Monday, August 7, 2017

Shaving Cream, Oh My

Have you had your students clean their grubby desks with shaving cream?  I have many times.  The kids love the gooey experience, the room smells great, and their desks come clean.  Sounds great, right?  Well, maybe not.

As I've delved more into healthy living, healthy products, and healthy environments in the last couple of years, my eyes have certainly been opened.  I've learned that many of the products I never worried about actually contain harmful chemicals that the FDA has approved.  That includes shaving cream.

When the kids are inhaling the wonderful aroma, realize they are inhaling the chemicals used to create that smell.  Their little noses are much closer to it than ours. 

The foam covering their hands, arms, and probably some of their faces contains phthalates.  These are substances added to plastics to increase their flexibility, transparency, durability, and longevity.  They're found in flexible plastic and vinyl (PVC) toys, food packaging and cling wraps, medical devices, backpacks, shower curtains, building materials such as pipes, vinyl flooring and wallpaper, and other products, as well as adhesives, dyes, inks, mosquito repellents, and personal care products such as nail polish, skin moisturizers, perfumes, and shaving cream.  A number of studies are pointing to negative effects of exposure to various types of phthalates: premature breast development in girls, adverse development of the reproductive tract of male embryos, allergies, and possible endocrine disruption.


I know my decision to not have my students participate in this particular activity any more is only a blip on the radar of the phthalate exposure in their lives.  However, I'll feel much better about not having contributed to it.



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