Tips and tricks
Here’s a few ways to start cutting some toxic chemicals out of your life.
Look for nail polishes without toluene and formaldehyde, both known carcinogens linked illnesses like asthma to cancer. Organic markets in Calgary such as Mrs. Green’s and Community Natural Foods sell polishes and removers without these products. Bring them to your next mani-pedi appointment.
DEHP (diethylhexyl phthalates — pronounced thalates — are used to make a product more flexible, while parabens (found in breast cancer tissue) are a preservative found in products such as cosmetics, body lotions and antiperspirants. Look for natural alternatives. Walmart and other big box stores have started selling paraben-free body lotions.
Household cleaning products are rife with harmful chemicals, including sodium laureth sulphate (SLS, or sometimes called SLES). This is linked to many illnesses. AspenClean (aspenclean.com) products are free of this ingredient as well as phthalates. The company’s products are certified by EcoCert, an organization based in Europe. (ecocertcanada.com) All ingredients are listed on its products and are plant- and mineral-based. Found at stores such as Community Natural Foods and Planet Organic.
Sweat more with exercise, saunas or hot yoga. Studies have shown that we purge our bodies of some chemicals when we perspire.
Try to eat organic fruits and vegetables whenever possible. Many grocery stores carry organic produces and the prices are coming down as more people buy them.
environmentaldefence.ca — Information for consumers on current issues.
ewg.org — Environmental Working Group has its Skin Deep Database, which gives safety scores for personal care products.
Top five offenders
Five toxics found in everyday products Canadians use: formaldehyde, phthalates, parabens, flame retardants and triclosan.
Scientific evidence has shown these chemicals are linked to health problems such as cancer, endocrinedisruption, asthma, obesity and reproductive problems.