Start a Healthy Tradition this Earth Day: Tips from Topical BioMedics on How to Detox the Family Medicine Cabinet

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Many people are not aware that toxins lurk in everyday health and beauty aids, and put their families' health at risk. Topical BioMedics offers tips to help consumers celebrate Earth Day 2013 by detoxing and “greening up” their medicine cabinets.

Keep your family safe by detoxing and "greening up" your medicine cabinet and replacing toxic health and beauty aids with their chemical-free counterparts

The best way to diminish exposure to toxic chemicals commonly found in commercial health and beauty products is to look for ones that are organic or that contain pure ingredients.

Many families are surprised to learn that common household health and beauty aids contain toxins that expose children and adults to harmful chemicals. Other hazards include outdated prescription medications, such as antibiotics, as well prescription and over- the-counter pain pills and cough/cold/flu medicines that have harmful side effects.    

Topical BioMedics, Inc., headquartered in Rhinebeck, NY, encourages consumers to celebrate Earth Day 2013 by detoxing and “greening up” their medicine cabinets. This family-friendly “makeover” can be achieved by replacing toxic products with their safe, natural counterparts.

Many people are not aware that toxins lurk in such every day health and beauty aids as: toothpaste; shampoo, conditioner, and other hair care products; deodorant; aftershave, perfume, and cologne; skin cleansers and cosmetics; bath products; nasal sprays and over-the-counter cold and flu remedies; and over-the-counter pain relief products. Unfortunately, there are no warning labels on these everyday items to alert consumers to the dangerous chemicals they harbor. This is troublesome since skin is the body’s largest organ, readily absorbs anything applied to it, then sends it moving throughout the entire system. Another alarming fact is that the National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health found that of all the chemicals used in cosmetics, nearly 900 are toxic. In fact, approximately 450 ingredients commonly used in the U.S. are banned from cosmetic use in Europe.

The best way to diminish exposure to toxic chemicals commonly found in commercial health and beauty products is to look for ones that are organic or that contain pure ingredients. There are a growing number of “cleaner/greener” products available in the marketplace, and mainstream manufacturers are also jumping on the go-green bandwagon. But beware of chemicals disguised by deceptive marketing speak—particularly the word “natural.” This adjective can be used liberally and without guidelines. Therefore a product that claims to be “natural” may contain one or two botanical ingredients, but still harbor large quantities of synthetic chemicals and preservatives.

The solution? Read labels. They’ll tell consumers everything they need to know, and list ingredients from the highest concentration to the lowest.

Here’s a rundown of the most common toxins that should be avoided.    
--Sodium Lauryl Sulphate (SLC). This industrial degreaser and garage floor cleaner is also used in toothpastes, shampoo, and many personal cleansing products. It is a suspected liver or gastrointestinal toxicant and sometimes causes eye and skin irritation, hair loss, and allergic reactions, and thought to be a contributing cause of cataracts.    
--Propylene glycol (PG). Used in makeup, hair care products, deodorant, aftershave, and toothpaste, this wetting agent and solvent is also the main ingredient in antifreeze and brake fluid.     
--Polyethylene glycol (PEG). Found in skin cleansers, PEG is a relative of PG, and is a caustic that’s used to dissolve grease and is found in oven cleaners.
--Formaldehyde. This highly toxic substance can be found in bubble bath, shampoos, moisturizing lotions, and various other cosmetics.
--Parabens (methyl, propyl-, butyl- and ethyl). These are widely used to inhibit microbial growth, disinfect products, and extend their shelf life. Usually derived from petrochemical sources, they are extremely toxic, easily absorbed by the skin, and have been linked to severe health issues and diseases.
--Stearalkonium Chloride. A compound originally developed as a fabric softener, this inexpensive ingredient is used in many commercial skin creams and hair conditioners.
--Phthalates. Found in numerous health and beauty aids, these plasticizers can disrupt hormones, causing birth defects and wreaking other health havoc.
--Artificial fragrance and synthetic perfumes. Roughly 200 different chemicals fall under this category. Some problems related to them include headaches, dizziness, hyper-pigmentation, coughing, vomiting, and skin irritation.
--Talc: A carcinogen and lung irritant, found in body powders—including baby powder—cosmetics, and other products.


Important advice: do not swallow toothpaste. Each tube of fluoride toothpaste—even those specifically marketed for children—contains enough fluoride to kill a child. And as of April 7, 1997, the United States Food & Drug Administration (FDA) required that all fluoride toothpastes sold in the U.S. carry this poison warning on the label:    "WARNING: Keep out of reach of children under 6 years of age. If you accidentally swallow more than used for brushing, seek professional help or contact a poison control center immediately."

Between 1989 and 1994, Poison Center Control records included 12,571 reports of people who had ingested excess toothpaste. Fortunately, there have been very few toothpaste-induced fatalities reported in the U.S.    

Other potential problems with fluoride toothpaste include gastric problems, and ingestion may also damage the lining of the gastrointestinal tract.

Deodorants and antiperspirants:
Everybody likes to feel fresh, clean, and odor free—which is why there is a massive market for antiperspirants and deodorants. While both are applied under arms, there is a difference between the two—and neither one is particularly healthy. Antiperspirants are chemicals that block the pores and restrict perspiration, while deodorants contain antiseptic properties that kill the bacteria that causes odor while allowing perspiration to occur.

