Toxic Toothbrushes

Continuing with our oral health info-another one I was late to the party with: toothbrushes. The bonus is toothbrushes get replaced Toxic Toothbrushesoften and are fairly inexpensive so it’s an easy swap you can make in the future with a little info.

What may be in your toothbrush even fresh from the package? 

PVC plastics contain Phthalates. As we have learned phthalates are known to increase breast cancer cells, asthma, allergies, infertility and decreased sperm counts. It is difficult to avoid them entirely since they are in so many things, however cutting down every little bit helps.

Another toxin you will find is BPA. Unfortunately if you see BPA free please remember the BPA replacement has proven to be more toxic. This issue is seldom addressed since there isn’t an actual solution aside eliminating plastic). BPA has shown to have links to high blood pressure and have effects on the brain, prostate. One of the issues with BPA is that it breaks down when heated. If you are sterilizing your toothbrush in any form that may heat it up you are better off tossing it and getting a new toothbrush.


Personally I like the bamboo toothbrushes. The downfall to this is that if you have more than one person in your family you need a way to make them. Colored nail polish on the handle, or washi tape seem to work. My younger kids seem anti bamboo toothbrush so we have done well with the radius toothbrush. (I have found them at iherb  ( or Whole Foods.

The Soft Landing also put together a nice list of other options that are safer than what you may be getting free at your last dentist appointment.

Toxic Toothbrushes


Toxins in Toothpaste

Last week we focused on Triclosan and where it is hiding. One of the biggest places is your toothpaste. While it is true that the FDA Toxins in Toothpastehas stated triclosan has proven to fight gingivitis-is it worth the trade off? Triclosan has also shown to be an endocrine disruptor. This term gets mentioned a lot but isn’t always explained. Basically any endocrine disrupting chemicals can promote health issues such as breast cancer, testicular cancer, low term birth weight and the progression of cancers.  The animal studies that have included triclosan have shown it may interfere with cells that signal the brain and heart as well as having hormonal effects. Triclosan has also shown to cause resistance to antibiotics. One study showed that people who brushed their teeth with particular toothpaste high in triclosan had five times more triclosan in their urine.

Aside Triclosan, other toxins in toothpaste:

Sodium Lauryl Sulfate (SLS) or Sodium Lauryl Ether Sulfate – is what makes your toothpaste all foamy. I have to admit it took some getting used to when I switched to toothpaste that didn’t include that-however it is a psychological effect-the toothpaste still works without getting foamy J The problem with SLS? It is often contaminated with 1,4 dioxane which is a carcinogen. SLS is a registered insecticide and is toxic to the environments and marine life. SLS can also cause skin irritation and sores.

Fluoride –  is a touchy one. Fluoride is actually a neurotoxin and does accumulate in your tissues over time. Toothpaste that contains natural occurring cacao extract bromine has shown to be more beneficial in repairing and re-mineralizing teeth than fluoride according to more recent studies. Fluoride is imported from China (red flag? More on that next week!)

Propylene Glycol –  is as dangerous as it sounds. It is a mineral that is also used in paints, antifreeze and de-icers for airplanes. It has shown to cause organ toxicity, skin and eye irritations.

Diethanolamine (DEA) – Classified as a 10 (10 being the most toxic) with EWG’s ratings it is tied to stomach cancer as well as liver, bladder and esophagus cancers. California has declared it a possible human carcinogen. Seems like something we shouldn’t brush our teeth with?

Artificial Sweeteners and colors –  It gets complicated here. It’s easy to start with aspartame since we know it’s no good.  Saccharine is another one to avoid. Xylitol has mixed thoughts but so far is being considered more safe than not. Some artificial colors and sweeteners may be contaminated with heavy metals or made from petrochemicals. No thank you!

Carrageenan – This one annoys me beyond belief mostly because I find in many “natural” types of toothpaste that people think they have swapped safely for. It is a carcinogen and causes inflammation.

Glycerin –  While glycerin is not toxic by itself, but doesn’t rinse off the surface of your teeth and prevents the natural flow and protection of saliva.

