Little Government Oversight
PHYLLIS SMITH: In the US you must go through the FTC (Federal Trade Commission), Consumer Product Safety Commission and all that. Things are not so easy to get approved here. Things that are approved in Europe for example, are not necessarily approved over here. Have you gotten your products approved in the government? Is that a requirement in Canada? Is that something that you’re going to do?
LORALEI SNIDER: In fact, what the reality is for home care and cleaning products in the US and in Canada, there’s no requirement to tell you everything that’s in the products at all. Cosmetics, that industry is very heavily regulated. When it comes to home care and cleaning supplies they have a lot of ingredients that have been approved both in the US and in Canada that are what they’ve deemed in small dilution rates and small usage rates are safe, but they’re toxins. Over time these build up in your body. What I do to combat that and what I would love to see across North America is I would love to see that change where companies are absolutely regulated, absolutely required to use full disclosure. I use full disclosure, everything that is in my products is listed on my products, so people know exactly what they’re buying.
That’s something that I’m proud of and I find that when people are educated, when they know what they’re getting, they’re able to make those choices for themselves and it’s often a better choice that they would make without that knowledge.
PHYLLIS SMITH: You mention that there could be traces of toxins in some of the products that we get even if they say natural. What are some of the ingredients that we should be looking for in those common products that could be toxic?
LORALEI SNIDER: Two of the big things, if you see DEA or TEA, those are cancer causing agents. SLS (Sodium Lauryl Sulfate) again, known cancer causing agents. One of the big things I see companies list is “fragrance”. Fragrance is often a synthetic component and it’s made using phthalates and parabens. Phthalates have been linked to early onset of puberty in young ladies and that early onset of puberty is linked to early onset of breast cancer and parabens have been found when they’ve done biopsy of breast cancer tissue. The parabens, the phthalates, and the things that they don’t tell you that are in there are things like fertilizers are neurotoxins. There’s not much you can do about that other than to know that they are there or do some heavy and deep research. But if you're picking something up off the shelf look for DEA, TEA, parabens, phthalates, SLS, fragrance – if it just says fragrance, get rid of it.
PHYLLIS SMITH: It’s funny because I don’t use laundry detergent that has fragrance in at all because my kids and I get allergic. We’ve always had very sensitive skin. I thought it was just skin sensitivity, but it sounds like what you’re describing is toxic to our bodies. Let’s make that comparison in your research – is it possible that some people are hypersensitive to certain things and others aren’t? For instance, one might be more prone to getting eczema, they have very dry skin and so they must use more sensitive products as opposed to they are toxic.
LORALEI SNIDER: Yeah. When I see sensitivity, yes, you may be sensitive. For instance, in my room and linen sprays a couple of them have lavender in them and somebody’s allergic to lavender. There is that possibility, however, the occurrence of that compared to a sensitivity that is developed because of toxicity build up is small. Right? What we have is toxic load and our bodies are not really built to get rid of the toxins. Even though a lot of fragrance free products may be fragrance free they may not necessarily be natural which means they still have toxins in them. Oftentimes, companies what they do is, the horrible toxin smell is awful, they throw a bunch of other toxic products to nullify that smell. So, it’s not truly fragrance free. Does that make sense?
PHYLLIS SMITH: Yeah, it makes sense. The interesting thing is, especially when you’re talking about our skin, you ask what the largest organ in our body is and people must think about it and they don’t realize it’s your skin. Whether we ingest it or put it on our skin, our skin is exposed to it. Think about how many pores we have in our skin and what we’re bringing into our body and if you imagine some people are more immuno-compromised than others and particularly those people who have immune deficiencies. I imagine going toxin free is a better route for them.
LORALEI SNIDER: Yeah. In my opinion of course, going toxin free is a better route for everyone and it becomes a full circle. When we use toxic products, those products get washed into our oceans, water systems, soil that grows our food, the water that we drink, and if you eat fish they’ve been exposed. There are also ingredients that increase the growth of algae in our water ways and when you have an increase in algae you’re depleting that system of oxygen for the fish to live. It’s killing off the fish. It can have over the long term a severe impact on whether we can feed ourselves and how well we can feed ourselves. In my opinion, it’s important the sooner we get into that space, go toxin free and understand that as we’re taking care of our health we’re also taking care of the environment that’s going to sustain our future generations. It’s a big impact that we’re having one household at a time.
PHYLLIS SMITH: I like that. One household at a time and it expands to the environment in our home, neighborhood, and beyond.