I have healthy alternatives for numbers 1, 5, 6, 7, 8 & 9!

Do you ever walk through someone’s home and take note of items that could potentially be hazardous to their health? I know I do! I don’t mean to judge, but I can’t help but notice when people have fluoride-filled toothpaste sitting on their bathroom counters or chemical-ridden cleaners hiding in their cabinets. But, what if some of these items are sitting in your own home?

Most people have toxic products linked to cancer in every corner of their homes, often without even realizing it. It’s not like the labels of these products all have a huge warning sign that reads, “I can cause cancer!”

Nevertheless, whether people knowingly purchase these cancer-causing products or not, we need to educate one another on their potential harmful effects.

The following list highlights some of the most popular products found in North American homes that are linked to cancer:

1. Shampoo
One of the most common items hiding in most people’s homes are chemical-ridden hair products, particularly shampoos and conditioners. Some of the typical chemicals within conventional shampoos include sodium lauryl sulfate (SLS), parfum/fragrance, parabens, synthetic colours, and more.

2. Non-Stick Cookware
When I first discovered non-stick cookware, I absolutely loved it! That was, until I found out about the potential health risks that come with cooking with these products. The issue is that non-stick cookware is created using a synthetic coating of polytetrafluoroethylene, otherwise known as Teflon, a plastic polymer that will actually release toxins when heated at 450 degrees Fahrenheit or higher.

3. Artificial Sweeteners
Artificial sweeteners are in so many products, and one of the most prevalent ones used is aspartame. Aspartame is commonly thought to only be in diet sodas, but it’s often added to teas, energy drinks, protein shakes, milk products, juices, and other artificially flavoured beverages. Aspartame has been linked to numerous health problems, including cancer.

4. Plastic Bottles and Food Containers
So much of our “food” comes in plastic bags, containers, and bottles. Even our fruits and vegetables are commonly wrapped in plastic. Not only is this extremely wasteful and bad for the environment, but it isn’t very good for our health, either.

5. Air Fresheners
This is a big one. Air fresheners are all over people’s houses; from bedrooms to bathrooms to cars, people love them. Typically they’re made with synthetic fragrance, otherwise known as parfum. Parfum is basically a cocktail of toxic chemicals, but instead of listing all of these chemicals on the back of products, it’s conveniently labelled as “parfum” so that companies can keep their signature fragrance a trade secret.

6. Conventional Cleaners
Most families have an entire shelf filled with toxic cleaners because corporations convince consumers they need different products to clean specific surfaces. Even though most of these products have toxic warning signs on them that clearly state they’re poisonous and/or corrosive, people continue to, quite literally, buy into this corporate propaganda. Not only are they breathing in these fumes while cleaning, but so are any of their household visitors and/or children.

7. Toothpaste
Commercial toothpastes primarily use toxic substances as a means to “clean your mouth,” as the ingredients in regular toothpastes can cause enamel damage, dental flourosis, stomach ailments, skin rashes, and more.

8. Soap
Whether it’s dish soap, hand soap, or body wash, conventional soaps often contain a wide array of chemicals. Antibacterial soaps regularly contain Triclosan, which is a potential carcinogen, along with many of the other ingredients often found in typical soaps. Conventional soaps also often contain parfum/fragrance.

9. Laundry Detergent
Laundry detergents often contain phosphorus, enzymes, ammonia, naphthalene, phenol, and sodium nitilotriacetate, all of which can cause rashes, itchiness, dryness, and sinus problems. These chemicals are easily absorbed through your skin from your clothes and bed sheets. In addition, many conventional detergents contain artificial scents and “fragrance,” which is a code name for a sweet cocktail of hazardous chemicals and potential carcinogens.

10. Baby Powder
Many baby powders are talc-based, meaning that they contain high amounts of talcum powder. According to the American Cancer Society, talc in its natural form, which contains asbestos, can cause cancer. One of the most popular baby powders used produced by Johnson and Johnson is talc-based. The company has been sued many times and has paid millions of dollars to those who claimed their baby powder caused their cancer.
— http://www.unseen-pedia.com/10-products-linked-cancer-hiding-almost-every-home/

Study Links Childhood Cancer and In-Home Pesticide Use


are in too many products!

A study by Harvard researchers provides disturbing evidence that children’s exposure to household insecticides is linked to higher risks of childhood leukemia and lymphoma, the most common cancers in children. The analysis also found an association between use of outdoor herbicides to lawns and gardens and higher risks of leukemia.

