Soaps, detergents & Lotions are toxic. All of them can impact cancer gene expression because of the common chemicals used to produce the most widely used brands and even some that are considered “environmentally friendly”. Chemicals like – Di-Ethanolamine, Triclocarbon, Phthalates, Parabens, Triclosan.
More and more we’re finding that the government agencies that are in charge of taking care of our country’s health are either ignorant, lying or just passing blame to other organizations of false claims to skirt their responsibilities, with zero accountability upon mounting evidence to the contrary. In this article, I’ve compiled a few reputable sources to back up the claims I’m about to make. Hopefully the dots will connect themselves but this is to enable you to be informed and take from it what you will. As for me and my house, we will be nixing items that have even a 0.1% chance of giving use cancer. It’s just too important to assume someone else is watching out for you, when we live in a capitalistic society where money is the form of power and power is the goal of all. No one cares. I want to care more. Let’s dig in shall we?
So we start this series with soap. Soaps have been showing up in the news a lot lately and although the FDA has recently started banning certain hygiene products like hand sanitizer and the practice of using plastic bits that may or may not contain carcinogenic chemicals like BPA, in creams and soaps to exfoliate skin, more can and should be done with regards to our health specifically when it comes to our hygiene products. Soap is a big issue. We all use it. Some every day, some every other day (if you’re going off what is recommended use, that is).
So what is soap?
Originally soap started out as a means to get stains out of clothes. During World War I, commercial soap, as we know it today, came into existence. The injuries of war brought an increased need for cleaning agents. However, at the same time, the ingredients needed to make soap were scarce. German scientists created a new form of “soap” made with various synthetic compounds and as a result detergents were born. Most commercial soaps available today are actually detergents, which are made with petroleum by-products. Since these “soaps” are detergents, by law cannot be called soap. Chances are that when you see a soap called a “body bar,” it is not soap at all.
Before 1930’s, soap was made by a method called batch kettle boiling. Commercial soap makers had huge three story kettles that produced thousands of pounds of soap over the course of about a week. Shortly thereafter, an invention called continuous process was introduced and refined by Procter & Gamble. This process decreased soap making production time to less than a day. Large commercial soap manufacturers still use continuous process.
Commercial soap manufacturers also learned that they could remove the natural glycerin in soap which gives it moisturizing properties. They sell it or use it in other higher priced products like the moisturizers and creams you need when their soap dries out your skin. Removing the natural glycerin also extends the shelf life of the soap so that it can sit in storehouse or on store shelves for many years.
Today there is a heightened awareness of the possible adverse effects of many of the synthetic additives and chemicals in commercial soap. Even large companies are starting to advertise “natural ingredients” in their products. BUT BEWARE! The addition of one or two natural ingredients does not make a product “all natural.” It is virtually impossible for large companies to create natural, handmade soaps.
What does this mean?
Additives like The chemical, cocamide diethanolamine (cocamide DEA), a chemically-modified form of coconut oil used as a thickener or foaming agent in many products, was listed by California as a known carcinogen in 2012. See this article that goes in depth on the companies tested in this referenced study here. Soaps claiming to be more sanitary than others by using antibacterial additives like the chemicals triclosan and triclocarban were only recently banned by the FDA. This means all of the soap you thought you were using up until now that had those antibacterial claims behind it, was exposing you to cancer causing chemicals. If they only recently banned it, because of new studies linking the chemicals to cancer, what makes you think there’s not other chemicals they haven’t studied yet because of lobbyists pushing prying eyes out of the ingredients listing and on to some scapegoat while they plan a replacement that may be even worse but has less data to back up negative claims against it? Here’s an interesting article CNN did on the subject. Take me to the article.
Money, follow the money. Opinion can be bought, scientific studies can be swayed. All you need to prove that is to simply look back on what caused gasoline to become unleaded for cars. Speaking of gasoline, most of the soaps on the market these days are made using petroleum by products. That’s the stuff left over once crude oil has been processed. They use bleaches, ammonia, alcohol, and numerous other chemicals to extract or “purify” the final petroleum products like parrafin wax and vasoline, but that’s for another blog posting.
So what else might be in your soaps? Let’s look at a few ingredients that are in a lot of your standard, “family branded” soap and some even in toothpaste and lotions.
An antifungal and antibacterial agent, when used beyond their permissible limit, is known to have an impact on the developmental and reproductive effects and also a potential cancer risk.
The chemical can penetrate into the skin and has the tendency to interfere with hormone function, so has been categorized as an endocrine disrupting chemical, the study said.
