It all started because someone on my support group website asked if there was a list of paraben-free products that we could use to minimize our cancer risks. (Which, when you think about it, is kind of hilarious. We have all already had cancer. Kinda feels like the horse is out of the barn on that one, but I do see the point.)
So, forgetting how impossibly fixated I can (will always) become on a topic (ask me anything about conjoined twins!) I fired up my Google fingers. And that was the end of the innocence. (Mine AND yours.)
Recently, a friend asked me how "clean" I've become in terms of products, and I told her that I was about 90% clean. However, I have thought about that question and realized I need to define the parameters before I can really make an estimate. Does that mean skin and cosmetics only? Does it mean skin, cosmetics, and hair care? Household cleaners?
Or, does it refer to how clean the products I choose to use are? I mean, there are products that loudly market that they're paraben-free, but are they using formaldeyhde? Am I using them? And while we're in the neighborhood, parabens happen to be about midway down on the list of "holy shit!" ingredients, despite all the bad press they get. So, exactly how clean are the products I've chosen since this Grail Quest began?
Further, because the Universe adores leaving bread crumbs, as opposed to making anything even the least bit simple, another friend had just given me a book called No More Dirty Looks, by Siobhan O'Connor & Alexandra Spunt. (Or, for brevity, my working title: Goddammit, I am Never Going to Get My Life Back, am I? For Shit's Sake, Nothing Can Just Be Easy....) Obviously, the Universe, which seems to like screwing with me a lot, was playing games with my head. Again. So, now I am again TOTALLY fixated on trying to find out what exactly is in the products we put on our bodies, into our air, and our environment, and how it affects (effects? I can never remember...) us. (Thanks a lot, Jojo.)
In my experience, any words that precede the phrase "for the kids" is bullshit. I've found that people who weild those words are usually trying to promote their own agenda, and if they use innocent, blinky-eyed children as living marketing materials, people respond. Well, they sort of have to, because who's the dick who won't do it "for the kids?" That said, I'm doing this for the kids. (Hahaha, no, I'm not, not really. But hahaha! How funny would it be if I said I was?.... *snort*...)
I'm doing this because I'm OCD that way, let's be honest. But realsies, I'm learning that it is important to know this shit, and be able to make choices about how hard I'm going to work to reduce the impact of these chemicals on me and my family. Partly, it's because I have a 12 year old daughter, and I am literally watching her develop into a woman, wondering if the crap she puts on her body, because I bought it and put it in the shower, is disrupting her hormonal levels. I see her every day and wonder how much damage I can spare her, and if it will save her from the bullshit I've been through. (I don't worry so much about my son, because he's not using these types of products as much. Or probably enough, but that's for another blog....) So, in a way, I'm doing it for the kid. (...hahaha.... still can't say it with a straight face....haha..) Hopefully, this information will be useful for all of you, and your kids. Some of what I've already learned is a little bit terrifying when it comes to what we've been putting on our babies, wiping on our boys' genitals, and having NO idea how harmful it can be. (Well, it smells so good! And the bottle/label/jar/tub is really pretty!) And then, we come out of the bathroom from giving our babies a bath, and read about how the average age of breast and testicular cancers is spiraling downward, and nobody knows why. (Facepalm.)
And, I'll hopefully be suggesting safe, reasonably priced and accessible, non-whackjob alternatives to all of this crap. There will be fun shit, too, that's not necessarily safety-related, like my vast (haha!) knowledge about nail stuff (which I owe almost entirely to my friend Anna, and her blog loodieloodieloodie.com.)
So, there you are. I am finally a blogger, I guess, and that's what my blog is about. Now I won't have to bore people who aren't interested, and will have people who are interested to discuss this obsession with. Win-win, non?