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



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


Toxins in Laundry Detergent

Laundry Detergents: Cleaning your clothes or adding toxic chemicals? (Part 1 of 3)

I have had a lot of requests, messages and questions about laundry detergent over the past year and I have been holding off because I Toxins in Laundry Detergenthadn’t found the perfect solution myself despite years of trying. Since I have tried so many things I want to break this down over the next few weeks so information doesn’t get lost. This week’s focus: toxins likely in your store bought detergent.

What to avoid:

Diethanolamine: This can be linked to tumors in kidneys and the liver. It has links to developmental toxicity and is considered an eye and skin irritant. EWG scores it as a 10 (the most toxic ranking)

Quaternium-15: Added to help a product clean better. Another known carcinogen that releases formaldehyde. (Scores an 8 out of 10 according to EWG)


Linear alkyl sodium sulfonates (LAS): Toxic to aquatic life and may be a skin and eye irritant.

Petroleum distillates(also called naphthas): This ingredient can be linked to cancer and lung damage.

Fragrances: We have covered this a lot in the past. A “Fragrance” covered by trade secret may include any number of over a thousand different chemicals. Some have never been tested for safety and others are known carcinogens.

Polyalkylene oxide or ethylene oxide: One or both may be added to help “stabilize” the product. Both are linked to respiratory issues, kidney and liver damage.

Laundry “Brighteners”:

naphthotriazolystilbenes benzoxazolyl, diaminostilbene disulfonate. These may be linked to reproductive issues and do not necessarily “wash off” your clothing.

I once used the “Think Dirty” app to scan almost an entire isle at Target. Some that I assumed were going to come out on the better end-did NOT. It was actually shocking and I left without detergent. I was determined to find a safer detergent. Next week we will explore some other options I tried and what the downfalls were.

*Please note: This list does NOT include toxins in dryer sheets since that was covered in a previous post)

Toxins in Laundry Detergent


Toxins in Eye Shadow

I have never been a make up person-to the extent that my husband still points out that I didn’t “bother” Eye Shadow Toxinsto wear make up on our first date. Now knowing what I know I am so glad I skipped applying all those toxins on a daily basis.

Since I am not the majority though, make up has its place.

What ingredients should you skip?

-Coal Tar:  This has come up in other products we have discussed. Coal tar is a known carcinogen and has been associated with skin tumors, lung, bladder and kidney cancer.

-Formaldehyde: Found in fewer eye shadows these days but is harmful to your liver and can cause skin irritations.

-Parabens: Found in almost all beauty products to give them an extended shelf life. Parabens (propylparaben, butylparaben, methylparaben) can disrupt hormones and are known carcinogens.

-Thimerosal: Oddly banned from most other make up except eye make up. It is a compound based on mercury, which is proven to impair brain function.

-Talc: You may remember the recent lawsuit won against Johnson & Johnson for the talc causing a woman’s deadly ovarian cancer recently. Unfortunately it is still sold and in many products. It is a known carcinogen.

-Aluminum Powder: This is what most make-ups use for color. If your make up uses both aluminum powder and the above-mentioned thimerosal it is twice as dangerous. Aluminum inhibits the body’s ability to detox mercury.

Bismuth Oxychloride: This is not a heavy metal but it does tend to clog pores and is often the culprit for those who suffer redness and itching from eye shadow. This ingredient is more of a lung irritant and skin irritant than a Make-up artist placing eye shadow on womantoxin.

Nano particles: such as mica and titanium dioxide if inhaled can accumulate in your lungs and damage your DNA. You will find mica even in your natural eye shadows-be conscious of not inhaling it.

What Is safe?

Mineral make up is the way to go-however be aware that not all mineral make up was created equal.  Many contain the ingredients listed above so be sure to choose wisely!

Iron oxides would be a safer choice for where your colorants are coming from.

Mica is mentioned above as well but it is the safer of your natural ingredients for shimmer and is found in most of even the organic choices. Sericite may also be on your ingredient list.  Sericite is a finer version of mica.

Titanium dioxide and zinc oxide are safe as long as they are not nano particles.

As always-read the ingredients and know what’s in your products!

Toxins in Eye Shadow


Hidden Chemicals that Invade Your Life

Hidden chemicals are in more places than you think.

