Have you ever wondered what your favourite soap contains? You enjoy the rich lather and the pleasing aroma but you are unaware of a scary fact. The same soap you use to stay clean and maintain your hygiene can be the devil causing diseases you never ever imagined could be caused by your soap. Soap is just one member of a long list of common products that pose a threat to our health because of the ingredients that go into their making. Cosmetics, food products, plastics, etc. are a few more examples to help you imagine the extent to which you are surrounded by products that can one day be the reason behind you lying in the emergency room of a hospital. Another reason why these ingredients are so dangerous is that you may continue being exposed to them for years without feeling any negative effects. They are silent killers. Well, you don’t need to worry because worrying is not going to solve your problems. Here, you have a list in front of your eyes. A list that is going to tell you about the ten harmful ingredients popular products around the world contain. The next time you go shopping for these products, be sure to buy products not containing these components.
You must have come across this chemical and its chemical symbol Al countless number of times during your chemistry classes. Aluminium is usually found in processed foods. Natural and unprocessed foods contain extremely less amounts of aluminium. It is used as a food additive, in antiperspirants, cosmetics, antacids, astringents and buffered aspirin. It has been known to lead to bone and brain diseases in children with kidney diseases. This is because Aluminium, if enters your body through ingestion, soon leaves your body along with urine. People who have kidney diseases are not able to efficiently remove aluminium from their blood stream. Children who have Aluminium in their stomachs find their bones to be weakened because it prevents the absorption of phosphates.
9. SODIUM NITRITE
Sodium Nitrite is naturally found in quite a few fruits and vegetables but the problem arises when you ingest foods in which sodium nitrite has been added by humans. Sodium Nitrite is used in the food industry for two reasons. Firstly, it is used as a preservative when it comes to the durability of processed meat products. It prevents the formation of bacteria that are the culprits of the crime of causing botulism. The second reason is to impart a colour to the food that makes it more appetising. A diet that contains amounts upper than the safe limit of Sodium Nitrite may lead to methemoglobinemia which leads to respiratory problems and can even be fatal. Moreover, Sodium Nitrite is a carcinogenic substance too.
8. HYDROGENATED OILS
Also referred to as ‘plastic fat’, hydrogenated oils are widely used to make the oils stay in the food product. Another use of hydrogenated oils is to increase the ‘use before’ time period. Used in the preparation of delicious cookies, crunchy crackers and yummy margarines, hydrogenated oils are extremely dangerous to your body. The causative agents of heart diseases, nutritional deficiencies and the deterioration of your body cells’ health hydrogenated oils should be stayed away from. The high viscosity of hydrogenated oils makes the blood thicker and contributes to high blood pressure problems. It also increases the risk of artery blockages because it also causes arterial plaques. Due to inadequate blood circulation to the brain, it can also be guilty of causing neurological disorders such as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s.
Phthalates are also known as plasticizers. These chemicals can mimic certain hormones of our body. These are commonly used in the manufacture of plastics to make them soft and flexible. These chemicals also find use in personal care products such as nail polishes and body lotions. If developing children are exposed to phthalates even when inside the uterus, these chemicals can cause lifelong injuries. When certain animals of the rodent family were exposed to phthalates, results were disturbing. The animals used for the study showed a variety of problems such as liver cancer, damaged kidneys and some disorders of the reproductive system were also developed in them. You are not helpless as these plastics can be identified easily and avoided.
6. MINERAL OIL
Mineral oil is obtained during the manufacture of petroleum from crude oil. They are used in various classes of products around the world. The cosmetic industry is a huge fan of mineral oil because of the fact that it is cheap, colourless and odourless. Aside from being cheap, mineral oil does not get oxidised easily and hence the products can be kept for longer durations. The bad news is that it might be a good option for the cosmetic industry but it is extremely harmful for the consumers of these products. It forms a layer on the skin thus making it difficult for the skin to excrete the toxins from our body through sweat pores. Moreover, once absorbed by the skin, it is broken down by the liver and passes through the intestines absorbing fat soluble vitamins and thus depriving us of nutrients.
5. BISPHENOL A (BPA)
Bisphenol A has been in commercial use since 1957. It is a synthetic product and used to make certain plastics and epoxy resins. Epoxy resins are used in coatings on the insides of many food and beverage cans. BPA is also used to manufacture thermal paper. It is known to be a potent endocrine disruptor. Animal studies have shown negative effects because of exposure to Bisphenol A. Neurological disorders and obesity are commonly caused by BPA. So it’s an advice to all the girls out there looking to lose weight, instead of going on a diet, look out for any products containing Bisphenol A. BPA binds to the thyroid hormone receptor and disrupts it’s functioning. Breast cancer, testicular cancer and prostate cancer can be caused due to BPA exposure. Results from animal studies indicate that BPA can cause abnormalities in the reproductive system and sexual behaviour.
Excitotoxins are actually neurotransmitters which are essential for the working of the nervous system. The problem is that food products that contain these chemicals in amounts that lead to their imbalance in our bodies have severe effects. Extremely deadly chemicals is what you perceive of it as you read about it’s capability to harm your nervous system. Excitotoxins are chemicals that overexcite your nerve cells to such an extent that they might be killed. They are also powerful enough to inflict damage that is permanent on your nervous system. It’s horrifying to know that if excitotoxins are ingested by a pregnant woman, they can cross the placental barrier and reach the developing baby and harm the baby’s brain. Excitotoxins are commonly found as ingredients in diet soda, canned soup, salad dressings and breakfast sausages to name a few food products.
3. ISOPROPYL ALCOHOL
Isopropyl alcohol is used as a solvent in perfumes and in many cosmetic products. It is also used as a substitute for industrial methylated and surgical spirits. It also finds use in the manufacture of quick drying oils and inks. Other uses of isopropyl alcohol are as an antiseptic, as a de-icing agent, dehydrating agent, window cleaner and disinfectant. It is an irritant of the skin, eyes, mucous membranes and the upper respiratory tract. Excessive dermal exposure to isopropyl alcohol leads to poisoning. The symptoms seen in a person suffering from isopropyl alcohol poisoning are headache, dizziness, central nervous system (CNS) depression, vomiting and nausea. It can even lead to a coma.
It is the most widely used class of preservatives in personal care products. It can be carcinogenic and this is why it is included in this list. There are various types of chemicals in the Paraben family. Methyl, propyl and butyl forms of parabens interfere with the normal functioning of the endocrine system. Parabens are powerful enough to reduce the sperm count and decrease the production of testosterone. Methyl parabens increase the skin’s sensitivity to the sun and thus increase the chances of being a victim of damage from the Sun. It can lead to eye damage and studies have shown a relation between breast cancer and exposure to parabens.
1. SODIUM LAURYL SULPHATE AND SODIUM LAURETH SULPHATE
This time when you go grocery shopping and are about to buy a shampoo or body wash, before you put it in your shopping cart remember to check for the composition and the ingredients that go into its preparation. Sodium Lauryl Sulphate and Sodium Laureth Sulphate are the chemicals used in products which produce a lot of lather. These chemicals remove the necessary moisture from the skin, cause drying, irritate the skin and cause hair loss. Mineral oil can also be responsible for causing lung problems and it might even lead to pneumonia. The important point to note here is that skin is the largest organ of the human body and it is extremely important that it functions well. It helps in excretion of toxins as well as is capable of absorbing substances too. Applying products with harmful ingredients is dangerous because it interferes with the normal functioning of skin and on being absorbed they lead to harsh problems.