The Chemicals We Live With

As a consumer, you should be aware of what toxic synthetic chemicals are in the products you purchase and use. The point here is not to scare or alarm you but to inform and equip you to minimize your exposure to harmful, disease-causing toxins as much as possible.

Chemicals are a part of modern life, and there's no escaping that fact. Many manufactured chemicals have made our lives easier, healthier, and happier. Many more, though, have contributed to a global health crisis - the exponential rise in cancer, infertility, mental and emotional health issues, allergies, and even obesity epidemics around the world is at least partly attributable to the increase in our exposure to toxic chemicals and an accompanying decrease in healthy living patterns, especially for those of us living in urban environments. 

While it is impossible to completely erase your exposure to some toxic chemicals you can lessen it (even if you go completely "off the grid" and move to one of the most remote locations on earth you'll still be exposed to some toxins, since they can travel through the air or stay lodged in the ground for decades). More important, we can hold manufacturers and governments accountable to monitor and appropriately address the effects of harmful chemicals on the human body and our environment. In many cases, harmful chemicals can be substituted for safer alternatives, but manufacturers need to hear from consumers in order to be motivated to make these changes. Chemical reporting agencies can also use consumers' help in their work of encouraging manufacturers to use these safer alternatives and increasing awareness about potentially or actually toxic chemical exposures from common household and personal care products.

No one wants to have to be a scientist to stay healthy, but even a minimally aware and informed consumer can be a powerful force! 

Click on the link here, and take a look at this 7-minute video by The Story of Stuff Project and Free Range Studios along with the Campaign for Safe Cosmetics to find out more. At the end of the video you can also learn how to take action. Then download and print my "cheat sheet" (under the consumer guides drop-down menu) and keep it in your wallet or purse to check it against the ingredient lists on the products you buy on a regular basis.

You'll be surprised how many toxic chemicals you are exposed to, and you may be put off by how many of those chemicals are in the products you have been using every day. Maybe you'll decide to keep using some of them anyway, or maybe you'll gradually make the move to non-toxic (and hopefully just as effective) alternatives for at least some of those products. 

Armed with a little bit of knowledge and the will to speak up (you can read more of the green and prosperous blogs to find out how), we can help turn the tide against unnecessary and excessive exposure to harmful chemicals.

"Gobi Desert". Licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons - bi_Desert.jpg