February 17, 2010

The "Dirty Dozen"

The top 12 cancer-causing products(called the “Dirty Dozen”) in the average home include the following:
  • Johnson & Johnson Baby Powder w/Talc
  • Crest Tartar Control Toothpaste
  • VO5 Hair Conditioner
  • Clairol Nice-n-Easy Hair Color
  • Ajax Cleanser
  • Lysol Disinfectant
[Source: The National Cancer Prevention Coalition]

Liquid dish soap is the leading cause of poisonings in the home for children under the age of six (over 2.1 million accidental poisonings per year). Most brands of liquid dish soap contain formaldehyde and ammonia.

The State of California recently passed legislation requiring a 45% reduction in the amount of toxins found in:
  • Hairspray aerosols  
  • Furniture polish  
  • Window cleaners  
  • Air fresheners  
  • Shaving cream 
  • Laundry detergents 
  • Nail polish remover 
  • Insect repellent  
  • Hair styling gel and mousse
[Source: Healthy Homes in a Toxic World]


Just by reducing (not eliminating) environmental carcinogens alone, we would save at least 50,000 lives taken by cancer annually.
[Source: Dr. Lee Davis, former advisor to the Secretary of Health]

Most laundry detergent contains a form of NTA. NTA is a substance we may reasonably anticipate to be a carcinogen.
[Source: The Merck Index]

Diseases that used to occur later in life are now appearing at younger ages. Diseases that used to be rare are more frequent. For example: There has been a 28% increase in childhood cancer since the addition of pesticides into household products. Cancer is now the #2 killer of children – second only to accidental poisonings. Since 1977 the rate of cancer among American children has been steadily rising at a rate of nearly 1% each year.
[Source: National Cancer Institute]

Asthma was once a very rare disease. Now the condition is extremely common – the asthma rate has tripled in the last 20 years with nearly 30 million Americans currently afflicted.
[Source: Consumer Federation of America , 1997]

In one decade, there has been a 42% increase in asthma (29% for men, 82% for women). The higher rate for women is believed to be due to women’s longer exposure times to household chemicals.
[Source: Center for Disease Control]

Childhood asthma has increased by more than 40% since 1980.
[Source: Environmental Health Perspectives, June 1997; 105 (6)]

Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD) in adults and children is also rising – in 1993, 4.5 million children took the drug Ritalin so they could sit still long enough to learn. By 1998, 11.4 million children were being drugged with this powerful Class-2 narcotic.
[Source: Your Children and Ritalin, The Detroit news (March 8. 1998)]

Developing cells in children’s bodies are more susceptible to damage than adult cells that have completed development, especially for the central nervous system. During the development of a child, from conception through adolescence, there are particular windows of vulnerability to environmental hazards. Most disturbing – until a child is approximately 13 months of age, they are virtually no ability to fight the biological and neurological effects of toxic chemicals.
[Source: Herbert L. Needleman, M.D., Philip J. Landrigan, M.D., Raising Children Toxic Free]

Formaldehyde is a highly toxic substance. It is a highly suspected cancer-causing agent. It damages the neurological connectors in the body. It is an irritant to the eyes, nose, throat and lungs and may cause:

  • skin reactions  
  • ear infections  
  • headaches  
  • depression  
  • asthma  
  • joint pain 
  • dizziness  
  • mental confusion  
  • nausea  
  • disorientation  
  • phlebitis  
  • fatigue  
  • vomiting  
  • sleep disturbances  
  • laryngitis

 One in five people are sensitive to formaldehyde. Formaldehyde is commonly found in:
  • drugs  
  • mouthwash  
  • hairspray  
  • cosmetics 
  • cleaning products  
  • perfumes  
  • waxes  
  • hair setting lotions  
  • shampoo  
  • air fresheners  
  • fungicides  
  • fingernail polish  
  • floor polishes  
  • dry cleaning solvents  
  • toothpaste  
  • laundry spray starch  
  • antiperspirants
… just to name a few


How many of these names would you have recognized as formaldehyde? 
  • Formalin  
  • Methanal 
  • Methyl Aldehyde  
  • Methylene Oxide  
  • Oxymethylene  
  • Bfv*  
  • Fannoform*  
  • Formol*  
  • Fyde*  
  • Karsan* 
  • Methaldehyde  
  • Formalith*  
  • Methylene Glycol  
  • Ivalon*  
  • Oxomethane  
  • Formalin 40  
  • Formalin  
  • Formic Aldehyde  
  • Hoch  
  • Paraform  
  • Lysoform*  
  • Morbocid  
  • Trioxane  
  • Polyoxmethylene  
* denotes trade name


Warning labels on containers refer only to toxic hazards from ingestion; however, only 10% of health problems from chemicals are caused by ingestion. 90% are caused by the inhalation of vapors and absorption of particles.

Government regulations require that only the most EXTREMELY toxic substances must contain a warning label. Labels that say the following should be removed from your house immediately:
  • “Do not induce vomiting”
  • “Corrosive – rinse from skin immediately”
  • “Harmful or fatal if swallowed”
  • “Call physician immediately”
  • “Warning!” (may mean that as little as 1 teaspoon of product can harm or kill adult)
  • “Danger!” (means that as little as 5 drops can harm or kill an adult)

Phenol is an extremely caustic chemical that burns the skin. Absorption of phenol through the lungs or skin can cause:
  • central nervous system damage
  • pneumonia
  • respiratory tract infection
  • heart-rate irregularities
  • skin irritation
  • kidney and liver damage
  • numbness
  • vomiting
  • and can be fatal

 Phenol is a very common chemical and is regularly found in the following common products:  
  • air fresheners
  • aftershave
  • bronchial mists
  • chloroseptic throat spray
  • deodorants
  • feminine powders & sprays
  • hair spray
  • decongestants
  • mouthwash
  • aspirin
  • solvents
  • acne medications
  • antiseptics
  • calamine lotions
  • cleaning products
  • detergents
  • furniture polish
  • hair setting lotions
  • lice shampoo
  • polishes
  • cold capsules
  • all-purpose cleaners
  • aerosol disinfectants
  • anti-itching lotions
  • carnex
  • cosmetics
  • disinfectant cleaners
  • hand lotions
  • lip balms
  • sunscreen and lotions
  • insecticides
  • cough syrups
  • … just to name a few
Contact me to find out how you can make your home safer

1 comment:

  1. This is a mind-blowing hit list! I'm sure their inclusion in these products meets the government standards for safety. The question, however, is, "If these safety levels are "safe" then why have cancer, respiratory diseases, ADD/ADHD etc. risen so dramatically?