Educate Yourself
Save 25% On Select Cleaning Products! Shop through April 30th with Promo Code NASEN14APR - Click To See All Products On Special FREE Ground Shipping On Any Order Of $150.00 Or More When Shipping Within The Contiguous U.S. - No Promotional Code Needed - Click for Details Join the National Allergy Subscriber Community (Click to See) Lots Of New Products! Click To See

Search Articles:

Ways and Benefits of Avoiding Harsh Chemicals At Home

Contest Winner Welcome to the August edition of the National Allergy E-Newsletter. This month I will continue our two-part series on the Ways and Benefits of Avoiding Harsh Chemicals At Home. Last month we focused on common household products, and offered some alternative options for many products we use every day. This month I will examine various personal care items - so read on to find out what questionable substances may be on the ingredients lists of your favorite bath and body products!

In This Month's Issue:

Katie Weaver & The National Allergy Newsletter Team

P.S. If you're new to the newsletter or you'd like to reread any of our newsletters, you can find all of our past issues on our website. In the coming months we'll have more educational articles about the aggravating factors behind allergy, asthma, and sinus problems as well as helpful tips and valuable subscriber-only coupons. To top it off, we're giving away an Austin Air HM-400 Air Purifier, valued at $449.99, to one lucky subscriber every month!


Part 2: More Ways & Benefits Of Avoiding Harsh Chemicals At Home

National Allergy Coupon

Why Should I Be Concerned?

As we explained last month, in part one of this series, our lives are more inundated with chemical exposure than we realize. Recent studies have linked exposure to various chemicals and compounds to everything from asthma to cancer. The latter of these health risks is a huge issue about which many of you may have concerns. However, our primary concern in this series is about the effects of chemicals on allergy and asthma sufferers. I will list some outside resources should you want to read further about other dangers associated with chemicals commonly found in personal care items.


Last month I gave you many commonly-found household chemicals to look out for, and some alternative product ideas. This month I will take a closer look at the ways we keep our skin and body looking and feeling healthy.

Are There Potentially Harmful Chemicals In My Personal Care Products?

Here are some substances commonly found in personal care items that could be harmful. This list is not intended to scare you, but to educate you on a few ingredients to look out for. In fact, according to the CDC, "a measurable amount of a compound in a person's body does not mean it causes disease or other damage." I have not listed every chemical that I read about in my research, but mainly those that negatively affect our general health, our skin or have irritating effects for asthmatics.

  • SLS (Sodium Lauryl Sulfate) is found in toothpaste, shampoo, dish soap, liquid hand soap, bubble bath, and some nutritional supplements. It dries out the lining of mouth (making it susceptible to canker sores), dries skin and causes it to flake and become rough.
  • Propylene Glycol is a humectant (which prevents drying out) used in deodorants, shampoos, conditioners, lotions and shaving gels. According to the American Academy of Dermatologists, this irritant causes a significant number of reactions, including skin dehydration and thickening of the skin, even at low concentrations (below 2%).
  • Aluminum Chlorohydrate is found in many anti-perspirants and prevents pores from perspiring. It is easily absorbed through the skin, particularly when the underarms have been recently shaved. In a 2004 clinical trial aluminum chlorohydrate was linked with higher risks of Alzheimer's.
  • Phthalates (plastic softener, solvent) have been making news recently. A recent study by Swedish researchers published in the journal Environmental Health Perspectives found that higher concentrations of phthalates were associated with symptoms of asthma, hay fever, and eczema. Phthalates are found in hair spray, deodorant, nail polish, hair gel, mousse, hand lotion, body lotion, and perfume, as well as children's toys and PVC plastic. Unfortunately, they're rarely listed on ingredient lists. In addition to asthma and eczema, phthalates have also been shown to damage the liver, kidneys, lungs and reproductive system.
  • Mineral Oil makes skin feel soft and smooth and is found in liquid foundations, blush, skin creams and baby oil. Ironically, mineral oil, a derivative of petroleum, can also dehydrate skin by inhibiting oils you produce naturally.
  • Fragrances (synthetic) are used in most personal care products unless labeled as truly fragrance free, or only using natural essential oils for fragrance. Synthetic fragrances are made up of hundreds of chemicals.
  • Formaldehyde (preservative, fixative, disinfectant) is found in shampoo, nail care, cosmetics. Formaldehyde can irritate the respiratory system, cause skin reactions and weaken the immune system.
  • Coal tar dye is most commonly used in D&C Blue #1, Green #3, Yellow#5, Yellow #6, Red #33, and phenylenediamine. It is found in shampoos, especially dandruff shampoos, bubble bath, toothpaste and hair dyes. Coal tar dye can cause severe allergic reactions, asthma attacks, headaches, nausea, fatigue, nervousness, and lack of concentration.
  • Alcohol acts as a solvent and is found in mouthwash, astringents and facial cleansers, as well as some toothpaste. The National Cancer Institute (4/22/91) cites alcohols in this context as implicated in mouth, tongue and throat cancers (women have 90% higher risk; men have 60% higher risk than non-mouthwash users). Used on skin, alcohol strips away natural protecting oils, and when ingested, may cause body tissues to be more vulnerable to carcinogens. Damaged skin generally takes 24 hours to repair itself.