“It is very troubling, albeit not surprising, to see additional scientific evidence linking pesticide use to childhood cancer,” said Ken Cook, EWG president and co-founder. “The findings confirm parents’ worst fears that they could be unknowingly exposing their children to harmful chemicals that can lead to serious, even life-threatening, illnesses.”

“This study should remind us once again that we must protect our kids by curtailing our use of these toxic chemicals in and outside of the home,” Cook added.

The results from a meta-analysis, to be published in the journal Pediatrics in October, combined 16 studies reporting children’s exposure to pesticides used in and around the home. As the authors noted, children are more vulnerable to harmful pesticides because their bodies and immune systems are still developing. The researchers added that infants and toddlers are at especially high risk of exposure because they often play on pesticide-treated lawns or on carpets or floors where pesticide residues accumulate, and then put their hands and fingers in their mouths.

“Parents should consider the danger of pesticides in terms of the lethal toxicity of any products and the proximity to where your children play, eat, rest and sleep,” said Dr. Alex Lu, a Harvard Chan School of Public Health associate professor and senior author of the study. “This is also true for schools, playgrounds and sports fields.”

Lu added, “There is no justification for using chemical pesticides to maintain buildings, play areas or sport fields. There are plenty of non-chemical based treatments that will serve the purpose.”

EWG advises parents to stop using lawn and garden care, and to use indoor pesticides only as a last resort. See Healthy Child Healthy World’s greener tips on how to control indoor pests and how to protect your pets from fleas and ticks.

Another major source of children’s exposure to pesticides is food. Conventionally grown fruits and vegetables often carry multiple pesticide residues even after they have been washed, and in some cases, peeled. That’s why EWG updates its Shopper’s Guide to Pesticides in Produce™ every year in order to help shoppers figure out which are the “dirtiest,” or most contaminated, and which are the “cleanest,” or least contaminated. The guide encourages shoppers to opt for organic versions of the “dirtiest” fruits and vegetables.

As Lu explains in this video, switching to an organic diet can significantly lower a child’s exposure to pesticides.

The American Academy of Pediatrics cites EWG’s Shopper’s Guide as a reliable resource for parents looking to reduce their children’s exposures.
— http://www.ewg.org/release/study-links-childhood-cancer-and-home-pesticide-use#.WZT4x62ZN-h

BPA Bombshell

No...it's everywhere.

Industry Database Reveals 16,000 Foods With Toxic Chemical in Packaging

EWG has created the first easily searchable database of approximately 16,000[1] processed food and drink items packaged in materials that may contain the hormone-disrupting chemical bisphenol A, or BPA––using information from the very companies that manufacture and sell these products.

BPA acts like estrogen in the body and should be kept away from pregnant women and children in critical windows of development, according to researchers who have linked it to cancer, infertility, brain, nervous system and cardiovascular abnormalities, diabetes, obesity and other serious disorders. BPA contamination is widespread in processed foods and drinks because the chemical is a key component of the epoxy used as an anti-corrosive coating inside most of the 126 billion food cans manufactured in the U.S. each year.

EWG’s new BPA database can be searched on EWG’s Food Scores, a publicly accessible, interactive website evaluating nutrition, ingredient and processing concerns for more than 80,000 processed foods and beverages.

California requires warnings on products containing chemicals known to cause cancer, birth defects or other reproductive harm. But after the state added BPA to the list of such chemicals, it allowed generic warning signs at checkout registers instead. In the process of complying with the state’s regulation, food companies unexpectedly and with little public notice laid bare more information than ever before about BPA in food and beverage containers.

When the warnings went up in May 2016, some shoppers complained they weren’t helpful — the checkout signs say BPA is in the linings of “many food and beverage cans” but don’t specify brands and products or alert consumers before they choose their purchases.[2] But few Californians know that food industry trade groups have quietly set up a website listing more than 16,000 products in cans, bottles, jars or other packaging that may contain BPA.

The industry website’s apparent main purpose is to help food companies supply warning signs to retailers.[3] But it also holds the largest, most detailed list to date of food products that may contain BPA in their packaging. It reveals that Americans are far more widely exposed than previously known to a hormone-disrupting industrial chemical that poses greatest risk to pregnant women, infants and children. But the website is a chaotic jumble––incomplete, inconsistent, poorly organized and hard to use.

Because consumers have a right to know what’s in their food, EWG took the industry’s own database and created a searchable list of products that may be packaged with BPA, not just in California but nationwide, within Food Scores. Food Scores also allows consumers to search for products that are in BPA-free packaging.

“No other industry in the world is more adept at marketing products to its customers than food and beverage companies––except apparently when it comes to informing them about the possible presence of a toxic chemical linked to hormone disruption and cancer,” said EWG president Ken Cook. “So we decided to give them a little help in making their own data more accessible to Americans.”

