On any given day, people everywhere are surrounded by what some call “chemical soup.” Found in the foods we eat, the water we drink and bathe in, most consumer goods, and the air we breathe, chemicals are difficult if not impossible to avoid. While some are useful, many are toxic and their harm to the environment and human and animal health far outweigh their benefits.
Although many commonly used chemicals are detrimental to your health, it is important to remember that everything on the Earth is made of natural chemical elements. As just one example, nearly 80 percent of our atmosphere is nitrogen. Nitrogen occurs in all living organisms and is present in the cells of every plant and animal. While nitrogen and other natural chemical elements are essential to life, they can become toxic in higher amounts and/or when altered.
In the early 1880’s, German Scientists discovered a way to create fertilizer from nitrogen in an effort to increase crop production. Today, nitrogen-based fertilizers have helped to feed billions of people, but they are also responsible for poisoning ecosystems, destroying fisheries, and causing sickness and disease. Clearly, it isn’t that all chemicals are bad, but rather that many have been used unwisely and in excess.
There are currently more than 80,000 untested industrial chemicals used in consumer products with more than 2,000 new synthetic chemicals registered every year. The Environmental Protection Agency has identified hundreds of chemical ingredients in personal care products alone. Over 51 of them are considered “endocrine disruptors.” Also known as Xenohormones, these synthetic and natural compounds mimic hormones in the endocrine systems of both humans and animals.
The endocrine system influences almost every cell, organ, and function of our bodies. It is instrumental in regulating mood, growth and development, tissue function, and metabolism, as well as sexual function and reproductive processes. These systems work together to maintain the proper functioning of the body through its entire life cycle. Chemicals that disrupt endocrine system function are linked to premature puberty, PMS, infertility, endometriosis, prostate disease, early menopause and more.
Petroleum products are powerful endocrine disruptors and are another example of how what was once natural works against us. Formed by tiny sea plants and fish that died and sank to the bottom of the oceans millions of years ago, Petroleum is a “fossil fuel.” Petroleum products are present in virtually everything from food additives to your clothing and toothbrush.
Many personal care products use Mineral Oil as the primary ingredient. Literally liquid petroleum, it is a by-product in the distillation of petroleum to produce gasoline and other petroleum based products from crude oil. Trusting it to be completely safe, when you were a baby, your mother likely slathered you in Baby Oil (100% Mineral Oil) on a daily basis.
Let’s live in confidence and awareness rather than fear, accepting that chemicals are an integral part of our world. Through education and focus, we can navigate through our “chemical soup.” With every wise choice you make to reduce your exposure to toxic chemicals, you will avoid one more burden on your body and contribute to a cleaner environment. In the words of our Surgeon General, “Read the label!”
Please check the ingredients in your personal care products carefully. Remember, the skin is the body’s largest organ and everything you put on it goes into your bloodstream. When you purchase your personal care products from Organic Excellence, you can feel confident knowing they are chemical free. We never add artificial fragrances, colors, parabens, preservatives, additives, genetically modified ingredients or use animal testing.