It seems as though everywhere we turn, we learn something new and disturbing about the toxicity of everyday products in our lives. I think most of us tend to want to turn a blind eye to this kinds of information - because more bad news in a bad news world is overwhelming, and because it's difficult to figure out what our alternatives to potentially toxic products are.
One of the more shocking discoveries I made awhile back was that cosmetic products are actually not held to any sort of safety regulations. That's right. Make-up, moisturizers, sunscreens, deodorants, shampoos - you know, the stuff we slather all over ourselves and our children - NOT REGULATED. And, I guess, in light of the previous news, unsurprisingly, chalk full of toxins. Toxins that are linked to cancer, infertility, and all kinds of other badness. Even companies that use the "natural product" or "green product" advertising line are full of toxins (and those ones to my mind are the worst offenders!). Companies that immediately come to mind here are Aveeno, Melaleuca, Arbonne, Lush, Body Shop - but the list could go on and on for days.
There are two lovely reports/studies put out that give us both real information AND real alternatives. So, other than the need to do a little homework and product hunting - nothing to get overwhelmed about.
Below are the links to check out. Really - check 'em out. You'll be horrified, it's true. BUT - these reports give us the ability to practice harm reduction. Okay - maybe we can't afford to buy the super-dooper-all-natural-and-wholesome-chemical-free alternatives. But we can look up and find products that are LESS harmful and still likely in our price range. At least that's what I've tried to do.
The first is the Skin Deep Report, put out by the US based Environmental Working Group. (This report has the added bonus of informing you which products are tested on bunnies and puppies and kitties too),
The second is the 2010 Sunscreen Report Findings, put out by the very same EWG.
So -what do we do about this shit?!
We read it. We read it and weep. (It's a lot to take in and if you're at all like me, you'll need a moment to be furious and outraged.) We read it and share the information - because no one knows about this stuff... and like they say folks, knowledge is power.
And then we shop.
Show those corporate bastards that we will not accept toxins in our make-up, in our sunscreen, and in the lotion we slather our babes with daily. Because when we stop buying their products, they'll start changing 'em.