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Toxic cleansing/care products?

MindLibMindLib Registered User regular
edited May 2010 in Help / Advice Forum
So I recently stumbled upon some info that kinda got me second guessing my choices of cleansing/care products.

Stuff like:
http://www.naturalnews.com/003210.html
http://www.aolnews.com/health/article/study-many-sunscreens-may-be-accelerating-cancer/19488158

I searched some of the products I use on this website:
http://www.cosmeticsdatabase.com/

And by their standards almost all of the products I use have some kind of toxin. Some of which are known to cause allergies, hold neuro/immuno toxicity levels, and sometimes carcinogens....

WTF!?

So I've been on a rampage and I'm pretty certain I'm going to finally switch to natural products. I recognize it's a bit steeper for the dollar but I'm not gonna put THIS ON MY BODY ANYMORE:
http://www.cosmeticsdatabase.com/ingredient.php?ingred06=706623

...and that's just the tip o the ice-berg. Apparently this particular chemical is banned in Canada and Japan for care products. Not in good ol' America I guess!

Any who, I was wondering if anyone can recommend some good natural products, but also, is this just a bunch of hogwash? Am I buying into a big farce? Does anyone know here know more truth about this particular subject than the common consumer would? Do I really need to worry?

MindLib on

Posts

  • pacbowlpacbowl Los AngelesRegistered User regular
    edited May 2010
    It's all BS. The EWG has their own agenda.
    They don't provide any scans of these documents they say they have, proving any of these studies happened and they claim the FDA's web site backs them up...but don't provide an URL.

    I think it's actually legitimate to say "pics or it didn't happen" in this case.

    The Consumerist has an article on the sunscreen issue today.

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  • ransimransim Registered User regular
    edited May 2010
    pacbowl wrote: »
    It's all BS. The EWG has their own agenda.

    http://activistcash.com/organization_overview.cfm/o/113-environmental-working-group

    Yeah I wouldn't exactly trust them.
    Richard Wiles, the EWG executive who cooked up the 1996 “Shopper’s Guide,” insisted that his intention wasn’t to steer consumers away from fresh produce in general, but he readily admitted an organic agenda. “Our basic recommendation is to buy organic produce whenever you can get it,” he told The Chicago Tribune. But what sort of “experts” are really behind this recommendation? When investigative reporter Matt Labash asked Wiles this very question, he got a surprising answer. “Richard Wiles, the group’s vice president of research,” Labash wrote in The Weekly Standard, “conceded to me that the Environmental Working Group does not have a single doctor or scientist on staff.”

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  • CelestialBadgerCelestialBadger Registered User regular
    edited May 2010
    Natural products can also cause allergies or be toxic.

  • 3drage3drage Registered User
    edited May 2010
    pacbowl wrote: »
    The Consumerist has an article on the sunscreen issue today.

    I'm giving up....you're damned if you do and damned if you don't.

  • MindLibMindLib Registered User regular
    edited May 2010
    I can't necessarily trust EWG, fair enough, what about Greenpeace, and the fact that other nations have banned some of these specific chemicals?
    Natural products can also cause allergies or be toxic.

    I'm not necessarily looking for a natural products, just non-toxic ones.

  • ransimransim Registered User regular
    edited May 2010
    MindLib wrote: »
    I can't necessarily trust EWG, fair enough, what about Greenpeace, and the fact that other nations have banned some of these specific chemicals?
    Natural products can also cause allergies or be toxic.

    I'm not necessarily looking for a natural products, just non-toxic ones.

    Toxic is sort of... relative.

    Something that is toxic to me because of an allergy or my sensitivity might be fine for you. Or vice versa. Personally speaking I just started using the stuff thats free of dye and perfume and that is a bit more gentle on the skin and using a trial/error method. If you are wondering what a specific ingredient is or what its history might be, Google it individually. But truth be told sensitive/hypo-allergenic and organic don't mean anything other then you'll pay more in most situations.

    Any of those organizations, Greenpeace, EWG, PETA, all have money as a motivator never mind that most of them are extremist organizations. Drumming up fear brings in money or brings you publicity. Don't trust ANY single source. Most of their "science" isn't science at all, or they're skewing the results of a scientific study to benefit their needs. Thats why I suggest Google, you'll have better luck finding peer reviewed scientific sources that way, or just generally looking something up.

    Also check out the national library of medicine as well.

    Lets use methylisothiazoline the chemical in the first article as an example.

    First off... its spelled wrong, the word is actually methylisothiazolinone (MI).

    Reading through the wikipedia entry you find out that they were applying it to extracted rat nerves in a lab in amounts that are in excess of what the average consumer is exposed too. Basically its like some fake sugar, expose rats to a ridiculous amount and they get cancer, but it would be near impossible for a human to be exposed regularly to that amount.

