Change household and beauty products to cruelty-free, non-bleach formulas. Honestly, we really don’t need them!! Household products should not contain petro-chemicals, artificial preservatives, artificial colours and fragrances, parabens, SLES (sodium laureth sulfate) harsh detergents, phosphates, enzymes or chlorine bleach. Why? Because the consequences of widespread use of additives, pesticides, preservatives, herbicides, fungicides, agricultural, industrial and household chemicals affect our well-being including reproductive health. Chemicals used in pesticides and the manufacturing of plastics mimic the action of oestrogen and have been linked with infertility in animals. Once absorbed in the body, toxic metals displace vital nutrients, including vitamins, minerals, enzymes and hormones.
I recommend you purchase 2 small but excellent booklets from Foresight (http://www.foresight-preconception.org.uk/Booklets.aspx) called Watch It and Find It. These guides’ list ingredients found within ordinary foodstuffs, cosmetics and household cleaners and also have a list of “eco-friendly” brands. For additional research and scientific studies look at http://www.time.com/time/specials/packages/completelist/0,29569,1976909,00.html and http://www.hallgold.com/toxic_chemicals_in_cosmetics.html. More information can be obtained from Create Health e-book and Creation Programme @ www.creationfertility.com
Aluminum – comes from cookware, pressure cookers, kettles, teapots, cooking foil, some milk substitutes, salt, baking powder, some antacids. High levels can interfere with fluoride and phosphorus metabolism and weaken bones
Cadmium – found in cigarette smoking and prevents the uptake of zinc which is critical for immunity and reproductive health
Copper – whilst copper is an essential mineral in excess it has been implicated in mental health disorders, some birth defects, toxemia during pregnancy and premature birth. It is present in contaminated water (copper pipes), copper jewellery, contraceptive coils, copper pans. Women’s levels have been shown to increase after treatment with fertility drugs or use of the contraceptive pill.
Fluoride – Has the same effects as mercury. It is a hazardous substance and mercury has an affinity to it. It is found in dental products, pharmaceuticals, unleaded petrol, factory waste and some drinking water. Sodium fluoride is registered with the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) in America as cockroach powder and rat poison. Since 1997 the EPA have indicated a causal link between fluoride, fluoridation and cancer, genetic damage, neurological impairment and bone pathology. It is particularly concerned with studies which link fluoride exposure to lower IQ’s in children. Recommendations include the avoidance of fluoride containing toothpaste (Alternative include Kingfisher, Tom’s, Forever Living Aloe Vera toothpaste)
Hair Dyes: The use of permanent or semi permanent hair colour products, particularly black and dark brown colours, is associated with increased incidence of human cancer including non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, multiple myeloma, and Hodgkin’s disease. It has been shown that very high doses of chemicals in hair dyes can cause problems and it is best to avoid colouring hair or using hair processes and treatments that involve scalp contact when you are trying to get pregnant, and/or within the first 12 weeks of pregnancy. Foresight recommends the use of natural hair dyes although Marilyn Glenville considers the use of highlighting hair a good alternative as it does not come in contact with the scalp. Personally, I like Avena hair products.
Lead – can be ingested in food and water. Contained in paint manufacture prior to 1960, and presently in city dust and traffic effluent
Mercury – Found in some weed killers, dental fillings, tuna fish and shellfish, water contaminated by agriculture. High levels found in women and men have been linked with sub-fertility and increased risk of miscarriage. Mercury within dental fillings are not “locked in” and can permeate into the body, jaw and bones and travel to the brain along nerve pathways. Amalgam fillings create an electrical current with saliva which allows mercury to leech into the body through saliva, once there it is capable of changing the gut flora and creating antibiotic resistant bacteria. It is recommended to ask your request your dentist to check for mercury leakage. Removal of amalgams can be expensive but any new fillings should be mercury free. A list of holistic dentists can be located from the British Society of Mercury-Free Dentistry.
Phthalates Dibutyl phthalate (DBP) and di(2-ethylhexyl) phthalate (DEHP), butyl benzyl phthalate (BBP or BzBP). Found in products such as : hair sprays, perfume, nail polishes. Used to soften plastic, skin moisturisers and skin penetration enhancers in cosmetics. Research indicates that it is known to cause serious reproductive and developmental effects in lab animals and linked to premature breast development in young girls and interference with reproductive development in male foetuses
Parabens: A group of artificial preservatives also known as Alkyl parahydroxy benzoates – butyl/methyl/ethyl/ propyl/isobutyl paraben. Evidence shows them to mimic oestrogens in the body, penetrate the skin and appear in the blood, and have been found in breast tumours.
Silica : Some silica used in cosmetics, especially amorphous hydrated silica, may be contaminated with small amounts of crystalline quartz. Crystalline Silica is carcinogenic.
Sodium Lauryl Sulphate: Skin, eye and respiratory tract irritant and may damage liver, lungs and immune system. There is some evidence to suggest reproductive effects
Toiletries and cleaning products: Many use hazardous chemicals including petro-chemicals which can affect our immune system, possibly find their way into the amniotic fluid during pregnancy, increase toxic burden and the risk of allergies and intolerances. These products should be avoided as too little is known about them and the risks they impart. WATCH IT is an excellent booklet which can be purchased through Foresight (Fertility Charity) which lists the toxic chemicals, their affects, effects and which products they are found in. It also offers a list of alternative products. There is an plethora of natural products now available – including A’kin, Liz Earle, Ren, Organic Pharmacy amongst others.
Toluene: Found in: lacquers and nail polish. May cause spontaneous abortion in women exposed to it. Skin irritant and may cause liver damage, narcotic in high concentrations and attacks the central nervous system, eyes, blood, liver, kidneys and skin.
Talcum Powder: Cosmetic talc is carcinogenic. Inhaling talc and using it in the genital area, where its use is associated with increased risk of ovarian cancer, are the primary ways this substance poses a carcinogenic hazard.
Chemicals commonly found in food packaging, upholstery and carpets may be damaging to women’s fertility according to US scientists. Per fluorinated chemicals (PFCs) are used to make products like Teflon, as well as waterproof clothing, pesticides and upholstery. A new study found that exposure to high levels of the chemicals, which can remain in the environment and the body for decades, could leave women struggling to get pregnant. (29.01.2009, News Infertility Network UK)
In 2005 a study reported that chemicals also travel through the umbilical cord and reach the unborn baby. The study “revealed the presence of approximately 100 synthetic chemicals in the umbilical cords of newborns Houlihan et al “Body Burden:The Pollution in Newborns”, Environmental Working Groups July 14, 2005