1. Cleaning products
First up we are going to look at the cleaning products around your house.
You know when you forget your phone when you're going for a poo, so you read the labels of products. We gonna do that. If the list of warnings, harmful side effects, negative impacts on the environment is longer than the description of the product ,chuck it in the bin.
Here are some great alternatives for washing your dishes, cleaning limescale and those getting rid of those nasty brown stains in your toilet bowl.
Shower doors, and bathroom mirrors
50% white vinegar with 50% water. Shaken not stirred. Spray onto the surface and clean off with a newspaper, or an old t-shirt.
Sprinkle a good amount of baking soda around the toilet bowl. Pour a cup of white vinegar around the edge of the bowl. Grab a toilet brush and give it some elbow grease. Brown stains be gone!
Limescale & stubborn stains
For those stubborn blemishes and smudges, I recommend the Eco-gurus range. They have a limescale remover and cleaner that works wonders.
Hot tip: If you're not a fan of the vinegar smell add a few drops of your favourite essential oil into the mix. I recommend tea tree, lemon or grapefruit.
2. Food containers and bottles
We all know about BPA but do you know about BPS, BPF or BPAF (no I'm not making it up you can google it). Whilst BPA's endocrine-disrupting effects are well known, research has shown that these variants used to replace BPA also have harmful effects on fertility, sperm count, and egg quality.
So the bottom line is:
Reduce all use of plastic wherever and wherever possible.
Here's a list of ideas to get you started:
- Glass food containers
- Stainless steel drinking bottles
- Beeswax food wraps
- Buy products in glass containers and reuse them
- Always keep a reusable glass coffee cup handy in your car or bag for those spontaneous hot chocs/coffees/teas
Hot tip: When getting take away, transfer the food to your own bowls and plates and when reheating it the next morning make sure you reheat in a glass/ceramic container.
3. Sanitary products
This is a big one! Every month the majority of women are using pads/tampons and unknowingly exposing themselves to toxic chemicals. In 2014, Always pads, a common brand in the UK, were tested by STAT Analysis Corporation and found that 4 of their products released chemicals linked to cancer and reproductive developmental harm. Most tampons contain dioxin and bleach, which have been linked to infertility and cancer.
So here's the good news! There are a bunch of great products you can use that contain none of that nasty stuff.
- Organic pads or tampons * Naturacare have a great sanitary range.
- Reusable pads. Look for ones that are made from bamboo or cotton. For those who want to support a local UK business. Muff fluff makes fun reusable pads.
- Moon cups*
*Disclaimer* Personally, as a Chinese Medicine practitioner, I would discourage women from using tampons or moon cups. As they obstruct the natural downward flow of blood, it can lead to stagnation.
4. Beauty & personal care products
There's a lot of hype around what we put into our bodies as food but not as much hype about what we put ON our bodies. Looking closer at skincare/bodycare labels you might find these common harmful ingredients:
Sodium lauryl sulphate (SLS)
I won't list the harmful effects of each ingredient but for those who want to dig deeper here's a helpful website that gives you the nitty-gritty. Be aware that although these ingredients may be within safe limits, it is the continuous exposure that causes long term effects.
Here are my go to places for skincare and beauty.
Hot tip: Unscented is the way to go. Studies have shown, that the chemicals used to manufacture fragrances are classified as allergens, hormone disrupters, asthma triggers, neurotoxins, and carcinogens.
Take away message...
You made it to the end! Looking at your environmental toxins can feel like getting sucked into a black hole. However, regardless of how big or small the change you make, they will have massive long term benefits for you and your family. Start with one category to focus on, and develop it from there. Below are some great websites to start your journey.
In Rebekah's clinical practice, she places great emphasis on educating people about their environment, diet and lifestyle. Whether or not you are living with a chronic condition or simply pursuing wellbeing. Environmental toxins play a huge role in determining your body's capacity to heal and maintain homeostasis. Contact Rebekah for a free health screen or to book an appointment.