Most concern about BPA in food packaging has focused on canned food, especially soup, vegetables and fruit. EWG’s 2015 market survey found that some companies had switched to BPA-free cans under pressure from retailers and consumers, but most canned food sold in the U.S. still uses BPA-based linings.

The industry’s voluminous database shows in detail how BPA packaging spans almost every aisle in the store: It’s in the linings or lids of glass jars for baby food, pickles, jelly, salsa and other condiments; aerosol cans for whipped toppings and non-stick sprays; bottles and tins of cooking oil; aluminum beverage cans, coffee cans and even beer kegs.

Food packaging is the largest source of exposure to BPA, which readily migrates from packaging into edibles. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found detectable levels of BPA in 93% of samples taken in 2003-2004 from people six years and older.[4] In 2009, tests commissioned by EWG were the first to find BPA in the umbilical cords of nine of 10 infants sampled.[5] BPA is one of 23 biologically disruptive chemicals being investigated by The Halifax Project, an international collaboration of scientists and doctors who are studying the connection between chemical exposures and cancer.
Despite the mounting evidence of risk, federal regulation of BPA in food packaging is woefully inadequate.

In 2010 the U.S. Food and Drug Administration said it had “some concern about the potential effects of BPA on the brain, behavior, and prostate gland in fetuses, infants and young children.” It encouraged the food industry to voluntarily replace BPA-based plastic in baby bottles, shift away from BPA-based linings in canned baby formula and explore alternative packaging for canned foods. In 2012, FDA denied a petition by the Natural Resources Defense Council to ban BPA in all food and beverage packaging. The FDA released an updated safety assessment in 2014 saying it continues to stand behind the safety of BPA linings in food cans.

Thirteen states, the District of Columbia and a few local jurisdictions have banned BPA in reusable food containers or children’s cups and baby bottles. Maryland, Connecticut, Minnesota, Nevada and Vermont have set limits on BPA on one-time use food containers, including cans, of infant formula or baby food. Maryland has banned baby formula containing more than 0.5 parts per billion BPA and California has limited BPA to 0.1 part per billion in bottles and cups for children under three years old.

In May 2015, California’s Office of Health Hazard Assessment declared BPA a female reproductive toxicant adding it to what is known as the Proposition 65 list, after the law requiring warning labels on products with listed chemicals. A year later, as the deadline neared for posting warnings, the food industry and retailers lobbied against the regulation and for more time to comply.

Retailers were daunted by the sheer number of products that potentially needed labels on the package or shelf. The industry was concerned that retailers would just clear affected items from their shelves. The health hazard agency said that could deprive people dependent on canned goods of access to nutritious food––a favorite argument of the industry’s effort to block bans or restrictions on BPA[6].

The state’s solution was an emergency regulation allowing food companies to partner with retailers to place warning signs at checkout. The regulation expires in October 2016, but can be extended. The agency expects the temporary rule to last no more than a year, but that depends on how long it takes to set a so-called “safe harbor level” for oral exposure to BPA in food packaging, below which warnings are not required. The agency is waiting for results of federally sponsored research to inform its decision of a safe exposure level, which could delay a decision until early 2018 or later. That means it’s likely that for at least a year, Californians won’t be able to tell from store warnings which products have BPA-based packaging.

Public health and environmental groups objected to the plan. The Breast Cancer Fund and Natural Resources Defense Council wrote to state regulators that signs at checkout do not provide “a clear and reasonable warning to the consumer.”[7] The day the signs went up, some shoppers echoed that concern.

”I’m not paying attention (to the checkout warning) once I’m done shopping, especially with kids,” Claudia Diaz of Los Angeles told Southern California Public Radio. “At the register, my focus is on something else, not on what I picked out.”[8]

None of the news stories about the signs going up made mention of the industry website. The signs direct shoppers to the state’s Proposition 65 website, which includes a fact sheet about BPA that does not mention the industry website, or a list of products that likely come in packaging made with the chemical.

In a press release, the Grocery Manufacturers Association said it and other trade groups created the website as a place where retailers can order warning signs and also “provide retailers and consumers with an easy way to identify which products the warning signs apply to.
— http://www.ewg.org/research/bpa-bombshell#.WZD20K2ZN-h

Environmental Groups Sue FDA to Take Formaldehyde Out of Salons

The Food and Drug Administration has failed to act on dangerous hair straighteners that contain unsafe levels of formaldehyde and pose a significant health hazard to consumers and salon workers, the Environmental Working Group and Women’s Voices for the Earth allege in a motion filed July 28 in federal district court.

