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Sick Home – Healthy Home

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Over the last 50 years humans have changed the face of the earth. The chemical revolution has brought us many consumer delights, but these have come at a very high price when you consider their affect on our future health and wellbeing.

This toxic chemical onslaught is still happening today, causing an increasing number of health issues and epidemics, resulting from any number of 75,000 plus and growing, commonly used, potentially toxic synthetic chemicals, released into our environment or applied directly to or into our bodies each day by consumer products. Check out this Endocrine Disrupting Chemical report by the WHO.

Many years ago Samuel Epstein asked us, “Are you even aware that Australia has no regulations concerning the safety of ingredients in the products we use in the home?”

Back in 2009 the Obama administration began looking at new guidelines in Congress in updating the 33-year-old law that governs how the Environmental Protection Agency controls toxic chemicals. Broadly, the principles were that chemicals need to be reviewed for safety using strong science-based standards, to protect human health and the environment.

The EPA administrator stated back in late 2009 that their current law was inadequate to protect against risks. “The American people are looking to government for assurance that chemicals have been assessed using the best available science and that unacceptable risks haven’t been ignored — and unfortunately the current law doesn’t allow us to grant them that assurance.” Since passage of the Toxic Substances Control Act of 1976, the EPA “has issued regulations to control only five existing chemicals,” she said. “That’s five from a universe of almost 80,000.” Since that time another five chemicals have been banned in the Unites States, while Europe has banned one thousand two hundred, and it is difficult to understand why these chemicals are still on the market.

The Role You Have To Play

As consumers, we need to understand that there is still no real regulation over the toxic soup we are served up on a daily basis, many times each day. It is up all of us as individuals to become informed and to make sensible choices based on the facts. A very few manufacturers of high quality products used in the various rooms around the home have been taking extra steps to make sure their products are free of potentially worrisome ingredients. This sort of integrity needs to be rewarded by the unsuspecting public, but unfortunately most people consider their health needs are being take care of.

Some, in fact most companies produce products tat cause harm. Some claim their products to be “gentle” or “natural,” but since the government does not require any proof of safety testing whats-so-ever, personal care product manufacturers can use almost any chemical they want, regardless of risks. It’s a sad fact that of the multitude of chemicals in use today, complete toxicity data is only available on approximately 2% of them, and to date while Europe has banned 1200 and the USA has banned 12, Australia has none listed as even potentially harmful.

The best idea is to seek out reputable companies that have made a total commitment to providing safer, healthier alternatives and to change brands and support those companies who are looking after our health. We recommend you do this with food and nutritional supplements (not all are what they might lead you to believe), with your personal care and household products and many other everyday products used around the home. Even some of the ‘health’ services we utilise on a regular basis often unknowingly use toxic substances on us that can impact our health.

Making safe changes in the home requires ‘voting with your feet’. That is, refusing to support those enterprises willing to compromise your well-being, and then choosing only to use products found (proven and publicly verified) to be safe. This is the only way to safeguard your health and that of your family! Look for brands that are recommended by experts in toxicology and preventative medicine.  That’s where the Savvy Team come in. We support you along the way in your journey. Here is an INFO SHEET 1-2-3 Wellness Steps you may find useful.

What does thinning hair, itchy eyes, skin rashes and psoriasis, cracked skin and split ends, plus bleeding gums and ulcers all have in common? Educate your self on the chemicals to avoid in foods and consumer products [DOWNLOAD this booklet “Harmful Ingredients To Avoid”]. In our modern world more so than ever, prevention is the only cure and we all need to take heed if we are to enjoy a long life and “age gracefully”. One sad fact in our search for youthful appearance is that many people, women especially, search for and pay big dollars for external skincare, cosmetics and personal hygiene products. The unfortunate fact is that many of these products do not care for our skin at all, in fact can be detrimental to our health and to the youthful appearance of our skin over the long term.

Harmful Chemicals and Ill-Health Links Well-Tested and Confirmed

Is This New News?

