Chemicals in Everyday Things


Sydney Scanlon

Essential Oils are the botanical extracts that come in a variety of scents.

Sydney Scanlon, Alumni Editor

It seems that nowadays, every item has been injected with a multitude of genetically modified organisms (GMOs), chemicals and toxins, all of which have possible dangerous consequences. The following is a list composed of everyday items used religiously and what ingredients are hazardous, along with a chemical-free replacement.

Deodorants and anti-perspirants are a staple in every American’s cabinet. For a good cause, antiperspirants halt sweating by blocking the pores and deodorants help put odors at bay. Aluminum is a metal found in antiperspirants to help block the pores. However, aluminum has been linked to Alzheimer’s disease and breast cancer. Parabens, which are synthetic preservatives, have also been found in deodorants and antiperspirants. They have been shown to lead to a plethora of complications, including early puberty, birth defects, hormonal cancers and organ toxicity. Lavilin is a popular and toxin-free deodorant that has been rated highly in the chemical-free stratosphere. It is rather expensive, so decide if it is worth it.

“Buying chemical free products not only benefits your health by helping you to avoid absorbing carcinogens, pesticides, or other chemicals present in most well known brand products into your body, but it also promotes a healthier earth-conscious lifestyle. These natural products not only work just as well as chemical-present products, but are usually also free of animal testing,” senior Raquel Braun said.

Dr. Bronner's Castile Soap is fair-trade and organic.
Sydney Scanlon
Dr. Bronner’s Castile Soap is fair-trade and organic. 

Body Wash:


A body wash’s purpose is to clean and purify your skin. However, most body washes are depositing more harmful chemicals on your skin than it is worth. Sodium Laureth Sulfate is one such common chemical. It has been shown to be carcinogenic and result in hair loss, irritation and corrosion of the skin. Dr. Bronner’s Castile Soap, a stellar, natural body wash that runs at only $6.69 per bottle, can be found anywhere from Target to Whole Foods and is the perfect organic and fair-trade replacement to your sodium laureate sulfate-laced soap.


Living in a city where the sun is always shining, no matter the season, it is essential to apply sunscreen, but one that is peppered with chemicals is doing more harm than good. Dangerous ingredients include para-aminobenzoic acid (PABA), oxybenzone and dioxybenzone, which can serve as hormone disruptors, carcinogens and ironically may lead to skin cancer. Look for a below-50 SPF sunscreen where the active ingredient is titanium dioxide. Beyond Coastal Natural Sunscreen Broad Spectrum SPF 30 is water resistant and safe for skin.

“Sunscreen is a product that the majority of us use on a daily basis, it is important to use chemical free sunscreen due to the damage that the chemicals can have on our skin,” junior Tesla Sullivan said.
Perfumes and body sprays allow for exotic scents to be sprayed all over the body and keep one smelling good. Perfumes, along with other products, contain fragrance. The term was created to help protect a company’s recipe and halt copyrighting. But it allows for companies to put virtually anything inside their bottles without the risk of being caught. A bottle usually contains parabens, phthalates (which are linked to unfavorable reproductive effects and liver and kidney damage), and synthetic musks, which are linked to hormone disruption. Perfume is generally sprayed onto pulse points allowing for fast and easy absorption into the bloodstream. Additionally, the spray can be inhaled resulting in respiratory defects. Essential Oils, which are 100% pure and therapeutic grade, can be found virtually anywhere, are safe, and often times last longer due to the lack of alcohol.

Chemicals are virtually everywhere in our lives. The repeated use and ingestion of these toxins have deathly side effects. The everyday products listed above are causing a continuos exposure to these chemicals. By transitioning over to the healthier side, you are improving your body and supporting mindful companies.