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Frequently Asked Questions

Come Visit Our Xenoestrogen Education Room @
1790 KLO Rd. in Kelowna, BC
We have a designated room filled with comfortable chairs, videos, and reading material.  Organically Clean also provides personalized one on one education about what xenoestogens are, how they affect your body, the environment, and how to avoid them.
 What are Xenoestrogens?
Xenoestrogens are chemicals that mimic estrogen in your body.  Xeno means foreign, thus the term xenoestrogen means estrogen that comes from a foreign source.  Xenoestrogens mimic estrogen in your body and wreak havoc on your hormonal balance and create a myriad of problems. Recent research indicates that xenoestrogens are affecting the world we live in from male aligators unable to reproduce to parabens being linked to breast cancer in women.  Most personal care products are riddled with xenoestrogens such as phthalates, parabens, petroleum chemicals and the BPA bottles they come packaged in.                                                                                        http://www.homotoxicus.com/english/index.htm                                                                                                                                                               http://tpx.sagepub.com/content/38/1/110.full.pdf                                                                                                                                                               http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Xenoestrogen                                                                                                                                            http://www.annualreviews.org/doi/abs/10.1146/annurev.publhealth.012809.103714                                                                                            http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1469672/

What are Obesogens?

By mimicking the actions of naturally occurring hormones in our bodies or preventing the hormones we produce from acting correctly, obesegens can:

  • Encourage the body to store fat and re-program cells to become fat cells.
  • Prompt the liver to become insulin resistant, which makes the pancreas pump out more insulin that turns energy into fat all over the body.
  • Prevent leptin (a hormone that reduces appetite) from being released from your fat cells to tell your body you are full.

Xenoestrogen BPA leaching from plastic bottles and phthalates in perfumes, fragrances, hair conditioners and body lotions are all obesegens.  University of California-Irvine biologist Bruce Blumberg doesn’t believe lifestyle alone explains the growing obesity epidemic. He thinks industrial pollutants play a part too. Blumberg is among a growing number of researchers exploring how chemicals used in plastics, food packaging, pesticides and cosmetics can trigger dramatic increases in body fat.
Dr. Oz has a link on obesogens and a very comprehensive definition of obesogens  “We blame weight gain on eating too many burgers and burning too little fat, but scientists are discovering that chemicals we’re exposed to everyday could be a big part of the obesity epidemic. Called obesogens, or endocrine disruptors, these natural and man-made chemicals work by altering the regulatory system that controls your weight—increasing the fat cells you have, decreasing the calories you burn, and even altering the way your body manages hunger.”
What is BPA?
BPA is a known Xenoestrogen and is a chemical found in hard plastics.  Bisphenol A, often known as BPA is found in the epoxy resin coatings inside canned goods and beverages, as well as dental fillings, dental sealants, water bottles, baby bottles and many other products.  BPA can behave in a similar way to estrogen and other hormones in the human body.  Bisphenol A is an endocrine disruptor - a substance which interferes with the production, secretion, transport, action, function and elimination of natural hormones. BPA can imitate your body's own hormones in a way that could be hazardous to your health. Babies and young children are said to be especially sensitive to the effect.  The Canadian Government has declared BPA to be a known toxic substance and as such has banned its use in baby bottles.  At Organically Clean, we only use BPA free plastic containers for our beauty and cleaning products.
http://www.cbc.ca/news/health/story/2010/10/13/bpa-toxic.html                                                                                                       http://environmentaldefence.ca/sites/default/files/report_files/ToxicBabyBottleReport.pdf
What are Phthalates?
Phthalates are chemicals that are known carcinogens and endocrine disrupters (a xenoestrogen), and have been linked to birth defects, reproductive problems, lower sperm count, lung, kidney and liver cancers. Phthalates are plasticizers used to soften vinyl plastics, and help fragrances last longer.  Any ingredient labeled “fragrance” may contain up to 20% phthalates.   Manufacturers use phthalates in hair conditioners to coat your hair and help it retain a "soft" feel.  In 1998, the Canadian Government placed a voluntary ban on the use of 6 phthalates in soft vinyl children’s toys (but not personal care products), based upon studies that suggest phthalates are hazardous to reproductive and developmental health of children.  These studies also linked phthalates to liver and kidney failure in young children.  Another hidden source of phthalates are enteric coated vitamins and pharmaceutical pills.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                     
Phthalates are a class of widely-used compounds that soften plastic and hold scents and colors. They are found in products ranging from consumer electronics like the iPod and iPhone, food packaging, detergents, vinyl floor coverings, plastic toys and medical equipment. They are commonly found in products that are supposed to make us look good, and amongst the worst offenders are a wide variety of cosmetics, shampoos, and fragrances. Three quarters of personal care products contain them.  A study last year analyzed the phthalate concentration in common makeup products. Research that shows that boys born to mothers exposed to phthalates had smaller penises, and a whole host of problems which are now referred to as "testicular dysgenesis syndrome". These include reproductive abnormalities that are strongly linked to the later development of testicular and prostate cancer. 
Male Infertility?
  • There are more than 20 heavily industrialized nations where the birth of baby boys has declined every year for the past 30 years - amounting to 3 million fewer baby boys.
  • The number of boys born with penis abnormalities and genital defects has increased by 200% in the past two decades.
  • Boys have a higher incidence of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, learning disabilities, Tourett's syndrome, cerebral palsy and dyslexia.
  • Boys are four times as likely to be autistic.
  • The average sperm count of a North American college student today is less than half of what it was 50 years ago.
  • The quality of sperm is declining. Eighty-five per cent of the sperm produced by a healthy male is DNA-damaged.
  • Damaged sperm have been linked to a 300% increase in testicular cancer - a form of cancer that affects young men in their 20s and 30s.
  • The chemical industry has developed more than 90,000 man-made chemicals in the last sixty years. Eighty-five percent of them have never undergone testing for their impact on the human body.    
What are Parabens?
For many years, Parabens were considered safe preservatives with low systemic toxicity.  Parabens are currently used today as preservatives in many cosmetic, food and pharmaceutical products.  Parabens are alkyl hydroxy benzoate preservatives (namely methyl-paraben, ethyl-paraben, propyl-paraben, and butyl-paraben). Parabens are permitted as preservatives in food up to 0.1%. In cosmetics, parabens are permitted in concentrations of up to 1%.
The safety of Parabens however has been questioned in the last few decades. Currently, there is evidence of the endocrine disrupting effects of parabens.  Parabens are estrogen mimickers (xenoestrogens) and can bind to your cellular estrogen receptor sites.  Parabens are easily absorbed through your skin and can be stored in your body's tissues. Once parabens are in your body they effect your hormonal system by mimicking estrogen (the hormone that promotes cell growth). The promotion of cell growth links parabens with cancer, in particular breast cancer. Parabens have been detected in human breast cancer tumors.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/jat.958/abstract                                                                                                                   http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/jat.978/abstract 
Why Are Chemical Sunscreens So Dangerous?
Benzophenones, dixoybenzone, oxybenzone, octinoxate, PABA (para-aminobenzoic acid), and many other sunscreen ingredients are all chemical sun filtering agents and known xenoestrogens.  Oxybenzone is just one of the chemicals used in many sun products with high Sun Protection Factors (SPF).Oxybenzone’s function is to ‘filter’ ultra violet light on the surface of the skin, converting it from light to heat. When light is converted to heat in the basal layers of the skin, damage to growing cells occurs due to the high amount of free radicals generated.                                                                         http://www.truthaboutabs.com/dangers-of-sunscreens.html                                                                                                            http://www.ewg.org/analysis/toxicsunscreen                                                                                                                                                                         http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Octyl_methoxycinnamate
What are Alkylphenols, Nonylphenols and Octylphenols Doing In My Laundry Detergent? 
Many laundry detergents may contain the xenoestrogenic compounds alkylphenols, nonylphenols and octylphenols.  Alkylphenols such as nonylphenol and octylphenol are mainly used to manufacture laundry detergents, but are also components of plasticizers, spermicidal lubricants, and some pesticide formulations.  Alkylphenolic compounds are concentrated by organisms such as fish, birds and mammals, and are proven to have estrogenic effects by mimicking the qualities of estradiol and binding to estrogen receptor sites.  The alkylphenolic compounds contained in laundry detergent help create a more efficient detergent, and win the war on dirt, but at what cost to your health and the environment around you.                                                                                                                                                                               
Detergents can remain in your clothes and be directly absorbed into your blood, through your skin, bypassing your liver's cleansing process. Due to the residual detergent left on your clothes, you could be absorbing the xenoestrogenic chemical compounds from your laundry detergent 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
                                                                                                                                                                                                               http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nonoxynols                                                                                                                                              http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/8726166                                                                                                                              http://toxsci.oxfordjournals.org/content/54/1/154.short 
Is Triclosan Antibacterial Soap Estrogenic?