    So can MI be potentially toxic. Sure.

    Are you ever going to be exposed to enough all at once in the right conditions for it to effect you? Almost certainly not.

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  • LiveWireLiveWire Registered User
    edited May 2010
    Science: "X is correlated with Y with a p-value of W, given conditions Z."

    Popmedia: "X is linked to Y."

    EWG: "X causes Y.... FUCK YOU, CORPORATE PIGS"

  • Niceguy MyeyeNiceguy Myeye Registered User regular
    edited May 2010
    I haven't looked into any of the toxic ingredients thing, but this is the shampoo I like:

    Shampoo

    I buy it because of the smell. The smell is so fantastic that rubbing it on my head is possibly my favorite part of the day. I no longer even balk at the instructions to repeat. They sell it at the local natural/vegetarian co-op, so it can't have too much bad stuff.

    There's also an ingredients list at the bottom, so you can check that out before looking for it in a store.

  • The Raging PlatypusThe Raging Platypus Registered User regular
    edited May 2010
    3drage wrote: »
    pacbowl wrote: »
    The Consumerist has an article on the sunscreen issue today.

    I'm giving up....you're damned if you do and damned if you don't.

    Ugh, there is so much junk science going on at the EWG that it really drives me crazy. Their "toxicity" ratings are a perfect example of consumer scaremongering, because it completely ignores dosage percentages as part of their "safety" rankings. Urgh.

    The only reasons why you should be worried about organic UV filters like avobenzone and octixinate is that they:

    1) Can be skin irritant if you have sensitive skin
    2) Because their basic function is to react with UV radiation and absorb it, they don't last as long as physical UV filters like zinc oxide and titanium dioxide. So you're going to have to reapply your sunscreen quite often to ensure proper protection.

    So if you're still worried about using organic UV filters (and to clarify, organic UV filters are chemical UV filters, so it goes to show how much fun splicing semantics is in this industry), go ahead and stick with ZnO and TiO2 based sunscreens. I deal with this stuff every day at work, so if you'd like, you can PM me and I can go into some more detail.

    Don't get me started on all this silly nanoparticle business though. Good God. *slaps forehead*

    Niceguy Myeye: Not to be a downer, but Nature's Gate is produced by Levlad over in Chatsworth, California. That company has been going through financial turmoil for quite awhile now, and recently declared Chapter 11. It's probably just a restructuring move so they can pay their debtors (i.e. us), so here's to hoping they can stick around and continue to make that shampoo for you.

    Spoiler:
  • SaammielSaammiel Registered User regular
    edited May 2010
    MindLib wrote: »
    I can't necessarily trust EWG, fair enough, what about Greenpeace, and the fact that other nations have banned some of these specific chemicals?

    To claim that regulatory bodies are perfectly rational and don't suffer from incentive problems is silly. Health and safety bodies are not welfare maximizing. They have inherent incentives to be overly cautious and ban/limit material that otherwise might provide a net benefit. That is because they will generally be blamed if a product gets through that then causes some sort of crisis, and they will not be applauded for approving something with great benefits.

    Additionally they are inclined to react to perceived issues rather than actual ones. Sometimes the two mesh up, sometimes they do not. So to claim that something is automatically bad because a smattering of nations have banned it isn't very compelling unless you also provide the evidence for why it is harmful.

  • TrillianTrillian Registered User regular
    edited May 2010
    Face it. Life is dangerous and ultimately a terminal condition.
    Rubbing one form of shit on your face versus another isn't going to speed up or slow down the process.


    They cast a shadow like a sundial in the morning light. It was half past 10.
  • L|amaL|ama Registered User regular
    edited May 2010
  • soxboxsoxbox Registered User regular
    edited May 2010
    Generally, the less makeup / hair product / etc you put on, the less toxic you need your cleansing to be. You can also fix up your diet to reduce the toxins that your body spits out so there's less to clean there.

    On the shampoo front - I go for this one: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Water - depending on your hair type and your dependency on hair products, you may be able to get off the shampoo band-wagon if you're looking to reduce your chemical dependencies (you'll feel grotty for a couple of weeks while your natural oils do their work, but once you stop destroying them with shampoo, your hair can remain clean fairly naturally).

    Don't go the full hog and start rubbing yourself in petuli (hint: instead of smelling like crap, you'll smell like crap + petuli), but understanding the causes of what your body does instead of covering up with lots of deoderants, makeups and hair products will help you ease off on needing so many chemicals.

  • ransimransim Registered User regular
    edited May 2010
    soxbox wrote: »
    Generally, the less makeup / hair product / etc you put on, the less toxic you need your cleansing to be. You can also fix up your diet to reduce the toxins that your body spits out so there's less to clean there.

