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while lanolin itself is skin beneficial, it may contain carcinogenic pesticides such as DDT, lindane, dieldrin and other neurotoxins. can cause rashes, found in body products
laureth family (ingredients
with laureth, laurate or
lauryl extensions)
carcinogenic, skin irritants, may be contaminated with large amounts of toxins in manufacturing process, contains ammonium salts, mutagen, blemish producing
you may or may not like heavy metal music, but lead is one heavy metal you want to avoid. it’s well known that lead is toxic, especially to children. lead harms almost every organ system in the body and has been linked to a staggering array of health effects, including permanent brain damage, lowered IQ, hearing loss, miscarriage, premature birth, increased blood pressure, kidney damage and nervous system problems. but few people realize that one other way that lead may affect your body is by disrupting your hormones. in animals, lead has been found to lower sex hormone levels. research has also shown that lead can disrupt the hormone signaling that regulates the body’s major stress system (called the hpa axis). you probably have more stress in your life than you want, so the last thing you need is something making it harder for your body to deal with it – especially when this stress system is implicated in high blood pressure, diabetes, anxiety and depression. how to avoid it? keep your home clean and well maintained. crumbling old paint is a major source of lead exposure, so get rid of it carefully. a good water filter can also reduce your exposure to lead in drinking water. (check out www.ewg.org/report/ewgs-water-filter-buying-guide/ for help finding a filter.) and if you need another reason to eat better, studies have also shown that children with healthy diets absorb less lead
is a new plypeptide. it is said that matrixyl is at least as effective against wrinkles as retinol. it is said to work by "relaxing facial tension", similarly to botox. we feel that repeatedly paralyzing the muscles can only sap their inherent strength
caution: that sushi you are eating could be hazardous to your health. mercury, a naturally occurring but toxic metal, gets into the air and the oceans primarily though burning coal. eventually, it can end up on your plate in the form of mercury-contaminated seafood. pregnant women are the most at risk from the toxic effects of mercury, since the metal is known to concentrate in the fetal brain and can interfere with brain development. mercury is also known to bind directly to one particular hormone that regulates women’s menstrual cycle and ovulation, interfering with normal signaling pathways. in other words, hormones don’t work so well when they’ve got mercury stuck to them! the metal may also play a role in diabetes, since mercury has been shown to damage cells in the pancreas that produce insulin, which is critical for the body’s ability to metabolize sugar. how to avoid it? for people who still want to eat (sustainable) seafood with lots of healthy fats but without a side of toxic mercury, wild salmon and farmed trout are good choices.
antimicrobial agent inhibits the development of particular neuron structures that are essential for transmitting signals between cells. damaging to a developing nervous system
octyl stearate
fatty acid used as an emulsifier known to have neurological side effects, organ system toxicity, skin irritant, blemish producing, contact dermatitis & allergic reactions
organophosphate pesticides
neurotoxic organophosphate compounds that the nazis produced in huge quantities for chemical warfare during world war ii were luckily never used. after the war ended, american scientists used the same chemistry to develop a long line of pesticides that target the nervous systems of insects. despite many studies linking organophosphate exposure to effects on brain development, behavior and fertility, they are still among the more common pesticides in use today. a few of the many ways that organophosphates can affect the human body include interfering with the way testosterone communicates with cells, lowering testosterone and altering thyroid hormone levels. how to avoid it? buy organic produce and use ewg’s shopper’s guide to pesticides in produce, which can help you find the fruits and vegetables that have the fewest pesticide residues. Check it out at: www.ewg.org/foodnews/
(para-aminobenzoic acid)
sunscreen ingredient that may cause formation of nitrosamines (highly carcinogenic chemicals), produces free radicals on the skin, causes cellular mutations & is a hormone disruptor
petrochemicals that are estrogenic, carcinogenic & allergenic
paraffin wax
made from petroleum, also known as mineral oil wax, interferes with skin's abiity to eliminate toxins, slows down skin function and cell development, possible carcinogen
peg ingredients
carcinogenic, blemish causing, contact dermatitis
who needs food tainted with rocket fuel?! that’s right, perchlorate, a component in rocket fuel, contaminates much of our produce and milk, according to ewg and government test data. when perchlorate gets into your body it competes with the nutrient iodine, which the thyroid gland needs to make thyroid hormones. basically, this means that if you ingest too much of it you can end up altering your thyroid hormone balance. this is important because it’s these hormones that regulate metabolism in adults and are critical for proper brain and organ development in infants and young children. how to avoid it? you can reduce perchlorate in your drinking water by installing a reverse osmosis filter. (you can get help finding one at: www.ewg.org/report/ewgs-water-filter-buying-guide) as for food, it’s pretty much impossible to avoid perchlorate, but you can reduce its potential effects on you by making sure you are getting enough iodine in your diet. eating iodized salt is one good way.
