06 May 2012

Household and Personal Products – Hereby Warned!

There was a study titled Endocrine Disruptors and Asthma-Associated Chemicals in Consumer Products recently published by the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences that quantified chemicals in cosmetics; personal care items; and cleaning products.  The study analyzed chemical classes and the uses of these chemicals in products including preservatives, anti-microbial agents, additives, solvents, enhancers and fragrance.  Of course, industry groups took issue with conclusions of the study, citing concerns that the public would be alarmed unnecessarily by the presence of these chemicals.  Although studies have not absolutely linked these chemicals directly to ill health effects, there is reason for a certain amount of fear.
Many homes have dangerous cleaning products, polishes and outdoor products stored within the home.  Most people take care with the products that are labeled toxic, but many products contain damaging chemicals that are not included on labels and thus are dismissed as safe.  We just love sweet flowery scents and pretty colors.  We use personal care and cleaning products on a daily basis without considering the cumulative effects of chemical build-up in our dishes, clothes and bodies.  We are what we eat, touch, and inhale.  Everything that enters our bodies has an effect; beneficial or adverse.  Therefore, we need to be more careful about the products around us.

The risks of adverse effects from exposure is hard to guess because products contain many ingredients that are known and unknown and the variety of combinations is difficult to assess.  Household products can impact the immune systems of children and the elderly.  The products can cause behavioral and developmental problems as well as exacerbate health conditions associated with illness such as asthma, allergies and cancers.  When we dispose of leftover products by pouring down the drain; dumping in the street sewers; or putting out with trash, we pollute our environment and affect not only humans, but the ecosystems of plants and wildlife.
Every year, a range of products are found to be so dangerous that they are taken off the market.  Regulatory agencies carefully study products prior to making a decision and the entire time products undergo such study, consumers use the hazardous products without full understanding of the potential dangers.  We willingly consume unsafe manufactured items because of the influence that industry and the media have on our society.  We must stop.

Precaution can be taken during use of certain products, including implementation of safety equipment and proper ventilation.  However, for the majority of residential use products, there are safer alternatives that are less expensive and more environmentally friendly.  Black Organic strongly recommends you use them.
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