Lead –  Apparently Earthpaste has tested for lead. (Unfortunate, since they have a great EWG score ingredient wise.)  They have stated that it is natural occurring. Natural or not we know there is NO safe level of lead for consumption so it is best not to include it in your toothpaste. This is a controversial issue for toothpastes with bentonite clay in them. I invite you to research and decide for yourself.


What are some better choices?

Personally I have come to like Ugly by Nature ( I have tried a few flavors but I am partial to the mints since my brain has programmed to feel clean with a minty toothpaste.  I have used it for over a year and I have no complaints from my dentist or myself. (As I side note I also do regular oil pulling-to read more check out our previous blog post on mouthwash!)  Check your brand at EWG and find yourself a safer swap!



Toxins in Toothpaste



Triclosan: Where is it Hiding?

I wanted to address triclosan by itself before I spend some time addressing other oral health care toxins. Triclosan finally made some headlines last year when the FDA decided antibacterial soap was not helping anyone. More about that in a previous blog post. Please keep in mind that it is not phased out of soaps yet! Unfortunately, antibacterial soap is not the only place this ingredient is Triclosan: Where is it Foundhiding.

What is tricolsan?

Triclosan is an ingredient intended to reduce bacteria. It can be found in many detergents, soaps, color cosmetics, antiperspirants and toothpastes. In addition, it has been proven to disrupt hormones in animals. It has shown to contribute to the rising problem of antibiotic resistance and is harmful to the immune system.

According to a study in 2008 75% of people tested had triclosan in their urine. Unfortunately, we increased antibacterial products even more in the last 9 years so it is likely that number has only risen.

If you have already tossed your antibacterial soaps (if not please do!), it is time to see where else triclosan is hiding in your products.

Toothpaste is a big one. The last thing you want to do is add a toxic ingredient to your mouth twice a day. Triclosan is not a needed ingredient in toothpaste but unfortunately has found a way into many of the more natural ones.


Places you can find it:

  • Color Cosmetics
  • Teeth Whiteners
  • Shaving Products
  • Detergents
  • Antibacterial Soaps
  • Antiperspirants




Toxins in Tampons

This one blew my mind a little, mostly because I overlooked it for so long.  We know over 90% of our cotton is genetically modified so Toxins in Tampons  it can withstand being doused in glyphosate. (A known carcinogenic weed killer). We know everything you put on or in your body ends up in your bloodstream. So why do we not discuss tampons?

I am aware organic cotton has its benefits and my kids sleep on organic cotton sheets. They wear a lot of organic cotton clothing, partly due to my fond addiction to Hanna Anderson clothing. We own plenty that is not organic and I do not worry about it. Then again, clothing is not being inserted INTO your body. The vaginal membrane has shown to be more absorptive of medicine and other materials than any other part of the body.

Are all ingredients disclosed?

Tampons are considered a “medical device” which means all ingredients do not need to be entirely disclosed.  The word fragrance itself can contain any number of over 3,400 chemicals, many of which are toxic. Although the bleaching process has changed over the years and dioxin are said not to be a factor-in recent studies they have been found in more than half of the tampons/sanitary napkins tested. So why worry about Dioxin? It is a toxic chlorine compound linked to cancer.

Some studies conducted to decide if these ingredients are safe most are paid for by the companies themselves. Information to consider. In addition the consensus is that in small amounts these ingredients are deemed to pose no health risk. Unfortunately for woman, they tampons for several days a month for many years.

Toxins are cumulative in the body.  It is likely very true that using non organic tampons one month or year is not going to destroy your health. However the average woman menstruates for 30-40 years.   That is an estimated 12,000 tampons. Since we have not been using the same pesticides for 40 years we have no way of obtaining a study on the safety of non-organic tampons over a lifetime.  The FDA currently has no plans to fund any studies on the safety of tampons.


This is one item that has been swapped out for organic in my house.  This post has been written a few months waiting to be used. Recently I stumbled upon a new company called Lola. I watched their intro video and loved that they are a company started by two women looking to share a better product-much like The Chemical Free Me is. You can subscribe and even personalize what size tampons you want in your box each month. You can easily skip months or set it for every other month. You can add liners of the size you need as well.  All organic cotton-nothing else! Brilliant!