Samuel Epstein best known for his contributions on avoidable causes of cancer, for which he was given the Right Livelihood Award in 1998, has been active in publicizing claims on the carcinogenic properties of chlordane pesticides,[4] growth hormones in milk,[5]nitrosamines in bacon,[6] saccharin,[7] beverage preservatives,[8] and other food additives [Wikipedia]. In 1971 he published The Mutagenicity of Pesticides, in 1974), The Legislation of Product Safety. Consumer Health and Product Hazards. Vol. I. Chemicals, Electronic Products, Radiation, and Vol. II. Cosmetics and Drugs, Pesticides, Food Additives, MIT Press, 1976. I first came across his work in the early 1990’s, when someone gave me The Politics of Cancer (1978). Epstein points out “Exposure to toxic ingredients in cosmetics and personal care products is predominantly through the skin. In contrast, exposure to toxic ingredients in household cleaning products is predominantly through inhalation.”

By the 1990’s the National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health in the US, found that of the few thousand chemicals used in personal care and cosmetics, as many as 884 commonly used ingredients were reported to the US Government to be toxic substances. Later at the US Congress on September 5th 1997 Senator Edward M. Kennedy spoke out: “This is an industry that is under-regulated and it’s products too often hazardous.” Writing often on the dangers of chemicals in consumer products, Epstein cited in Huffington Post: “In May 1999, in response to repeated complaints of respiratory, neurological, and other toxic effects following the use of Calvin Klein’s Eternity perfume, the Environmental Health Network of California hired two testing laboratories to identify the ingredients in the perfume. Analysis of these results by the Cancer Prevention Coalition, summarized in my book (2009) Toxic Beauty, reveal the following:
  • 26 ingredients whose “Toxicological properties have not been investigated,” or “toxicology properties have not been thoroughly investigated.”
  • 25 ingredients that are “Irritants.”
  • 5 ingredients that are “Skin sensitizers,” or allergens.
  • 3 ingredients that show “Fetal, hormonal, and reproductive toxicity.”
  • 2 ingredients that “May cause cancer.”

So you can see it’s been of growing concern to many specialists and scientists in the field of toxicology for many years.

How long have Governments known of this problem?

On the 10th September 1997, Senator Kennedy reported to the Congress: “A study by the respected GOA (an investigative branch of congress) reported that more than 125 ingredients available for use in cosmetics (and personal care) products are suspected of causing cancer. Others may cause adverse effects on the nervous system, including convulsions. Still other ingredients are suspected of causing birth defects.” He was referring to a report (1997) to the Food & Drug Administration in the USA, on the chemical toxicity in everyday products which stated: “The cosmetic industry has borrowed a page from the play book of the tobacco industry, by putting profits ahead of public health. Cosmetics can be dangerous to your health. Yet this greedy industry wants Congress to prevent people from learning the truth. Every woman who uses face cream, or hair spray, or lipstick, or mascara, or powder should demand that this arrogant and irresponsible power play by the industry be rejected.  … A carefully controlled study found that one in sixty users suffered a cosmetic related injury identified by a physician.”

Yet all the while the general public and the medical fraternity at large remain ignorant of the many and varied dangers inherent in this issue, and the health risks associated with them.

Did You Know?

A Recent WHO Report Says EDCs are in every day products.  Most people have no idea what the personal care and household products they use everyday are doing to them. As an example in 1990, 38,000 cosmetic injuries were reported in the US that required medical attention. Health concerns are continually being raised about ingredients in shampoos, toothpaste, skin creams and other personal care products. In 2012, the World Health Organisations reported an EDC study examining the effects showing that what occurs in wildlife or experimental animals may also occur in humans if they are exposed to EDCs at a vulnerable time and at concentrations leading to alterations of endocrine regulation. It took many hundreds of scientists, and many hundreds of thousands of dollars to work this one out!