perfluorinated chemicals (pfcs)
the perfluorinated chemicals used to make non-stick cookware can stick to you. perfluorochemicals are so widespread and extraordinarily persistent that 99 percent of americans have these chemicals in their bodies. one particularly notorious compound called pfoa has been shown to be “completely resistant to biodegradation.” in other words, pfoa doesn’t break down in the environment – ever. that means that even though the chemical was banned after decades of use, it will be showing up in people’s bodies for countless generations to come. this is worrisome, since pfoa exposure has been linked to decreased sperm quality, low birth weight, kidney disease, thyroid disease and high cholesterol, among other health issues. scientists are still figuring out how pfoa affects the human body, but animal studies have found that it can affect thyroid and sex hormone levels. how to avoid it? skip non-stick pans as well as stain and water-resistant coatings on clothing, furniture and carpets.
(polyethylene glycol)
potentially carcinogenic petroleum ingredient that can alter and reduce the skin's natural moisture factor, can promote blemishing & contact dermatitis
preservative blend of phenoxyethanol, methylparben, ethylparaben, butylparaben, propylparaben & isobutylparaben
synthetic ether alcohol preservative, can cause contact dermatitis
did you know that a specific signal programs cells in our bodies to die? it’s totally normal and healthy for 50 billion cells in your body to die every day! but studies have shown that chemicals called phthalates can trigger what’s known as “death-inducing signaling” in testicular cells, making them die earlier than they should. yep, that’s cell death – in your man parts. if that’s not enough, studies have linked phthalates to hormone changes, lower sperm count, less mobile sperm, birth defects in the male reproductive system, obesity, diabetes and thyroid irregularities. how to avoid it? a good place to start is to avoid plastic food containers, children’s toys (some phthalates are already banned in kid’s products), and plastic wrap made from pvc, which has the recycling label #3. some personal care products also contain phthalates, so read the labels and avoid products that simply list added “fragrance,” since this catch-all term sometimes means hidden phthalates. find phthalate-free personal care products with ewg’s Skin deep database: www.ewg.org/skindeep/
propelene glycol
associated with irritant and allergic contact dermatitis as well as contact urticaria in humans; these sensitization effects can be manifested at propylene glycol concentrations as low as 2%
pvc (polyvinyl chloride)
a common plastic used in children's toys & cosmetic packaging, releases dioxins, may cause cancer & affect immune and reproductive systems
pvp/va copolymer
this petroleum derivative can be found in beauty products like hairsprays & other cosmetics. the chemical can be considered toxic & may cause damage to the lungs of sensitive people.
(acids, als, & others)
fatty acid used as an emulsifier and emollient that is primarily derived from animal fat, can be a skin irritant, carcinogenic, & comedogenic
synthetic elastin
suffocates skin by not allowing moisture in or out. found in facial creams and body lotions.
sodium hydroxymethyl
a preservative that irritates the skin, a possible cancer agent
talc powder
a mineral that can contain asbestos, should not be used on babies, linked to ovarian cancer, respiratory toxin & carcinogenic when inhaled
tea ingredients
(not tea, but rather ingredients
with tea in front)
severe irritants, can contain ammonium salts, eye irritant, sensitizer, carcinogenic
found in a lot of antimicrobial soaps and toothpaste products, it can react with chlorine in the tap water to create chloroform. this is a toxic chemical that can give you cancer. if you breathe enough chloroform, you will die. when you wash your hands with antibacterial soap that contains triclosan, you are getting the fumes emitted from this chemical reaction.
commonly used as a PH adjuster & often combined with fatty acids to make salt. stearate & triethanolamine are utilized as a base for cleansers. It is known to cause allergic reactions like eye irritations, dry skin & hair, & is potentionally toxic when the skin is exposed to prolonged absorption.
quaternium, 7, 15, 31, 60
a highly toxic preservative that releases formaldehyde, causes skin rashes & allergic reactions; carcinogenic