How many of us take toilet paper and paper towels for granted? I mean besides which is the softest or most absorbent, have you ever thought about how they make them or how safe they are for you? I know I never really thought about the dangers that may be lurking in 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 out most of my paper towels, toilet paper and napkins. Why you ask? Chlorine and bleach!
Just like me, you probably never put much thought into just what goes in to making all those paper products so white. They may look clean and fresh, but products made with chlorine and bleach are filled with toxins. After reading this blog, you’ll definitely have information to think about.
Like most people my age, I grew up with the smell of bleach lingering on my dad’s white work shirts and even on our white bed sheets. You might even clean your bathroom and kitchen with bleach to disinfect them from all the bad germs roaming around in those rooms. If your kids swim, they’re in chlorine as well. So what’s the problem you ask? Plenty.
One thing that we have to over come, as we live healthier lives and become more health conscience is that just because it’s available doesn’t make it right. Take chlorinefor example, one of its largest uses is in the paper industry. It’s used to break down wood fibers and bleach the paper white. This causes a chain reaction because it not only pollutes our streams and waterways, but also contaminates the fish and the people that 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. As the byproduct of manufacturing chlorine, bleached paper it is believed to be the single most carcinogenic chemical known to science! It’s just not in paper either, but all around us. Because of chlorine pollution an average American ingests 300-600 times more dioxin that is deemed safe by the Environmental Protection Agency! It’s been found to be than 300,00 times more potent than DDT-one of the most widely known toxic synthetic pesticides! Chlorine has been linked to endometriosis, immune system impairment, diabetes, neurotoxity, birth defects, decreased fertility and reproduction dysfunction in both men and women. Chlorine is found in coffee filters, paper milk cartons, and even disposable diapers-our poor babies! THESE TOXINS ARE READILY ABSORBED THROUGH THE SKIN! That’s right and did you know that chlorine is found in almost everyone’s blood? Although our bodies can metabolize and rid themselves of many contaminates, the dioxins found in chlorine are not so easily removed. So use of chlorine and products with chlorine may end up compromising your health.
Which brings me to a BIG downside of using toilet paper with chlorine and bleach. Our private parts are sensitive in many ways. Many woman experience vaginal discomfort thinking it’s a yeast infection and use over the counter antifungal medications (Don’t even get me started on why I think we shouldn’t be using them-that’s for another day-another blog). These topical lotions may give women initial, but not long term relief. Why? Because it’s not a yeast infection so the creams are most likely just providing a barrier between the skin and toxic bleached toilet paper (which probably also contains formaldehyde-another highly toxic substance). Once the cream is removed after a few wipes, you’re right back where you started-irritation caused from toilet paper containing chlorine/bleach. You’re not solving the problem, just masking it. So if you use thick, absorbent, strong, bleached expensive brands of toilet paper (or any bleached toilet paper), you may think you’re protecting and pampering your private parts, but in reality, with every wipe, you’re increasing your risk for infections AND absorbing toxins. I hear myself telling my kids when they were young to “Be sure to wipe good.” (Ha, ha) What was I thinking? You’re just wiping toxic chemicals on yourself! And if you think that wiping with moist wipes will be better-think again. Unless they are chlorine/bleach/fragrance free, you will have the same issues!
Can you believe there are more than 100,000 chemicals used in commercial paper products? Do you know many have been tested for possible risks to health? Not many. We have so many colors and fragrances to choose from too-which just adds another layer of problems/toxins. Also be aware that most tampons contain chlorine as well, and some even have added fragrances. All bad stuff!
As I was researching this, I found a video of a woman who makes her own reusable toilet paper from cloth. This sounded interesting (crazy actually) until she talked about cleaning them. I guess this one goes with the cloth diaper versus disposable diaper debate. What is she using to clean her cloth wipes? Bleach? She mentioned hot water, but I wonder how well that will clean the reusable cloths? Hmm, maybe we all just need to use a bidet-a toilet attachment originated in France that cleans your private parts with water! Those French-they can eat chocolate and not get fat and rinse instead of wipe! They got us on that one too!
Since that may not be realistic and we all can’t go out and get a bidet, so what’s our plan now you ask?
Well, as Dr. Leigh Erin Connealy states, there are non-bleached paper products. I want to show you the comparisons between paper products that have chlorine and bleach to eco-friendly paper products that are free of toxins. I used Amazon to find these products so that the comparison would be from the same place, but you might find even better prices somewhere else as well as more options. This is just to let you know that it’s not always more expensive to be healthy 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 Facial Tissue 69 sheets/$1
Charmin Facial Tissue 50 sheets/$1
I’m not trying to scare you with this information, but want to keep you enlightened. Next time you buy any type of paper products look for ones that are chlorine free, unbleached, dye and fragrance free-especially toilet paper-for your health and the health of your family!
Eat Well. Be Well and Now Wipe Well Smart!!!