Are Healthy Household Products Really as Green as They Say?
Have you been wondering why everyone has jumped on the DIY craze when it comes to personal hygiene products and cleaning products?
We understand it can help us save money, but there are some recipes which are DIY and more expensive than what you can purchase at the store.
What’s the point and what should you be aware of when deciding whether DIYing these healthy household products are worth the effort?
I’m going to walk you through a few of the common concerns for store-bought deodorant, toothpaste, and cleaning products. I’ll also give you some DIY alternatives for these items and a couple of links to healthy store-bought alternatives if you’re too busy for the DIY options.
Here’s what you should know when deciding which healthy household products are best for you and your family:
The Deal with Deodorant
I’m not sure about you, but I’m finicky when it comes to which deodorants I use. We farm which means – sweating. Notice I used the term ‘sweating.’
Some people say women don’t sweat…they glisten. They aren’t talking about me when using this phrase.
Therefore, it’s essential I have a good deodorant which keeps me from smelling like a dead animal when I’m working.
I also must be concerned about what I choose to help me smell fresh, because there are some common concerns about deodorants which I consider.
The overwhelming concern is that most deodorants aren’t only deodorants; they’re also antiperspirants.
Here are the concerns with antiperspirants:
1. Breast Cancer
Antiperspirants have inactive ingredients along with active ingredients. The main active ingredient is aluminum-based.
The aluminum-based ingredient will clog your sweat glands to stop you from sweating. This is thought to increase your chances of breast cancer.
If you cut yourself when shaving, the aluminum is feared to work its way inside your body. This is thought to lead to impacts on your DNA which can throw your estrogen levels off balance which leads to concerns over cancer.
2. Kidney Problems
Many years ago, there was a study which showed Alzheimer’s patients had a higher amount of aluminum build-up in their brain.
Over the years, the same test results couldn’t be reached again, which calmed some consumers’ concerns over antiperspirants causing Alzheimer’s.
Yet, when kidney patients were given an aluminum-based medical treatment, scientists found the patients had a difficult time ridding their bodies of aluminum.
The build-up of aluminum has been shown to increase the kidney patient’s chances of developing dementia.
Which is why deodorant companies were required to put a label on their products stating kidney patients shouldn’t use antiperspirant deodorants without permission from their doctor.
Therefore, this caused other concerns with consumers. It’s important to be aware and stay on top of such studies to make informed decisions on whether antiperspirants could cause an issue for you or your loved ones.
The inactive ingredients in antiperspirant deodorant are referred to as parabens. In an earlier study where breast cancer tumors were dissected, they found a higher number of parabens in the tumors.
However, no one was able to pinpoint where the parabens came from. Many people are still concerned the parabens were absorbed through antiperspirant deodorants.
This fear has led some to assume the parabens found in antiperspirant deodorant can cause breast cancer.
4. The Other Side of the Argument
The above reasons are all enough for many people to give up on store-bought deodorant products and only invest in healthy household products.
However, you must know science isn’t confirming any of these fears. The American Cancer Society isn’t sure the body can absorb enough of these ingredients to damage the body and cause cells to mutate into cancer cells.
If you’re someone who would rather play it safe than sorry, here are a few options you can try for natural deodorants which don’t contain the aluminum-based ingredients, and some can be made yourself:
- Explore Naturals Aluminum-Free Deodorant
- UnderArmed for Women or Men Aluminum Free Deodorant
- Organic Natural Deodorant Bar
- Four Ingredient Natural Deodorant
- No Baking Soda Natural Deodorant
The Truth About Toothpaste
The big concern when it comes to store-bought toothpaste is almost all of them contain fluoride. Many stores are getting away from carrying most (if any) fluoride-free toothpaste options.
If you look closely at the toothpaste you’re purchasing, you’ll notice an FDA required label which warns of the possibility of poisoning if too much toothpaste is swallowed. The label is there because of the dangers of fluoride-poisoning, especially in small children.
The effects of swallowing too much toothpaste are:
- Teeth developing discolored spots
- Stomach issues such as cramps, nausea, vomiting, headache, dizziness
- Developing a rash or other skin issues
- Struggles with managing glucose which is feared to increase diabetes in children
- Dangers of poisoning or death if too much fluoride is ingested
If you’re worried about you or your children facing any of these unwanted side-effects of fluoride toothpaste, consider purchasing fluoride-free toothpaste or making your own. Here are a few other options:
- Chemical Free Kids’ Toothpaste
- Essential Oils Natural Toothpaste
- Natural Fluoride Free Toothpaste
- Burt’s Bees Fluoride Free Toothpaste
- Tom’s Fluoride Free Toothpaste
The Skinny on Basic Household Products
When considering whether you should buy or make your own cleaning products or laundry detergents, it may seem convincing to purchase ‘greener’ options to ensure your family isn’t being harmed, and you aren’t impacting the world around you.
The problem with this logic is household cleaning products, and laundry detergents aren’t well regulated. Many cleaning products don’t list their ingredients, and even the ‘green options’ aren’t guaranteed to be as ‘green’ as they seem.
Let’s get down to it. What are the issues with many store-bought cleaning products and laundry detergents?
1. The Ingredients
The biggest issues are the ingredients. Many of the products you see on store shelves contain VOCs and flammable ingredients.
VOC stands for volatile organic compounds. They can cause many respiratory problems and pollute the air in your home.
The issue with flammable ingredients is an obvious one. I noticed on my washing machine the other day there’s a warning.
It warns not to place items which may have come in contact with flammable ingredients in the machine because it could cause a fire.
You don’t want flammable ingredients around your family, especially unknowingly, because it isn’t good for our bodies nor our safety.
These ingredients are found in many common products we use such as:
- Aerosol cans
- Air fresheners
- Laundry and dish detergents
- Floor polish
2. Are They Harming Our Health in Other Ways?
If you’ve hung around a hospital for long, you’ve heard the term superbug. These are dangerous germs because they’re bugs which have grown immune to our modern medicine.
Why are they developing? Because everything we use is now antibacterial. The germs are getting smarter and figuring out how to thrive in sterile environments.
This is scary because modern medicine is trying to keep up with superbugs, but the fact is, there isn’t a cure for all the bugs which are developing.
Therefore, it may be better to stick with basic cleaning agents which will give you a clean home but not sterile to the point it helps this superbug epidemic grow larger.
Phosphates are included in many store-bought products. The downside to this is they cause algal blooms to form.
If you use a cleaning product which contains phosphates and it ends up down your drain, you’re now pushing phosphates into our water system.
The water is overfilled with phosphates, which causes algal blooms. You see them form like a crust over bodies of water.
These blooms remove oxygen from the water. In turn, this can kill off plants and animals which depend upon the oxygen in the water.
The consequential decreased food supply can damage economies around the world, and obviously causes damage to the planet and ecosystems.
Because you can’t ever be sure of what you’re purchasing at the store due to the lack of accountability in this area of products, it may be best to DIY these healthy household products. Here are a few ideas:
- DIY laundry detergent
- DIY Fabric Softeners
- DIY dish detergent
- DIY kitchen degreaser
- DIY toilet cleaning bombs
- DIY tub and shower cleaner
Hopefully, this helps you to understand why making your hygiene products and cleaning products not only showing ‘money smarts’ but ‘health smarts’ too.
We hope this information helps you to make a more informed decision on which products you use around your home but remember to do your research.
New studies are developing all the time and could give you new and exciting information to help you make the best decisions for yourself and those you love.
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