Read their about us below and visit their website and find yourself a safer set of feminine products –while supporting a small business.

We met in the summer 2014, introduced by friends who had a hunch we’d hit it off. They were right. Jordana was in grad school, working on the early concept that would become LOLA, while Alex was at a tech startup. After a drink or two, Jordana asked Alex, “Have you ever wondered what’s in a tampon?” Turns out, she hadn’t.

That small question sparked a big idea – could we create an organic tampon and a brand that was completely transparent with customers about the ingredients in its products? After all, if we care about the ingredients in everything from our food to our face cream, why should our feminine care be any different?

Toxins in Tampons


Avoid Toxic Ingredients when Coloring Your Eggs

Coloring Easter Eggs? What You Need to Know:

If you celebrate Easter and have young children you have probably grabbed a package of egg dye to color eggs with. toxic dyes

What’s really in that egg color aside vinegar?

According to packaging:

Yellow #5-while banned in Austria and Norway we still use it in the USA. In 2013 food was required to add a label suggesting it could cause allergic reactions and asthma. It has been linked to migraines, blurred vision, fatigue and anxiety.

Blue #1-has shown in studies to suggest kidney tumors in mice and may cause cancer.

Blue #2-has shown an incidence of tumors in and brain gliomas in rats. It is not recommended to be used in food

Red #3-has shown to cause DNA damage in human liver cells. It has been found to interfere with thyroid function and cause hyperactivity.  Red number 3 has also shown to induce cancer. It was almost banned by the FDA in 1985 but lost out to industry pressure. In 1990 it was banned in skin care products but is still allowed in food (Logical?)

Yellow #6-has caused adrenal tumors in animals.

Red #40-has shown to be damaging to the DNA in mice, may contain contaminants that contribute to cancer in humans and has been linked to hyperactivity.

Since anything absorbed onto your skin goes into your blood stream that means you are putting these ingredients into your body. If you are actually eating the eggs after coloring them with these kits…I wouldn’t!

Is there a solution?

Of course! It will take a few more minutes than dumping vinegar in a cup with a tablet but reading the risks-I will take the few extra minutes!

Toxic Dyes


Toxins in Febreze

When my boys were little (many years ago) Febreze came on the scene. We had a neurotic anxious dog that had frequent accidents when he got scared of things as simple as the kids noisy toys. A product that eliminated odors? Yes please!

Only had I known then what I know now? NO THANK YOU! Toxins in Febreze


If you own a bottle of this “odor eliminating magic,” I suggest you keep reading. Some white vinegar or some diffused essential oils and you can eliminate the odors without any cancer causing ingredients.


According to EWG the Febreze products score a D or an F. ( This includes asthma and respiratory concerns, skin allergies and irritation, development and reproductive toxicity as well as concerns to the environment. When put to an air pollution test it released 87 toxic ingredients!


Getting down to the products goal: to eliminate odors. These ingredients are not in fact eliminating odors. Like other air fresheners they are covering odors up with a variety of toxic fragrances and ingredients.  The odor is still there; it is just masked by ingredients. About those ingredients…only several are actually disclosed on the label (Is that not enough to make you run?) EWG found 87 others.

How bad are those ingredients?  Let’s take a look:


-BHT – A known neurotoxin, endocrine disruptor, immunotoxicity, non-reproductive organ system toxicity, as well as a skin, eye, and lung irritant.

-Acetaldehyde – Known as a carcinogen, toxic to reproductive health, immunotoxin, non-reproductive organ system toxin, skin, eye and lung irritator

-“Fragrance” – One of the three ingredients that is actually disclosed, it’s a neurotoxin, immunotoxin and allergen. Fragrances can be comprised of any number of over 3,000 ingredients. Some have never been tested for safety.

-Propylene Glycol – May cause cancer, allergies, toxic to immune system, builds up in the system, non-reproductive organ system toxin, is classified with “enhanced skin absorption” and I can irritate the skin, eye and lungs.

