A couple weeks ago, I read this month’s National Geographic story about the chemical baggage we carry around inside ourselves. While the story isn’t as frightening as it could have been (primarily because no one has studied, say, the long-term effects of having a liver jammed full of flame retardants), it made me think about the chemicals we come across on a day-to-day basis.
Not just chemicals in food, but in our bathrooms, closets, laundry rooms, offices and everywhere else. So I have decided to try and make a healthy change by switching to all-natural (or as all-natural as possible) toiletry products. Fortunately, Whole Foods and Trader Joes both sell an affordable range of shampoos, soaps and toothpastes that fit the bill.
This morning, I used my all-natural shampoo, soap, shaving creme, conditioner, toothpaste and mouthwash (notice I didn’t say “deodorant,” because that’s one place where no one, in my humble opinion, should even try to go eau de natural). As I was lathering up my herbal mint shampoo, it occurred to me that the other parts of my body, namely my cells, might not like this jolt.
What if they’re in there, every morning, just waiting for that first dose of parabens delivered via the scalp and armpits? Have I done them irreparable damage by depriving them of their beloved phthalates? Will my teeth and taste buds ever forgive me for switching to a toothpaste that isn’t sweetened with saccharin?
(Side note: while I love the concept behind Tom’s of Maine and their all-natural products, the flavor of that toothpaste really is a jolt! Who says toothpaste shouldn’t have xylitol?)
I had to chuckle, because I started wondering, What if my cells and organs all had their own personalities? Can you imagine going to a bar with, say, a couple million of my brain cells? The thought even makes me shudder.
Nevertheless, I’ve told them all – organs, cells, bones, skin and hair – that a change is coming. We’re going to see fewer chemicals, and they’d better start getting used to it.