You Are What You Eat, and Lather, and Wear, and Wash, and…

Every time I shower or use a sink on the boat I live on, that “greywater” gets dumped directly overboard. As I inspect the ingredients on the back of the shampoos and dish soap, my eyes scan words that I can’t even begin to pronounce. I Google “methylaparaben,” and find that its a preservative (also used in food) that can increase women’s risk of getting breast cancer. Next, I go to Alexis Krauss’ blog Beauty Lies Truth’s “Dirty List” and learn that every time “fragrance” is listed in ingredients, it could mean virtually anything. Krauss writes, “This word on a label could mean between 10 and 300 different chemicals, but companies are not required to list anything in their “fragrance” mixture. Common synthetic fragrances contain hormone disruptors such as phthalates”. Knowing that these chemicals are going into my body is scary enough; when I’m living on the boat, those chemicals are also going into the river, harming wildlife and recreational waters. This problem is hard to tackle in part because we are not informed of the dangers of the products we use by the companies we are buying from. Instead, we have to do outside research that is time consuming and not accessible to everyone. So for now, I’ll follow Krauss’ “Clean List” and wash everything with Dr. Bronner’s.

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