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Let the Real Housewives of Orange County introduce you to toxic chemicals

You may be new to the toxic chemicals fight. Welcome! We’ve been working hard to get our leaders and retailers to get tough on toxic chemicals found in everyday consumer products. Yes, you read that right, toxic chemicals are lurking in the products we use every single day.

Lately our movement has gained some serious momentum, so to bring you up to speed as to why we need to take action on toxic chemicals, we put together this funny guide. These reality show wives tell it like it is. So we thought we’d give them a chance to illustrate why we need #RealReform of our toxic chemical laws. 

So sit back, relax  and let Bravo’s Real Housewives of Orange County tell you about toxic chemicals.

Hard plastic water bottles and soda cans are a common hangout for toxic chemicals like bisphenol A (BPA). Researchers have linked early exposure to BPA with health problems like: abnormal development of the brain, behavioral changes, cancer, early onset of puberty, reproductive harm, insulin resistance, diabetes and heart disease. BPA has enjoyed widespread popularity in plastic and canned food linings for decades. But now, due to concerns about leaching and hormone disruption, BPA is flirting with outlaw status.

Do you like to clean?

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We’ll take that as a no, but eventually we all come in contact with trichloroethylene (TCE). This heavy-duty industrial solvent can cut through grease, wax, gunk, and even silicones. You will find TCE in industrial solvents, paint removers, correction fluid, rug cleaners, spot removers, and drinking water.

One of the best ways to reduce exposure to toxic chemicals in our homes is by dusting frequently, vacuuming with a HEPA filter and removing your shoes at the door (which can track in heavy metals and pesticides).

You may want to avoid nonstick pans too…

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Perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA) used to coat non-stick pans appears as fumes when pans are overheated and flakes off as the coating decomposes. The EPA considers PFOA a likely human carcinogen. Scientists have also shown PFOA to alter development of mammary tissue in lab rats. In humans, PFCs including PFOA are also associated with low sperm counts.


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Pretty bad right?

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The flame retardant family is full of contradiction and mystery. “Flame retardants” are supposed to slow and prevent fires, but the problem is they don’t actually prevent fires. On the other hand, their widespread presence in everyday items like couches, children’s products and electronics has been linked to cancer and harm to the developing brain.

Researchers estimate that children can ingest up to ten times more toxic chemicals than adults because of their tendency to put their hands and other objects into their mouths, and because they spend time close to the ground.

Formaldehyde has endeared itself to product manufacturers and undertakers because of its uncanny ability to preserve and embalm. Formaldehyde is known to cause upper airway cancer, leukemia, respiratory illness, and asthma.

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Shocking, but there’s more

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Formaldehyde (and formaldehyde releasing chemicals) can be found in shampoo and lotion, “wrinkle-free” shirts and bedding, composite wood products (like particle board) used to make furniture (including cribs and changing tables), cabinets, countertops, and other building materials.

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Toxic chemicals are everywhere. It is very hard to avoid them, but here are some tips to cut down on our exposure to toxic chemicals.

Do you spray tan?

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Spray tan mixtures contain a chemical called dihydroxyacetone (DHA). Never heard of it? It was originally used during X-rays, but once poeple realized it could dye skin, an industry was born. Sunless tanning lotions and sprays had their “magical” ingredient.

DHA has been linked to cancer, asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. So, you may want to think twice before entering the spray tan room.

Our next chemical is one you’ve surely heard about before–lead. Lead is a notorious neurotoxin from way back, causing brain damage since ancient times.

Many believe it was the ancient Romans’ indiscriminate use of lead in food vessels, wine, and makeup that led to their downfall. You’d think we would have learned this lesson by now.

Lead is linked to brain, kidney, and heart damage in both adults and children. Even in small amounts, lead can lower a child’s IQ, shorten his or her attention span, and increase their levels of hyperactivity and aggressive behavior…

Lead loves to keep us guessing by popping up in inappropriate places. Researchers have discovered lead lurking in juice boxes and children’s jewelry.

We’re putting a stop to this!

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By following these tips you can limit your exposure to toxic chemicals a great deal so don’t worry.

Avoiding chemicals is easier than you think, but we still need leadership from Congress and retailers to make sure chemicals are safe before they end up in our homes, products, environment and communities. Join our movement now!

This blog was all in good fun, but we know getting tough on toxic chemicals is serious. So follow us on Twitter and Facebook for updates on the campaign. While you’re at it join our email list too!

Thanks for reading and we hope you laughed a little!