The motion is part of the groups’ lawsuit against the FDA for its failure to act on a six-year-old petition requesting an investigation into popular hair smoothing treatments that are still sold in stores and salons. These straighteners – often known as keratin treatments or by the name of one prominent brand, Brazilian Blowout – contain formaldehyde, a known human carcinogen and potent allergen.

“The FDA has failed to protect stylists and consumers from exposure to formaldehyde,” said Melanie Benesh, a legislative attorney at EWG. “Since at least 2008, the agency has known about the health hazards associated with these hair straightening products and done nothing. Despite the complaints, the FDA has yet to take action to regulate these products.”

High levels of formaldehyde make many keratin hair straightening treatments a serious health threat for both clients and salon workers. These treatments involve liquids applied to hair, which are then heated using blow dryers and straightening irons. The high temperatures of these hair styling tools cause the liquids to release formaldehyde into the air.

“Salon workers have particularly suffered due to symptoms associated with these products, with many reporting long-term health problems,” said Alexandra Scranton, director of science and research for Women’s Voices for the Earth. “The health risks posed by these products deserved immediate action from the FDA when it was brought to its attention in 2008. Allowing salon workers and their customers to continue to be harmed by these products for more than six years is unconscionable.”

Salon workers have reported that the application of these hair treatments caused difficulty breathing, eye irritation and nosebleeds. These injuries – in addition to rashes, blistering and hair loss – are associated with formaldehyde exposure.

“The formaldehyde in these products is harmful to the hair stylists who have been sensitized to it and the clients who receive these treatments,” said Kathy Langford, a professional hair stylist from Brandon, Fla. “Salon workers who perform these services are exposed to the noxious fumes when these products are heated. Consumers have no choice but to inhale the fumes, and when they use straightening irons at home, they reheat the chemicals and breathe them in repeatedly. This is scary for everyone.”

“Too many stylists are injured from these treatments that are marketed as safe. Every client that walks in the salon doors is at risk, including children,” said Kelly Merriman, a stylist from Joliet, Ill. “Clients who receive this service go home with this straightening treatment on their hair. It off-gasses, continuously exposing them to formaldehyde, especially when the hair becomes wet or any heat is applied.”

Benesh said many customers have reported experiencing severe and long-lasting health problems even from a single hair-straightening process. Customers receiving multiple treatments are more likely to be at risk of developing allergies, which may include reactions such as asthma, hives and blisters.

“To make matters worse, products labeled ‘for professional use only’ aren’t required to list their ingredients on the bottle,” Benesh said. “Legislation proposed by Sens. Diane Feinstein and Susan Collins would close this labeling loophole and require ingredients to be listed on all cosmetics products.”

In addition, legislation introduced in California would require manufacturers to disclose the ingredients used in salon products. If the bill passes, it will be the first such law to take effect in the nation.

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration can issue citations to salons where the procedure is offered if formaldehyde released into the air exceeds permissible limits. Even the cosmetics industry’s own safety review panel declared hair straightening treatments containing formaldehyde unsafe. Yet the FDA has limited its public action to generating an informational webpage and issuing warning letters to two manufacturers.

Other states and nations, including California, Oregon, Canada, France and Ireland, have taken action against products such as Brazilian Blowout by removing products with dangerous levels of formaldehyde from store shelves.

In 2011, EWG filed a citizen petition, or formal request, that the agency investigate the products and take appropriate action. When the FDA neglected to act, EWG and WVE sued the agency in December 2016.

The new motion argues that the FDA has failed its duty by unreasonably delaying a response. It asks the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia to order the FDA to review whether to ban the use of formaldehyde and formaldehyde-releasing chemicals in keratin hair straighteners and to require labels warning of these products’ hazards.
— http://www.ewg.org/release/environmental-groups-sue-fda-take-formaldehyde-out-salons#.WYu9Nq2ZN-h

Disinfectant Mix in Cleaning Products Linked to Birth Defects in Lab Animals

Exposure to a mixture of chemicals commonly found in household and commercial cleaning products can lead to birth defects in laboratory animals that can last for generations, according to a new study by Virginia Tech and Washington State University researchers.

The study, led by Terry Hrubec and Patricia Hunt, is particularly significant because it marks the first known investigation of the impacts of any combination of quaternary ammonium compounds, or quats, on the development of embryos or fetuses. The health impacts were found whether the exposure was through ingestion or inhalation of the chemicals. In an earlier study, the same researchers reported that mice exposed to the quats mixture also had impaired fertility, and lower sperm concentration and mobility.