The report confirmed “Endocrine disrupting chemicals (EDCs) and potential EDCs are mostly man-made, found in various materials such as pesticides, metals, additives or contaminants in food, and personal care products. EDCs have been suspected to be associated with altered reproductive function in males and females; increased incidence of breast cancer, abnormal growth patterns and neurodevelopmental delays in children, as well as changes in immune function.”

“Human exposure to EDCs occurs via ingestion of food, dust and water, via inhalation of gases and particles in the air and through the skin. EDCs can also be transferred from the pregnant woman to the developing fetus or child through the placenta and breast milk. Pregnant mothers and children are the most vulnerable populations to be affected by developmental exposures, and the effect of exposures to EDCs may not become evident until later in life. Research also shows that it may increase the susceptibility to non-communicable diseases. Of special concern are effects on early development of both humans and wildlife, as these effects are often irreversible and may not become evident until later in life.”

Medical researcher and author, Phillip Day, who has spent the last twenty five years writing and lecturing on health issues, reports researchers in Japan, Germany, Switzerland, and the US say that many ingredients in personal care products may be related to premature baldness, cataract formation, environmental cancers, contact dermatitis and eye damage in young children. We have multiple daily exposures to the damaging ingredients in question, as they are in our shampoos, toothpaste’s, skin creams, sun protection creams and other personal care products.

Poor regulation, self regulation and a blizzard of confusion and contrary scientific data have resulted in a tragically large number of chemicals making it into our personal lives with little or no warnings attached. Many commonly available skin care regimes are loaded with potentially harmful ingredients. Harmful both in their effects to the skin, as well as levels of chemicals being absorbed into the body from skin contact and becoming systemic, trapped in the body.

If it’s such a problem why don’t the governments of the world do something?

Internationally renognised expert on the causes and prevention of cancer, Dr Epstein has attempted just that. Prof Dr Epstein, who was instrumental in having DDT banned back in the seventies, has over the past six decades written many articles, papers and books trying to change industry habits and government legislation. All to no avail, no governmental policies were written, no measure to protect the public were ever taken, nor have they been since.  Professor Dr Samuel S Epstein, world renowned expert in Toxicology for over forty years and founder of the Cancer Prevention Coalition, long term Professor of Occupational and Environmental Medicine at the University of Illinois School of Public Health, Chicago wrote a book in the mid nineties titled: ‘The Safe Shoppers Bible’ to warn the general public in the USA of the dangers lurking in the products in their bathroom cupboards that they and their children use daily on their teeth, their hair and their skin.

In the late nineties he wrote the book ‘Unreasonable risk: how to avoid toxic ingredients in cosmetics and personal care products’. In this he wrote:
“Cosmetic and personal care product industries worldwide are, for all intents and purposes, unregulated by governments and essentially self-regulate. There are no requirements (government or otherwise) for pre-market ingredient and product safety testing. This virtual absence of regulation is disturbing as most people in developed countries use multiple personal care products, and to a lessor extent, cosmetics, each day for a lifetime. This is even more alarming since the skin’s role as a carrier more than a barrier has been well known for decades.”

Since then many concerned governments in Europe, Japan and elsewhere, when examining the rising costs of health, have spent the last fifteen years examining the issue with particular concern regarding the health of their unsuspecting public. They have taken major steps to ban the use of toxins in general household and other products that have unequivocally been proven to be harmful. This list of banned substances rises annually, and is now, over twenty years later, numbering around 3000.

Profit before public health?

Although this news regularly makes the media, there are many major western countries which still to this day have no governmental policies on this every widening health issue. Australia and the United States are two of those countries whose governments apparently still remain ignorant of the dangers. So it remains the role of the discerning public to take precautionary measures to ensure that they protect their family.

What has been interesting to the authors to note, is that during their interest in this area over almost the last two decades, marketing has begun to sway the public once again. There are companies who are taking some measures to avoid the use of the more commonly known toxic chemicals. Usually these companies do not necessarily remove the more toxic of these ingredients from their products, merely the ones the general public are becoming aware of. Surely this shows that despite their rampant advertising of being ‘toxin free’ they are more interested in the marketing of their products than in actually being careful of their customers?

