“Ninety percent of our current health is controlled by the environment in which we bathe our genes - the food we eat, our exercise regimen, our resilience in the face of stress and your exposure to environmental toxins.” Quote by Dr. Mark Hyman
Epigenetics is the study of how our environment, behaviors, exposures can cause changes that affect the way our genes are expressed. These changes ARE reversible and do not actually change the DNA sequence, but instead they change how your body sees the DNA.
So WHY is this important? If we want to lower our risk for chronic disease, cancer, hormone issues, and so much more, we HAVE to lower our toxin exposure. Eating clean, drinking filtered water, cleaner indoor air all matter, but so do our products.
If we want to change our own epigenetic mutations to lower the risk for ourselves and our children, then we must start being proactive about our toxin exposures.
Girls are developing breasts earlier, boys are entering puberty earlier as well. We have known the factors that contribute to this for a long time but conventional medicine is just now catching on. One article recently discussed a study from Germany and Turkey that showed the number referrals for girls with early puberty has double or even tripled during the lockdown periods of 2020.
Some toxin exposures are unavoidable, but some are manageable. Even if we are just taking BABY STEPS, it can make a BIG difference in our own health picture and definitely that of our children.
PARABENS | Preservative put in products to prevent bacterial growth. Known to mimic estrogen, have been found in breast cancer tumors. These chemicals are found in makeup, body wash, shampoo, and deodorant. Look for Methylparabens, isopropylparaben, propylparaben, and butylparaben.
PHTHALATES | Chemical that makes plastic soft and flexible. These are endocrine disruptors that can cause EARLY PUBERTY, decreased sperm counts, and fertility issues. Found in anything with the words fragrance or parfum. Also, perfume stick, eyelash adhesive, nail polish, plastic packaging, hair spray, lotion, etc. Will NOT necessarily be listed on the label but LOOK FOR FRAGRANCE OR PARFUM.
FORMALDEHYDE | Well known carcinogen used to prevent bacterial overgrowth in cosmetics. Found in hair straightening products, nail polish, body wash, eyelash glue, hair gel, deodorant, and various other cosmetics. You won’t see formaldehyde on the level either, it will be under various other names.
Formaldehyde releasers >> Bronopol, DMDM hydantoin, diazolidinyl urea, imidazolidinyl urea, and quaternium - 15.
PHENOXYETHANOL | Preservative used in personal care products and cosmetics. Causes skin irritation, contact dermatitis.
POLYETHYLENE GLYCOL | Skin conditioner and chemical thickener. Can be found in cream based products, moisturizers, sunscreens, shampoos, hairspray, and other makeup. Can cause organ system toxicity and allergic reactions, derived from petroleum which is a carcinogen.
TRICLOSAN | Antimicrobial agent. Well known endocrine disruptor, causes harm directly to the thyroid and reproductive hormones. US banned from antibacterial soaps (specifically Bath and Body Works was the issue), but may still be found in sanitizer, deodorant, mouthwash, shaving cream, and toothpaste.
SODIUM LAURUL/SODIUM LAURETH | Surfactant. Found in most personal care and cleaning products. Causes skin irritation, as well as irritating to the lungs and eyes. Known to be contaminated with dioxane, a known carcinogen.
SYNTHETIC COLORS | Many. But FD & C or D & C. Derived from petroleum and coal tar, known carcinogens. Many linked to hyperactivity in children, banned in other countries.
TOULENE | Potent Solvent. Can also be found under the name hydroxytoluene, or BHT, benzene, toluol, methylbenzene. Causes brain toxicity and is very damaging for pregnant women, can affect the respiratory system, cause nausea, and immune system toxicity. Found in nail polish and nail treatments, as well as hair dye. One study out of SC State University found that burning candles releases, Balkans, alkenes, and toluene into the air, all of which can put your health at risk. Fontana candle company has better candles or diffuse essential oils!
“For a person who lights a candle every day for years or just uses them frequently, inhalation of these dangerous pollutants drifting in the air could contribute to the development of health risks like cancer, common allergies, and even asthma.” Quote by lead researcher, Ruhullah Massoudi
BISPHENOL A | Better known as BPA, created in the 1940s, originally created while trying to create a synthetic estrogen. Can cause birth defects, cancer, and reproductive issues. Banned from many products but can be found in the linings of cans (buy organic instead), also found in cash register receipts, plastic, etc. BPS it’s cousin has similar effects and a plastic product can say BPA free but still have the same effects.
BHA/BHT | Stands for butylated hydroxyanisole. Synthetic preservative used to prevent fats from spoiling. BHA is classified as a carcinogen from the IARC. It is also an endocrine disruptor.
