By: Natalie @ The Eco Den


While I was working as a nurse, I saw a broad range of health issues that made me wonder how they were connected. Combined with having my first child in 2011, I started looking into what we put on our bodies and homes. I began researching chemicals in cleaning and personal care products, which made me a little obsessed with chemicals. I started to break down each ingredient in a product, research it on as many platforms as I could, and then investigate each brand making the product. For instance, parabens which are in almost all personal care products, sometimes two to three times, are
linked to being hormone disruptors and an increase in breast cancer.

What to look out for in your products

Fragrance can contain hundreds of ingredients, like phthalates, which are chemicals that help scent last longer. However, these are linked to cancer, human reproductive and development toxicity, endocrine disruption, congenital disabilities and respiratory problems. The fragrance industry is a self-regulating system, which means they can say what is safe or unsafe in perfumes.

Formaldehyde is found in nail polish, hair gels, shampoos, soaps, lotions, deodorant and
cosmetics. This chemical also found in cigarettes, can cause dermatitis, respiratory problems
and has been linked to lung and nasopharyngeal cancer.

DEA (Diethanolamine) are used to make cosmetics creamy or products sudsy. DEA can cause
skin and eye irritation, but studies show that exposure at high doses can cause liver cancers and
precancerous changes to skin and thyroid.

In Europe, more than 1300 chemicals are currently banned from personal care products. In Canada, only 500 chemicals have been banned. This list has not been changed since 1988. Some
people still argue that because Health Canada deems an ingredient safe that they still feel
comfortable using it. The problem is the way people are using chemicals has changed over the
last 30 years.

What is greenwashing?

Surveys show that women now use an average of 12 to 15 personal care and cosmetic products
per day, so the rate at which these “safe” chemicals are now being applied are in toxic levels. There are so many companies out there making safe personal care products for home and body that work just as well, if not better than conventional products. The price point is also very similar.

Consumers have to look out for brands “green washing”. There are no laws around using the words, green, clean, chemical-free and organic with personal care, cleaning products and cosmetics. Consumers have to ensure they’re not being duped and wasting their money.

I love helping people make the change to a chemical-free lifestyle and have had so many positive stories from customers with positive health changes from removing toxic chemicals. To get started living a greener lifestyle – feel free to contact me or visit the shop!

About The Writer

My name is Natalie, and I am the owner of The Eco Den in Mount Forest and a Registered Nutritionist Student. I opened November 1st 2019 based on my passion for holistic living. I love helping people make the change to a chemical-free lifestyle and have had so many positive stories from customers with positive health changes from removing toxic chemicals. I hope to meet you soon!

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