Not Only Dangerous, But Often Deadly

Not only are these ingredients injurious to our health, they lower our immunity and cause ageing both internally and externally. Dr Mark Donahue, Australian environmental health expert said back in the nineties: “I think a lot of what we are seeing as the so called visible signs of ageing are nothing more than the choices that we’ve made as the years have gone by, of products that help us in the short term only for us to be paying a long term price.”

Leading Australian Cardiologist, author and key-note speaker Dr Ross Walker explains: “In reducing our exposure to chemicals that generate free radicals, we should not only look at the obvious choices, such as the food we eat and the air we breath, but also the many products we take for granted when we apply them to our body. This includes soaps, deodorants, dental, hair and skin products. We should always be striving to use more natural products.” Why is this awareness of the ‘exposure to chemical issue’ so important you might ask?

Consider the fact that some heart medication such as the drugs used to control fast or irregular heart rate, are placed directly under the tongue for optimal rapid absorption. So it goes without saying that anything else that gets under the tongue (such as toothpaste) would also be rapidly absorbed. Likewise, anything that gets on the skin is also rapidly absorbed, as evidenced by the many medically prescribed nicotine and hormone patches available today.

“Warning Cosmetics can lead to Cancer” was the headline for a story back in 2000 in the South Australian newspaper the Advertiser. In the story medical writer, Barry Hailstone reported that expert in the causes and prevention of Cancer, Dr Samuel Epstein, “wants to see products containing potentially cancer causing ingredients labeled accordingly to warn the unsuspecting, trusting public.” In a public seminar given while in Adelaide, Dr Epstein even charged the manufacturers of mainstream cosmetic and personal hygiene products with ‘white collar crime’ against the unsuspecting public for not correctly labeling and warning consumers of the risks of the cheap ingredients used in everyday products.

Is Any Company To Be Trusted?

There is one company that many world renown researchers such as Professor Samuel Epstein of the Cancer Prevention Coalition, Chris Woollams of CANCERactive and ICON magazine, Professor Peter Dingle of the SBS program “Is Your Home Killing YOU”, and the afore mentioned Philip Day just to name a few, say is to be trusted – CONTACT US FOR MORE INFORMATION.

Not surprisingly, Professor Dr Epstein also sees this single company as the only one to date which has had its whole range of product ingredients put through his microscopic intensive scrutiny and passed, classified and verified to be trusted. “Everything I have done in the area of product research pales into insignificance when compared to what this company has done to provide safety-conscious formulas on this planet …” he has been quoted as saying. Make sure you contact us for more information on this amazing company.

What IS The Real Danger?

According to Epstein, some ingredients that would be wise to remove from our cupboards, due to their ageing affects on our skin are…

  • Animal Fat (Tallow) – Contained in soaps etc – suffocates the skin’s normal respiration, drying
  • Bentonite – Commonly in cosmetic foundations – Clogs pores, suffocates the skin
  • DEA TEA Pthylates
  • Animal Collagen – Found in many skin creams. Derived from animal carcasses and ground up chicken feet. Included in products due to apparent relation to our body’s own collagen in the skin – forms a film which suffocates the skin.
  • Elastin of High Molecular Weight – A protein similar to collagen that is the main component of elastic fibres. Elastin is also derived from animal sources. Its effect on the skin is similar to collagen.
  • Glycerine – Contained in many skin lotions, keeps the product moist but dries the skin out from the inside lower layers of the skin. This effect is therefore very ageing.
  • Kaolin – Commonly found in foundations and face powders – smothers and weakens the skin.
  • Mineral Oil – A derivative of petroleum. Used in skin creams and conditioners. – Clogs and dehydrates the skin, can cause skin break outs, and forms an oily film on skin hindering biological function.
  • Propylene Glycol – In a very wide range of personal care products. Studies suggest it is capable of producing both primary irritant skin reactions and allergic sensitisation including contact dermatitis. Damages cell membranes, causes rashes, dry skin and surface damage.
  • Formaldehyde – Used primarily as a preservative and anti-microbial in thousands of cosmetics especially anti-ageing creams and cosmetics as well as shampoos, bubble baths and deodorants. It’s a skin irritant, weakens immune system, causes eye, nose and throat irritation and is a suspected cancer causing ingredient.
  • Sodium Lauryl Sulphate – SLS is a very harsh detergent found in almost all shampoos, toothpaste, facial cleansers etc. It strips and erodes the skin leaving it rough and pitted. Causes cataracts. Causes the skin to flake and to separate leaving substantial roughness. Causes dysfunction of the biological systems of the skin. Very harsh and ageing to the skin. Products are often thickened with salt which is both drying and corrosive when left on the skin.