    On the shampoo front - I go for this one: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Water - depending on your hair type and your dependency on hair products, you may be able to get off the shampoo band-wagon if you're looking to reduce your chemical dependencies (you'll feel grotty for a couple of weeks while your natural oils do their work, but once you stop destroying them with shampoo, your hair can remain clean fairly naturally).

    Don't go the full hog and start rubbing yourself in petuli (hint: instead of smelling like crap, you'll smell like crap + petuli), but understanding the causes of what your body does instead of covering up with lots of deoderants, makeups and hair products will help you ease off on needing so many chemicals.

    There are other things you can use as well rather then commercial shampoo. I've, in the past, used baking soda and apple cider vinegar to wash my hair. It works fine.

    But generally as a rule i don't wash my hair every day, its a once or twice a week thing, otherwise it feels dry and gross.

    Tom's of Maine makes an awesome deodorant actually. And there is a crystal rock you can buy as well as a deodorant that I've used in the past which also worked. However neither has pore clogging antiperspirant, so you won't stink but you will sweat.

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  • tsmvengytsmvengy Registered User regular
    edited May 2010
    Ahh yes, the usual "well we don't know what these chemicals do, so they're fine!" apologists.

    Look, I don't use all natural shit all or even most of the time, but considering the crap we're learning about BPA and phthalates and other shit we used to assume was perfectly fine, I don't think it's going overboard to be concerned about what's in the crap you're slathering all over your skin or in your pores.

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  • Fuzzy Cumulonimbus CloudFuzzy Cumulonimbus Cloud Registered User regular
    edited May 2010
    Toxicity is not a function of the presence of a chemical. It is the function of a concentration of a chemical! I could repeat that forever.

    Common chemistry myths:

    1. A long chemical name means it is bad for you!11!111

    All common household chemicals have long true names, this is how chemists can reproduce a graphic structure from a chemical name.

    Tryptophan, a common protein, is named (2S)-2-amino-3-(1H-indol-3-yl)propanoic acid.

    2. Animal studies mean it will kill us!

    Animal studies give us insight into preliminary physiological reactions. They can't tell us a lot about how a chemical works in humans.

    Three (that key is broken sorry!). Every chemical known to man has a toxic threshold index. This is probably what you are seeing when you search for toxicity reports. Know that you would have to ingest massive amounts of the chemical to become sick.

    4. Sources are important.

    Your sources are not scientific.
    You pulled an article from AOLnews (horribly unreliable) and NaturalNews (these people lie on a regular basis to sell their products).

    Your cosmetics database is not a database at all, but instead, a list of assumptions and half-truths made by a company that wants to sell you their products. a
    The chart below indicates that research studies have found that exposure to this ingredient -- not the products containing it -- caused the indicated health effect(s) in the studies reviewed by Skin Deep researchers. Actual health risks, if any, will vary based on the level of exposure to the ingredient and individual susceptibility -- information not available in Skin Deep.

    This is because they are taking high dose (unreal levels) and applying it to low concentrations of the chemicals in products.

    You are being duped.

    Also, there is a reason why we evolved gigantic gigantic livers. :mrgreen:

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  • Fuzzy Cumulonimbus CloudFuzzy Cumulonimbus Cloud Registered User regular
    edited May 2010
    tsmvengy wrote: »
    Ahh yes, the usual "well we don't know what these chemicals do, so they're fine!" apologists.

    Look, I don't use all natural shit all or even most of the time, but considering the crap we're learning about BPA and phthalates and other shit we used to assume was perfectly fine, I don't think it's going overboard to be concerned about what's in the crap you're slathering all over your skin or in your pores.
    Actually, I did a comprehensive analysis of BPA toxicity research, including reviewing the 400 page meta-review done by the FDA/EPA. No one knows how BPA affects systems, only at a molecular level, and the dose/toxicity curves are highly abnormal. What you just did spreads the very fear that the OP has been feeding in to. Rational analysis and empirical evidence are the only ways to solve these issues.

    39kEWYh.jpg
  • Fuzzy Cumulonimbus CloudFuzzy Cumulonimbus Cloud Registered User regular
    edited May 2010
    To recap, the best detoxifier you have is your liver.

    39kEWYh.jpg
  • TrillianTrillian Registered User regular
    edited May 2010
    tsmvengy wrote: »
    Ahh yes, the usual "well we don't know what these chemicals do, so they're fine!" apologists.

