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Two Nasty Chemicals to Purge from Your Bathroom

Two Nasty Chemicals to Purge from Your Bathroom

NOTE: This is a guest post by Margie Kelly, Communications Manager at Healthy Child Healthy World. This post was originally published on the†Healthy Child Healthy World blog.

A clean bathroom is a beautiful thing. But did you realize that some of the very same toxic chemicals used to clean your tub and toilet are also found in your antiperspirant or perfume? Yuck.

While you may not be able to detoxify your personal care and house cleaning routines overnight, there are toxic chemicals lurking in your bathroom that should be shown to the door immediately.

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 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.

Bottom line: 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 possibly contributing 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.

Bottom line: 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. Avoid scented products like candles and air fresheners.

What changes have you made to detoxify your bathroom?


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Photo courtesy of Healthy Child Healthy World

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12:03PM PDT on Nov 2, 2012

Thanks for the important info.

11:18AM PDT on Oct 7, 2012


8:05PM PDT on Oct 6, 2012

I am very glad to be able to post stories like this on Facebook to share info with my family. Young kids are SO much more vulnerable than adults. Without the information, we cannot protect them
The younger generations of my family are suffering more from asthma than their earlier generations..
THANK YOU for this article.

11:00PM PDT on Oct 5, 2012

Oh boy.

8:34PM PDT on Oct 3, 2012

Knew about the soap, never thought about the shower curtain

7:48PM PDT on Oct 3, 2012

Thanks , I despise that shower curtain smell so we have glass doors ,
I didn't know about the triclosan though .

7:24PM PDT on Oct 3, 2012

i try to avoid those 2 at all costs...thanks for the reminder!

5:20PM PDT on Oct 3, 2012

Noted & Twittered

5:15PM PDT on Oct 3, 2012

@ Pam W. Hey my friend ... Phthalates pronunciation: "THAL-ates."

5:15PM PDT on Oct 3, 2012

@ Pam W. Hey my friend ... Phthalates pronunciation: "THAL-ates."

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