TOXIC YOGA MATS
- Cleaning supplies are some of the most toxic products and certain chemicals can pose health and/or environmental risks. There are “less toxic” commercial cleaning products now available. However, because manufacturers are not required to list all of their ingredients, unless they are active disinfectants or known to be potentially hazardous, it can be challenging to sort through all of these products.
- Read the labels and avoid harmful ingredients whenever possible. Some of these ingredients are: Nonyphenol ethoxylates (NPE’s) which, when released into the environment, break down into toxic substances that can act as hormone disrupters, potentially interfering with reproduction. Antibacterials in cleaners may cause local (skin and eye) irritation, and certain types, such as triclosan, may contribute to antibiotic resistant bacteria. Some studies also suggest that triclosan could form dioxin, a carcinogen in the presence of sunlight and chloroform, a probable human carcinogen, in the presence of chlorinated water.
- Ammonia is poisonous when swallowed, extremely irritating to respiratory passages when inhaled, and can burn the skin on contact. Butyl cellosolve(butyl glycol, ethylene glycol, monobutyl) is a lung tissue irritant and is poisonous when swallowed. Chlorine Bleach (Sodium Hypochlorate) causes irritation to lungs and eyes. If chlorine and bleach are mixed, they can form a dangerous gas that can severely damage the lungs. D-limonene can cause skin irritation. Diethanolamine (DEA) and Triethanolamine (TEA) can produce carcinogenic compounds which can penetrate the skin when combined with nitrosomes (many times used as an undisclosed preservative).
- The term ‘disinfectants’ includes a wide variety of ingredients (such as chlorine bleach, alcohol, quaternary compounds, pine oil, ethyl alcohol), some of which are regulated by the EPA as pesticides. Hydrochloric acid can severely burn skin and irritate the eyes and respiratory tract. Naptha can cause headache, nausea, central nervous system symptoms with overexposure. Petroleum based ingredients (surfactants), also includes formaldehyde, a carcinogen. Phosphatesare toxic to the environment.
- Best advice is to research the products or better yet—make your own cleaning products.
But the bottom line is: bring your own yoga mat. Even a studio that takes pains to promote its purity may well be hiding something toxic.