LEAD | Unfortunately this is still an issue. Found in paint and in water supplies, soil, etc. Check your water and use a filter like AquaTru, reverse osmosis system, etc.
PERFLUORINATED CHEMICALS | (like in Teflon). Found in food packaging (like microwave packaging), nonstick cookware, water repellant clothing, building materials. Also in cleaning and personal care products like shampoo, dental floss, and denture cleansers. Can cause cancer, hormone disruption, liver toxicity. Mercury. From dental amalgams (silver fillings), eating seafood or shellfish, some vaccines, also in household products like batteries, old thermometers, some cosmetics, and lamps. Mercury toxicity can mimic other diseases, multi system symptoms.
FLOURIDE | In drinking water, dental treatments, toothpaste, etc. Causes thyroid cell death, mistaken for iodine in the body which is a critical part of every major body function at the cellular level. In areas where we fluoridate our water, hypothyroidism rates are double. We use this toothpaste https://risewell.com/?rfsn=6641494.648a5a code naturalnursemomma for 10% off.
TALC | Has been found to be contaminated with asbestos (carcinogen) and causes lung disease. Found in powdered makeup, liquid foundation, lipstick, dry shampoo, deodorant, and bath bombs.
OXYBENZONE, OCTINOXATE, HOMOSALATE, OCTISALATE | All endocrine disruptors found in chemical sunscreen. We limit sunscreen use and are smart about being in the sun during morning and evening, limiting mid-day sun, building our tolerance slowly, etc. If absolutely needed, we use non-nano zinc oxide mineral sunscreen.
ALUMINUM | Has been linked to Alzheimer’s, cancer, adverse health effects on the nervous system, and more. Can be found in aluminum foil ( I use If You Care brand of unbleached parchment paper or these beeswax food coverings https://amzn.to/3sL2sym ), deodorant (It’s what stops you from sweating in conventional deodorant, but you WANT to sweat! I use Just Ingredients deodorant when I need to and love it! I still sweat but just doesn’t have a smell https://justingredients.us/?aff=133 code Naturalnursemomma for 10% off. Also found in baking powder ( I use this brand ) and has also been found in antacids. I don’t use antacids anymore! (Used to take max dose daily, but if I needed something now I would Digize from Young Living or organic aloe vera juice, make some switchel with apple cider vinegar and ginger and lemon, here is a recipe https://draxe.com/recipes/switchel/ , peppermint tea, etc. There are other options and a root cause approach to reflux but that is for another day!)
TITANIUM DIOXIDE | Avoid with any spray products as that is carcinogenic, but also oral ingestion in certain foods and candies and supplements has been linked to genotoxicity concerns as well as accumulation in the body.
FRAGRANCE | Fragrance is an umbrella term and has been known to contain hundreds of undisclosed chemicals, phthalates are often in there which are known endocrine disruptors. I avoid any product with the word fragrance.
FLAME RETARDANTS | Polybriminated diphenyl ethers, or PBDEs, halogenated trialkylphosphates (TDCPP, TDCIPP, TCPP, etc), polybrominated biphenyls (PBBs), etc. Studies have shown that flame retardants can cause endocrine disruption, immunotoxicity, reproductive toxicity, cancer, and neurological damage. They are often found in foam baby items, couches, kitchen appliances, chairs, carpet padding, some electronics, children clothing, car seats.
Wow! That’s a LOT...and there is more. But these cover the majority of the issues out there. This is a good starting place to start to be aware of the chemicals in our products.
It is so important to not get overwhelmed. Start with one room of your house and start switching out products slowly… BABY STEPS! It does help! I will be coming out with a list of my favorite clean products soon, but check out some of my all-time favorites below.
Using Young Living products was one of the first steps I took in my health journey, and our house is full of them to this day! We use many of their products, for our home, our health, emotions, and more. One great first step is the All-In-One Thieves Bundle (laundry detergent, all purpose cleaner, hand soap, kitchen and bath scrub, dish soap, etc.) Interested in browsing the various clean, plant-based products from Young Living? Learn more and shop at the link below. Shopping this link will not only allow you access to wholesale pricing, but also to my private wellness groups and classes where I share my go-to DIY oily recipes for nearly everything me and my family uses. I'd love to walk this journey alongside you!
Other companies I use for products include Earthley (use promo code Lauren10 for 10% off your first order - I love their herbal tinctures, Vitamin D cream, good night magnesium lotion, etc.) and Just Ingredients (use promo code naturalnursemomma for 10% off your order - I love their deodorant, skin oil, etc.).
Air purifiers help with indoor air from the off-gassing of these chemicals. Air Doctor is the best air purifier for your money and I have multiple around my house in various rooms. (Use the link above for $300 off!)
Oh, and this is my favorite nontoxic dishwasher detergent HERE - it works so well!