-1,3-Dichloro-2-propanol – Carcinogenic (causes cancer)

-Limonene – An Allergen, immunotoxin and skin, eyes and lung irritator

-Methyl pyrrolidone – Toxic to the reproductive system and development, allergen and immunotoxin, non-reproductive organ system toxin and skin, eyes and lung irritator

-Alcohol denatured – Also one of few ingredients disclosed in the in Febreze:  linked to cancer, developmental/reproductive toxicity, organ system toxicity and skin, eyes and lung irritatant.

-Butylphenyl methylpropion al – allergen, immunotoxin and skin, eyes and lung irritator

-Ethyl acetate – linked to developmental/reproductive toxicity, neurotoxicity, organic system toxicity and skin, eyes and lung irritator

-Geraniol – Linked to allergies, immunotoxicity, organ system toxicity and skin, eyes and lung irritation

-Linalool – allergen, immunotoxin, and skin, eyes and lung irritator

-Benzaldehyde – neurotoxin, and skin, eyes and lung irritator

-Diethylene glycol monoethyl ether – non-reproductive organ system toxicity

-Ethylhezanol – developmental and reproductive toxin and skin, eyes and lung irritatant

-Hexyl cinnamal – allergen, immunotoxin and skin, eyes and lung irritator


What is the solution?

Throw it away. You aren’t eliminating odors you are adding toxins to your lungs that have dire consequences. Want a safer way to freshen your air? Try an essential oil diffuser  or a non-toxic spray air freshener with the bonus of aromatherapy.


Toxins in Febreze


Poison Prevention Week

This week is National Poison Prevention week and we are excited to help promote awareness.  If you haven’t downloaded our free toxin checklist (link: /wp-content/uploads/2016/07/toxin_list-1.pdf)  grab yours today and start checking the labels to the products you are putting on your Poison Prevention Weekskin.


Today I turn our Toxic Tuesday over to the Mesothelioma Cancer Allience and thank them for spreading the word about toxins…

The United States Congress passed a joint resolution on September 26, 1961, requesting that the U.S. President, John F. Kennedy, proclaim the third week of March National Poison Prevention Week. He granted the resolution and made March 1962 the first official observance of Poison Prevention Week.

Poisoning is a leading cause of accidental injury in the U.S. and harms people of all ages,

genders, and races. While most poisonings can be treated or prevented, they still hold the risk of being extremely dangerous and potentially deadly.


2017 Poison Prevention Week:

Each year there are daily themes to go along with Poison Prevention Week. This year’s themes


  • Monday, March 20 – Children Act Fast … So Do Poisons
  • Tuesday, March 21 – Poison Centers: Saving You Time and Money
  • Wednesday, March 22 – Poisonings Span a Lifetime
  • Thursday, March 23 – Home Safe Home
  • Friday, March 24 – Medicine Safety


The Mesothelioma Cancer Alliance at (MCA) is participating in Poison Prevention Week by spreading awareness about the dangers of poisons, both in the home and workplace. MCA is an organization working to spread awareness for the disease, and fights to have asbestos banned in the United States. The disease is rare and aggressive, affecting approximately 2,000-3,000 new patients each year, and offers a very poor 12-21 month life expectancy.


This year the MCA will be focusing on the Wednesday and Thursday themes: Poisonings Span a Lifetime and Home Safe Home. Asbestos fibers, which are commonly found in construction materials used in homes, schools and other buildings, are extremely toxic when those materials are disturbed and the dust is inhaled. Particles stick to the mesothelium tissue found in the lungs, abdomen and heart, and can stay there for 10-50 years before symptoms of mesothelioma occur. To learn more about the dangers of asbestos exposure you can visit the Mesothelioma Cancer Alliance at

Poison Prevention Week


Wrinkle Free Fabric Toxins

Are you saving time or adding to your toxic load?

Last week we covered wrinkle remover. In case you have solved your wrinkle problems with wrinkle free clothing there are a few things to be aware of.

I have to be honest when I first heard about wrinkle free shirts it seemed brilliant! Why aren’t they all wrinkle free? Sometimes if it’s Wrinkle Free Fabric Toxinstoo good to be true it usually is.

What actually makes fabric wrinkle free when it’s still made out of the same cotton? The fabric is treated with PFC’s (including Teflon), sulphuric acid and a resin that releases formaldehyde.