Last week’s blog post focused on the dangers of non-stick pans and their coating. Knowing we all only have so much time to read I wanted to keep it as brief as possible. Unfortunately PFC’s (Perfluorinated Chemicals) invade our lives in many ways.  While many are unavoidable, it’s good to eliminate or cut down when we can.

Where are PFC’s Found?

PFC’s are a man made product that can now be found in water, soil, mother’s breast milk and in the Hidden Chemicalsmajority of our bloodstreams. It has been found in animals all over the world despite where it is manufactured.

Where is it coming from?

Inside our houses we can find it on our “scotch guarded” or “stain resistant” carpets and furniture that children are playing, lying and crawling on that was manufactured previous to 2002.  It is on our non-stick pans (see last weeks blog). It is coating packaging for oily foods such as popcorn bags, sandwich wrappers, outdoor tents, some cosmetics and shampoos, french fry and pizza boxes. Worse? We are also wearing them-all our Polartec, Gore-Tex and water repellant clothing still contains these chemicals. Greenpeace tested and found PFCS in Northface, Patagonia, Adidas, Columbia and Jack Wolfskin jackets. It was also found in Nike and Puma shoes, the apple sport wristband and Oral B glide floss.

Why is it concerning?

PFC’s are likely a carcinogen. They have proven to cause mammary gland tumors in animals and liver and thyroid cancer in rats. They may cause liver or kidney damage in addition to reproductive problems. While some of the older versions of these chemicals are no longer in use in the United States the “replacements” have not proven to be a safer alternative.

What can you do?

They are impossible to avoid entirely since the soil and water are contaminated. Ideally the less we buy in the future; the less production of more is created. Skip the microwave popcorn and get an air-popper again.  Read your shampoo labels and find ones without PTFE or “Fluoro” ingredients. Choose a safe floss. Next time you purchase coats, carpets or furniture, skip the coating. Every toxin adds up.  Unfortunately we all know many (often young) people fighting cancer. Usually there is not one particular cause. Of course your floss alone isn’t going to kill you, but someday it may have saved your life to skip as many toxins as possible when you are able. Why not?



Cookware Can Be Harmful

Cookware Toxins from Non-Stick Pans

Growing up we always had stainless steel pans. At some point we replaced all those pans for non-stick sauté pans. The goal was that they were easier and faster to clean. We live in the era of convenience right? After a few too many years of “convenience” I replaced all those non-stick pans with the original stainless steel and a few cast iron pans. Why go backwards? Sometimes “forwards” isn’t really progress (Note: GMOToxins Non-Stick Cookware food, plastic and antibacterial everything)

The Problem:

Back to the pans…. what is wrong with those easy to clean non-stick pans? Generally, non-stick pans are aluminum coated with a synthetic. Previously they were coated with perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA). EWG studies, conducted by DuPont’s own scientists, revealed that when its non-stick cookware is heated it breaks down into 15 types of toxic gases and particles. In 2004 a  $343 million dollar lawsuit was won for contamination of drinking water and an association of tumors and developmental problems in animals. The EPA was advised to declare PFOA as a carcinogen. Eight companies agreed to phase out PFOA by 2015. (Take note: how old are your pans?)


Non-stick pans may also include polytetrafluoroetheylene (PTFE) also known as Teflon. High temperatures have caused toxic fumes (including six toxic gases, which include two carcinogens.  Fumes from these pans to kill pet birds and cause people to develop flu like symptoms.  Unfortunately the coating also breaks down and the toxic particles are carcinogenic.

Health Concerns:

PFC’s contaminate the environment and find their way into your blood stream. Residue from these substances has been found in blood, breast milk, liver and even umbilical cords.  High levels have been associated with peripheral artery disease, high “bad” cholesterol, insulin resistance, and thyroid disease.


“Safety suggestions” include using lower temperatures and making sure not to damage the coating. Lower temperatures tested were all exceeded by the average cooking temperature. It would totally eliminate preheating pans, broiling, and searing meat.  In addition, ventilating your kitchen and keeping birds out of the kitchen. The best safety suggestion is likely replacing any non-stick cookware you may have.


Logical solutions: replace one pan at a time.  Good pans are not cheap. (Neither is long-term illness.) Start with your most common used pan (likely a stovetop pan that you scrape with a spatula and cook at higher than safe temperatures. Work your way through until you have a safer set of pans. Stainless steel, cast iron or glass for bake ware.


