Hidden Chemicals in your Home | A Better Way

Hidden Chemicals in your Home | A Better Way

You know that the Warm Vanilla Spice air freshener that you picked up from Target last week? Do you know what’s in it? Or that Christmas tree candle that was lit all through December to make your home feel cozy and festive? Or the citrusy kitchen cleaner that you picked out because it’s scent reminded you of fresh fruit? Did you know that the chemicals and fragrances used in products like these, even products labeled “all natural”, can actually be causing more harm than good? I had no idea how dangerous some of the common household items that I obsessed over were for the longest time! But now that I know, I’ll never go back.

Dangers of Air Fresheners

What’s in your Air Freshener plug ins and sprays? Honestly, who knows. A study from Natural Resources Defense Counsel shows that even “all natural” room sprays contain hormone disrupting chemicals! From World Watch Institute :

“A study of 14 common household air fresheners has found that most of the surveyed products contain chemicals that can aggravate asthma and affect reproductive development, according to the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC). “There are too many products on the shelves that we assume are safe, but have never even been tested,” said Dr. Gina Solomon, NRDC senior scientist. “The government should be keeping a watchful eye on these household items and the manufacturers who produce them.”

The study assessed scented sprays, gels, and plug-in air fresheners. Independent lab testing confirmed the presence of phthalates, or hormone-disrupting chemicals that may pose a particular health risk to babies and young children, in 12 of the 14 products—including those marked “all natural.” None of the products had these chemicals listed on their labels, according to the report. On September 19, NRDC, along with the Sierra Club, Alliance for Healthy Homes, and the National Center for Healthy Housing, filed a petition with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the Consumer Product Safety Commission to report the findings.”

Also from Natural Resources Defense Council :

“Phthalates are used in many common consumer products—to soften plastics in children’s toys, as sealants and adhesives in nail polish, and in perfumes and air fresheners. When people use air fresheners, the phthalates are released into the air where they may be inhaled or may land on the skin and be absorbed. Once these chemicals enter the bloodstream, they can alter hormone levels and cause other health problems.”

Dangers of Perfumes

Samuel S. Epstein, M.D., professor emeritus of Environmental and Occupational Medicine at the University of Illinois at Chicago School of Public Health and Chairman of the Cancer Prevention Coalition, shared in an article entitled “The Danger of Toxic Consumer Products, Fragrances”:

“Perfumes and fragrances are the single largest category of cosmetic and personal care products, especially hair, facial, and eye. These products represent nearly 50 percent of all prestige beauty dollars now spent in the US Fragrances are also extensively used in a wide range of everyday household cleaning products.
Exposure to toxic ingredients in cosmetics and personal care products is predominantly through the skin. In contrast, exposure to toxic ingredients in household cleaning products is predominantly through inhalation.”

And, from Dr. Mercola :

  • Laboratory tests found a total of 38 chemicals not listed on the labels in 17 name-brand fragrances (such as Chanel, Giorgio Armani, Bath & Body Works, Old Spice, Calvin Klein, and more)
  • The average fragrance product contained 14 chemicals that were not disclosed on the label (along with another 15 that were listed)
  • Fragrances commonly contain parabens, phthalates, and synthetic musks that may cause hormone disruption, reproductive problems, or possibly cancer
  • The exact ingredients in synthetic fragrances are protected as “trade secrets” and therefore do not have to be disclosed on the label

Dangers of Candles

Ahh candles. I used to live for days of walking around stores and smelling the yummy scented candles. Until I learned of the serious dangers they cause. Did you know that scented candles are a huge source of indoor air pollution and they put off chemicals that are considered just as dangerous as second-hand smoke?! WHAT? Paraffin is a petroleum waste product and has to be deodorized and chemically bleached before it can be made in to wax. Most candles are made of paraffin wax, which when burned, gives off highly toxic benzene and toluene; known carcinogens. Other toxic chemicals that may be present in the paraffin mixture and released through burning include: Acetone, Trichlorofluoromethane, Carbon Disulfide, 2-Butanone, Trichloroethane, 

Trichloroethene, Carbon Tetrachloride, Tetrachloroethene, Chlorobenzene, Ethylbenzene, Styrene, Xylene, Phenol, Cresol, Cyclopentene. Some of these toxins are found in other products such as paint, laquer and varnish removers as well. To make it worse, wicks made in the U.S. are supposed to be made of cotton or paper, but up to 30% of them contain dangerous heavy metals like lead. Carcinogens, toxicities, respiratory irritants. All to have our homes smelling like we just made a fresh batch of Christmas sugar cookies. The good news though, diffusing essential oils can fill your home with just as good (or in my opinion, better!) scents while actually BENEFITTING your health! It’s really a win-win! 

Dangers of Toothpaste

By Dr. Mercola

“Over the course of your lifetime you’ll produce 10,000 gallons of spit that your body uses to initiate digestion, neutralize acid in your mouth and help fight germs that produce bad breath. If you floss each day, you’ll go through approximately 5 miles of floss over your lifetime and will use 20 gallons of toothpaste. If you brush your teeth twice a day for two minutes, you’ll spend 24 hours brushing each year.

Even though you don’t swallow your toothpaste (and shouldn’t!), it all happens in an area of your body used as a drug delivery system when a rapid onset of action from medication is desired,2 with a permeability four to 4,000 times greater than your skin.3 The wide range is due to the different permeability in the different regions in your mouth. Thus, any chemical you place in your mouth, despite the fact you don’t swallow, may be absorbed directly into your bloodstream.”

Click Here to read more! This a great article about the dangerous ingredients lurking in your toothpaste and being absorbed directly to your bloodstream! You can also search for other daily essentials on this site (makeup, deodorant, cleaning supplies, etc.) to be informed of the ingredients and their dangers!



Make the Change

These are just a few examples of the thousands of ways chemicals are floating around our that we don’t even think about! Do some research on Air fresheners, Perfumes, Laundry Detergents, Skincare, Deodorant, Cleaning sprays etc., and you’ll be amazed at how truly dangerous some of these everyday products really are for us.

Once I started reading and researching how dangerous so many of our common household items really are, I realized that I wanted better for myself and for my family. I researched different companies claiming to be natural with their products and pure with their essential oils, and Young Living was the only one that truly measured up in all areas. We use everything from cleaning products, skincare/hair/makeup products, supplements, and oils for all the things from Young Living. Their Seed to Seal promise to purity is truly amazing. We’ve slowly been switching products from our home to these natural versions from Young Living, and are now almost completely chemical free! It doesn’t happen overnight, but every product that you switch out will bring you one step closer to a safer, healthier home. And it’s so worth it.

Getting Started

+ If you’re interested in essential oils and want to learn more about what they are, why we love them so much, and the best way to get started with them, check out these blog posts:

Essential Oils
The Starter Kit That Will Change Your Life

+ If you’re interested in working towards a chemical free life, but aren’t quite sure about the whole oils thing yet, I’d love to chat with you about all of the natural products that Young Living offers and the best place for you and your family to start swapping out!

+ Download the app Think Dirty on your smartphone, and start scanning everything in your home from cleaning products to cosmetics. It rates your products on a scale of 0-10 (0 being completely clean and safe, 10 being GET IT OUT) and shows you exactly which ingredients are bad and why. This will show you what things really need to be kicked out of your home ASAP!

I can’t wait to chat with you and help you along this journey to living chemical free!

xoxo Haley