Samantha Harris for #tossthetalc
Life. That’s what we all choose, in theory, to live a long and healthy life. Yet, what are we doing to ensure this? Some may say, “Well, I get to the gym a few times a week and have a morning smoothie or kale salad daily.” Others may say, “I watch what I eat, and I try to buy cleaner products for my family.” Great start- high fives all around!
However, this cancer survivor wants you also to be an informed and empowered consumer. It’s the gift that being blindsided by a breast cancer diagnosis at 40-years-old gave me. Knowledge is POWER. As consumers and busy women, we so often want the “quick fix” or choose ease over the complex. So, we tend to believe what we read on the labels of products from food to personal care items. We put so much trust in the marketing gurus who are paid the big bucks by BIG CORP America.
Big corporations are advertising a false reality. When in reality what you’ll really see is 1 in 8 women will be diagnosed with invasive breast cancer each year, like me. An additional 21,000 women will be newly diagnosed with ovarian cancer annually (with nearly 14,000 women dying from ovarian cancer in the same year). I had to rely on my journalism training to do some heavy-duty research from solid sources to figure out why such high statistics. Wow, what I found astonished me. It’s truly what and how we eat, what we put on our bodies, and with whom and with what we surround ourselves.
My research led me to write my first book, Your Healthiest Healthy: 8 Easy Ways to Take Control, Prevent and Avoid Cancer, and Live a Longer, Cleaner, Happier Life. It’s a comprehensive action plan, utilizing small, manageable steps to lead you to a life free (or, at the least, freer) from the toxins in, on, and around your body.
Let’s, for the moment, just focus on the part about what we put on our bodies. Do you know that the European Union bans more than 1,300 chemical substances known or suspected of being carcinogenic or causing genetic mutation, birth defects or reproductive harm? Guess how many the good ol’ USA bans? 11. Yup, a mere eleven. Actually, more than forty countries have enacted legislation to ban hundreds, if not more than a thousand, chemicals from their countries’ “allowed ingredients” lists for personal care items, such as cosmetics. Of the more than 40,000 chemicals used in consumer products in the US, according to the EPA, less than 1% have even been rigorously tested for human safety, according to The Guardian.
I tend to talk a lot about the variety of nasties in your beauty bag (all those crummy chemicals that wreak havoc on your wellness that I refer to above as banned substances) in my Your Healthiest Healthy webinars, retreats, and when I am practicing as a health coach (as well as in my social media posts) . Well, here’s another nasty. Talc. Most of us picture this as that fine white powder in the shaker bottles that many still use to absorb wetness – i.e., Johnson’s & Johnson’s baby powder or Gold Bond Medicated Powder. Many put it on a variety of body parts. Underarms. Feet. Butt crack. Vagina. (Yes, I said the V-word). But what some may not know – it also lurks in a host of beauty products. Cosmetics. Deodorant. Dry Shampoos. I won’t even get into the fact (at least not right now!) that talc is even present in some arts and craft products our kiddos may be using! Eek!
Back to my point about talc and personal care: multiple studies show that TALC CAN CAUSE OVARIAN CANCER. Not trying to yell at you in all caps, but want to be sure this insane, but not, point is well heard. In 2020 alone, according to the American Cancer Society, as I mentioned, more than 21,000 women will receive a new diagnosis of ovarian cancer, and nearly 14,000 women will die from it. That is unacceptable. Of these, 2,500 cases of ovarian cancer are said to be caused by talc, and 1,500 of those women will die each year. We must take control of our health. This goes beyond what we put IN our bodies (as I often talk about); it also means controlling what we put ON it —advocate for your own healthiest healthy.
I am proud to partner with Truth About Talc to raise awareness and empower you. I am a national ambassador for the American Cancer Society. According to ACS,
“concerns have remained about a possible link between talcum powder used in the genital area and ovarian cancer. It has been suggested that the particles could travel through the vagina, uterus, and fallopian tubes to the ovaries, where it could cause inflammation that might lead to cancer.”
The work that Truth About Talc does is incredibly beneficial to guide you towards that consumer empowerment I heralded. Each of us can and should make our own decisions when it comes to what products we use for ourselves and our families, as well as what and how we eat. In order to do that in the best manner, however, we need to be informed. Having so much knowledge can, at times, feel overwhelming, but I offer you many tips, tricks, and hacks to achieve that without anxiety through my book, social media posts, and coaching. What are some of the top chemical ingredients to avoid? Just for starters…here are a handful that I include on my “Keep Off Your Bod” list, in no particular order:
- Talc (some safe alternatives to talc: cornstarch, arrowroot powder, baking soda, and oat flour).
- 1,4 Dioxane (a by-product of the process that makes certain skincare ingredients).
Thankfully, we have a robust myriad of clean personal care products that are free from toxins available to us. I always love sharing my favorite brands and new finds, so follow me on Instagram @SamanthaHarrisTV so we can journey on to our healthiest healthy together! Here’s to YOUR best health yet!