Gradually we should be replacing all harmful products we use every day, here are four products we recommend removing from your life.
We are poisoning ourselves and the world with all sorts of poisonous chemicals. For us to protect ourselves we need to be aware of what is in some of the common things we use every day. I think once you read through this you’ll be thinking hard about using these again. No.1 Bug Spray – We are not just killing the bugs but we are also poisoning ourselves! This can be done by the spray being absorbed through the skin or by being inhaled. The main ingredient in many bugs sprays available is DEET (N,N-Diethyl-meta-toluamide), it was made by the U.S. Army after exposure to jungle warfare during World War II and Southeast Asia. A pesticide made with the same ingredient has also been considered and experiments have been made on farm fields. The directions state that if it the spray comes into direct contact with your skin it should be washed off as soon as it is no longer needed – seriously, how often does anyone actually do this! There was a report made by Cornell University stating that employees in the Everglades National Park who are exposed to DEET regularly were more likely to have insomnia, impaired cognitive function and disturbances in their mood. It can affect the central nervous system and accumulation of toxins can lead to seizures, coma and even death. DEET can be bought in up to 100% concentrate, the center for disease control recommends 30-50% DEET. Saying that, Canada have barred the sale of repellents over 30% concentrate due to human health reasons.
DIY Citrus Bug Spray
This homemade bug spray is chemical free and has a fresh citrus smell. All you need is:
5 drops of citrus essential oil
5 drops of peppermint essential oil
10 drops of basil essential oil
2 tablespoons of olive or grapeseed oil
1.5 cups of water
A spray bottle
Mix the essential oils with the olive or grapeseed oil and then add to the water in the spray bottle. Shake it up well before each use as oil and water separate when left.
No. 2 Polyvinyl Chloride or Vinyl – aka PVC
This has been banned in over 14 countries and the European Union. From food packaging and children’s toys to shower curtains and building materials, PVC is all around us. Unbelievably, it is still legally sold by U.S. retailers despite that it can harm environmental and consumer health at every point of its product life cycle. Vinyl chloride, the chemical used to make PVC, is a known human carcinogen, according to the World Health Organization’s International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC). Workers in PVC manufacturing facilities and residents of communities in surrounding areas are at risk from exposure to these chemicals which contaminate the water, soil and air around these facilities. The manufacture and incineration of PVC also creates and releases dioxins, these can cause a vast range of health effects which include birth defects, diabetes, cancer, learning and developmental delays, endometriosis and immune system abnormalities. There is one type of dioxin that is the most potent carcinogen ever tested. These dioxins are released into the environment end up in the food that animals eat, they gather in animal fats and then they end up in human fat as we eat the meat and dairy products from the animals. Scarily, food accounts for 95% of human exposure to dioxin. It’s not just the toxic pollution PVC creates, it is affecting your health through everyday use. One PVC shower curtain can release as many as 108 volatile organic chemicals into the air. Some of these chemicals can cause developmental damage, damage to the liver, respiratory, central nervous system, respiratory and reproductive systems. The phthalate DEHP is added to PVC to make it flexible. Traces of these chemicals can leach out of PVC when in contact with foods or if your baby puts it in their mouth. According to the National Institutes of Health, di-2-ethylhexyl phthalate (DEHP), is a suspected human carcinogen. The best way to avoid PVC is to identify it first! Read the packages and go PVC-free by looking for a #3 or the letters “PVC,” which are usually found next to the three-arrow “recycling” symbol. For other PVC products, you’ll have to contact the manufacturer. Good news is that some companies are finally changing their ways. IKEA is no longer using PVC in the manufacture of their furniture, wall coverings and textiles. We do not need PVC but in almost all cases an alternative does exist!
No. 3 – Weed Killer
It’s not just weeds you kill when you use weed killer. You end up poisoning other plants and insects that are vital to the eco-system. Glyphosate, the main ingredient in weed-killer is highly toxic to humans and animals. Currently over 185 million pounds of weed killer is used on U.S. farms and lawns each year. Glyphosate will kill any plant excluding of course the GMO crops that have been modified to specifically withstand the poison. You don’t need to use these harmful chemicals in your garden; here is a natural way to kill the weeds.
Vinegar Weed Killer
This effective natural weed killer is made with white vinegar and lemon juice, it will kill all parts of the weed that is above ground. If you find that the weeds are coming back and need to kill the roots try applying the spray when you first notice the weed before it gets established. If you find that the weed just won’t go then try mixing 1 tablespoon of white vinegar, 1 teaspoon of bio-degradable dish soap and 1 tablespoon of gin. You will need:
4 cups of 10% white distilled vinegar
8 tablespoons concentrated lemon juice (bottled)
A spray bottle
Directions – Mix the vinegar and lemon juice in a spray bottle and shake well. It is recommended that you apply at the hottest part of the day and if possible when the sun is on the weeds. Re-apply every couple of days.
No. 4 – Mouthwash – You are not likely to OD on mouthwash but you do need to know that most commercial brands of mouthwash contain ingredients that can become poisonous if you ingest too much.
Chlorhexidine gluconate, ethanol (ethyl alcohol) and methyl salicylate. Cholohexidine gluconate stops bacteria that causes smelly breath when used at optimum levels. Although if used too much it can cause disruption of cell membranes and possibly cell death. Ethanol, an alcohol, has been found to have a possible link to an increased risk of oral cancer. If taken excessively it can lead to drowsiness or possible unconsciousness. Methyl salicylate is similar to aspirin and if too much is consumed it will show up as an aspirin overdose. Children are the most vulnerable to such harmful side-effects that is why there is need for safety caps and the boldly printed warnings. Why take such a risk when there are natural products that do the same job! Here are 2 easy homemade mouthwashes.
Old-Fashioned Disinfectant Mouthwash: 1 cup water and 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar. Combine ingredients and store in a glass jar. Shake well before use. Swish mixture in mouth, then spit out. This will keep indefinitely on the counter.
Basic Mouthwash: 1 cup water, 1 teaspoon baking soda, and 3 drops peppermint essential oils. Mix all ingredients in a glass jar and shake well. Swish in mouth, then spit out. Keep on bathroom counter.