How many of us take toilet paper and paper towels for granted? I mean, aside from which one is the softest or the most absorbent, have you ever thought about how they make them or how safe they are for you? I know me I never really thought about the dangers that can lurk in my toilet paper roll, but after speaking with 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 do you ask? Chlorine and bleach!
Like me, you’ve probably never given 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 full of toxins. After reading this blog, you will definitely have some information to think about.
Like most people my age, I grew up with the smell of bleach lingering on my father’s white work shirts and even on our white sheets. You can even clean your bathroom and kitchen with bleach to sanitize them from all the harmful germs that roam those rooms. If your children swim, they are also in chlorine. So what is the problem you ask? Much.
One thing we have to get over, as we live healthier lives and become more health conscious, is that just because it’s available doesn’t mean it’s okay. Take chlorine as an example, one of its greatest uses is in the paper industry. It is used to break down wood fibers and whiten paper. This sets off a chain reaction because it not only pollutes our streams and waterways, it also pollutes fish and the people who eat them.
In paper products, chlorine causes the formation of dioxin, an extremely toxic chemical known to cause cancer and disrupt the endocrine system. As a by-product of chlorine-bleached paper manufacturing, it is believed to be the most carcinogenic chemical known to science. It’s just not on paper either, but all around us. Due to chlorine pollution, an average American ingests 300 to 600 times more dioxin than the Environmental Protection Agency considers safe! It has been found to be over 300,000 times more potent than DDT, one of the best known toxic synthetic pesticides! Chlorine has been linked to endometriosis, immune system impairment, diabetes, neurotoxicity, birth defects, decreased fertility, and reproductive 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 EASILY ABSORBED THROUGH THE SKIN! That’s right, and did you know that chlorine is found in the blood of almost everyone? Although our bodies can metabolize and get rid of many contaminants, the dioxins found in chlorine are not as easily eliminated. So the use of chlorine and products with chlorine can end up compromising your health.
Which brings me to a HUGE downside to using chlorine and bleach toilet paper. Our private parts are sensitive in many ways. Many women experience vaginal discomfort thinking it’s a yeast infection and use over-the-counter antifungal medications (don’t even tell me why I think we shouldn’t use them, that’s for another day, another blog). These topical lotions may provide women with initial relief, but not long-term relief. Why? Since it’s not a yeast infection, the creams are most likely just providing a barrier between your skin and the toxic bleached toilet paper (which probably also contains formaldehyde, another highly toxic substance). Once the cream is removed after a few wipes, it’s back to square one: the irritation caused by toilet paper containing chlorine/bleach. You’re not solving the problem, just masking it. So if you use thick, absorbent, strong, bleached, expensive toilet paper brands (or any bleached toilet paper), you may think you’re protecting and pampering your private parts, but in reality, with each cleaning, you’re increasing your risk of infections and absorption of toxins. I hear myself telling my kids when they were little, “Make sure you clean yourself up.” (Ha ha) What was I thinking? You’re just cleaning up toxic chemicals! And if you think wiping down with baby wipes will be better, think again. Unless they are chlorine, bleach, and fragrance free, you will have the same problems!
Can you believe that over 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 fragrances to choose from which just adds another layer of problems/toxins. Also keep in mind that most tampons also contain chlorine, and some even have fragrances added. All the bad things!
While researching this, I came across a video of a woman making her own reusable toilet paper out of cloth. This sounded interesting (crazy actually) until she talked about cleaning them. I guess this 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 it will clean reusable cloths? Hmm, maybe we all need to use a bidet, a toilet accessory originating in France that cleanses your private parts with water! Those Frenchies can eat chocolate and not get fat and rinse instead of clean! We got caught up in that too!
Since that may not be realistic and not all of us can go out and buy a bidet, so what is our plan now?
Well, as Dr. Leigh Erin Connealy says, there is are unbleached paper products. I want to show you how paper products that have chlorine and bleach compare to eco-friendly paper products that don’t contain toxins. I used Amazon to find these products so the comparison was from the same place, but you may find even better prices elsewhere, as well as more options. This is just to let you know that it is 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 Face Scarf 69 sheets/$1
Charmin Face Scarf 50 sheets/$1
I’m not trying to scare you with this information, but I want to keep you informed. The next time you buy any kind of paper products, look for those that are chlorine-free, bleach-free, dye-free, and fragrance-free, especially toilet paper, for your health and the health of your family!
Eat well. Be well and now clean well Intelligent!!!