Among other things, fall often means it’s time to deep clean, and your bathroom is no exception.
I’m not just talking cleaning products here, although you should most certainly evaluate those as well (Remember, a solution of 1/2 vinegar, 1/2 water is naturally anti-bacterial and works wonders!). But I’m talking beauty products, air fresheners and shower curtains.
Over the past few years, I’ve fully replaced my bath and beauty products with all-natural solutions, and feature glass doors on all our showers. I ditched all artificial fragrances too, and I gotta say, I never miss ‘em. I have two good reasons: tricolsan and phthalates. Thanks to Healthy Child Healthy World for reminding me why and defining it well so I could share it with you.
1. Triclosan: Check your soap; does it contain triclosan? Triclosan is an antibacterial agent that may be contributing to bacterial resistance in the human population, leading to superbugs that can’t be killed by antibiotics. Because triclosan may harm the immune system, there’s a concern it may make people more likely to develop allergies.
But triclosan is not just found in soap. In the personal care product realm, triclosan is present in makeup, toothpaste, anti-perspirants, fragrances, and face cleaners. It’s even in the pet’s shampoo. Actually, you can find triclosan almost anywhere in your home: in sheets, clothing, boots, tile caulk, countertops, sponges, brooms and more.
Both ubiquitous and persistent, triclosan is stored in human body fat. One study found pregnant women had higher levels of triclosan than non-pregnant women the same age.
Ridding your bathroom routine of triclosan may be one of the easiest ways to detoxify your home and body. Just grab some regular soap and you’ll be clean!
2. Phthalates. Phthalates are toxic chemicals used to make plastics soft and are part of the chemical composition of fragrance found in air fresheners, cosmetics, detergents, cleaning products and more. That “shower curtain smell”? It’s a sure sign of phthalates offgassing into your bathroom.
Phthalates are ubiquitous. A body burden study by the Centers for Disease Control found one phthalate, dibutyl phthalate (DBP), in all 289 people tested. Long associated with hormone disruption that reduces levels of sex hormones, and may contribute to infertility, phthalates were recently associated with doubling the risk for type 2 diabetes for people age 65 and older. Two other phthalates, diethyl and butylbenzyl phtlatate (DEP and BBzP) are asthma triggers.
Unfortunately, it’s not easy to avoid phthalates so look for products labeled “phthalate free.” Ditch the vinyl shower curtain. Stay away from any product listing DBP, DEP or BBzP. Most importantly, avoid scented products like candles and air fresheners.
How do you detoxify your bathroom?