One of the first items that I discovered was very far from what it seemed was the rubber duck. A couple of years after my discovery the book “Slow Death By Rubber Duck” was released and this being lent to me by a friend in 2009, among other learnings around that time, catapulted me into my advocacy and education for better choices for us and for the planet with every new thing I learnt about our daily interaction with 1000s and 1000s of chemical – some safe, some questionable and some really bad ones.
Some of you may be surprised to know that of the over 100,000 chemicals routinely used, only a very small percentage has been tested for safety. Some of you may be angry to learn that a chemical company can pay off a politician to NOT look into the safety of a particular chemical if it comes under the spotlight. Bills that get put forward, ever so quickly and often get swept under the carpet if it seeks to call in to question the safety of a certain chemical. There are some dodgy things going on in our world with big dollars in politics and and big industry funding associations that supposedly represent public health interests. It’s not ‘fringe hippy talk’ or conspiracy theories, it’s the truth. I highly encourage you to seek out a screening of The Human Experiment to learn just how much these chemical companies get away with to allow dubious ingredients to line our supermarket and pharmacy shelves. What’s strangest to me, is that chemicals (largely because of profits and also because of the ‘too hard basket’ in fronting cash for govt research) get an “innocent until proven guilty” treatment. This might work in the criminal justice system, but when it comes to human health, not so much. It doesn’t seem right to me that smaller independent tests that return doubtful findings, aren’t then taken seriously enough to issue public warning until further testing is done.
- Lead was innocent until proven guilty
- Asbestos was innocent until proven guilty
- More recently, parabens and BPA were innocent until proven guilty.
All were used for decades and touted as safe, before finally, enough research was conclusive.
I propose a new way of approaching chemicals. Caution where there’s doubt, until proven absolutely safe.
We can seek out the ‘proven safe’ products and we can, overall simplify our products and even incorporate some super simple DIY into the mix at home. Save time, money AND reduce chemicals? Yes please.
It’s like learning a new language when you Go Low Tox. It doesn’t happen in a day – heck, on the first day and sometimes even month of exploring this stuff, it might feel like a foreign language. But then you see repeat words, repeat safe brands and you find that little buy little, you start to get hip with the lingo and voila: You’re low tox. If you want my help, please consider joining Monday’s round of Go Low Tox – I’ve done all the work to produce an epic resource to make it easy and positive to choose better.
Companies won’t make what we stop buying, and you can already see huge multinational brands moving towards more natural ingredients because basically? We’ve figured it out and we don’t want the toxic weird stuff they’ve been peddling to save themselves money, while we were in the dark.
So let’s go back to our humble little rubber duckie! I still remember the Sesame Street song being a little girl in Chicago “Rubber Duckie You’re the one. You make bath time so much fun…” While that’s true of the real deal ACTUAL rubber duck – which you can buy from Biome – unfortunately the average rubber duckie is quietly creating the kinds of waves you really don’t need in the bath. Almost all rubber ducks are not made from natural rubber, they’re made from cheap plastics. Almost all rubber ducks contain these 4 things we really don’t want to throw in WITH the baby AND the bath water.
- Phthalates – Endocrine disruptive chemicals of which about half a billion kilos are produced each year. These are used to soften plastics and create lasting fragrance in things like personal care, air fresheners and scented candles to name a few places you’d find them. The thing that freaks me about phthalates most, is the fact that they’re found to decrease sperm quality AND when male babies are exposed in utero, they’re found to impair healthy development of male genitalia. Hello: Why are these allowed in everything!?
- BPA – A hormone disruptor now known to have damaging effects at ALL levels, not just high levels – even though we were made to believe for decades it was safe.
- Petroleum based or lead containing paints and colours (not in all cases, but in many of the cheap $2 shop varieties where you cannot trace back to source and ask questions. If it’s too good to be true on the price front and it’s a toy? Then it’s too cheap to be good)
- Mould – You know that little squeezie hole that water gets trapped in? After just a few days, moulds grow. Ewwww.
So, time to invest in a low tox duckie for the bath and do what we do – stainless steel shakers and stainless steel straws. Our little guy absolutely LOVES his simple bath toys and has done for years. You can bring leaves in from a nature walk to play in the bath. You can use glass – just kidding! Seeing if you were still reading 😉
There are many creative and very simple options and it doesn’t have to be stressful or hard.
Want more on hormone disruptors and where they lurk – head HERE on the blog for a post I wrote a couple of years ago.
If you find it all a bit stressful, or feel like it’s a mine field out there, trust me – I used to feel that way too. Come join me THIS October 17th for the 6th round of Go Low Tox. BE QUICK. READ ABOUT IT AND JOIN HERE. I live for making this a positive, fun and empowering process of culling, ditching and moving onto better stuff. Any alumni of mine will say – It’s a really enjoyable process. That is important to me in an industry that constantly breathes the fear into us about ‘everything killing us’. I like to take it a different direction – the direction where you end up with your sanity and a whole bunch of hope and happiness at the end.
It’s time we took a stand, supported the good guys, grew the non toxic market into the mainstream and got rid of these dangerous chemicals from our lives – for our health AND for the planet. We deserve natural products. Our kids do. Our planet does. It’s that simple and I love making it simple for you.
You with me?
Low Tox. Happy Bodies. Happy Planet.
Hi Alexx! Love this cause and awareness drive. Our one year old LOVES her bath and I have been very careful to make sure her toys are sourced somewhere where this is part of their ethos. She has a set of colorful Skip Hop ducks that are awesome as well as a basic bowl and squeeze bottle. However she also does have a rubber ducky that I had kind of let slide, so I think that’s going in the rubbish today!!
Thanks Liz. How awesome that another little toxic duckie in the world is going bye bye. Woohoo. Sounds like you’ve got the rest sorted with the skip hop range. How fun is bath time for a little one year old!? So much joy xx
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