We live in an increasingly toxic world, and labels don’t always tell the truth. Staying healthy requires a little bit of homework. These apps can help.
Despite safety standards and regulations, harmful ingredients linger in almost everything we touch. Over a lifetime, exposure to these harmful substances can put us at risk for serious illnesses and diseases. Even worse, toys and foods marketed to children are some of the worst chemical culprits, and too much exposure too early in life can significantly stunt physical and mental development. A 2011 study from the University of California, San Francisco revealed that 100 percent of expectant mothers are exposed to multiple chemicals; these toxic chemicals can effect our health before we even enter the world.
To protect ourselves and our families from dangerous substances like BPA (Bisphenol A), phthalates, formaldehyde, and chemical pesticides and fertilizers, we need to be educated about what to look for, the risks posed, and healthier alternatives. Unfortunately, we very rarely see these ingredients (or the companies who use them) discussed in the mainstream media.
Self-education is a necessity, but who has time to pore over ingredient lists or toxicology analyses? Here are a handful of mobile apps that you can download instantly and use to keep these health-threatening substances out of your home and life.
1. App: Dirty Dozen (Free)
Toxins Identified: Pesticides in produce
Created by the Environmental Working Group, the “Shopper’s Guide to Pesticides in Produce” app will help you determine which fruits and vegetables have the most pesticide residues and are the most important to buy organic. You can lower your pesticide intake substantially by avoiding the 12 most contaminated fruits and vegetables and eating the least contaminated produce.
2. App: findNano (Free)
Toxins Identified: Nanoparticles
Use ﬁndNano to discover consumer products that manufacturers claim to use or are enabled by nanotechnology in everything from sporting goods to food products, electronics and kids’ toys. And if you ﬁnd a nano-product not on the list – no problem. Using the “submit new product” function, users can take or select a photo of the product and submit it for possible inclusion in future updates.
3. App: Cosmetifique ($0.99)
Toxins Identified: Chemicals in cosmetics
Cosmetifique shows you the quality of the INCI (International Nomenclature of Cosmetic Ingredients) of your cosmetic products. When you look for ingredients, the app displays results in different colors (green for good, yellow for acceptable, orange for not good and red for awful) that enable you to verify the risks associated with each ingredient.
4. App: Peaceful Nursery Guide ($0.99)
Toxins Identified: Chemicals in kids’ products
The Peaceful Nursery app features a quick and easy shopping checklist of all the right items to buy for the nursery, along with tips about what to avoid, and an explanation of what chemicals are often found in each product.
5. App: GoodGuide (Free)
Toxins Identified: Chemicals in food, personal care, and household products
The GoodGuide mobile app makes it fast and easy to find safe, healthy, green, and ethical products, instantly delivering the information you need, when you need it most — in a store and on the go. Use the handy barcode scanner feature to retrieve product ratings and information on your phone while shopping.
Top image: shawnzlea