Green Living Online
How you can take action against toxins in your personal care products.
There is increasing evidence that our household and personal care products, many of which we use daily, contain harmful chemicals. With so many products on the market today, consumers need to be aware of the potentially toxic ingredients that might be lurking in them, and the importance of choosing the right products for optimal health.
 
One Canadian non-profit organization is raising awareness about the issue in a big way.
 
Environmental Defence, founded in 1984, has a vision to create a world that Canadians will be proud to pass on to their children. It aims to “challenge and inspire change in government, business and people to ensure a greener, healthier and prosperous life for all.”
 
Thanks to Environmental Defence’s ongoing research, more and more Canadians are paying attention to toxins in their lives. The organization’s executive director, Rick Smith, along with co-author Bruce Lourie, wrote a groundbreaking book, Slow Death by Rubber Duck: How the Toxic Chemistry of Everyday Life Affects Our Health. The book examines common pollutants found in our everyday products and the ease with which they accumulate in our bodies. During a four-day period, the authors use their bodies as reference points by ingesting and inhaling products, and then comparing their “before” and “after” pollution load. While the results are both fascinating and alarming, Smith and Lourie optimistically offer suggestions for the conscientious consumer – and hope for a healthier future.
 
Environmental Defence’s Toxic Nation campaign aims to raise awareness about the pollution in your and your family’s bodies, and ultimately get toxins out of the air, water, soil, food and personal products. The organization’s incredible research exposes the health risks of many of the products we use, and it offers safer alternatives. Download a Toxic Nation Guide for tips on detoxifying your life.
 
Canadians are beginning to question why known toxic ingredients are, without our knowledge, making it into the products we use. Consider this: In your morning routine, before you’ve even made it to the breakfast table, you’ve likely used as many as 15 personal care products and have been exposed to more than 100 toxic ingredients! Many of these chemicals adversely affect our health and safety, with links to cancer, infertility and reproductive disorders, asthma, endocrine disruptions and more. Environmental Defence believes Health Canada owes it to Canadians to make sure the products that we use are safe.
 
The Just Beautiful campaign aims to ban ingredients known to be harmful, and it demands full disclosure of what’s in our products. Visit the Environmental Defence website to find out more about the 1,700-plus nasty chemicals that we, and Health Canada, need to be aware of.
 
In addition to demanding better legislation, we can make informed choices as individuals to reduce harmful pollutants in our bodies and protect the health and safety of our families. When shopping, carry this handy pocket guide by Environmental Defence, which lists the “toxic ten” ingredients to avoid. Because even the most conscientious consumer can find it difficult to stay informed about toxic ingredients in products, some responsible companies are making it easier for us by promoting change towards safer and healthier consumer items. Consonant Body Care, Green Beaver, Gabriel Cosmetics’ ZuZu Luxe line and Rocky Mountain Soap Company offer good choices free of the “toxic ten.”
 
Our awareness of the high levels of toxins we encounter in our everyday lives is a sobering realization that what we do to our planet, we do to ourselves. While Environmental Defence is making great strides towards improving the issue, it needs your help to “clean up” the Canadian personal care product industry.
Make a donation to support Environmental Defence’s ongoing work towards a healthier, greener and prosperous Canada, or sign the Just Beautiful petition today to demand that harmful ingredients be taken out of our personal care products. Together, we can make Canada healthier!