Reprotoxins - what's lurking in your favourite products?
Updated: Apr 25, 2022
What's a reprotoxin you ask? It's a chemical which has a toxic effect on the process of reproduction.
Some of you may have recently been made aware of Olaplex No. 3, which is a popular brand in haircare, containing a fragrance ingredient linked to fertility issues.
The ingredient is called Lilial and it's a synthetic fragrance, listed in this picture are some other names it can go by which can be found in other popular brand's of laundry products, air fresheners, cosmetics & a variety of personal care products. Brands use this fragrance chemical because it smells like lilly's.
Now here is the concerning factor - not only can this fragrance have the potential to cause risk to fertility but it may harm unborn babies & increase the risk of miscarriage ultimately classifying it as a reprotoxin.
This particular product has a very small concentration but with regular use, the risk increases. Olaplex has not been banned but they have confirmed they will be excluding lilial from now on... well good for them but how was it even allowed in their product in the first place?!
Bath & Body works products are not recommended to use while pregnant... BY THE BRAND!!! Indicated right on their safety data sheet it reads "suspected of damaging fertility or the unborn child" and "may cause damage to organs through prolonged or repeated exposure." WOW. So they are fully aware of the harms and potential damage their ingredients possess BUT instead of removing them, they just place a disclaimer on their website to keep them from getting sued! It actually blows my mind.
You can read this warning directly on their website:
Questions I am constantly asking myself are – how are ingredients like this not banned? Where are the restrictions & laws which should prohibit brands from using these ingredients? Well quite simply, these laws & restrictions don't exist.
Shanna Swan, an environmental and reproductive epidemiologist at Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai in New York, finds that sperm counts have dropped almost 60% since 1973. Following the trajectory we are on, Swan’s research suggests sperm counts could reach zero by 2045!
Now think about that for a minute... no more pregnancies, no more babies!
A scientific study in the US found phthalate exposure “widespread” in infants, the chemicals were found in the urine of babies with absorption from baby shampoos, lotions and powders. Why is there not more attention being drawn to this? Because of lobbying by chemical industry giants... that's why.
These chemical reprotoxins can often be found throughout our households – phthalates, PFAS, PCBs, alkyphenol, ethoxylate, bisphenol compounds, and organohalogen flame retardants.
PFAS harm sperm production, they disrupt the male hormone and ultimately “reduction of semen quality, testicular volume and penile length” according to Swan's research. These chemicals are literally confusing our bodies & hormones and ultimately causing irreversible damage.
Scary facts I know and it gets worse – this is a global problem, no country or region on earth is untouched by PFAS contamination. PFAS have been found everywhere in the world, it's present in the bodies of every human, it’s found in fish, birds and animals of all kind.
Now to expand this awareness, we need to focus on endocrine disrupters as well, which are man made chemicals that negatively effect our endocrine system which includes hormone producing glands & overall hormone production. This system includes:
Endocrine disruptors inhibit body processes by mimicking hormones, blocking hormones, interfering with hormone production and affecting hormone receptors and you'll find some of the above culprits in detergents, cosmetics, furniture, building materials and fabrics so it's very important to wash or strip new clothes before wearing them!
Here's a list of the top Endocrine Disruptors to watch out for:
Plasticizers (ie. Phthalates, BPA)
The first step to eliminating these toxins from our families lives is acknowledging that they exist and recognizing them. We are constantly reminding parents to read ingredient lists but some of these items won't be listed – ie. apples don't come with a list of pesticides they have been sprayed with and that sun hat you just picked up for your little one doesn't have a list of flame retardants it's been sprayed with either. It's up to us to understand that these toxins are part of life, and that we will not always be made aware that products contain them! It's up to us to demand change for ourselves and our children and this is also a topic that needs to be talked about, so spreading awareness is important. Change starts when we start speaking up.
To start, take a peak at your cleaning products, then your makeup/skincare and then move to the kitchen & ditch those plastic containers & scratched up frying pans. Then make a vow to you and your family to purchase cleaner products as well as...
ALWAYS READ INGREDIENT LABELS!
Because even if a product is labelled "organic" or certified by a third party, these labels are often paid for in this country. Europe, however, has laws and restrictions in place, banning certain ingredients from entering into products. Hence why we 100% trust, promote & sell European made.
Health is wealth and it starts with understanding & taking action.