I’ve been using sulfate free shampoos for several years now, but I never paid attention to what was in them. I decided take a look at the ingredients list and look them up using the Holistic Dad’s Facebook page, on Environmental Working Group, a site in which you can search specific products or ingredients and be informed of their health hazards. I’ve found this site to be a very useful tool, they also have many great articles.
My specific shampoo has an overall rating of 6, which means it is a moderate hazard to my health. Their rating system is as follows: 0-2 = low hazard; 3-6 = moderate hazard; 7-10 = high hazard. So, my shampoo is not as bad as if could be, but it definitely isn’t as good as I’d like it to be. One thing I’ve noticed through research is that “fragrance” is bad! If a product has “fragrance” in it, the health hazard rating is usually fairly high. “Fragrance” is a term that the cosmetic industries use on ingredient lists that disclose only that there are unnamed chemicals in the product. My advice, and what I plan to do from now on, is avoid scented products as much as possible, unless of course it is a natural scent from an essential oil.
As I share this information with all of you via my mobile device, I also hold my precious sleeping baby boy. And it makes me angry, sad and terrified that the government basically allows personal care product manufacturers to use almost any chemical they want, regardless of risks. Potentially giving our babies cancer!
Here is a list that I’ve found helpful, from EWG, of potentially harmful and cancer causing ingredients to avoid:
How to navigate product ingredients lists:
Start at the end, with preservatives and avoid:
•Words ending in “paraben”
•Triethanolamine (or “TEA”)
Check the beginning of the ingredients lists, where soaps, surfactants, and lubricants show up, try to avoid:
•mineral oil, also known as white oil, liquid paraffin, and liquid petroleum
•ingredients that start with “PEG”
•ingredients that have an “-eth” in the middle (e.g., sodium laureth sulfate)
Read the ingredients in the middle, avoid:
“FRAGRANCE,””FD&C,” or “D&C.”
Especially for our children
Extra caution is in order for kids because, pound for pound, they are exposed to more contaminants in everyday products than adults. Their immature metabolism and organ systems are typically less capable of fending off chemical assaults. Even subtle damage to young bodies can lead to disease later in life.
Here are the Environmental Working Group’s top five tips for kids:
•Use fewer products and use them less often
•Don’t trust ad hype. Check ingredients!
•Buy fragrance-free products
•Avoid the use of baby powder
-Always avoid these top six chemicals of concern for kids:
•Boric acid and sodium borate
For more info on environmental health for family’s I recommend EWG’s Healthy Homes Tip Series
I hope everyone finds this helpful and useful…it sure gives me the drive to learn how to make my own natural products without all the harmful additives!
**I’ve updated this post to include this graphic, which I saw on Holistic Dad’s Facebook page, not sure of the original source, if you know feel free to contact me**