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TOXICOLOGY: WHAT THE?

May 30, 2019

TOXICOLOGY: WHAT THE?

You know I’ve been in the game now for 3 years with Pure Home Body and it still is striking to find that despite our advances in both science and medicine and alternative medicine we still are worlds apart. The banter between each modality is still there.  

Yes, I like to understand the science behind things thoroughly and yes, I also believe there is some alternatives yet to be proven that work. In other words, I think I’m the right blend. I’m neither right or left yet respect both. And I suppose that comes down to me not being perfect or righteous in either realm.

But there is one thing that concerns me with natural products.

I mention a fair bit that the human toxicology of less than 2% of the chemicals available on our market are known. This is stifling and scary. Yet there is even less for the newer plant-based ingredients hitting the scene today.

Because of the trend towards natural products there has been a massive explosion of new synthesised plant-based ingredients and the adaptation of existing ones to new uses.

And these ingredients too, are yet to have their toxicology determined. Remember they have been only trialled minutely and therefore long terms toxicological effects are not yet known.

You may have also see me mention in my social posts that there are some chemical based products that are perfectly safe for us. Take air for example. The air we breathe is a combination of chemicals in gaseous forms. It is more polluted in certain areas than others and yes, if you inhale a toxic product….well then you are toast. But the fact is we breathe it every day, it is a necessity and our body needs to work through the tiny chemicals we inhale. Air has greater benefit to risk ratio than inhaling straight Hydrogen that naturally occurs in the environment.

Did I lose you?

Another way we can look it is by looking at a plant-based ingredient. Take Cocoamide DEA, it is used as an enhanced foaming agent and stailizer in a number of ‘natural beauty products’. It is derived from coconut oil and diethanolamine. Plant based, yet highly carcinogenic and therefore should be avoided. But many people would look at the fact its plant based and render the product ok. It has an EWG rating of 7, far out of my comfort zone (PHB products sit between an EWG rating of 1-3/4)

Whereas something like Potassium Hydroxide which is an inorganic (or chemical) based ingredient which is used widely to assist in the formation of natural soaps and eco-friendly products, has a rating of EWG rating of 3-5.

So what exactly are we trying to navigate.

Firstly an understanding of toxicology. This is the first point of call for Pure Home Body. We ask:

Is the ingredient natural (organic like neat essential oils), plant-based (derived from nature) or chemical (inorganic and made)?

Does the ingredient have any known toxicology reports or trials done on it? That is, do we know if it builds up in the body (bioaccumulation), does it affect our hormones (endotoxin) or nerves (neurotoxin), does it cause cancer (Carcinogen). If it has no known toxicology, we don’t look any further at it. If yes and it doesn’t cause any known toxicological impact, we then;

Look how long the ingredient has been used by the market. If it has sound reporting and has been available for a significant amount of time, we then pop it on our list of ingredients to consider.

However, it must be noted that the toxicology of ingredients constantly changes, especially the newer derived plant-based ingredients. As more people use them, and reactions get noticed, these then get reported. And as they do, the toxicology goes higher based on the rate at which these come in.

The key thing to remember is less is more. Although it may seem to be hard to navigate through this crazy world of home and body products, take your time and simplify everything. Reducing your products is a great step towards reducing your toxic load even if they are chemical based ones. I think there is a movement happening called the ‘minimalism’ movement, you may want to give this a go to help 😊


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