Breast Cancer Awareness, Day 29

We come into contact with hundreds (thousands?) of toxins every day, in what we eat and drink, what we wear, what we breathe, where we sleep, where we work, where we play, what we apply to our skin, and so on and on.

It is impossible to avoid all of them. It would be maddening to try to avoid all of them. So you need to decide which are do-able, or which are important to you.

In most cases, choosing healthy alternatives costs more up front but less in the long run than less healthy alternatives. Healthy is often less convenient, based on the conventional definitions of convenience. (Keep in mind here that “convenience” is subjective…) But changes in mindset and changes in habits can easily leave you with a life with fewer exposures to carcinogenic materials. Less exposure is better, right?

One website that I have found to be an excellent resource is Environmental Working Group ( They have databases of various categories of consumable products, giving grades of each based on the toxicity of ingredients. The ingredients are listed out with explanations of what the issues are with each.

(EWG’s work is not perfect, but they remain a great resource, especially for people who don’t know what all of the ingredients are in their shampoo, sunscreen, moisturizer, etc.)

In my opinion, there is too much stuff out there that is really bad for your body. The vast majority of it is unregulated (see: cosmetics industry), so corporations can put just about anything they want in their products.

It is wise to take caution in at least some aspects of life. I personally use alternatives for many things that I have control over, knowing that there are so many remaining where I don’t have control, or where I choose not to avoid.

What is the most surprising “that’s not good” tidbit that you’ve picked up anywhere that has led to a change in your behavior? I’ll start: particleboard/pressboard is a major contributor to indoor pollution and offgasses formaldehyde. So we’ve stopped buying particleboard furniture. Not that we buy a lot of furniture, but we looked for a desk for a long time before we found a nice, affordable solid wood desk. (Consignment!)

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