As with most things it is impossible to avoid all PFC’s (more next week on where else they are hiding) so cutting down on the ones you can control is a difference maker.


Cookware Toxins


The Difference Between Fragrance Free and Unscented

Toxins in fragrance can still be found in products labeled unscented!

We have come to love scents. Scented candles, a new car smell, perfumes, body washes, dryer sheets…almost any item you find in your house likely contains the simple word “fragrance” on the end of the Fragrance and Unscented Toxinsingredients.  About 95% of the chemicals in commercial fragrances contain petrochemicals.

What is in Fragrance?

Fragrance is one word, however it is not “one” ingredient. The word fragrance is trade protected (due to a loophole in the Federal Fair Packaging Act of 1973: and can contain any number of over 3,100 chemicals. Many of these have never been tested for safety.

Is Fragrance Toxic?

Some are known to be toxic to the immune system, respiratory system, reproductive system and organ toxicity.  They can cause asthma, eczema, migraines, and other sensitivities. Many of the fragrance ingredients are phthalates (a known carcinogen). Phthalates can result in kidney and liver damage, early breast development, and birth defects. Parabens is another common possibility. Parabens are known to Does your products smell amazinginterfere with hormone production.

Knowing your body absorbs everything put on your skin within seconds you want to be careful about what you are applying. Toxins accumulate in our bodies over time so the key is to cut out and eliminate those we can control. Go through your daily routine in your head and consider how many items you have applied with toxic ingredients (shampoo, soap, hand soap, perfume, body lotion, detergent residue on clothing, cleaning products…the list is endless.

What can you do?

Read your labels. Next time you think about buying that can of air freshener, perfume, scented body lotion or wash-check the label.  If the bottle is scented by using essential oils that is what will appear on the label. If the bottle is scented with a combination (see previous blog post about lavender essential oil) you will find it written on the label.

What if your bottle says it’s Unscented?

This is tricky. Unscented means that fragrances have been added to cover up other scents. If you are looking for no toxic fragrances added you want your label to say “Fragrance Free”

There are simple solutions.

I make my own perfume with an essential oil combination I like. No toxins and I get the benefits of the aromatherapy my choice of oils brings. While some people still want a scent to their items some are safer than others.  Natural Fragrance Oils are produced using only pure essential oils and aromatic isolates derived solely from natural, raw botanical sources. They are free of phthalates, parabens, sulfates, glycols, petrochemicals and/or other solvents.  They can be plant based so they are vegan friendly as well.

It can be overwhelming to try and change too much at once.  Instead, think about the next time you need to purchase new soap, etc and replace it with a safer brand.

Image is not available
Image is not available
Find Out
About Your




Toxins in Carpet Fresheners

What Toxins are in your Carpet Fresheners?

If you have carpets chances are that is one of the main places you are sitting, laying and playing with your children. Children themselves spend most of the time sitting and playing on the floor.

You want your carpets to stay clean and healthy, which is often a feat in itself if you have pets or children. There are many carpet deodorizing powders on the market to “help” with this solution. But are they Toxins in Carpet Cleanershelping or hurting?

Carpet deodorizing powders are meant to be completely vacuumed up after application. Unfortunately, the powder or its residue can easily be left behind.  It may have sunk too deep into the carpet fibers, meaning that even high-powered vacuums won’t be able to pull it out.  Carpet deodorizers contain many unsafe ingredients linked to lung damage, kidney damage, nervous system damage, hormone disruption and blood disorders along with probably carcinogens. Chances are they also contain a lot of “fragrance.”  Fragrance is the protected trade secret of as many as 3,600 ingredients, many of which are toxic or have never been tested for safety. Once the residue has been left behind it will continue to be inhaled.

Sometimes you still need a solution for your carpet and the smell it has acquired. Like many safe cleaning ingredients, baking soda is your answer.

  • Grab a glass jar;
  • Fill it with baking soda and some drops of a deodorizing essential oil.
  • Sprinkle on your carpet (this works best in a shaker/salt jar) let set.
  • Vacuum.
  • Your carpet will be safe and smell amazing, and no one will be inhaling toxins.