We take the simple steps of prevention to keep them safe, things that we do automatically like ensuring they wear a seatbelt in the car and have a helmet for when they are learning to ride a bike.
Yet you, like most parents, probably don’t know and don’t give a second thought to the harmful , corrosive ingredients that are found in brake fluid, degreasers and anti-freeze that you are using yourself and on your children on a daily basis. The everyday products that we bring into our homes such as soaps, shampoos, bubble bath and cosmetics are also loaded with such insidious chemicals.
So what are these potentially harmful ingredients and what products are they in?
According to Dr. Samuel Epstein, a world renowned toxicologist and chairman of the Cancer Prevention Coalition in the USA, most bubble baths, lotions, skin care and shampoos contain harmful chemicals. These chemicals can enter the blood stream and accumulate in human tissue.
Sodium Lauryl Sulphate (SLS) is one such chemical, used as a skin irritant in laboratory tests, and has been linked to tumours in mice. SLS or SLES (Sodium Laureth Sulphate) can be found in almost every personal care product in your bathroom and even in toothpaste. SLS is essentially a foaming agent that is extremely corrosive and is used in industry as an engine degreaser and floor cleaner.
Propylene Glycol is another chemical found in toiletries. This corrosive chemical can be found in most hair conditioners, deodorants, bubble baths, hand and body lotions, baby wipes and even in medications. This, in spite of the fact that Propylene Glycol is used in paints, brake and hydraulic fluid and the kind of anti-freeze they use to de-ice airplanes. Incidentally, propylene glycol has also made it into our food and pet food, as it is used as a humectant to stop foods drying out. You may see it listed as E1520, if it’s listed at all!
These are only two of the many chemicals that may undermine your health and the health of your children. You may be aware of the many issues that are now coming to the surface about BPA and phthalates in plastics and there are serious concerns about these two ingredients.
In a 1989 report completed in the USA on 2,983 chemicals found in personal care and cosmetics they found that:
You may now be wondering why these ingredients are used in products that we use daily. Basically they are cheap, they are permitted by our government and essentially they do the job.
This may surprise or even shock you however these are the facts which are thankfully becoming more prevalent and well-known. However, there are still many parents who do not realise that they are unknowingly inflicting exposures on their infants and children, let alone on themselves.
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