Sweating is nature’s way of lowering the temperature of body. Using an antiperspirant which prohibits wetness by blocking the pores is not ideal, and the aluminum compounds they contain are also not healthy. Research indicates that regular use of antiperspirants may increase the danger of breast cancer. Additionally, their aluminum compounds get absorbed into the blood stream and build up in the brain, which may contribute to Alzheimer’s disease.

Deodorants are not a safer choice as they contain parabens, which are also believed to cause breast cancer.

The safest way to control odor and perspiration is with products that contain natural ingredients, such as baking soda, hops, mineral salts, and herbs and flowers like chamomile, sage, geranium, and lavender.

Nasal Sprays:
Millions of Americans deal with chronic sinus problems, suffering from headaches, facial pain, and clogged nasal passages. Many turn to over-the-county decongestant nasal sprays for speedy relief--a couple of squirts can shrink swollen tissues in moments, and with some sprays, a single dose works for as long as 12 hours.

But the relief they provide comes at a price: possible side effects plus the risk of rebound congestion caused by overuse and—for some—a vicious cycle of overuse and dependence that becomes an addiction.

The healthy alternative: nasal saline irrigation, a very effective, beneficial therapy that uses a salt and water solution. Neti pots are popular for do-it-yourselfers, and there are also a number of chemical-free saline sprays on the market.

Saline solutions restore moisture to dry nasal passages and sinuses and lessen the inflammation of mucous membranes—without side effects or risk of rebound congestion or addiction. When used regularly, saline irrigation can help thin mucus, decrease postnasal drip, and cleanse nasal passages of bacteria. It also improves breathing, and may reduce the need for antihistamines.

Store shelves are filled with chemical-based pills for relieving the aches and pains of life, from headaches to arthritis. But these brand-name bottles and their generic counterparts are hazardous to our health. According to medical reports, the most common active ingredients and their hazards include:    
--Acetaminophen: known to be the leading cause of liver failure in the US
--Ibuprofen: known to cause kidney damage and failure and increases the risk of heart attack and stroke
--Naproxen Sodium: has a possible link to Alzheimer’s Disease in the elderly and an increased risk of cardiovascular events.

Chemicals painkillers do more harm than good and place our health at risk—and these risks grow every time they are taken.

Pain serves a very important purpose: it’s a vital signal from the body alerting us to the fact that something is wrong, it wants to fix it, and needs some assistance.

“Using chemical pain pills that contain such toxic active ingredients as acetaminophen or ibuprofen, or topical ointments with menthol, camphor, and other counter-irritants, does absolutely nothing to promote healing,” says Lou Paradise, president and chief of research of Topical BioMedics, Inc. and inventor of the company’s Topricin line of natural pain relief and healing products. “The chemicals in pills actually shut the healing process down and mask the symptoms. So the problem is still there – you just can’t feel it.”

Counter-irritants found in many “hot,” “cold,” and greasy, smelly ointments—such as capsaicin, camphor, and menthol—also shut down the pain signal while introducing toxins to the body.

The body wants to maintain healthy cells, so when cells are damaged the pain signal is triggered. In order for healing to begin the body needs help removing excess fluids and toxins from the affected area, such as joints, nerves and muscles. This takes the pressure off the micro-capillaries so that oxygen-rich blood can then flow into the area, maximizing healing and shutting off the pain signal.

“My goal in creating Topricin was to relieve pain by enhancing the body’s innate ability to heal itself,” says Paradise. “Topricin contains a combination of 11 natural medicines that work by first stimulating the lymphatic system to drain toxins and fluids from the affected area and returning oxygen rich blood flow to the cells for maximum repair and healing. It has been shown to reduce the need and/or dependency on all classifications of oral pain medications, not just OTC but also prescription drugs.”

Go Green and Eco-Friendly
By switching to natural versions of chemical-laden health, beauty, and first aid products, consumers will reduce the number of products and streamline their medicine cabinet, making it healthier, greener, and more eco-friendly.

Topical BioMedics is the research and development leader in topical regulated natural biomedicines for pain relief. The company’s flagship product, Topricin® Pain Relief and Healing Cream, was introduced in 1994 and is now a leading natural therapeutic brand. A combination homeopathic formula, Topricin has been awarded a patent for the topical treatment of pain associated with fibromyalgia and neuropathy.

All Topricin products are made in the U.S.A., formulated with approved medicines as found in the HPUS (Homeopathic Pharmacopoeia of the United States) and are in compliance with federal rules for homeopathic over-the-counter medicines. Safe for diabetics and pregnant and nursing women, the products contain: no parabens, petroleum or harsh chemicals, are odorless, greaseless and non-irritating, and produce no known side effects. Topricin has been selected one of the Top 100 Green Products of 2012 by Healthy Holistic Living.

Topricin is available in pharmacies, natural food stores and other fine retailers nationwide, including Whole Foods, Vitamin Shoppe, Vitamin World, Fred Meyer, Wegmans, and other retail stores throughout the U.S., as well as direct from the Topical BioMedics’ online store. For more information visit Find Topricin on Facebook and follow Topricin on [email protected]

Environmental Working Group
Campaign for Safe Cosmetics
National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health
Guide to Less Toxic Products
TLC: How Stuff Works
The Daily Green Chemistry

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Patricia Martin
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