My world got turned upside down last night. Completely upside down.
I like to say that I run a tight ship at home. My kids are well behaved and clean (most of the time). My house is clean (most of the time). Dinner is cooked (almost) every night. I read the daily news both of-interest and not-of-interest articles, mostly on things I feel should be known for my well-being and the well-being of my family.
Last night, I read an article that turned my world upside down. How did I not know these things? It wasn’t a “Breaking News” story so the information had obviously been out there for some time. I felt dumbstruck after reading it.
Did you know antibacterial is a known carcinogenic? Did you know my awesome smelling air-fresheners are a known carcinogenic? Lavendar Fabuloso? Carcinogenic. My faux flawless skin AKA makeup? Carcinogenic. The revolutionary non-stick pans that I have become quite the chef with? Carcinogenic.
Here I am trying to be “Mom of the Year” by having antibacterial gel strapped onto my purse, the kids’ lunchboxes, backpacks, several in the car….I even contemplated getting some made with my work label on them to give out. I’m sure that would have went over big! “Here’s some cancer gel, I’d also love to sell your house!”. Oh. my. goodness. Panic has started to ensue in me at this point. The cool Spiderman and Avengers antibacterial soap I just bought the boys has carcinogens in it?! What have I done?
So, I’m thinking, okay, let’s rid the house of these things right? That’s easy. “Don’t panic, Angela, let’s think this through” my brain says. “You can’t undo what you’ve done but you can start tomorrow” (It’s 10 p.m. by this point and while I was reading this article I was also watching Liam Neeson’s ‘Unknown’ movie so I was emotionally drained by now. Stopping carcinogens in the house would clearly have to wait until tomorrow).
Remove antibacterial handsoap and gels? Sure, I can do that. But then what? What will we wash our hands with? Bar soap? What about when we’re in public and need a quick rinse? I guess we will be making more public bathroom visits. My budget is going to sigh a happy-sigh of relief that I will no longer feel the need to purchase Bath and Body Works’ expensive antibacterial soaps. YAY! One positive here.
Air fresheners, I count these as a simple pleasure/ luxury in my busy life. When I don’t have time to clean my house like crazy, I vacuum and turn on the Scentsy….now I see that I’m breathing in an amazingly scented carcinogenic chemical. Excellent. Now I’m starting to freak out again because here we are at the cleaners.
I tried the “green” cleaners before, when they first came out and they smelled like…um…I don’t even know what, but it wasn’t a pleasant smell. I specifically remember thinking to myself that I work hard all day and I work hard to clean my house so I want it to smell fresh. Back to the regular cleaners I went! Ugh. That was well over 8 years ago, I am so hoping that when I go to Walmart today they will have better options.
And do I wear makeup to Walmart? Yikes! This is what most freaks me out, personally and on a totally vain level. The stuff I’ve been putting on my skin religiously for several (I don’t want to age myself here) years has carcinogens in them? Is there even a makeup that doesn’t? I am so confused by all of this. Why is everyone not up-in-arms about all of this?!
I’m not going to lie. My husband and I have mocked people for spending more than double the price of ordinary food for “organic”. I have a feeling that I’m about to regret that when I look at the “green” items’ prices. I am just floored that these every day things are so harmful. I have a girlfriend who has two boys about my boys’ age. She is finishing her second bout with cancer in her short life. This time requiring a double mastectomy and a long treatment of chemotherapy. I know first hand that cancer doesn’t discriminate on age. The 16-year old me that made the poor decision to smoke cigarettes never imagined the 28-year old me that would have an amazing family and career to live for. I felt invincible then, I feel vulnerable now. Vulnerable to succumb to all of these things I’ve done my whole life that I never knew were harmful to me or my family in addition to the ones I did know where harmful but was “too cool to care”. Because cancer doesn’t discriminate, I definitely don’t want to put my family in any danger or higher-risk because of every-day items at home.
Today, I will start by purchasing “green” cleaners and a stainless steel cooking pan or two. (I’m really kicking myself for literally throwing away an entire set of stainless steel pans because they were difficult to clean prior to moving back to Texas.) I will also package up my newly bought Scentsy packs to put into gift baskets for people. That’s the trick though, so… “Here you go! Have my wonderfully scented cancer chemical blocks!” Yikes. I might re-think re-gifting those bad boys. Dang. But they smell soooo good.
I will also look into alternatives for hand soaps, makeup and the medicine cabinet and hope that the prices don’t give me a coronary. And of course, I am sharing this information with you. Do with it what you will. Here I thought I was on my “A-game” and I didn’t even know this stuff.
Here is the article to read with your own eyes that I have referenced this post off of: