Hormone Disruptor Lurking In Your Bathroom

Amanda MittlemanNutrition & Recipe

Detoxification is part of your body’s daily work.  And by daily, I mean twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week, three hundred and sixty five days a year.  The five major organs which do most of the detoxification for your body are your liver, large intestine, kidneys, skin and lungs.  

Researchers are finding, at overwhelming levels that we are exposed to numerous potentially harmful compounds that can disrupt our hormonal function everyday.  Some of these chemicals are ingested, (food additives), some we breathe in and some are slathered onto our skin.

Today’s blog is focused on a few of the compounds that may be entering your system through your skin that are coming from your bathroom and laundry products.  

Pthalates and parabans are compounds that are added to many of the personal care items we use everyday.  These compounds increase the shelf life and the feel of many of the products we use everyday.  However, these chemicals are also known to disrupt our hormonal balance.  

A few of the worst chemicals in our everyday products that you want to avoid are:

  • Triclosan
  • Sodium Lauryl Sulfate
  • Sodium Laureth Sulfate
  • Dextran Sodium Sulfate

 Triclosan is an antimicrobial and antifungal agent that is added to many hand washes, hand sanitizers, dishwashing products, laundry detergents, softeners and even in plastics in cutting boards, kitchen utensils and even some toys).  There are many other products on this list and to see more check out this  link: blog.honest.com/triclosan/

Frequent exposure to Triclosan has been correlated with increased levels of allergy in children.  It is also one of the reasons for the development of antibiotic-resistant superbugs.  Triclosan, is currently being studied as a potential cancer-causing agent and it is a chemical that is known to derail your hormonal function.  All products that contain Triclosan are required to be labeled that they contain this compound.

Surfactants are used in soaps and laundry detergent, shampoos, toothpaste, mouthwash, body washes, and more, to help break up dirt and to crate a lather/bubbles in these products. Soap actually doesn’t make a lot of bubbles on its own; it requires special compounds to help produce the lather and bubbles.

We have just grown up with bubbles and lather which make us feel like the product is working.  I actually read a marketing article recently about how, many years ago, soap company’s added surfactants to soaps because the laundry detergents, shampoo’s and even toothpastes that made bubbles and lathered up, sold at higher rates.   I believe this is true.  In all of my years of life so far, sudsy shampoo and soaps have always felt better to me.

Not all surfactants are the same. Some are worse for our bodies than others.  There are three surfactants that you should look out for; Sodium lauryl sulfate (SLS), Sodium laureth sulfate (SLES) and dextran sodium sulfate (DSS).  These surfactants are notably toxic for the gastrointestinal system, creating irritation and inflammation.  In fact, in studies of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) researchers use SLS and DSS to give mice colitis.

So before you jump on the expensive juicing detox plans (we’ll discuss those in the following blogs), clean up the soaps and detergents you are laying on your skin everyday.  Look for these ingredients in the products you normally buy, and if they are present in those products, find products without these ingredients.   Be aware, that even brands that claim to be “green” “eco-friendly,” or “natural” still use these ingredients.

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