As parents, we put a lot of effort and focus into keeping our homes beautiful, and keeping our babies safe. A lot of us may not be aware that the detergents, cleaners and soaps that we see at grocery stores and big box stores could be harmful to you and your children. Here are a few tips on how to read labels, what to avoid, and how to ensure you and your family are safe.
Alarmingly, the laundry room is normally the most toxic room in most people’s homes. The chemicals that laundry detergents often contain can be the culprit for skin and throat irritation, and carcinogenicity. Mother Earth Living reported, “Researchers have found that dryer vents can emit more than 25 volatile organic compounds (VOCs) when scented laundry detergent and dryer sheets are used, including seven VOCs classified as hazardous air pollutants.” Even more alarming is that laundry-care product manufacturers are not required to list all of their product’s ingredients on their packaging. So even if the label displays it or not, mainstream laundry detergents often include: petrochemicals, synthetics fragrances, and optical brighteners.
Even more dangerous than liquid laundry detergents are the increasingly popular laundry pods, where the liquid comes packaged in a dissolvable plastic casing. Commonly mistaken for a toy by children, these pods have been ingested at a shocking rate. In 2013, the U.S. poison control centers reported receiving 10,877 calls about children (under the age of 6) who had ingested pods. The following year, 11,714 calls were reported. Injuries stemming from these ingestions were vomiting, coughing, eye irritations, breathing problems, throat irritation, seizures, comas, and even two deaths.
Many ingredients in soaps and sanitizers are deemed either unsafe or unbeneficial. One of the most harmful ingredients found in these products is Triclosan. Thankfully, in September of 2016, the FDA banned the use of Triclosan, triclocarban and 17 other antiseptics that were previously used in 40% of dish and hand soaps. Triclosan in particular was so popular in products, that in a national survey in 2003, it was revealed that Triclosan was found in 75% of the 2,517 healthy participants. Another alarming fact was that it was found in women’s breast milk.
Triclosan was widely known for killing bacteria, but it has also been proven to kill human cells. This chemical, along with other antibacterial chemicals, was/is aiding bacteria in becoming stronger and immune to medicines, forming what’s known as “superbugs.” Despite common belief, it’s important for children to retain some bacteria in order for their immune systems to strengthen, so avoiding antibacterial soap is crucial.
In addition to Triclosan, other common toxins and chemicals to avoid in household soaps are: Sodium Lauryal Sulfate, Parabens, Ureas, Synthetics Colors, Diethanolamine (DEA), Propylene Glycol, Synthetic Fragrance, and 1.4-Dioxane.
It’s not hard to keep your family safe, as long as you know what’s in the products you’re buying. Stick to plant-based ingredients, essential oil or natural fragrances, biodegradable materials, or non-toxic components.
We encourage you to read labels, ask us questions, stop by our stores: Our mission is to put your family’s safety at the forefront. Additionally, if you’re growing your family, please consider registering with us, so that others know to buy products that you believe in and trust. As a trusted Toronto baby registry, we love helping families start off on the right, healthy, non-toxic foot.
Comments will be approved before showing up.