Is Your Toilet Paper Making You Sick?
How many of us take toilet paper and paper towels for granted? Aside from what is the softest or most absorbent, have you ever thought about how they are made or how safe they are for you? I know I I’ve never really thought about the dangers of my roll of toilet paper, but after talking to my trusted doctor, Dr. Leigh Erin Connealy, I did a quick Google search… YIKES! I threw away most of my paper towels, toilet paper and napkins. Why do you ask? chlorine and bleach!
Like me, you probably never gave much thought to what goes into making all those paper products so white. They may look clean and fresh, but products made with chlorine and bleach are loaded with toxins. After reading this blog you will definitely have information to think about.
Like most people my age, I grew up hearing the smell of bleach that lingered on my father’s white work shirts and even on our white sheets. You can even sanitize your bathroom and kitchen with bleach to disinfect them from all the bad germs that roam those spaces. When your kids swim, they’re in chlorine too. So what’s the problem you ask? A lot.
One thing we must overcome as we live healthier lives and become more health conscious is that just because it’s available doesn’t make it right. Take chlorine for example, one of its biggest uses is in the paper industry. It is used to break down wood fibers and whiten paper. This sets off a chain reaction as it not only pollutes our streams and waterways but also contaminates the fish and the people who eat the fish.
In paper products, chlorine causes the formation of dioxin, an extremely toxic chemical known to cause cancer and disrupt the endocrine system. A by-product of the production of chlorine-bleached paper, it’s considered the most carcinogenic chemical known to science! It’s not on paper either, it’s all around us. Because of chlorine pollution, the average American ingests 300-600 times more dioxin than the Environmental Protection Agency considers safe! It has been found to be more than 300,000 times more potent than DDT – one of the most well-known toxic synthetic pesticides! Chlorine has been linked to endometriosis, immune system impairment, diabetes, neurotoxicity, birth defects, reduced fertility and reproductive disorders in both men and women. Chlorine is found in coffee filters, milk cartons and even disposable diapers – our poor babies! THESE TOXINS ARE EASILY ABSORBED THROUGH THE SKIN! That’s right, and did you know that chlorine is found in almost everyone’s blood? Although our body can metabolize and rid itself of many contaminants, the dioxins found in chlorine are not easily removed. Therefore, the use of chlorine and products containing chlorine can endanger your health.
Which brings me to a BIG con of using toilet paper with chlorine and bleach. Our private parts are sensitive in many ways. Many women have vaginal discomfort thinking it’s a yeast infection and use over-the-counter antifungals (don’t even get me started on why I think we shouldn’t use them – that’s for another day – another blog) . These topical lotions can provide women with initial but not long-term relief. Why? Since it’s not a fungal infection, the creams are most likely just creating a barrier between your skin and the toxic, bleached toilet paper (which likely also contains formaldehyde—another highly toxic substance). Once the cream is removed after a few wipes, you’re back to where you started – irritation from toilet paper containing chlorine/bleach. They don’t solve the problem, they just mask it. So when you use thick, absorbent, strong, bleached, expensive toilet paper (or any bleached toilet paper) you may think you’re protecting and pampering your private parts, but the reality is that with every wipe you’re increasing your risk of infection AND ingestion of toxins. I can hear myself saying to my kids when they were little, “Make sure you wipe clean.” (Ha, ha) What was I thinking? You just wipe toxic chemicals on yourself! And if you think wiping with damp cloths is better, think again. If they aren’t chlorine/bleach/perfume free, you’ll have the same problems!
Can you believe that more than 100,000 chemicals are used in commercial paper products? Do you know that many have been tested for possible health risks? Not many. We also have so many colors and scents to choose from – which just adds another layer of problems/toxins. Also note that most tampons also contain chlorine and some even have added fragrance. All bad stuff!
While researching this I found a video of a woman making her own reusable toilet paper made of fabric. That sounded interesting (crazy actually) until she talked about cleaning them. I guess that fits into the debate between cloth diapers and disposable diapers. What does she use to clean her cloths? Bleaching? She mentioned hot water but I’m wondering how well that will clean the reusable wipes? Hmm, maybe we all just need a bidet – a toilet attachment from France that cleans your privates with water! These French can eat chocolate and not get fat and rinse instead of wiping! You got us into it too!
As that might not be realistic and we can’t all get a bidet, so what’s our plan now you ask?
Well, than dr Leigh Erin Connealy states, there are unbleached paper products. I want to show you the comparisons between chlorine and bleach containing paper products and environmentally friendly non-toxic paper products. I used Amazon to find these products so the comparison is from the same place, but you may find even better prices and more options elsewhere. So that you know that being healthy is not always more expensive, and sometimes even cheaper!
7th generation toilet paper 417 sheets/$1
Charmin toilet paper 96 sheets/$1
Green forest paper towels 27 sheets/$1
Bounty Paper Towels 31 sheets/$1
Emerald Tree Face Towel 69 sheets/$1
Charmin facial tissues 50 sheets/$1
I’m not trying to scare you with this information, I just want to keep you updated. The next time you buy paper products, look for ones that are chlorine-free, unbleached, dye-free, and fragrance-free – especially toilet paper – for your health and the health of your family!
eat well Be healthy and wipe well now Clever!!!
Thanks to Tamara Yapp