    Look, I don't use all natural shit all or even most of the time, but considering the crap we're learning about BPA and phthalates and other shit we used to assume was perfectly fine, I don't think it's going overboard to be concerned about what's in the crap you're slathering all over your skin or in your pores.
    Actually, I did a comprehensive analysis of BPA toxicity research, including reviewing the 400 page meta-review done by the FDA/EPA. No one knows how BPA affects systems, only at a molecular level, and the dose/toxicity curves are highly abnormal. What you just did spreads the very fear that the OP has been feeding in to. Rational analysis and empirical evidence are the only ways to solve these issues.

    Unfortunately, people don't want to be rational; hysteria and mass panic make for much better entertainment. These anti-chemical people can safely be grouped in with the anti-vaccination people who thrive on misinformation and outright bad science.


    They cast a shadow like a sundial in the morning light. It was half past 10.
  • Shorn Scrotum ManShorn Scrotum Man Registered User regular
    edited May 2010
    You need to stop believing everything you read on the internet (ho ho, irony). Thought you'd have figured that out after the juice fasting thread.

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  • FagatronFagatron Registered User
    edited May 2010
    tsmvengy wrote: »
    Ahh yes, the usual "well we don't know what these chemicals do, so they're fine!" apologists.

    Look, I don't use all natural shit all or even most of the time, but considering the crap we're learning about BPA and phthalates and other shit we used to assume was perfectly fine, I don't think it's going overboard to be concerned about what's in the crap you're slathering all over your skin or in your pores.
    Actually, I did a comprehensive analysis of BPA toxicity research, including reviewing the 400 page meta-review done by the FDA/EPA. No one knows how BPA affects systems, only at a molecular level, and the dose/toxicity curves are highly abnormal. What you just did spreads the very fear that the OP has been feeding in to. Rational analysis and empirical evidence are the only ways to solve these issues.

    Not to fan the flames, but do you believe that fertility in males is going down?

    Not necessarily from BPA/phthalates, though information I've read on the subject has linked them as possible causes, among other environmental factors and a slew of endocrine disruptors we've been pumping into our environment over the years.

    Like this.

    Triclosan and Triclocarban are the most commonly used agents in antibacterial soaps (if you use an antibacterial dishsoap one of the two are probably on the label RIGHT NOW), are known endocrine disruptors, and do not biodegrade very well even after passing through a water treatment plant.

  • SanderJKSanderJK Crocodylus Pontifex Sinterklasicus Madrid, 3000 ADRegistered User regular
    edited May 2010
    Yes. Remember that even water has an ld50 rating. Every chemical (And everything is a chemical, including the stuff in natural products!) has an associated risk, and may be well or underresearched.

    As a chemist, I spend ages trying to imprint people with the idea that wether something is manufactured from plants, or from dead plants (produced via petrochemistry) has no meaning. All that matters is what is in the bottle, and in what concentration. Cobra venom is a natural product too......

    And the scary thing is, unlike factory produced goods, most "natural" products have barely any testing at all. Who knows what the hell is in some nice smelling plant they picked out of the jungle? The standards for natural products are much, much lower then for anything manufactered. They also do not have to back up any of their claims with data.

    That's not to say that there aren't bad chemicals out there. But chances are very, very low that you'll come into contact them in concentrations to have a significant factor on your health.

    I would gladly bet money that far worse then what any sunscreen can do you for with it's chemicals, is the risk you are taking by actually exposing your skin to the sun for prolonged periods of time, sunscreen or no. Because that risk is proven, quantified, and a huge problem leading to a very fatal condition.

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  • Shorn Scrotum ManShorn Scrotum Man Registered User regular
    edited May 2010
    To recap, the best detoxifier you have is your liver.

    Ah, but does your liver counteract the harm caused to your body by dihydrogen monoxide?

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  • RyeRye Registered User regular
    edited May 2010
    To recap, the best detoxifier you have is your liver.

    Ah, but does your liver counteract the harm caused to your body by dihydrogen monoxide?

    Thousands of people die from dihydrogen monoxide every year. It's also one of the most common compounds on earth. It's almost everywhere.

    But in seriousness, I work for a Homeopathic Supplement company (pronounced "liars".) I'm a web designer. We sell some FDA approved products, but we have to watch what we claim on our websites for those. On our homeopathic products, we can make wild claims because they don't fall under FDA regulations. I can say anything up to the point that it cures cancer.

    What's more, I don't have to put any disclaimers on those sites either. For the FDA ones, I have to watch out for unsubstantiated claims and I have to throw down a disclaimer. Product X made from Y plant extract with zero clinical testing can have fantastical claims and have nothing disclaiming the validity. It's a messed up system.

    The Okinawans are the highest population of octogenarians in the world, and they eat mercury stuffed fish every day from a sea raped with chemicals, toxins, and pollutants. It's more about what you DO than what you eat, at least once you have a mediocre diet.

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