Take formaldehyde for example. Its a naturally occuring chemical substance (carbon, hydrogen & oxygen) however it is also a KNOWN carcinogenic... which means it is known to cause cancer.
So what does exposure to this particular substance actually do to the human body?
Well, if you have allergies you can almost bet your bottom dollar that this substance is causing some if not all your symptoms.
Symptoms and conditions like:
- Contact dermatitis
- Burning stinging or itching sensations
- Sore throats
- Teary eyes
- Blocked sinuses
- Runny nose
Increased exposure can cause
- mood changes
- attention deficit
- impairment of dexterity, memory, and equilibrium
So what is the legal “normal” level of formaldehyde in Australia?
Infant clothing (yes, it is used in the production & manufacture process of BABY clothes!) can contain up to 30ppm
Clothing specifically marketed as suitable for people with sensitive skin can also contain 30 ppm
Most other garments which have some form of contact with the skin can contain up to 100 ppm and all other garments or fabrics can contain up to 300 ppm.
Studies in Canada show that exposure to levels as low as 0.0046ppm can cause eye and nasal irritation (anyone been feeling sneezy for like... ever???) and although these studies initially were inconclusive about asthma due to exposure to formaldehyde... review of these studies have showed that yes, exposure does cause childhood asthma.
Also, female reproduction is affected by exposure to formaldehyde; causing spontaneous abortion or miscarriage and up to 70% of women tested had abnormal menstrual cycles.
So, that’s the scary stuff about just ONE substance that is commonly occuring in actually quite high concentrations in a lot of products in our homes.
The answer is simple.
Go organic wherever possible.
I switched to organic shampoos & conditioners when I found out that ingredients contained in nearly all cleansers, soaps, shampoos and the like contained substances used to degrease car engines.
Truly organic products can NOT use substances like formaldehyde in manufacture or production - it is illegal to do so.
There are organic shampoos & conditioners available in Coles now that are very reasonably priced & product better results. My hair reacts badly to chemical treatments now I’ve been using organic for so long.
Also, the brand I use actually have cornstarched based packaging that breaks down if buried. This is a truly organic product because even the packaging hasn’t been tainted with chemicals & carcinogenics.
I make my own herbal infused massage oil for myself & my baby from organic oils (so easy to do by the way!). I make my own tinctures for colds and flus. I make my own syrups as a preventative for colds and flus. I am about to start making my own lip balms (from organic bees wax and organic oil infusions which I also make myself) and salves / ointments. I am in the process of perfectly a recipe for a nappy rash / barrier salve.
I used pure Witchazel as a toner for my skin & use the Gaia range as my cleanser.
I make my own cleaning products too! Using lavender, tea tree oil, citrus, vinegar and bi-carb soda. I use vinegar & bi-carb for soaking in the laundry. I use an earth friendly, chemical free laundry powder that can be later poured onto my garden plants (my lavender plants & daisies love it!)
Doing all of this is not only saving me a tonne of money (because I no longer refuse to buy into the bullshit hype around cosmetics, soaps and the like - I won’t do chemicals on my skin. Period.) it also means that my breastmilk is basically free from all these carcinogenics that would otherwise be going straight into my little ones bloodstream.
No matter how responsible a parent you are, without knowledge about what is REALLY going on with your favourite products, and what is ALLOWED by authorities (despite the fact they know that all these types of substances cause cancer in addition to severe allergic reactions) then how can you protect your child?
My family has a known history of severe allergies; exzema, dermatitis, hayfever, asthma. In fact, my grandfather passed away from a heart attack caused by a weakened heart due to severe allergies. So to me, this is REALLY serious! How can I protect Smudge from developing these same allergic tendencies when products are manufactured with substances that CAUSE allergies?
I STOP buying them. I do not and will not buy them anymore. I spend the time & energy finding alternatives that are healthier & free from these toxins. Then I tell everyone I can about it so they can do the same.
This supports a growing health industry (organics) & sends the message to larger less environmentally responsible corporates that we don’t want their cheap chemical laced crap anymore. We will not tolerate substandard & dangerous manufacturing practices or products. We want and deserve better.
I know it sounds like a lot to do all at once - I didn’t do all of this over night.
I started very slowly, researching and replacing one thing at a time. The birth of my daughter gave me the motivation I needed to speed up the process.
Coles supermarkets have a great range of organics available now and also a fabulous range of environmentally friendly or organic cleaning agents. Even Aldi is stocking great organic products now so really, there isn’t much excuse left anymore. You can switch to a healthier brand of product whilst doing your normal grocery shopping. That’s how it starts.
Here is an article about sunscreen leaching into breastmilk. This will open your eyes to how sensitive little bodies are & how easy it is to expose them to toxins & chemicals. And rest assured - these toxins and chemicals DO. CAUSE. HARM.
Maybe not straight away but eventually you will find that your precious little angel will be affected by what products you use and buy. Ever wondered why cancer is a veritable plague on mankind these days compared with 500 years ago?
So make the best choice - go organic.
It could, quite literally, save your family’s lives.