Toxins have made their way into our daily lives in such a way where it may feel like we just can’t away from them anymore. With continuous research emerging on the amount of toxins released into the environment and its harmful effects, it is clear that there is a need to change how we select the products we use.
Here are a few ways you can shop your way out of toxic chemicals:
Go for natural and non-toxic beauty products
It’s been known that beauty products (including makeup and personal care products) all contain chemicals. In the recent past they’ve come into light for animal testing and polluting waterways with toxic content such as micro beads. In the UK, personal care products containing little plastic pieces called microbeads have been banned. Since these microbeads are too small to be filtered by the treatment plants, they end up in the open ocean and harm its ecosystem. The microbeads are eaten by marine life such fish, plankton, seabirds, and others. Even larger animals such as whales are affected as they consume these smaller creatures.
Today there are beauty products in the market that are natural and non-toxic but they make a very small portion of the total market. If consumers took a stand and opted for natural and organic beauty products over ones that contained toxic chemicals, manufacturers will be forced to revise their formulations.
An alarming study revealed that everyone’s favorite comfort food - the beloved boxed mac and cheese - may contain harmful chemicals. A study discussed in the New York Times tested 30 boxed mac and cheese products and discovered that there was a high concentration of a toxic chemical called phthalates in the cheese powder found in these products.
Phthalates are toxic chemical compounds used to make plastics more flexible. They are also used in beauty products to make them more lubricant. Because of their usefulness to manufacturers, phthalates are difficult to boycott completely but you can lessen their use. Our over-exposure to phthalates allows it to enter our bloodstream through ingesting, inhaling and absorption through the skin.
Once in the bloodstream phthalates impact complex body processes including growth, fertility, and metabolism. They even affect our immune system but the phthalates do the greatest damage in the endocrine system. Scientists claim that phthalates can mimic and displace hormones, interrupting the production of hormones and in turn affect the reproductive system.
It is impossible to remove phthalates from your lives completely but you can avoid it. Anywhere you notice that fragrance or ‘parfum’ was added to a product, avoid them. Go for beauty products that have synthetic free/phthalates free or are scented with essential oils.
Stay away from old plastic toys. Now there are laws put in place that prevent toy manufacturers from using phthalates. Don’t heat your foods in plastic, especially fatty foods such as cheeses and meats as they are susceptible to chemical leeching.
There are manufacturers who have boycotted the use of phthalates and other toxic waste due to consumer pressure. As consumers become more aware of the dangers of some of using products they use every day and their effects on the environment they have taken action against manufactured and pressured them to be more environmentally conscious.
Eating the right food
Organic food has been talked about a lot of the last decade but still, the majority of people are put off by the high prices and don’t see the benefits.
Organic food production doesn’t use synthetic chemicals, therefore, there is no risk of soil and water contamination. Conventional producers claim that there isn’t much difference on the environment between organic and conventional farming but this isn’t true.
Pesticides used in conventional farming cause insects to become pesticide resistant and they contaminate soil and the water. The chemicals used in farming do not just disappear into the atmosphere, they can stick around for 10 years and sometimes even more.
Organic farming on the other hands helps build healthy soil which grows more nutritious crops, combats earth erosion and fights global warming among other environmental benefits.
A survey found that Americans are eating more organic food than ever with sales reaching $47billion in 2016. This acceptance of natural and organic products has caused other retailers to shift their assortment and support such products.
The organic food industry is a clear example of how consumer preferences can cause retailers and manufacturers to make more environmentally conscious decisions.