The above ingredients are mentioned as problem ingredients from a skin ageing perspective, they are by no means the most harmful or problematic ingredients – just some that do cause faster ageing through their use in skin preparations and moisturisers. You can download a warning page here on just 15 commonly used ingredients you should immediately avoid, from the many thousands of unclassified chemicals used in cosmetics and personal care products today.

Take the time to begin to educate yourself about the potentially harmful effects of what you probably use in your bathroom today. This is not an exhaustive list though as there is upward of 3000 chemicals you probably should avoid.

Are antiageing creams ‘ageing’ us in the long run?

Be careful in your search for anti-ageing products as there are many creams that say “visible difference in days” or even worse “see the difference within 5 minutes!” etc in their advertising. These products may produce what looks like instant fixes, but beware, they may not be benefiting the skin in the long term and many actually could cause severe ageing of the skin. Although it’s hard to find products that do not contain these and other harsh abrasive and ageing ingredients, there are companies with a commitment to enhancing skin biology and health. Seek them out, change brands and use natural, safe, rejuvenating ingredients to slow down the ageing process.

Many discoveries have been and continue to be made in the area of skin and ageing, discoveries that show what can be done to improve the look, feel and health of the skin in the long term.  In anti-ageing skin care we need to find products that get to the lower levels of the skin, which requires special scientific research enabling the ingredients to be of a lowered molecular weight. This promotes healthy long-term regeneration of scarred and wrinkled skin, and the appearance of ageing. Look for products that increase the supply of oxygen, that increase the moisture levels, and that supply the skin with ingredients and elements in which it is deficient.

What Sort of Products should you look for?

Follow the advice of experts such as Prof Dr Samuel Epstein and health researchers and authors, Peter Dingle, Philip Day and Chris Woollams. Seek out products that do not contain potentially harmful ingredients as mentioned earlier and on the warning page. The effects of removing these ingredients from your life will be in many cases nothing short of miraculous, both from a health aspect as well as keeping the skin as youthful as possible. Do what these experts and also the editors here suggest, ‘change brands and use safe products’, from a company that can be trusted.

As authors and long-term health researchers who have personally witnessed the difference people experience when people change to using products from such a company, we think this is advice that it would be wise to take, in the search for ways to look younger and feel great. Obviously this issue warrants your attention and investigation way beyond the scope of this blog.

One thing you can be sure of though, is that the use of quality, non-toxic, safe alternatives to commonly available personal care and cosmetics is an essential step in your search for optimal health.

Here’s Other Info To Encourage You To Create A Healthier Home:

Further Information On Chemicals

[ezcol_1third]General / Home

[/ezcol_1third] [ezcol_1third]Bathroom

[/ezcol_1third] [ezcol_1third_end]Hair / Beauty

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Please contact the person who sent you to this site or email us at [email protected] for more information, or for:

  1. A F.ree copy of our Free Report: The 12 Simple Steps For A Healthier Home Environment
  2. Your own copy of the World Health Organisations report on Endocrine Disrupting Chemicals
  3.  A link to a Video showing the dangers to our unborn children
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