Friday, June 26, 2009

Healthy Home Tips | Environmental Working Group

Most people use around 10 personal care products every day with an average of 126 unique ingredients. We'd like to believe that the government is policing the safety of all of these mixtures we're putting on our bodies, but they're not.

Healthy Home Tips | Environmental Working Group:

Choose better body care products

Better products meet their claims and are free of ingredients that could harm our health or the environment. Labels might claim that a product is “gentle” or “natural,” but with no required safety testing, companies that make personal care products can use almost any chemical they want, regardless of risks. So, always read product labels – especially the ingredient list - before you buy.

How to read a label
Every personal care product on the market must list the ingredients on the label. Label reading can be confusing - here are some tips to help you wade through the chemical names. You can approach ingredient lists in 3 parts:

  1. Start at the end where preservatives are listed. Try to avoid:
    • Words ending in “paraben”
    • DMDM hydantoin
    • Imidsazolidinyl urea
    • Methylchloroisothiazolinone
    • Methylisothiazolinone
    • Triclosan
    • Triclocarban
    • Triethanolamine (or “TEA”)
  2. Next, check the beginning of the ingredients list. Here you’ll find the soap, surfactant, or lubricant that has been added to make the product work. Try to avoid ingredients that start with “PEG” or have an “-eth” in the middle (e.g., sodium laureth sulfate).
  3. Finally, read the middle ingredients. Here you’ll look for some common – but not essential - additives that may bring excess hazard: fragrance and dyes. On the label look for “FRAGRANCE,” “FD&C,” or “D&C.”

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