Toxic buildup is the main cause of all diseases today as a result of overexposure to harmful contaminants dwelling everywhere in our industrialized environment. We absorb it through the smoke-filled air, contaminated water, pre-packed goods, greasy restaurant food, and more. We get it even if we lock ourselves inside our homes through the commercial cleaning products we use daily.
The best solution to prevent over toxicity is to incorporate healthy habits and eco-friendly products into our daily lives. This begins with an awareness of our regular consumptions, from the manner of which they are made, and their impact to our ecosystem.
Most of the products we consume nowadays contain substances, which researchers have found to alter our hormonal levels, damage our respiratory, endocrine and reproductive organs, and increase the risks of breast and prostate cancers, diabetes and obesity, as well as pollute and clog our waste water system, add up to un-recycled solid wastes
Phthalates, for instance, is a widely used substance found in plastics, paint, adhesives, glue, artificial fragrances, building materials, personal-care products, medical devices, cleaning agents, packaging, children’s toys, modeling clay, waxes, printing inks and coatings, pharmaceuticals, textiles, and fatty food products, largely in meat, milk and butter. Scientists say that this substance accelerates, as plastics, in which they are mixed, age and break down, easily evaporating into food or the atmosphere, and causes detrimental effects to humans, livestock and the environment.
Alkylphenols, industrial chemicals used in the production of cleaning and personal care products are health hazards as well. Most common in hair products and contraceptives, Alkylphenols have been found to induce growth of breast cancer cells, decrease testicular size and sperm production, and stimulates estrogen levels. These also contribute to early puberty in children and increase the risk of allergies.
Parabens, also known as fragrance, methylparaben, butylparaben, propylparaben, isobutylparaben, ethylparaben, polyparaben and isobutylparaben, are chemical substances used as preservatives in facial moisturizers, anti-aging creams, foundations, skin whitening products, shampoos, shaving creams, spray tanning lotions, make-up, toothpaste and food additives. They have also been discovered to cause diseases like breast cancer, estrogen disruption, skin ageing and DNA damage.
1,4-Dioxane is a chemical byproduct of petroleum-derived ethylene oxide, contained in cleansing and moisturizing products, deodorants, shampoos, toothpastes and mouthwashes. This carcinogenic compound is synonymous to other chemical substances, such as myreth, oleth, laureth, ceteareth, PEG, polyethylene, polyethylene glycol, polyoxyethylene, or oxynol, which research claims to cause damage to the eyes, respiratory tract, central nervous system, liver and kidneys, and contaminate groundwater.
Petrochemicals is a health hazardous substance mainly derived from crude oil. This comes in the form of isopropyl alcohol, ammonia, benzoates, benzoyl peroxide, BHA and BHT, DEA ingredients, fragrances, hydroquinone, lanolin, laureth, polyethylene, paraffin, mineral oil, petroleum, vaseline, phenol carbolic acid, butylenes glycol, octyl stearate, silicone derived amollients, triethanolamine, and toluene. This chemical does not only appear in gasoline, diesel, fuel, plastics, synthetic rubbers and fibers, and pesticides, but also in nail polish, detergent, food additives, cosmetic products, and hair dye.
The European Union and North America have banned mainstream industrialized products made with these chemicals due to research discoveries of diseases linked to these hazardous ingredients.
Third World Countries, most notably the Philippines, are the usual recipients of these throw-away products, having a big population of economically challenged citizens who are easily mislead by marketing gimmicks hyped by leading commercial brands, and remain oblivious to the harmful impacts of such chemicals to the whole ecosystem. The consequences of which extends to the country’s tourism industry, a major contributor to the economy.
Among the Philippine Archipelago’s 7,107 islands, Boracay is the island that brings in the most number of money with almost 1.5 million tourists a year. It is also reported to be overdeveloped for its size; over 300 hotels and a growing number of businesses and building construction in the island’s 1,032 hectare land area, and a daily overflow of waste water deposited into the island’s prized clear blue water.
Imagine the levels of bacteria that can be produced and the gravity of harm that can infect the island’s population and environment every single day.
So how can we rise above this unavoidable circumstance?
Practice the basic Rs of waste management: Reduce, Reuse and Recycle.
1. Choose products that are packed in boxes or glass. Common commercial packaging of plastic and aluminum adds toxins to its contents and builds-up solid wastes.
2. Read commercial labels carefully and avoid products that contain the aforementioned chemicals.
3. Follow a daily food habit comprising of 70% fruits and vegetables (raw or slightly cooked) and eat less meat, commercial dairy products, refined carbohydrates (white rice, bread, sugar, etc.) and pre-packed goods to boost the immune system and reduce chemical absorption.
4. Exercise regularly to sweat out toxins, strengthen immunity and regenerate cells.
5. Utilize the full benefits of vinegar (preferably coconut), baking soda, sea salt, calamansi and cornstarch for household cleaning, laundry, and body care. Vinegar removes germs, fungi, mildew, odors, some stains and wax build-up; Baking Soda cleans, deodorizes, and softens water; Sea Salt cuts grease, surface cleanser, and acts as a mild antiseptic; Calamansi or Lemon removes, germs, molds and bacteria; and Cornstarch makes for cutting grease, removing stains, polishing silver and soothing sunburns and mild rashes. These powerful ingredients are easy to find, non-toxic, versatile, and very safe for the environment. Check out www.care2.com for further information and homemade recipes.
6. Advocate local, organic, all-natural, environment-friendly, sustainable personal care companies like Lawiswis Organics, Messy Bessy, and Human Nature. Lawiswis Organics is a cosmetics and health care line that is formulated with agricultural crops, natural oils, potent herbs and beeswax, stored in vinegar-treated plastic containers to reduce chemicals and supports the livelihood of the natives in Palawan (available in D’Mall). Messy Bessy is a household cleaning product line that sustains specialized programs for abused, incarcerated and impoverished youths (available at Dos Mestizos Deli) Human Heart is a biodegradable, mainstream and very affordable beauty and body care product line that derives its ingredients in a self-sustaining farm, employed with impoverished Filipinos (available at Dos Mestizos Deli) in conjunction with the Gawad Kalinga Community Development Foundation.
7. Educate yourself with the benefits of all-natural products and the negative impacts of chemically induced commercial products to your health and the environment. It is a life-saving gift to share with your loved ones and the future generations.
8. Plant trees and crop bearing plants. This allows us to contribute to Mother Nature, as well as understand the value of living things to us and our environment.
9. Minimize wastewater discharge by reducing water use and reuse treated graywater for washing floors, flushing toilets and irrigating gardens and golf courses.
Let’s do this so we could preserve our happiness and health, as well as our precious environment for the next generations.