Friday, May 20, 2011

Chemical Rage Rant

I try to be a calm person and not let things get to me, but there is a reason that my word for this year (and possibly next) is patience.

What got me going this week: sunscreen

Of course there are things in sunscreen that are bad for us. I knew that, but I just hadn't gotten around to find out what exactly they were. There's so much to look into that it just can't all be done in one fell swoop.

My neighbour though, pushed me over the edge to take a look at sunscreen. She asked me this week if I knew anything about oxybenzone. I didn't. She knew it was in sunscreen and it was bad. Her description essentially meant it's thought to be an endocrine disruptor -- meaning it messes with our hormones that just happen to control a whole lot of what goes on in our bodies.

I got home and looked it up: it's synthetic estrogen. Great. I've been slathering my son in synthetic estrogen. Just imagine what it's doing to his boy bits.

I'm not a scientist and certainly don't speak the science language very well, but I do know that other endocrine disruptors include: PBA (lines the insides of canned food), phthalates (soft plastics, and is the scent in most scented products), PBDEs (flame retardants).

What I don't understand: Why on earth is more not done at the regulatory level to prevent these products from becoming everyday products in our homes? Why does something have to be proven dangerous before it's finally pulled off the shelves? What's wrong with a bit of the precautionary principle and insisting that something be proven safe before damage is done?

To make this rant somewhat useful, see what you should look for in a sunscreen at Glamology. And, for you more science types, here's the link to the Environmental Working Group's Cosmetic Database. Although American, the Environmental Working Group is pretty good resource for information on environmental issues.

Anyway, some good did come from my wee rampage yesterday. I headed off to Earth's General Store and found some great sunscreen without oxybenzone. It was pricey, but look at the money I've been saving with my homemade crunchy products.

The second bit of rampaging good: I got serious about soap nuts, boiled out some liquid (another Crunchy Betty post) and made my own mosquito repellent (you guessed it, Crunchy Betty strikes again), which is the soap nuts liquid and some citronella essential oil.

Don't even get me started on deet.

Enjoy the long weekend!!


  1. I've been avoiding sunscreen for a few years now-I just knew it had to be bad-but I had NO clue it was that bad,wow! I'm going to try to make my own, or copy you and head down to Earth's general store(isn't that a great place?!) Thanks for educating me! I may be able to save this skin afterall:)

    And DEET...Aaaaahhhh,that's what I think of DEET,lol.

  2. Hi, Yes this isn't the first time I've heard that sunscreen is loaded with chemicals we really shouldn't be slathering ourselves with...especially frustrating when we are trying to protect our children. I personally don't wear any sunscreen, I wear floppy hats and long sleeves and long pants first thing in the spring and slowly build up my resistance moving into summer. I figure we in the northern hemisphere are so severely deficient to start with - a few weeks woth of sun will do me good. I am going to keep a look out for Earth's - somehow I have never noticed it in my travels...