they’re sold in the marketplace.
The burden of chemical safety certainly isn’t where it belongs. Instead, it rests squarely on the shoulders of concerned parents and trustworthy companies who have made it their mission not to poison our children. ~Alicia Voorhies, RN
Top 5 Tips for Avoiding Toxic Ingredients
- Avoid products with the term “fragrance” on the label: The National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health has found that one-third of the substances used in the fragrance industry are toxic (manufacturers can legally hide over 3,000 chemicals under “fragrance” – WHAT?!)
- Don’t trust the marketing hype for products claiming to be natural, herbal, non-toxic, plant-based, or even organic. Read labels and look for red flag ingredients. And when in doubt, the safest and simplest option is to choose products made by companies who have their products monitored by a third party (the proof’s in the pudding, so look for seals confirming the certification such as USDA Organic, Oregon Tilth or NSF Certified).
- Keep in mind that Certified Organic means there are no GMO’s (ingredients made from GMO crops are not allowed to be used). BUT…it does not work the other way around: non-GMO products that aren’t certified organic aren’t automatically safe. It just means that the manufacturer hasn’t used any “Roundup Ready” raw ingredients with built-in pesticides in their products (very important, but not the sole consideration!).
- Create a safer shopping list by checking the Environmental Working Group’s Skin Deep database for products with a rating of 3 or less.
- Use fewer products less often.
Trustworthy Resources for Safe Personal Care Products
Parents shouldn’t be responsible for figuring out which personal care products are safe! Demand change by voting with your dollars. Use these top-notch resources to make informed decisions and use your purchasing power to put toxic manufacturers out of business!
- Campaign for Safe Cosmetics
- Breast Cancer Fund
- Environmental Working Group’s Skin Deep Database
- Safer Chemicals Coalition
- Healthy Child Healthy World
- Women’s Voices for the Earth
- Earth Mama’s Top Ingredients to Avoid in Lotion, Body Wash and Diaper Cream
- Care 2′s Top 15 Dangerous Ingredients in Skin Care
- Safe Mama’s Safer Skin Care Cheat Sheet
What are your favorite resources to help take the headache out of finding safe personal care products?
Photo credit: onlyorganic.org