Saturday, August 24, 2013

Living in a Chemical World

            It probably goes without saying that I’m not a big fan of chemicals. Then again, most people when asked wouldn’t outright say, “Yah, I LOVE chemicals!” Yet many people use chemical laden products daily without ever realizing what’s in them or how harmful they can be.
            Now, before you go claiming that I’m a hypocrite or something along those lines by saying, “I bet the products you use and food you eat etc. aren’t completely chemical free.” You’re right. They’re not. However, I do make a conscious effort to find items that are at least BETTER for you than some. (Hence part of the reason for creating this blog.) Ignorance is not always bliss and all I’m saying is that I wish more people would take the time to read labels carefully. For example, the person who gave me the push to finally write this post…
            The woman I babysit for is a really nice, well meaning, educated woman. I am not trying to bash her by any means. I really do like her. However, something struck me as a little “silly” that she said the other day.
            Just my luck, a termite company came to their house while I was babysitting the other day. The man told me they were there to treat termites and that it was already paid for. Since my “employer” is a teacher, I couldn’t exactly call her up and let her know/double check that they were indeed supposed to be there. I have no idea what her husband’s work environment is like, so I didn’t even bother trying to call him either.
            Anyhow, I sent her a text saying that I hoped she was expecting termite people. It was paid for, after all, so I assumed they had it set up when they bought their house a couple of months ago. Fast forward to the next morning and, while she wasn’t mad at me, she told me by the time she got home that they had already treated the front of the house, but she made them stop and not complete the back. Why? Because she was worried about the chemicals and the baby.
            Ok. Again, I’m not a fan of chemicals…but I’m also not a fan of having my house eaten from the inside out by miniature beavers. Plus, what are the chances that he is going to come in direct or even indirect contact with the termite treatment? Extremely minimal, I’m guessing. What gets me is that she was worried enough about that to make them stop before they were finished, but she uses disposable diapers, store bought baby wipes, feeds him Gerber baby food, and uses *shudder* Johnson’s baby wash.
            Before I get to my point, I also noticed something that I thought was hilarious on some of the Gerber food the other day. I can’t remember exactly which flavor it was, I know it was a fruit, probably pears or apples, but it was one of their “All Natural” ones. I looked at the package for funsies to see how “natural” it really was and in tiny print underneath the “All Natural” label read “*Except abscorbic acid and citric acid”. Ha. Ok. You’ve got my interest. So I looked on the back at the ingredients list. There were 4 ingredients. Whatever fruit it was, the fruit juice, and you guessed it, abscorbic and citric acid. So let me get this straight. It’s “All Natural”…except for half of the ingredients? Furthermore, last time I checked you can find good abscorbic and citric acid in nature.
            As I implied, I’ve been meaning to write this post for awhile. On top of the above mentioned things, I decided to do a little online research experiment on EWG’sSkin Deep Cosmetics Database with the baby washes/shampoos I happen to have laying around. On this page, you can look up ratings for over 64,000 cosmetic products, including baby items, sunscreens, makeup, and much more. In a nutshell, their product ratings are based on how many and how harmful ingredients are that are in each product. Scores range from 0-2 (low hazard), 3-6 (moderate hazard), and 7-10 (high hazard). You can find out more information HERE on how their system works and the methodology that they use.
            Utilizing their website, I have listed below ratings for some common baby washes/shampoos and ones, like I said, I have laying around not being used. Some of them may surprise you and one of them certainly surprised me!

-Earth’s Best Sensitive Skin Shampoo & Body Wash, Fragrance Free: 2
-pHisoderm Tear Free Cream Wash: 5
-Nature’s Baby Organics Shampoo & Body Wash, Vanilla Tangerine: 1
-Aquaphor Baby Gentle Wash & Shampoo: 2
-Johnson’s Baby Head-to-Toe Baby Wash: 4
-Johnson’s Baby No More Tears Shampoo, Original Formula: 4
-Aveeno Baby Wash & Shampoo: 4 (I found this one odd because all of their other baby wash products were rated 1’s and 2’s.)

            There is also a specific “Babies & Moms” tab near the top where you can look up what the best rated products are in different categories, such as baby soaps, wipes, lotion, etc. Just for fun, here are the top 5 rated baby soaps (which are all rated 0):

-Adorable Baby 100% Natural Baby Body Wash
-Chagrin Valley Soap & Salve Castile Baby Soap
-Opas Soap Baby & Me
-AlphaZelle LLC Aloe Baby Bar Soap
-Baby Hugo Naturals Chamomile & Vanilla Handcrafted Soap

            Like I said, sorry if this came off a little too preachy and no, I don’t expect ANY of us to live completely chemical free lives, but I hope in writing this that more of us will become more aware of what we’re really buying. Who knows? Maybe you’ll turn into a “label checker” like me. ;) 


  1. Great share! As you know, I'm ingredient conscious as well, and EWG's SkinDeep is my best friend! I am right there with you when I don't understand how people can say they want to avoid chemicals they see as obvious but don't check what is in the products they use every day. I feel that way about artificial sweetners, too. I know people who promote healthy living and represent products with sucralose - an insect killer for crying out loud! *Sigh*

    1. I'm glad I'm not the only one! I kinda feel like a jerk bringing that up, but at the same time I really don't understand it!

  2. I agree, and it's both hard (because there everywhere) and expensive to avoid them.

    1. So true. It's sad that it typically costs more to buy things that are pure and have less ingredients than ones that have extra, unnecessary ingredients in them.

  3. I'm slowly becoming chemical free but I'm far from success. I'll take a look at that lost and see how it can help me choose next time :) Thx! I agree with Cheshire Cat, sometimes it's cheaper to just go the chemical route. :(

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