The Importance of Removing Toxins from Our Lives *Seventh Generation LiveStream Recap*

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Earlier this week I had the opportunity of sitting in on a livestream discussion with Deepak Chopra, Seventh Generation CEO John Replogle, and Breast Cancer Fund CEO Jeanne Rizzo.  The discussion focused on how petroleum-based ingredients found in everyday personal care, household cleaning, laundry and baby care products adversely affect our health.

Our family tries to live responsibly. We buy organic food when we can, I try to buy plant based, eco-friendly cleaning products, but we really haven’t ventured into the world of natural or plant based personal care products.

Go figure that the products that have the potential to greatly impact our health in the not too long run are the products that I really don’t a whole lot about.  To tell the truth, it can be pretty confusing to know what is safe and what is not simply by looking on the ingredients.

In a recent survey commissioned by Seventh Generation with 1,000 participants, Seventh Generation found that 50% of Americans, like me are/were unaware that many personal care, household cleaning, laundry and baby care products contains petroleum-based ingredients or petro-chemicals.

So, what is the big deal with petroleum-based ingredients? 

Petroleum based ingredients in products can disrupt hormones, “pretend” they are hormones, and act as steroids.  I’m not a scientist or an expert in the field so I couldn’t tell you if all petroleum based ingredients react with our bodies in this way, but what I learned in this webinar was enough to convince me that next time I shop I’m buying plant-based products.

Hearing from Breast Cancer Fund CEO Jeanne Rizzo that many of these petro-chemicals are absorbed through our skin and make themselves at home in our adipose (or fatty) tissues does not bode well.  She pointed out that these chemicals are, in part, responsible for the 50% increase in breast cancer since the 1940’s.  If that is not concerning enough, petro-chemicals in a mother’s body can be passed to baby through breastmilk.

It also makes you wonder when you learn that, while Europe has banned 1100 chemicals from personal care products the FDA has banned only 9.  What is going on???

Deepak Chopra noted that “we are actually responsible for the major illness of our time”.  We pour billions into medical research, but we are actually causing these diseases we are trying to solve.


What can we as consumers do about this?

Seventh Generation CEO, John Replogle noted “you can’t live a healthy life with a sick planet”.  And conversely, by protecting our own wellbeing we are taking care of the world.

This is about individuals, about consumers finding their voices.  Consumers need to demand a change from companies.  One of the most powerful ways we can do this is through social media.  We as consumers can politely let brands know that we are ready for a change.  We are informed consumers.  We would like to see petroleum based ingredients and other potentially harmful chemicals exchanged with plant based ingredients.

For those who can afford to do so, you can change your buying habits.  It may require a small amount of research, but seek out those brands and products that use plant based ingredients.

Jeanne Rizzo pointed out that changes are not going to happen first in the low income sector, but if those who can make the investment to buy safe and organic, eventually the store brands will follow suit and remove the toxins from their products. Vote with your dollars.

As a consumer, as a parent, and as a steward of my own body I found this webinar very compelling.  When my husband came home that night I told him all about what I’d learned.  Together we agreed that it was important for us and our family to make healthier choices about the non-food products we consume.  I’ll be seeking out healthier alternatives next time I shop.

What are your thoughts about all this?  Do you think it is important to use products free of these chemicals? 

(P.S. I’m not a judgemental person. I really am just seeking an open discussion on this. :))

Also, I’m including an infographic at the end of this that illustrates the results of the survey commissioned by Seventh Generation.

America's Concern with Toxins in our cleaners and personal care products

 Disclosure: I was not asked to write this post, nor have I been or will I be compensated in any way for this post.  I simply thought it was an important topic to write about.


About Amy @ Oh So Savvy Mom

Amy is mom to three, wife to one, and a sister and aunt to many. Her family is a former military family now settled in Lehi, Utah. Oh So Savvy Mom began as a way for Amy to share parenting and product advice with others. Just as she has evolved, Oh So Savvy Mom has evolved into a resource for Healthy Living for Families, Food, Parenting, and Family Travel.


  1. Wow!i can't believe it's responsible for 50% increase in cancer, you would think that if these chemicals are that bad for us they would ban them. I do the same I try to buy organic as often as I can and buy green cleaning products but I never thought to look at our soup, shampoo, lotions etc.definitely going to be replacing everything tomorrow on my shopping trip thanks for the eye opener
    • I doubt it is completely responsible for the increase in breast cancer, but... You would think the FDA would ban them, but I've learned better about the FDA. Big companies with a lot of money have a lot of power and a lot of sway. It is our responsibility as consumers to tell those big companies what kind of sway they should have. :)
  2. scary!
  3. Richard Hicks says
    The thing about chemicals is that they must be used responsibly. GIven the chance I do buy products like seventh generation because they are often just as effective or more.
    • I totally agree. It is amazing the use scientists and chemical engineers have come up with for various chemicals and compounds. We just need to make sure that these things aren't really harming us in the long run. Sometimes it is better safe than sorry.
  4. brandi cranston says
    Chemicals and the quickly rising rates of childhood diseases is the main reason we chose to cloth diaper our little one. It's completely absurd to me why governments allow these types of dangerous chemicals to be used in the general population.
    • Amen! Simply the amount of chemicals we are exposed to over a lifetime is alarming. Unfortunately for Americans, our government is a little behind the times on chemical and potential toxin regulation.
  5. Jessica Beard says
    This is scary! I try to buy as many plant based products as possible and use natural lotions and shampoos on my son. To be honest, I could do better with it.
  6. Mike W Davis says
    Wow-- who would have known there was this much poisi0ns from the chemicals we are being exposed to-- no wonder everyone has jumped on the being green
  7. I agree that we should remove as many toxins from our child's environment as possible. The one that caused me great concern was when my son was teething and would wake up in the morning chewing at the top bar of his crib. I immediately purchased a teething guard from a company called Go Mama Go Designs. After hearing rave reviews about them on the web I decided to try one because they were also so affordable. Ever since than my teething guard from Go Mama Go Designs has saved my crib along with saving my son from consuming harmful finish on his crib. Teething guards from Go Mama Go Designs are easy to put on and all of the stains I got on it have easily come off. In fact, I am now having a second child and the teething guard still looks brand new, it will be passed on along with the crib.