According to the National Cancer Institute Formaldehyde is a known human carcinogen. (Link:

According to clothing companies the levels are considered safe (although I am not sure I would call any level of these safe nor do we have long term studies to back that up). However, when tested levels exceeded what is considered to be “safe” for skin contact. (link:

Sometimes in a world of “convenience” we forget what’s safe. We also assume that if a product is sold to us that it must be safe. One could also argue these toxins are everywhere. Unfortunately this is true. They build up in your body and accumulate over time. Each toxin that you can eliminate exposure to is valuable to your long-term health.

My opinion? Skip the wrinkle free shirts, sheets etc. Pretend they never existed and grab your iron if needed.

Wrinkle Free Fabric Toxins


Wrinkle Remover Toxins

The last month has been a focus on laundry detergents and stain removers. It seemed like a good time to add in wrinkle remover. My Wrinkle Remover Toxinshusband used to keep several bottles around. My guess is before I came along folding wasn’t a priority so even t-shirts needed some love before wearing.  Several years ago when we eliminated toxin by toxin in our home this one had to go.

As you know from a previous blog post fabric softeners are very toxic.

Alpha Terpineol: Known to cause damage to the central nervous system as well as respiratory problems

Camphor:  Can cause disorders in the central nervous system.

Chloroform: A neurotoxic carcinogen

Benzyl Acetate: linked to pancreatic cancer

Benyl Alcohol:  Can irritate the respiratory tract

Ethanol:  Known to cause central nervous system disorders

Ethyl Acetate: Listed on the EPA’s “hazardous waste” list

Fragrance: A combination of any number of over 3,000 ingredients, many never tested for safety. Many include Plthalates.

Limonene: An eye irritant and known carcinogen

Linalool: Also known to cause central nervous system disorders

After researching I couldn’t find a safe store bought option. I also found the majority of the DIY options contained a store bought (unsafe)fabric softener. While that is great if you are looking to save money, it is not helpful at all if you are looking to eliminate toxins.

I have found several variations of a non-toxic DIY wrinkle remover. I have put them to the test.  It’s not perfect.  I would say it’s 30-40% effective. It is helpful in a pinch so we have a bottle mixed up. The easiest solution? Fold your clothing neatly after the dryer or pull out your iron for a few.


1 Cup of distilled water

1 Cup of white vinegar

10 drops of essential oil (Peppermint recommended /product/peppermint-organic-essential-oil/)

Store in spray bottle. Spray in a sweeping motion and hang to dry.

Wrinkle Remover Toxins


DIY Non-Toxic Stain Remover

Over the past few weeks I replayed my journey in research in finding a laundry detergent that actually worked and wasn’t bringing non-toxic stain removertoxins into my home. It was by far one of the hardest products to find a worthy replacement for so hopefully I helped you skip some of the legwork.

Finding a good stain remover was slightly easier. I did try out several “natural” ones but they didn’t seem to actually work.

What’s in your average stain remover?

Many contain a petroleum base. We covered petroleum a few weeks back so you know that it is not biodegradable and non-sustainable.

Benzene, Toluene, Xylene: They are all neurotoxins that can do damage to the central nervous system.

Monoethanolamine: It can damage the liver, kidney, reproductive and central nervous systems.

Methylene chloride is a carcinogen and a neurotoxin that can also cause skin irritations, liver and brain damage as well reproductive issues.

Parabens are included in different versions which are known hormone disrupters. Some are carcinogenic.

Sodium Hypochlorite is a neurotoxin, liver damage and respiratory irritant.

My youngest gets dirty. He drinks a smoothie several times a day to get his special vitamins and supplements into him. Blueberries hide the taste of everything-but they also stain. We needed something that worked. I did not create this recipe. I have seen countless variations online so I am not sure where this one originated but it has been my go to:


1.5c water

¼ c Liquid castile soap

¼c vegetable glycerin

2TBSP baking soda

15 drops of lemon essential oil /product/lemon-essential-oil/

Note: You MUST use a stainless steel or glass spray bottle when adding a citrus essential oil. Plastic will not hold up.

non-toxic stain remover