Fear of Household Products

By PSU EcoMerge Capstone - 4:11 PM


One of the scariest things I found during my research for these blog posts was that, while I'm over here cleaning my house thinking I'm ridding bad germs, the reality is that my nervous system is being affected negatively by antimicrobial ingredients found in the products I'm using. The active ingredients in products like hand soaps, dish soaps, lotions, and a number of other products has been led to cause nerve damage. The damage done can be so harmful to the extent of accelerating Alzheimer's disease. 


Triclosan is an antimicrobial agent that has been used since the 1970s, and continues to be used in everyday products. It's the most popular anticrobial ingredient today, though it forces many dangers including harmful skin irritation and allergies. Triclosan is a fat-soluble agent that is stores in fat cells, where the concentration continues to grow. In a CDC study, triclosan was found in 75% of the people tested, including being found in 3 out of 5 breast milk samples. 

A slightly scarier ingredient used as a foaming agent, sodium laureth sulfate, is found in many products today as well, including soaps, shampoos, toothpastes, etc. Similar to everyday soap, which is just as affective for antibacterial usage according to the FDA, sodium laureth is used in products for cleansing and emulsifying purposes. SLES can cause constant irritation when used at a "safe" concentration for cosmetic products, but that's not keeping in mind constant usage. What this product does exactly is strips the skin of natural oil leaving it rough, and dry. It also attacks the formation of essential proteins if in the eye, leading to cataracts in adults and preventing children's eyes from proper formation. 

Many other dangerous ingredients are found in everyday products, including deodorants which contains aluminum, which essentially promotes dementia. Air fresheners contains carcinogens which are consistently being inhaled, directly promoting cancer as well as birth defects. The list goes on.

Just knowing even the tiniest amount of either of these ingredients is being used in my everyday cosmetic products is enough to keep me off them. The human skin is a complex organ, that has glands which continue to form oil on the skin to protect your body, why not let that happen naturally rather than harm your body further. Because certain ingredients are used at small amounts, they continue to be legal, yet highly dangerous. 


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