Quats are widely used in cleaning, disinfection, laundry and personal care products as antimicrobial and fabric-softening agents, or preservatives. They have been classified as asthmagens, capable of causing asthma or worsening existing asthma, and as severe skin and eye irritants. According to EWG’s Guide to Healthy Cleaning, the quats evaluated in both studies – alkyl dimethyl benzyl ammonium chloride and didecyl dimethyl ammonium chloride – were found in more than 170 products. This is a conservative estimate given that many manufacturers may not list these ingredients at all.

For the most recent study, the researchers fed mice the combination of quats and, in many cases, also exposed them to airborne levels and surface residues of disinfectant mixtures resulting from routine cleaning of the labs and cages. The result was a 150 percent increase in the rate of neural tube defects, a type of fetal abnormality that can occur in rodents and people. Neural tube defects are the second most prevalent form of birth defects in humans, and most frequently manifest as spina bifida, a condition often associated with nerve damage; muscle weakness; and walking, learning, bladder and bowel problems.

The scientists found that ambient exposure to the chemicals – in air and clinging to surfaces – not only caused an increase in neural tube defects, but had an even greater impact on the occurrence of these defects than deliberate feeding. They also noted that ambient exposure could cause transgenerational effects – defects that persisted through subsequent generations of mice that had never been directly exposed to the chemicals.

The study also assessed the relative parental contribution to the development of the malformations and found that male exposure alone was adequate to pass on the defects.

The latest findings add to the growing body of evidence that quats are generally unsafe. Though the degree to which human health and development may be damaged is unclear, the findings by Hrubec and Hunt’s team raise concern.

They demonstrate that developmental harms may result from environmentally relevant doses of these chemicals – doses people could be exposed through cleaning our homes with products containing this mixture of ingredients. Given the potential implications for people, especially workers who frequently handle quat-based cleaners in institutional settings, the study authors are sounding the alarm for further study of quats’ effects on humans.
— http://www.ewg.org/enviroblog/2017/07/disinfectant-mix-cleaning-products-linked-birth-defects-lab-animals#.WYpax62ZN-h

Rise in Imports of Personal Care Products May Pose Health Risk

"According to a New York Times story published today (Aug. 2), contaminants such as mercury, lead and bacteria, and other banned ingredients, are showing up in an alarming number of imported personal care products. This follows recent news that asbestos was found in tests of imported makeup marketed to tweens.

The Times story is based on a letter sent to Rep. Frank Pallone, D-N.J., from the Food and Drug Administration. In the letter, the FDA revealed that imports of personal care products have doubled in the last decade and that imports from China have increased 79 percent in the last five years. The FDA also disclosed that in 2016, 15 percent of imported personal care products inspected had adverse findings and 20 percent of products the FDA tested in its own labs had adverse findings.

Usually, an adverse finding meant an illegal color additive was used, or there was microbial contamination in the product. The majority of contaminated products were from China.

Some of the FDA’s most troubling discoveries included:

  • Skin whitening creams with high levels of mercury.
  • Eyeliners containing a product called kohl, samples of which have been found to contain significant lead levels.
  • Hairsprays containing methylene chloride, an ingredient banned in cosmetics and that has been linked to deaths from its use in paint strippers.
  • Cosmetics kits with high levels of Citrobacter, Pseudomonas and Staphylococcus bacteria.
  • Eye makeup containing color additives, banned for decades because they are hazardous to eyes.
  • Temporary tattoo products with unapproved color additives.

    Even scarier, the FDA’s findings likely underrepresent the full scale of the problem.

    The vast majority of personal care product imports are never inspected. In fact, the FDA discovered the problems listed above by inspecting fewer than 1 percent of imports. Of the nearly 3 million imported shipments of personal care products, the FDA was only able to inspect fewer than 10,000. The FDA only tested an even smaller sample of imported cosmetics: 374.

    The FDA lacks both the authority and the resources to fully address the public health risks cosmetics can pose. While the agency can inspect imported cosmetics, foreign manufacturers currently have no obligation to tell the FDA where they are located, what products they are making or what ingredients they are using.

    Of the 29,000 foreign companies exporting cosmetics to the U.S., very few have registered with the FDA. There is no obligation to report adverse reactions to cosmetics or make them in clean facilities using so-called good manufacturing practices. The FDA cannot issue a mandatory recall of dangerous cosmetics under current law.

    Recently introduced legislation, the Personal Care Products Safety Act, would give the FDA these basic authorities and would also require fees from the cosmetics industry, significantly increasing the agency’s ability to address health risks from cosmetics."