I would love to share an inspiring website called Teens Turning Green.
The website’s mission explains that Teens Turning Green is a:
Student led movement devoted to education and advocacy around environmentally and socially responsible choices for individuals, schools, and communities. We seek to promote global sustainability by identifying and eliminating toxic exposures that permeate our lives and threaten public and environmental health.
This site connects to all kinds of resources for students, teachers and parents. You can learn how to better the environment, your community and your health. There are projects, events and advocacy to become involved in within your community and there are many ideas on how to do it.
A great part of this website is the “Get Educated” tab where they list thirty ingredients to avoid in your products. It is a great list to look at common ingredients you see often. The site gives its function, what it is typically present in and its health concerns.
Some common ingredients you may recognize are:
21. PETROLATUM (PETROLEUM)
Function: Forms barrier on skin; makes lipsticks shine and creams smoother; inexpensive skin softener.
Present in: Many cosmetics and personal care products, read labels. Banned by EU.
Health concerns: May be contaminated with impurities, linked to cancer or other significant health problems.
25. SODIUM LAURETH SULFATE
Function: Surfactant, penetration enhancer.Present in: Many cosmetics and personal care products, read labels.
Health concerns: Alters skin structure, allowing other chemicals to penetrate deep into the skin, increasing the amounts of other chemicals that reach the bloodstream; Irritant; animal studies show sense organ effects.
Function: Absorbs moisture, anti-caking agent, bulking agent.
Present in: Blush, powder, eye shadow, baby powder, deodorant.
Health concerns: Carcinogen; link between talcum powder and ovarian cancer; talc particles are similar to asbestos particles and data suggests that it can cause tumors in the lungs; probable respiratory toxin.
30. 1,4 DIOXANE
Function: Penetration enhancer
Present in: Body lotion, moisturizers, sunless tanning products, baby soap, anti-aging products..
Health concerns: EPA classifies it as a probable carcinogen found in 46 of 100 personal care products marketed as organic or natural, and the National Toxicology Program considers it a known animal carcinogen. Acute (short-term) inhalation exposure to high levels of 1,4 dioxane has caused vertigo, drowsiness, headache, anorexia and irritation of the eyes, nose, throat and lungs of humans. It may also irritate the skin.
This is a good place where young adults are getting involved in their community and getting educated about the products and environment around them. I especially love the Thirty Dirty; check to find out if these ingredients are in your products.