Toxins Impacting the Brain

toxins are impacting your brain and you may not even be aware of how much damage they're doing.

Happy Friday! :) I can't believe September is almost over. It feels like the year has just FLOWN by!! I wanted to do a short post on some of the toxins in our everyday products that can impact our brains. Your brain literally controls everything in your body from autonomous breathing to remembering the directions to your friend's house. It's super important to keep the brain healthy. We've heard of certain foods to boost brain function, such as salmon and leafy greens. But if you're using everyday products with toxic ingredients in them, you still risk impaired brain function. Here are a couple common toxic ingredients that can contribute to neurotoxicity (aka damage to the brain).

Phthalates are in a lot of products. They are used in some plastics as a softener to make them less rigid. They are also commonly found in products that contain fragrances, as phthalates help fragrances "stick" and last longer. Aside from being carcinogenic and contributing to hormone imbalances, phthalates have been associated with lower IQ levels in children. Pregnant women especially should watch out for products containing phthalates since it can impact brain development in developing fetuses. 

Fragrance is a blanket term used to mask a bunch of chemicals that are not required to be disclosed in ingredient lists. Since we aren't required to know what these ingredients are, most of them are likely toxic to us on some level. A lot of fragrance particles are so small that they can cross the blood brain barrier, which can contribute to learning disabilities and mood and behavior disorders. Some studies have even found that fragrances can reduce cognitive ability.

Pesticides and Herbicides: 
Pesticides and herbicides are among the most toxic chemicals to humans. They are commonly found in cleaning products that are labeled antibacterial and antiviral as they are designed to kill germs. Any products that are designed to kill germs have ingredients that the EPA classifies as pesticides. Pesticides, you guys!! The thing that you normally spray outside to kill weeds are likely hiding in your cleaning products!! Studies have shown that pesticides and herbicides impact the brain by lowering IQ levels, they can contribute to learning disabilities, and some studies show a direct link to neurologically-based illnesses such as ALS and Parkinson's.

Some preservatives in products can be linked to neurotoxicity, more specifically any ingredient from the isothiazoline family. Methylisothiazolinone (MIT) and benzisothiazolinone (BIT) are common skin irritants and registered pesticides that can contribute to neurotoxicity. Phenoxyethanol is another preservative that has found to impact the brain, hormones, and skin and eyes. 

Whew, these are scary!! When we're aware of what we're using every day and pay attention to the ingredients list, it becomes more and more apparent that we should be choosing safer alternatives. We don't have to compromise our health by using products with these ingredients in them. If you'd like to chat more about some alternatives, let me know! I have plenty of some of my favorites that are clean, effective, and safe to use. Have a great weekend!! :)
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