What Are Some Safe Alternatives To Chemical-containing Products?

People sensitive to chemicals do have other options. Fortunately, safe, non-toxic products are more commonly available these days. Here are a few skincare and personal care products that we have identified to keep your body safe. For more information about skin care and allergy-related skin conditions, refer to our January 2005 Newsletter.


Skincare Hair & Body
  • Combine A1 Cup lemon juice with Aý cup water and rinse your hair for a natural alternative to chemically-laden hair dyes and highlights. A little time in the sun will activate the lemon juice's bleaching properties.
  • Free & Clear Hair Care products, from the makers of Vanicream are also free from potentially harmful chemicals. The line includes Shampoo and Conditioner, Hairspray, and a gentle Liquid Cleanser.
  • Naturally Fresh Deodorant uses only pure mineral salts. It contains no perfumes, alcohols or aluminum, and it won't block your pores. It comes in stick, roll-on and spray forms.
  • A few drops of hydrogen peroxide mixed with baking soda makes a super cleansing toothpaste. Use this formula about once every 2 weeks as a natural tooth cleaner and whitener.
  • For daily use, Biotene Toothpaste is doctor-recommended for dry mouth relief. It contains no sodium lauryl sulfate so it is gentle on mouth tissues, as are the rest of Biotene's dental products.

Could My Home's Water Supply Be Exposing Me To Unwanted Chemicals?

One of the biggest chemical culprits in our homes is chlorine in our water. However, as I researched the prevalence of chlorine and other chemicals in the water, I was presented with a great irony. For developing nations and those in disaster situations, such as the tsunami victims in Asia, the presence of chlorine in their water is perhaps their greatest life-saver because it disinfects from harmful organisms. However, the extent to which those in certain developing nations are exposed to chlorine through drinking water and showers is minimal compared to those of us in developed nations who may experience more serious levels of exposure. In fact, scientific studies have linked chlorinated water to potentially harmful by-products that can, over time, contribute to such health-threatening conditions as cancer of the bladder, liver, stomach and colon. Heart disease, high blood pressure and allergies have also been linked to chlorine.


