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by author, natural beauty expert & cancer survivor Britta AragonRSS

12 Toxic Products—Here are My 12 Safer Alternatives!

By Britta Aragon on May 18, 2011 | 5 Comments

I recently posted a great article on Facebook and Twitter called “The Top 12 Cancer-Causing Products in the Average Home.” I wanted to share it with Cinco Vidas readers because it supports what I’ve been saying about every-day toxins and how they can affect our health. Simple products in the home that we may not suspect often contain potentially harmful or carcinogenic ingredients like talc, synthetic fragrance, dyes, formaldehyde, and skin irritants.

Here’s what a lot of you said in response: “Britta, thanks for sharing, but you didn’t give us any alternatives!”

Fair enough. You’re exactly right, so here’s that post you were asking for—safer alternatives to these 12 toxic products. Even if you replace only half of them in your home, you’re doing you and your family a favor. Every little step that helps reduce the toxic load on our bodies is worth the effort!

1. Talcum powder. It contains talc, which as I mentioned in a previous post, has been linked with ovarian cancer. Use ointment instead of powder for diaper rash, or try California Baby’s Calming Non-Talc Powder, and avoid perfumed genital sprays.

2. Cover Girl Replenishing Natural Finish Makeup (Foundation). This particular foundation contains BHA, talc, TEA, parabens, and fragrance. There are several foundations out there with the same potentially harmful ingredients, however, so it’s important to always read labels. The best step here is to shop for your makeup products at places that carry safer options, like those I mentioned in my post, “Where Do I Find Safer Products?

3. Crest Tartar Control Toothpaste. Several brands of toothpaste contain toxic ingredients like dyes, lead, and harsh sulfates. In fact, sulfates have been found in studies to encourage the formation of mouth sores. Choose instead safer brands like Tom’s of Maine and Herbal Choice.

4. Alberto V05 Conditioner. It’s really common to find potentially toxic ingredients in hair products. This particular conditioner contains formaldehyde, dyes, fragrance, and polysorbate 80 (which can be contaminated with the carcinogen 1,4-dioxane). Switch brands to safer options like Aubrey Organics and Avalon Organics.

5. Clairol Nice ‘n Easy Permanent Hair Color. Hair dyes, particularly the dark ones, contain several toxic ingredients. Studies have been conflicting, but researchers have found increased risk of follicular lymphoma in women who use them. Try Logona, a German product that makes dyes containing only 100 percent natural coloring, or Naturtint and Herbatint. Try to dye less frequently, and if you dye your hair yourself, be sure to wear gloves and protect your eyes.

6, 7, 8. Ajax Cleanser, Zud Heavy Duty Cleanser, & Lysol Disinfectant Spray. So many household cleansers and air fresheners contain toxic ingredients, but you don’t have to risk your health to have a clean house. Read my posts “More Tips for Safe Non-Toxic Housecleaning!“, “Toxin Alert: Household Cleaners & Air Fresheners Could Double Risk for Breast Cancer,” and “Make Your Own Non-Toxic Household Cleaners” for safer options.

9. Zodiac Cat & Dog Flea Collar. According to the article, this one contains “propoxur,” a carcinogenic ingredient. Try instead natural flea and tick solutions like Call of the Dog Natural Flea Protection, Earth Easy Household Flea Trap, or simply cover a lemon with boiling water, let it steep overnight, and then use the solution in a spray bottle on your pet to repel fleas. You can also use a mixture of sweet almond oil, lavender, and cedarwood in a water spray.

10. Ortho Weed-B-Gon Lawn Weed Killer. Several lawn and garden products contain dangerous pesticides that can have serious health consequences, especially for children. Reduce your exposure by avoiding pesticides in your home and choosing organic weed killers from brands like EcoSmart, Green Match, and Sure-Gro.

11. Beef Frankfurters. We joke about just what makes up a hot dog, but some brands contain really unsafe ingredients like benzene hexachloride and nitrites, which interact with meat amines to form carcinogenic nitrosamines. Try turkey dogs, Trader Joe’s all natural beef hot dogs, and look for “nitrite-free” on the label.

12. Whole milk. It can contain DDT, antibiotics, growth hormones, and other potential carcinogens. Simple solution—buy organic. It contains none of these ingredients. Even better—buy from a local dairy if you can, or make the switch altogether to almond or rice milk.

Do you have safer alternatives to these toxic products? Please share your ideas!

Photo courtesy Mon2011 via

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Posted in: Toxic Talk and Labels

5 Comments to “12 Toxic Products—Here are My 12 Safer Alternatives!”

  1. Great list! I’d also add:
    * look for toothpaste without Fluoride (you don’t need it and it’s toxic) – my favorite toothpaste is Weleda – they make 4 different kinds!
    * look for a deodorant without Aluminum or “Alum”. I use Zosimos deodorant and a little bit of baking soda
    * ditch the parfum – it’s full of 100s of toxic ingredients and hormone disruptors – try just a little essential oil

  2. Jada Lombard says:

    Thanks for another great post!! I just wanted to add that Pure Anada Natural Cosmetics out of Morden, Manitoba retails the absolute best natural, Vegan, cruelty free, mineral makeup on the market today. As a professional Freelance Makeup Artist, and having at my disposal lots of brands to choose from, Pure Anada is my absolute go to brand. If I wouldn’t put it on my skin, I don’t put it on my clients skin, so you know it’s got to be great stuff! Keep on educating, loving it!!!

  3. Herbatint is actually still quite toxic. I would avoid it. Plus I had a bad experience once which turned my hair orange!

    I’d also recommend A’kin and John Masters Organics for shampoo and conditioner.

    I wonder if a combo of orrisroot and arrowroot could work for a talc replacement? They work nicely as a dry shampoo!

    Love the blog, thanks for the info!

  4. adriana says:

    I like Natural Dentist as toothpaste and mouth rinse. I use Aubrey products as deodorant and hair conditioner.

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