What effects do chemicals have on the body?

Published 9:26 am Monday, January 18, 2016

I didn’t realize chemicals played an important part in my life over the years. I am not referencing illegal chemicals but those chemicals we put in our body everyday in every which way.

The thought seized my mind as I was putting a drop of Thieves Essential Oil on my foot. Just a drop because essential oils are as powerful as prescription drugs and you have to be careful you don’t over use them the same way we have to be careful with pharmaceutical drugs or bad things can happen to your body. If the action of the oil penetrating my skin goes throughout my body, what about all the other things I have put on my skin through the years that had many chemicals in their composition.

We’ve all heard about rubbing a popular brand of menthol on your feet and then putting socks on before you go to bed to stop coughs. Many of us have worn patches attached to our skin to administer medication given to us by our doctors. I haven’t thought much about it until today. For some reason my mind wandered the direction of the effect of things absorbed through our skin.

Email newsletter signup

I’m not a doctor or a medical person, so I don’t know the technicalities of this. I only know what has affected me by personal experience.

It is also known the air we breath permeates the inside of our bodies too, such as cigarette smoke and other toxins in the air. I am particularly allergic to formaldehyde and always got sick breathing in the fumes when I worked previous years with paints that used to contain the ingredient. I am aware of the effects of breathing bad stuff.

As a consumer, I haven’t paid much attention in previous years to the products I put on my skin.

The first thing I used to do after cleansing my face in the morning was use moisturizer, then makeup to hide my flaws. Add the eyeliner, mascara, body lotion, hand cream, hair spray, shampoo, conditioner, bubble bath, body scrub, nail polish and nail polish remover to my daily use. Because I am fair-skinned, when I go out in the sun in the summer I add sunscreen. I don’t color my hair right now, but I have one or two times in the past, so let’s add hair color to the list of chemicals that were entering my body on a daily basis.

Of course, during the day, I couldn’t just sit in a chair and snooze, I had to do some housework. Now add to my day, furniture polish, dish detergent, bathroom cleaning chemicals, laundry detergent, bug spray in the summer in my house and on me when I went outside to chase away the mosquitos. I needed to drink water so let’s add water to my regimen from city tap water that may put chemicals in it to keep it free of harmful bacteria.

Occasionally I would have to do some painting and staining to keep my house up-to-date so I could keep up with appearances. In my earlier household years those items were full of toxic chemicals.

My meal plans were simple, I opened a box of processed food and gobbled it up, never looking at the label. I could go on and on about the chemicals that have entered my body over the years because I didn’t look at labels. Maybe I didn’t care because I was young and we weren’t aware of the problems with our lifestyle. But I was a chemical junkie and it was all legal; in fact, the world praised those who used all these products.

I know I have changed the products I now use in my life, but I considered all the chemicals I absorbed into my body through my skin, because of my daily routines in the past. The thought scares me. I can’t change it. I don’t know what impact it has had on my health, but it was shocking when I actually pondered what I had used on my skin.

Our world is changing as to the way we view what is in our products, and for me, it is hope our future generation will have healthier products and be healthier because they are more aware of the dangers of chemicals. My generation maybe is paying the price because we didn’t know what we used years ago — and may still use today — may have been absorbed in our body and changed the way it functions for us.

All of these thoughts were still running through my mind as I was rubbing coconut oil on my face. In case you haven’t heard, coconut oil is the latest wonder product. It is supposed to be healthy for your skin. I don’t know if it is or not, but I feel better using something that doesn’t have a lot of words in the ingredients that I can’t understand. I have simplified what I use for cleaning too, leaning toward things that disinfect yet are more natural. I hope they do the job as well as the hard stuff. I don’t know if all these natural things are benefiting my health. It might be too late after all the years of chemicals, but one thing I do know, I feel better in my mind believing I am living healthier, whether it’s true or not. You know what Dr. Phil says: Life Law Six: There is no reality, only perception.


Wells resident Julie Seedorf’s column appears every Monday. Send email to her at hermionyvidaliabooks@gmail.com. Her Facebook page is http://www.facebook.com/julie.