From Dr. Mercola:

By Dr. Mercola

In Europe, more than 1,300 chemicals are banned from use in lotions, soaps, toothpaste, cosmetics, and other personal care products. Contrast that to in the US, where just 11 are banned.1

Adding insult to injury, the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) tasks the companies that manufacture and market cosmetics and other personal care products with ensuring their safety.

Not only does this pose an obvious conflict of interest, but “neither the law nor FDA regulations require specific tests to demonstrate the safety of individual products or ingredients.”2

The average US women uses 12 personal care products and/or cosmetics a day, containing 168 different chemicals, according to the Environmental Working Group (EWG). There are other chemicals risks as well, like those lurking in your household cleaning products, food packaging, furniture, and carpeting.

Dr. Julia Brody, executive director of the Silent Spring Institute, is among those speaking out against environmental chemicals and the risk they pose to human health, and in particular to women’s health.

About 80 percent of the women who develop breast cancer, for instance, have no family history of the disease. Environmental chemicals, including those that disrupt your body’s hormone systems (endocrine-disrupting chemicals) are thought to play a significant role.3

Which Household Products Should You Avoid?

Silent Spring has identified multiple chemicals groups that you’re better off avoiding to protect your health. This includes chemicals common in household items you may currently be using everyday:

1. Fragrances in Cleaning and Personal Care Products

Fragranced products are almost always loaded with synthetic chemicals that have been linked to cancer, reproductive toxicity, allergies, and more. Some common offenders lurking in “fragrance” include:

Parabens: Synthetic preservatives known to interfere with hormone production and release. Phthalates: Another synthetic preservative that’s carcinogenic and linked to adverse reproductive effects (decreased sperm counts, early breast development, and birth defects) and liver and kidney damage. Synthetic musks: These are linked to hormone disruption and are thought to persist and accumulate in breast milk, body fat, umbilical cord blood, and the environment.

According to the Environmental Working Group (EWG):4

“An analysis of the chemical contents of products reveals that the innocuous-looking ‘fragrance’ often contains chemicals linked to negative health effects.

Phthalates, used to make fragrances last longer, are associated [with] damage to the male reproductive system, and artificial musks accumulate in our bodies and can be found in breast milk. Some artificial musks are even linked to cancer.

And if you’ve got asthma, watch out – fragrance formulas are considered to be among the top 5 known allergens, and can trigger asthma attacks.

The same kinds of chemicals are often used for fragrances in cleaning products, scented candles, and air fresheners. To avoid those unpleasant side effects, choose fragrance-free products, but beware labels that say ‘unscented.’ It may only mean that the manufacturer has added yet another fragrance to mask the original odor.”

2. Vinyl Products

You know the smell that seeps out when you take a brand new plastic…

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