Earth Day Tips

Being mindful of our planet is a big job these days, as so many modern day products and technologies are made without the slightest bit of reverence for our planet and its creatures, including humans!  You probably reduce, reuse and recycle, but did you know that many of the ingredients you have learned to avoid due to human health reasons, can have a lasting impact on our Earth?  Check out these Big Baddie Ingredients that are wreaking havoc:

1. Microbeads - Thank goodness people are listening and the government is too.  A new bill prohibits the manufacture of products containing plastic microbeads as of July 1, 2017.  Microbeads are used in many personal-care and beauty products, such as facial scrubs, soaps and toothpastes. Often times they are spotted as colorful flecks that serve no purpose but to make a product look "prettier".  They do not dissolve and can persist in the environment for decades.  They wind up in waterways, where they are ingested by fish, putting their health at great risk.

2. BHA/BHT - Used as preservatives in cosmetics and moisturizers, BHA is listed as a chemical of potential concern that can be toxic to aquatic organisms and can accumulate in the environment.  The United Nations Environment Program assessment noted that BHT has a moderate to high risk for bioaccumulation in aquatic species. (Source: David Suzuki Foundation)

3. Siloxanes: Cyclotetrasiloxane, Cylcopentasiloxane, Cyclohexasiloxane, Polydimethylsiloxane - These are silicone based compounds used in personal care products to soften, smooth and moisten and are often found in hair conditioners, moisturizers and facial treatments.  Hard to believe that the same ingredients are found in building sealants and windshield water repellants.  Siloxanes are toxic, persistent and have the potential to accumulate in aquatic organisms. Related ingredient- Dimethicone (source: David Suzuki Foundation)

4. Triclosan - Used as an antibacterial ingredient in soaps, toothpastes and cosmetics, and is associated with negative health and environmental impacts. Triclosan has no added consumer health value and thus should be avoided in household products. It is toxic to algae, phyto-plankton and can accumulate in fish. This is concerning as most products that contain the ingredient get washed down the drain, contaminating waterways. (Source - Beyond Pesticides)

5. Oxybenzone - A chemical commonly used in sun blocks to prevent sunburn is now killing coral reefs around the world.  Researchers at the University of Central Florida have found that oxybenzone exists in high concentrations in the waters around popular coral reefs in Hawaii and the Caribbean. The chemical not only kills the coral, it causes DNA damage making it unlikely that the coral can develop properly. The highest concentrations of oxybenzone were found in reefs most popular with tourists, and sadly, 80% of coral reefs have been lost as a result. (Source - today.ucf.edu)

6. Synthetic Fragrance - We know that synthetic fragrance can be made up of hundreds of other ingredients that do not need to be disclosed.  One of these, diethyl phthalate (DEP), is listed as a Priority and Toxic Pollutant under the U.S. Clean Water Act, based on evidence that it can be toxic to wildlife and the environment. Researchers at Stanford University have associated synthetic fragrance, including musk, to damaging aquatic wildlife - in particular, mussels. (source- stanford.edunews)

For more information on the toxicity of these and other ingredients view our Big Baddies list and shop The Choosy Chick for safer, earth friendly products. 

 

Sources: 

https://www.congress.gov/bill/114th-congress/house-bill/1321

http://davidsuzuki.org/issues/health/science/toxics/chemicals-in-your-cosmetics---bha-and-bhti/

http://davidsuzuki.org/issues/health/science/toxics/chemicals-in-your-cosmetics---siloxanes/

http://www.beyondpesticides.org/assets/media/documents/antibacterial/triclosan-lurking-3-09.pdf

http://today.ucf.edu/lathering-up-with-sunscreen-may-protect-against-cancer-killing-coral-reefs-worldwide/

http://news.stanford.edu/news/2004/november3/Perfume-1103.html