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Category: Healthy Living Tips

Perchloroethylene – Common Household Chemical of the Month

What is it? Perchloroethylene, aka PCE, is a manufactured chemical used mostly as a cleaning agent. PCE is a colorless, nonflammable liquid with a faint, sweet odor. It is also a volatile organic compound, which means it can turn into a gas. It’s usually a liquid, capable of dissolving another substance.

Where is it found? Scouring cleaning supplies, stain removers, paint products, degreasing agents, and other household cleaners. It’s the solvent used by about 85% of U.S. dry cleaners.

Why should I avoid it? First of all, you need to know that there is no safe level of PCE. The United States Environmental Protection Agency has classified PCE as “likely to be carcinogenic to humans”. Studies have linked it to a slew of different cancers:

· Bladder cancer

· Non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma

· Multiple myeloma

· Leukemia

· Rectal cancer

· Lung cancer

· Esophageal cancer

· Kidney cancer

· Cervical cancer

· Breast cancer

· Liver cancer

· Ovarian cancer

· Prostate cancer

Not only has this chemical been determined to play a role in cancer, but it is especially dangerous for pregnant women. It can cause a handful of horrible symptoms to expecting mothers and unborn babies. While small levels of PCE have been found in the air and water supply, I would recommend avoiding having it in your home by choice. 

Safer alternatives – Norwex offers an awesome stain remover free of chlorine, bleach, and other harsh chemicals. There are also safer alternatives for removing grease or other sticky substances. One of my favorites is Cleaning Paste. You can get years of use out of one container. Cleaning Paste is “elbow grease in a jar”! Use it for scuff marks, grease, permanent marker, anything sticky, and so much more!

Less chemicals = MORE LOVE!

Since tomorrow is Valentines Day, let’s talk about a HUGE way you can show some love to your family – reducing the amount of chemicals in your home!! This might not be noticed as much as chocolate or a bouquet of roses, but trust me, your family’s bodies will be thanking you!

Did you know: The average home today contains 62 toxic chemicals – more than a chemistry lab at the turn of the century. More than 72,000 synthetic chemicals have been produced since WWII, and less than 2% of those chemicals have been tested for toxicity, mutagenic, carcinogenic, or birth defects. ?!?!?!?!? Oh my word!! Crazy you guys. Show your people how much you loooove them by removing some chemicals from your home and introducing them to some earth-friendly alternatives! And maybe buying chocolates or roses, cooking them a nice dinner, or simply telling them how much they mean to you 🙂

Parabens – Common Household Chemical of the Month

What are they? Any of a group of compounds used as preservatives in pharmaceutical and cosmetic products and in the food industry.

Where are they found? Skincare products such as lotions, scrubs, sprays, body and face wash, and even foods.

Pros & Cons? Parabens are tricky, because there actually is a PRO to this chemical. Parabens allow items like face wash, lotion, body wash, etc, to stay on your bathroom shelf for years, without growing bacteria. Most of us wouldn’t like the idea of rubbing bacteria-ridden lotion all over our bodies. So if you have a skincare product you’ve been holding onto for years, rest assured that if parabens are an ingredient, it is still fresh and ready to use. However; as with most chemicals that extend shelf life, there are a handful of CONS.

In 2004, a British study found traces of five parabens in the breast tissue of 19 out of 20 women studied. The study didn’t prove that parabens can cause cancer but identified that the parabens were able to penetrate the skin and remain within tissue. The fact that this chemical can stay under your skin for who knows how long doesn’t settle well with me! 

Parabens are believed to disrupt hormone function by mimicking estrogen. Too much estrogen can trigger an increase in breast cell division and growth of tumors, which is why paraben use has been linked to breast cancer and reproductive issues.

So with parabens, I would err on the side of caution. There are so many safer substitutes and a handful of skincare brands who have promised not to use parabens in their products. If there are products available that are safer, why not use them instead of risking it?! Using products with parabens isn’t terrible in small quantities, but my advice would be to start slowly switching over your products that contain parabens, to paraben-free products for happier skin!

Safer Substitutes –  Norwex offers a slew of skincare products, from soaps and lotion, to deodorant and eye creams! 

Triclosan – Common Household Chemical of the Month

I thought it would be interesting and informative to start highlighting a common household chemical/toxin every month. There are so many icky toxins in our homes, and the crazy thing is that most people just don’t know about them, or are so accustomed to using them that they’ve never thought about the negative effects! I’m hoping that by shining light on certain chemicals, that eyes will be opened to their dangers and side effects and that more homes will kick them to the curb!

Triclosan.

Where is it found? In most liquid dishwashing detergents, as well as hand soaps labeled “antibacterial”.

What is it? An aggressive antibacterial agent that can promote the growth of drug-resistant bacteria. Rebecca Sutton, PhD, a senior scientist at the Environmental Working Group explains “The American Medical Association has found no evidence that these antimicrobials make us healthier or safer, and they’re particularly concerned because they don’t want us overusing antibacterial chemicals — that’s how microbes develop resistance, and not just to these [household antibacterials], but also to real antibiotics that we need.” Other studies have now found dangerous concentrations of triclosan in rivers and streams, where it is toxic to algae. The EPA is currently investigating whether triclosan may also disrupt endocrine (hormonal) function. It is a probable carcinogen.

