TOXIC CHEMICALS IN THE HOME

May 16th, 2013 | By Sharon Shaw Elrod MSW EdD | Category: Senior Moments Blog

Read the Labels

Toxic chemicals have no place in the homes of senior citizens. We rely on public information to tell us when a product has ingredients that are harmful. And sometimes that information is clouded by special interests of companies that want us to buy their products in spite of the poison in them. So we have to perform due diligence and find the best information available before we decide what to purchase.

Following are some resources SCJ found that other seniors might find helpful:

  • Triclosan: This chemical has long been found in cosmetics and soap used on the body (including shampoo). The Suzuki Foundation has labeled it toxic for years. Triclosan has been in the news lately (2013) because the FDA recently put a spotlight on the potential links to hormonal issues.
  • Other “Dirty Dozen” chemicals identified by the Suzuki group include BHA and BHT, coal tar dyes, DEA, cocamide DEA and lauramide DEA, Dibutyl phthalate, formaldehyde-releasing preservatives, parabens, parfum, PEGs, petrolatum, siloxanes, and sodium laureth sulfate. You can read about all these dangerous chemicals in this PDF document on the David Suzuki site.
  • Those plastic flea collars for pets (dogs and cats) contain pesticides. And although the collars repel fleas, the pesticides are also dangerous for your cat and dogs. There are many non-toxic products available, including sprays and a variety of other kinds of repellants.
  • Many ‘weed and feed’ products for lawns contain a herbicide called 2,4-D. Although research on this chemical is scarce, there are enough anecdotal reports of health issues that we are well-advised to stop using it. What to do instead? Pull weeds by hand, or better yet, spread small rocks/stones on your ‘lawn’ for total weed control.
  • Cleaning products all contain chemicals that are harmful if ingested. This means not only if we get them in our mouth/eyes/ears, but also if we come into contact with them on our hands or body. Remember, our skin is the largest organ in our body, and whatever we put on our skin gets absorbed into our body in just a few seconds.

There are other chemicals that have the potential to be dangerous to our health. Read the labels and if you find something you don’t understand, go to your computer and do a search on it. There will be an abundance of information that you will find helpful.



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