Drinking Water
Our bodies are 70% water and must be replenished daily, so drinking good quality water is very important. Many counter-top and under-sink filters are available to remove chlorine and other irritants. In addition to the presence of chlorine, recent research has also shown noticeable levels of various other types of chemicals in drinking water. Sometimes called "emergent contamination", this new class of substances showing up in our drinking water includes traces of pharmaceuticals, personal care products, as well as industrial run-off from farms and factories. The effect of these contaminants is unknown, and the amounts are so small that any problems would probably manifest from consistent long-term exposure. If you'd like to read further about the "emerging" contaminants in U.S. water supplies, a more thorough article by The Academy of Natural Sciences is available through this link:

Shower Water
Many people use installed or counter-top water filters to minimize their exposure through drinking water. In-home water filtration not only contributes to good health, but it helps the environment and our budgets because we're not buying and disposing of hundreds of bottles of water each month. What many people may not know about chlorine exposure is that half of it occurs in the shower. Unfiltered shower water can double exposure to chlorine by absorption through the skin and by inhalation of chlorine vapors. Chlorine vaporizes in hot shower water and is inhaled into the lungs, then transferred into the blood stream.


Because of this absorption process and its potentially harmful effects, we recommend shower water filters such as the Sprite Royale Handheld Filter, which minimizes exposure to chlorine, as well as other potentially dangerous chemicals that have been found in the water supply. The further benefits of such filters are softer hair and smoother skin.


If you are concerned about what, if any, other substances may be in your home's water, visit the EPA's "What's In My Water" site for specific information on your town or county's water supply. For those who have well water, the EPA's website offers information so you can find out more about possible chemicals, metals or other substances in your water.


The topic of water purification is an extremely broad one that we can only touch on in this article. Equally far reaching is the general subject of chemical avoidance. So many household elements have implications for our readers that we needed two articles to tackle the topic! I truly hope this month's tips and information, combined with last month's newsletter, have helped you discover some ways to reduce your exposure to potentially harmful substances.

This information is for educational purposes only. Always consult with your doctor first about your specific condition, treatment options and other health concerns you may have.


If you have additional questions about the content in this newsletter, email us at or call one of our phone experts at 1-800-522-1448.


This Month's Exclusive Offers - Expire 9/12/2005

Free Bath & Body Travel Pack With Personal Care Product Purchases over $15!
  Save 10% On The All New Anti-Allergen Solution Products!

Free Bath & Body Travel Pack With Personal Care Product Purchases over $15!


Save 10% On The All New Anti-Allergen Solution Products!

Chemical-free living starts with caring for your own body. Choose from a variety of hair products, all-natural Lip Protection, Vanicream products, plus our selection of dental care products from Spry and Biotene! The Travel Pack includes .5-oz. trial sizes of Shampoo, Conditioner, a Cleansing Bar, Skin Care Lotion and Skin Care Lite Lotion.   If you suffer from dust and pet allergies, the all-natural Anti-Allergen products are for you. The Home Treatment Spray works on furniture and carpet, Pet Shampoo softens petsA› fur and skin and renders allergens harmless! The ultra-concentrated Laundry Detergent completely denatures allergens so they don't affect you!

To take advantage of the offers in this newsletter, be sure to subscribe by clicking here. After confirming your subscription, you will have an opportunity to read the current newsletter complete with the promotional codes.


Help Your Friends

People you care about can benefit from allergen avoidance. Help them learn more about minimizing the allergens in their environment by forwarding them this issue of the National Allergy E-Mail Newsletter. They'll thank you for it!

Send This Page to a Friend

Short On Time? Sign up for our National Allergy Insider Alerts. We'll periodically send brief emails about new products, special sales and coupons. Insider Alerts help you save time and money! Click here to see a sample.

The National Allergy E-Mail Newsletter is © 2005 National Allergy Supply, Inc. All Rights Reserved. No part of this Newsletter may be reproduced in whole or in part without written permission.

All trademarks not owned by National Allergy Supply, Inc. or its subsidiaries that appear in this newsletter are the property of their respective owners, who may or may not be affiliated with, connected to, or sponsored by National Allergy Supply, Inc. or its subsidiaries.

If you're receiving this but you are not subscribed, sign up on our website to receive your very own copy of our newsletter.

National Allergy Supply, Inc.
1620-D Satellite Blvd.
Duluth, GA 30097