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The SLN Blog

2 Ways to Keep Pets Safe this Holiday Season - Prevention is Key

 It is supposed to be the most-wonderful-time-of-the-year so don't ruin your holiday with a sick or even worse, dead, 4-legged family member. It’s easy to forget about our furry friends with all the excitement of family gathering together but it is critical to think about your pets safety ahead of time as many dangers can be avoided. A recent study from the East Midlands region of England found that 79 percent of vets said they saw at least one case of animal poisoning during the season last year.  Chocolate poisoning remains the most common cause of toxic ingestion at Christmas for dogs, with 72 percent of vets seeing at least one case. The study also found there was a spike in raisin or sultana poisoning over the past two years, with 52 percent vets reporting treating a case during last...

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Household Dust Contains a Cocktail of Toxic Chemicals

Our homes are supposed to be our safe havens but scientists have found just the opposite. Researchers analyzed 26 peer-reviewed papers, as well as one unpublished dataset, from 1999 onwards to examine the chemical make-up of indoor dust. The studies covered a wide range of indoor environments, from homes to schools and gymnasiums across 14 states. They published their findings in the Environmental Science and Technology Journal and their results were pretty shocking. The researchers highlighted 45 toxic chemicals in indoor dust, 10 of which were present in 90% or more of the dust samples – these included flame retardants, fragrances and phenols.Household dust that contain toxic chemicals have been linked to an increased risk of health problems, from cancer to infertility. Interestingly, researchers found that although very clean homes can cause allergies/asthma in children due to lack of exposure to microbes, there...

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Concern for Baby Products Goes Farther Than Baby Powder

I am pretty sure you have heard about the high-profile lawsuits focused around the possible link between baby powder and cancer. In particular, more than 4,800 women claim that using talcum-based baby powder for a long period of time for hygiene purposes caused them to get ovarian cancer and some have received significant retribution from Johnson and Johnson. Needless to say, researchers have been working hard to understand exactly the magnitude of health risk talcum-based powders may have on humans and since the science remains spotty, consumers are left to their own judgement whether to discontinue use - making the case for buying natural, organic baby products.Talcum powders contain talc, which consist of moisture-absorbing particles of oxygen, magnesium and silicon. Asbestos, a known carcinogen that sometimes appears in natural talc, was stripped from all commercially used talc in the 1970s,...

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Men, Upgrade Your Daily Routine with These Simple Swaps

I have asked the men in my life what are the key things they think about when buying personal products. The five determining factors they identified were: are quick and easy to apply  won’t irritate skin and cause a rash don’t have a overly strong or feminine scent won’t leave unwanted residue have natural, non-toxic ingredients How AWESOME is it that buying natural, non-toxic products is a key decision maker for men?? It looks like my job here is done, right? Hardly the case but we are on the right track.It’s so great that men are becoming more vocal about what they put on their bodies because many men’s products, including products marketed to teenage boys, contain a slew of unsafe chemicals of concern. Phthalates (used in fragrances) have been found in higher levels in men who use products like...

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10 Ways to Keep Hair Healthy During Any Season

For most of my life I switched up my hair care routine and products depending on which season I was in. However, once I changed my routine to include these 10 habits, my hair stayed healthy and manageable all year around! Like the saying goes “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.”Our hair can be temperamental like the weather but there are many solutions that will help maintain healthy, well-tamed hair. Here are 10 ways to keep hair healthy during any season.1. Eat More Healthy Fats and Protein – Healthy fats are essentially vitamins for our hair. Coconut, avocado, nuts, seeds and oily fish (if you aren’t vegan) are great for providing essential fatty acids to your hair to strengthen it from the inside out. In fact, you can tell if you are deficient in essential fatty acids if your...

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You’re Not 100% Plant-Based if Essential Oils Aren’t Part of Your Routine

'Tis the season for colds and flu, yippee! It is becoming more apparent that shifting your diet to eating more plant-based foods is known to improve overall health, but did you know that using key parts of plants in concentrated levels topically and via air diffusing can maximize these health benefits? Essential oils are great for boosting immunity and disinfecting surfaces and indoor air. Whether you use EO’s directly on your body, in a diffuser, or use them for cleaning you will enjoy the healing effects and natural scents that can improve mood and provide a safer way to deodorize your home. So, what exactly are essential oils? EO’s are concentrated, liquid plant extracts used for aromatic and wellness purposes. They are called “essential” because they contain the essence of a plant. Essential oils come from a variety of plant...

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Lucy, You’ve Got Some 'Splaining to Do!

Ladies, you are fine the way you are. Repeat this E-V-E-R-Y-D-A-Y. I am all for cause marketing but I have a bone to pick with how feminine products are being pushed. As mentioned in an older blog, The FDA regulates feminine deodorizing sprays, powders, washes, non-medicated douches, and most wipes as “cosmetics” and states they “Must not contain any poisonous or deleterious substance which may render it injurious to users under the conditions of use prescribed in the labeling." Read More: What's really in your feminine care and sexual health products? This looks great on paper however, the reality is it is extremely difficult to find an accurate list of ingredients for many of the feminine hygiene products on the market. I wonder why they make it so hard to find? <<insert face palm>> Women’s Voices for the Earth (WVE) has...

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Fall is Here! Add These Essential Oils to Your Cleaning Routine

Fall is a popular time to clean and re-arrange your home with autumn decorations and fall scents.  It is also a great time to think about adding Essential Oils to naturally clean and deodorize your home.  Essential oils have natural antibacterial properties that can kill bacteria on surfaces and in the air and are prefect for adding to your laundry in place of scented dryer sheets or to sanitize your kitchen and bathroom.  Also, using Essential Oils in a diffuser will clean air naturally and make your home smell amazing without all the toxic effects of synthetic fragrances. If you haven’t heard by now, synthetic fragrances are a no-no.  More than 95 percent of the chemicals in synthetic fragrances are derived from petrochemicals. These chemicals include: benzene derivatives, aldehydes, phthalates, and a bunch of other known toxins that are capable of causing cancer,...

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Rigorous Study Confirms Why Expecting Moms Should Avoid Fluoride

I am not an alarmist by any stretch of the imagination, but as a public health scientist I believe the precautionary measure is often times a better choice when science indicates a potential health threat. Being an informed citizen means that you remain aware of potential hazards that could affect the health of you and the ones you love, and to choose accordingly. In public health, to truly know the toxic effects of things comes at the expense of allowing human exposure to occur over time.  This means, in order to prove something is toxic, sometimes people have to be affected. Understanding and keeping tabs on environmental health research is critical to know when the precautionary measure should be taken. However, these decisions should always take into account risk vs. benefit. In a recent study, published in the journal of...

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What's really in your feminine care and sexual health products?

In the United States alone, women spend over $2 billion per year on feminine hygiene products but until recently, little research has existed on how chemicals in these products may affect a women’s health. It is refreshing to know that currently there is a lot of great work being done to detox feminine care products but, more work is needed to get safer, all natural products into the hands of every menstruating and/or sexually active woman.  Here is the science. Mucous membranes in the vagina and vulva rapidly absorb chemicals so when feminine products are used internally or externally, the chemicals in them WILL get absorbed. This is exactly why hormone replacements can be inserted vaginally resulting in raised blood hormone levels at a relatively quicker rate than hormones taken orally.  But, while rapid absorption may be needed for those...

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