Reality Check: Microorganisms-R-Us

None of these passed my inspection

Not that I was totally surprised by this, but I Didn’t find any shampoo and conditioner at the TJ Maxx that passed my personal safety standards for toxins. And these are also to my knowledge the standards of California and Europe. All the products I looked at contain ingredients that I would definitely not want to rub on myself on a regular basis. It shouldn’t be hard to find simple bath, hair products and cosmetics that aren’t packed with suspicious ingredients, including known carcinogens. It’s funny science is cherry-picked or ignored in this category.

Many ingredients in these large department stores baffle me, like certain preservatives, because the shampoo doesn’t need to last for an eternity! (Plastic too – oops!) They need to move product off the shelves anyway.

Tonight’s most baffling moment was when I saw an ingredient called DMDM hydantoin on a sleek bottle. I look things up — I’m a conscious interested shopper. And I found out right away with my handy smartphone that DMDM hydantoin Is a formaldehyde releaser. It’s an anti-microbial and also a known carcinogen. Lots of personal products still contain known carcinogens. Pay attention and do a little research – that’s my unsolicited advice. There’s almost always a simpler healthier alternative. I walked out of there without shampoo and conditioner, but the good news is that I can buy my regular brand with all recognizable ingredients from Trader Joe’s.

The seeming prevalence of cancer is no surprise given the proliferation of products with irresponsible ingredients to say the least. As I said before, California and Europe are better about regulating. In my opinion these decisions whether to include possibly toxic ingredients or not should be a no-brainer for the manufacturer. To be fair though alcohol is toxic but people seem to Love the awful side effects. So then, it’s also a decision for the consumer, because the ingredients are clearly listed on the labels of packaged products.

For my part, I would rather keep my consumption to what I know is nourishing and works well. Environmental improvement is a large issue, yet these are relatively easy decisions that affect my personal environment and health.

The issue with using a lot of antibacterial and anti-microbials and trying to wipe out microorganisms is that we need them, and they are part of us and balanced biosystems and ecosystems. Most microorganisms are harmless, if not beneficial. Gut health has been a hot topic lately for this reason — Because antibacterials and anti-microbials have been overused in products *and foods.* Fighting things is increasingly showing to be futile. And it’s no wonder people have strange food allergies and are getting cancer when suspect substances are proliferating through products designed for everyday use. It’s all well and good to find cures but root causes also have to be addressed.

TJ Maxx is not alone among department stores in not currently passing the bath product inspection — I really enjoy that store though for other things. One has to pay a bit of attention at grocery stores too, depending on which one. Overall, when it comes to something I eat or rub on my skin, I am choosy. I mean, why add any formaldehyde to the mix? California says no to that, and also in furniture too.

I found out this information tonight about DMDM, for one, by typing some of the multi syllabic words on the bottle into Google, followed by a face palm. I’m posting this not to alarm but inform— I just feel like it’s important to point out that product choice is a controllable preventative health factor, that one could act on without having to wait for manufacturing (or adaptation…?) to catch up. Things will have to improve though and there are plenty of healthier choices out there without much price difference.

Published by sarah ikerd

@sarah.ikerd / owner

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