Why you should kick it to the curb. It’s likely a carcinogen – aka a substance capable of causing cancer in living tissue. It disrupts hormone function. It helps in building resistance of antibiotics, which is not good when your body actually needs them!

Safer Substitutes

  

Norwex hand wash and dishwashing liquid! My kids LOVE the hand soap because it foams. The dishwashing liquid smells so yummy, and they are both SUCH safer alternatives. Click on either photo to grab yours today 🙂

Simple & Effective Ways to Reduce Waste

Last weekend, our family made & canned 104 quarts of applesauce! We try to do this every year or so, and it gets easier as the kids get older – but the demand sure does increase! Canning is one way we try to cut down on waste as a family.

It’s a win-win because the day of canning (and I mean WHOLE day!) is such a fun time and the kids love being able to help. Everyone has a role, even if it’s toddling around with an apple in each hand munching away, AND we get a few months worth of applesauce with no can waste! The day of canning got me thinking about other creative ways we can continue to reduce waste. Here are a few of my favorites!

 

Makeup Cloths –

These are the ultimate chemical free facial cleansing cloths. Most store bought makeup removing cloths are soaked with chemicals that are not kind to your skin. This suede like material does an amazing job at removing makeup – foundation, mascara, eyeliner, etc, WITHOUT chemicals! Store bought makeup removal wipes can be expensive! Using 1 or 2 a day really adds up. Just think how big of a difference it would make if you didn’t have to reach for a disposable makeup removal wipe every night!

Click the picture to buy yours today!

 

Counter cloths –

You can read my in-depth blog post about Counter Cloths herebut to keep things short, I LOVE these guys! My family uses them almost constantly in the kitchen. They are such an amazing alternative to paper towels. Even the same size as a half paper towel sheet, but better! Honestly we use these guys so much I can’t even imagine how many paper towels we would go through if we used them. They clean up messes and most importantly, stop the growth and spread of icky bacteria, mold, and mildew with BacLock.

Click the picture to buy yours today!

 

Envirocloth

The “everything” cloth! I always say you can never have too many of these puppies! It’s amazing how many messes these have cleaned in my home with 6 kids, chickens, and our huge pup. These cloths can do it all (except dishes)! If you’ve yet to try Norwex products, start here with this guy! Read more about what makes the Envirocloth so awesome here!

Click the picture to buy yours today!

 

Silicone Container/Cup Lids

If you find yourself reaching for aluminum foil or plastic wrap to cover dishes often, these could be a great solution for you! They are so versatile and able to fit over almost all types of pots/pans/bakeware/cups/etc. Stock up on a few of these Silicone Lids and say goodbye to the plastic wrap problem!

Click the picture to buy yours today!

 

Reusable Wet Wipes bag

This is a lovely idea for families with kiddos on the go! I know for us, every time we’re out and about the kids touch things with germs, get sticky fingers, wipe boogers on their fingers, and so on! Fill one of the Reusable Wet Wipes bags with a few moist Travel Size Envirocloths, and you’re all set. Remove yucky bacteria and germs on the go without going through any disposable wipes!

Click the picture to buy yours today!

 

Straws

Plastic straws are a HUGE environmental issue these days! In America, we use over 500 million plastic straws per day – and most of those end up in the ocean, polluting the water & killing ocean life. Did you know at least 267 different species have been affected by plastic pollution in the ocean? If we can’t get this problem under control, by 2050 there will be more PLASTIC in our oceans than FISH. That just isn’t right!! YOU can help make a change! I’ve been so happy to see some popular restaurants and cafes making changes to help reduce the amount of plastic straw waste, and you can join the fight too! These stainless steel straws are perfect for at home or on the go. Keep a couple in your purse or car so you’re able to say no to plastic straws while dining out. Seriously, every time you say no adds up and is one less straw in our oceans. Let’s keep this earth beautiful!

Click the picture to buy yours today!

 

Grocery bags

Plastic bags are used for an average of 12 minutes. Another easy way to reduce waste is bringing your own reusable grocery bags when you go shopping instead of using their disposable ones! The average American family takes home 1,500 plastic shopping bags in a year – but only 1 percent of plastic bags are returned for recycling. That means that the average family only recycles 15 bags a year; the rest ends up in landfills as litter. Holy smokes! There are so many better uses for those than going home with us! For example – Americans use 100 billion plastic bags a year, which require 12 million barrels of oil to manufacture. It only takes about 14 plastic bags for the equivalent of the gas required to drive one mile. 100,000 marine animals are killed by plastic bags annually, and one in three leatherback sea turtles have been found with plastic in their stomachs.

Click the picture to buy yours today!

Guys, we CAN make a difference and we are responsible for taking care of our earth. Think of a few ways you can join the fight to reduce waste in your life and let’s start making those changes today!