Toxicity Finally Gets Banned

In 2014, the FDA announced that manufacturers had to show that antibacterial soap was both safe and more effective than simply washing with conventional soap and water, or they would have to take it off the shelves in the next few years. In 2016, the Food and Drug Administration finally announced it’s banning triclosan and related antibacterial soap chemicals, meaning manufacturers have one year to remove it and 18 other antibacterial ingredients from products (or pull products containing these ingredients from store shelves). Is this a good thing? Don’t we want to have antibacterial cleansers around to keep us healthy? Well, not when they’re actually causing more harm than good!

For years, even the FDA admitted that regular soap and water proved just as effective as antibacterial soaps but without the harmful side effects, urging everyday people to skip out on the overkill of using antibacterial soap. The largest concern about antibacterial soaps and cleansers? Using them contributes to antibiotic resistance, meaning the more we expose germs to germ-fighting substances like antibiotics and antibacterial soaps, the better they adapt. (Nature is really good at adapting!) If this happens on a broad enough scale, it can essentially render that chemical useless against the strain of bacteria. This is currently a big problem in medicine—one the World Health Organization calls a “threat to global health security.” (That alone should convince you not to use the stuff!)

If that doesn’t do it, however, perhaps this will – triclosan is one of the worst endocrine disruptors to date. It interferes with the body’s regulation of the thyroid hormone, possibly because it chemically resembles the hormone closely enough that it can bind to its receptor sites. As such, it could lead to problems such as infertility, artificially-advanced early puberty, obesity and cancer. It can even hide itself in breast milk!

Add to that the fact that children with prolonged exposure to triclosan have a higher chance of developing allergies, including peanut allergies and hay fever. Scientists speculate that this could be a result of reduced exposure to bacteria, which could be necessary for proper immune system functioning and development. Prolonged exposure to this chemical also causes liver damage and is linked to liver cancer.

So we applaud the FDA’s decision to finally ban triclosan and 18 other antibacterial chemicals! Here are the important points that you need to know:

  • The active ingredients involved in this FDA antibacterial ingredient ban include: cloflucarban, fluorosalan, hexachlorophene, hexylresorcinol, iodine complex (ammonium ether sulfate and polyoxyethylene sorbitan monolaurate), iodine complex (phosphate ester of alkylaryloxy polyethylene glycol), nonylphenoxypoly (ethyleneoxy) ethanoliodine, poloxamer-iodine complex, povidone-iodine 5 to 10 percent, undecoylium chloride iodine complex, methylbenzethonium chloride, phenol (greater than 1.5 percent), phenol (less than 1.5 percent) 16, secondary amyltricresols, sodium oxychlorosene, tribromsalan, triclocarban, triclosan, triple dye

  • Manufacturers will have one year to comply with the rulemaking by removing products from the market or reformulating (removing antibacterial active ingredients) these products
  • This FDA ban applies to over-the-counter consumer hand soaps and body washes . It does not ban the uses of these antibacterial soap chemicals sanitizers or wipes, or in soaps used in hospital or food service settings.
  • The FDA is allowing one more year before ruling on three other antibacterial ingredients in consumer soaps and body washes— benzalkonium chloride, benzethonium chloride and chloroxylenol (PCMX) Consumer antibacterial washes containing these specific ingredients may be marketed during this time while data are being collected.

     

Oversanitation is making us sicker than ever, guys. It does all of the above; it can lead to nutrient deficiencies and digestive issues; and it even affects the environment. So make sure you go the soap and water route always and clean friendly!

What’s In YOUR Sunscreen?

Sunscreen

It’s finally summer – the best time of year! Beaches, boardwalks, cookouts, parks, pools…wow, that’s a lot of activities happening outdoors. That means you’ll be picking up your favorite sunscreen and slathering it on (I hope – please do!) before you head out the door, which is fabulous. But do you know what’s in your sunscreen? Some sunscreens aren’t protecting you as much as you think. In fact, some are actually doing your body harm.

The 2016 spring report from Environmental Working Group (EWG) found that 72% of the sunscreens tested contained harmful ingredients or were inadequate sun protection. This is their 10th annual Guide to Sunscreens report, and while the report shows there have been some improvements, the vast majority of sunscreens available in the U.S. still contain toxic chemicals or fail to offer enough protection against UV rays.

Why should you care so much? I mean, it’s not like your putting sunscreen in your body, right? Did you know, that your skin absorbs up to 60% of what you put on it? That’s 60% of those toxic chemicals being absorbed into your body. And even if a chemical isn’t so harmful that it affects us right away, some bio-accumulate in the body, taking their toll over time. So what are you looking for?

The most problematic of the sunscreen chemicals used in the U.S. is oxybenzone, found in nearly every chemical sunscreen, which can penetrate the skin causing allergic reactions and disrupting hormones. In fact, the EWG’s sunscreen report found that 70% of sunscreens contained this chemical. Then there’s methylisothiazolinone. This one is used in personal care products like sunscreen, shampoo, and conditioner as a preservative to keep your products fresh on the shelf. The problem? A recent study found the chemical may actually be linked to nerve damage. And not only that, but a 2012 study found that brief exposure to MIT is toxic in low concentrations during neural development, increasing the risk of seizures and visual abnormalities. Plus EWG says MIT is a skin sensitizer and irritant, which means that it can cause contact allergies. This one’s a doozy! There’s also homosalate, which disrupts estrogen, androgen, and progesterone.

What’s the solution? We all know that a) Vitamin D is vitally important, and b) we can’t completely avoid the sun, but there are plenty of ways to avoid the damaging rays of the sun. Clothing is the biggest alternative. Wear something white or light colored so it will reflect the rays of light and pop on a sun hat for extra protection. Another natural alternative to sunscreen? Sesame oil! Sesame oil can block out approximately 30% of the sun rays. Apply to your body every two hours for maximum results. Another non-toxic alternative? Sunscreens that use zinc oxide. These sunscreens provide a physical barrier rather than a chemical barrier, which means no chemicals are getting into your body. OR make your own, home-made sunscreen with ingredients such as zinc oxide, coconut oil, shea butter, and essential oils. Here’s a great recipe to get you started. You can also find our round-up of natural alternatives to sunscreen here.

Always be sure to check the ingredients in everything before you buy. We want you to have a safe, healthy, and happy summer! And if you’d like to learn more about toxins like these and how they can affect your hormones, call to make an appointment with us – we can tell you more about these and other chemicals, including the dangers and what products are better to use.

*Read EWG’s full report HERE*