The Everyday Products In Our Homes

by Des Byrne o2living
posted on April 01st 2010
The Everyday Products In Our Homes

Have you ever considered that something as simple as brushing your teeth may also be adding a dose of antibiotics or other potentially toxic ingredients to your body? 

Most people never stop to read the warning on the back of most toothpaste tubes. The FDA mandates the warning which covers the most common ingredients, including fluoride and antibiotics, used to prevent cavities, tartar, or teeth sensitivity. Even your child’s toothpaste carries a warning − yet I am sure none of us keep toothpaste out of the reach of our kids? However we really should since the results can be deadly if a child under the age of six swallows half a tube of toothpaste. 

So what else can be found in these multi−colored tubes? Most toothpaste contains saccharin, as well as many other artificial additives. Sodium Lauryl Sulfate (SLS) is another ingredient found in toothpaste and which should also be avoided. 

In recent years we've been hearing about the alarming increase of super bugs such as Methicillin−Resistant Staphlycoccus Aureas (MRSA). The CDC highlights one main cause for the rise of these antibiotic resistant bacteria is the general overuse of antibiotics. You may be absorbing small amounts of an antimicrobial drug through your everyday personal products and you don’t even realize it. Many brands of toothpaste, deodorants, shampoos, and soaps contain antibiotics, antimicrobials, and strong disinfecting detergents. Triclosan, acetylpyridium chloride and tea tree oil are commonly used in these products. Another common ingredient used in dental products is salicylates. Salicylates (pronounced sal−e−se−late) are natural chemicals in plants. This is one of the main ingredients in aspirin and other pain relieving medications. Many personal care products list salicylates as one of their active ingredients. Some products contain salicylates in the chemical form or in plant ingredients that are included in the formulation. For example, a product that contains herbs, may not list the word "salicylate" on the label, but may contain salicylates because there’s a natural chemical in herbs. Besides personal care products, salicylate is often found in food, medication and cosmetics.

Salicylate Allergy

Sensitivity to an ingredient may result from a variety of causes. The sensitivity will result in the substance (allergen) causing an allergic response brought about by the immune system. What may be a harmless substance for one person may cause a variety of reactions, from mild to severe, in another based on how their immune system responds. Salicylate sensitivity can lead to asthma−like symptoms, including headaches, nasal congestion, itching, skin rashes or hives, swelling of the hands, feet, and face, and stomach pain. 

People suffering with fibromyalgia are advised to totally eliminate salicylates from personal care products, cosmetics, and supplements. 

Plant ingredients have medicinal properties and have been used for centuries in Chinese medicine and herbal therapy. Modern pharmaceutical drugs originate from plants but are developed in synthetic chemical form. As essential oils, plant extracts, herbs, and plants are used not in their proper context for therapy but included in personal care products to market as natural. This raises many questions when we consult medical experts who state that this could have a negative effect on the body in the long term. Plant ingredients will become rancid unless strong preservatives are used. These preservatives are not listed on the label as long as the plant has been soaked in the preservative and not added separately. There is no FDA labeling regulation for disclosing all ingredients for personal care or cosmetic products. 

So what plants have more salicylates than others? Well, mint for instance, along with essential oils and plant extracts have the highest amount. Most toothpaste and many of the major mouthwash brands contain both essential oils and salicylic acid. 

You must be cognizant of what the labels say and what they may not say to make educated purchases.

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