It added evidence does suggest that Triclosan can affect aquatic wildlife and the hormonal systems of mice. It may impact male and female hormones like testosterone and estrogen, and may also affect thyroid systems, which regulate weight and metabolism.
Used in: Soaps, toothpastes, deodorants, mouthwash, detergents and hair products
Used for its anti-bactericidal and fungicidal properties, this group of chemicals also penetrate into the skin easily and gets absorbed into the body through the skin, blood and digestive system.
Studies in animals have shown that Paraben may play a role in the endocrine disruption. In addition, Parabens may also interfere with male reproductive functions and is feared to be an agent causing breast cancer. The European Commission on Endocrine Disruption has listed Parabens as Category 1 priority substances, based on evidence that they interfere with hormone function, the study said.
Used in: Shampoos, Moisturizers, Shaving gels, Personal lubricants, Hairspray/mousse/gel, Spray tanning solution , Cleansers , Makeup , Toothpastes , Topical/parenteral pharmaceuticals
Used as a plasticizer, (substances added to plastics to increase their flexibility, transparency, durability, and longevity) are termed as hepatotoxic (harmful to the liver), teratogenic (harms the development of a foetus), and carcinogenic.
Phthalates have potentially toxic effects to the developing endocrine and reproductive systems. High doses have been shown to change hormone levels and cause birth defects, the report stated citing past research.
Previous studies have also found Phthalates exposure through breast milk was associated with abnormal reproductive hormone levels in 3-month-old infants, the report said.
The chemical also can cause anti-androgenicity in adult men.
Used in: Skin moisturizers, skin softeners, skin penetration enhancers, stabilizers, dispersants and lubricants, nail polishes
Used as an antimicrobial active ingredient in bar soaps, its side effects include that of Triclosan. In addition, Triclocarbon enhances the gene expression of other steroid hormones, including androgens, estrogens, and cortisol. It can also harm patients with ER-positive breast cancer.
Used in: Soaps, Deodorants, Detergents, Cleansing lotions, Wipes, Hand wash
Used to create the creamy texture or foam in products like soaps and shampoos, it causes mild to moderate irritation in the eye, skin, throat and nose. The International Agency for Research on Cancer found that excesses of small margins were observed in cancer patients of various sites including stomach, oesophagus and larynx.
More importantly reacting with other cosmetic formulae it can form nitrosodiethanolamine, an extremely potent carcinogen.
Used in: Soaps , Shampoos , Detergents , Cleaners , Polishers , Cosmetics
Okay so that’s what, six or so chemicals in what we’ll assume you use at least five times a day; Brush Teeth in the morning, Shampoo during your shower, use of body wash in shower, maybe a washing of the hands before you make breakfast or after you’ve used the restroom then a use mouthwash before leaving for work, washing your hands maybe two more times while at work before lunch and a restroom break, then one more wash before dinner, maybe a dab of dish detergent to soak that pan you used to cook with? How about the clothes you wore, detergent got that clean and it’s been absorbing through your skin all day, maybe it even made you itch a bit so you used a lotion to stay moisturized. Then you brushed your teeth and maybe some mouthwash before bed. Okay that’s more like ten exposures that could of put your body in contact with between six and nineteen carcinogens per exposure! Let’s keep it moderate and say ten chemicals per exposure at ten exposures. ONE-HUNDRED KNOWN CARCINOGENIC CHEMICAL CONTACTS! That’s just your hygiene. We haven’t even started talking about water, food, entertainment or even environmental exposures.
Okay so at this point you’re saying, “Man this guy is a hypochondriac! I don’t want to listen anymore. He’s a negative person spouting doomsday prophecy and stuff I don’t want to listen to anymore.”, does that mean I’m wrong? I’ve cited the scientific and media backed evidence, I’ve calculated on a moderate day of exposure. Cancer is at an all time high. Use your brain, the simplest thought on the matter is that if you expose yourself to chemicals, you’ll get what the chemical is known to cause/create inside your body. It’s as simple as that. I’m just the messenger and you’re just the person the advertising world is trying to lie to because they’ve placed you in a box on a board, they gave you a name, a gender, an age range, a job expectation and earning potential assessment and sold you to companies who are looking for ways to get you to make them rich. It’s simple math, it’s the world you live in and you can’t run from it. If it’s too much, we throw up our hands. That’s not my intention. My intention is to help you fight. Here is the information, here are your weapons, here is your armor, use the knowledge, and make good decisions for yourself. If you find yourself helping others along the way feel free to send them my way for a crisp, high-five from a hand that’s been washed with a simple soap with no cancer in it.