What is Propylene Glycol?
Propylene Glycol is used as a humectant (draws moisture into the skin) in cosmetics.  It is industrial antifreeze, and the major ingredient in brake and hydraulic fluid. Material Data Sheets (MSDS Sheets) on Propylene Glycol warn to avoid skin contact as it is a systemic toxin and can cause liver abnormalities and kidney damage. If anti freeze is spilled on your garage floor and your dog or cat has one lick, it will kill them.  Propylene Glycol is common in most lotions, sunscreens and personal care beauty products.  Read your labels and avoid all products with this deadly ingredient.
What Chemicals are Used to Formulate Organically Clean Products?
Organically Clean uses the finest natural ingredients that contain no harsh chemicals, and fumes.  We use ingredients that are organic and/or food grade.     NO Sodium Lauryl Sulfate or its Derivatives, No Parabens, No Propylene Glycol, No Butylene Glycol, NO BPA, NO Petroleum Based Chemicals, NO Alkyphenols, NO Nonylphenols, NO Oxtylphenols, NO Xenoestrogens, NO Dimethicone Silicone, NO Carbomer and Polyethylene Thickeners.  AND NONE OF THE OTHER 2,983 CHEMICALS USED IN PERSONAL CARE PRODUCTS                                                                                                                     http://lesstoxicguide.ca/index.asp?fetch=personal
What are Lousy Labels?


Which Plastic Water Bottles Don't Leach Chemicals? Life

Choose your water bottles very carefully in order to prevent chemicals in the plastic from leaching into your water.

Plastic water bottles are very convenient for carting water around when we are on the go, as they don't break if we drop them. However, it is worth paying attention to the type of plastic your water bottle is made of, to ensure that the chemicals in the plastic do not leach into the water. If you taste plastic, you are drinking it, so get yourself another bottle.

All plastic water bottles leach, some are better than others though.  To be certain that you are choosing a bottle that leaches less, check the recycling symbol on the bottom of your bottle. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Resin_identification_code  If it is a #1 PETE (polyethylene terephthalate), #2 HDPE (high density polyethylene), or a #4 LDPE (low density polyethylene), or a #5 PP (polypropylene) it will leach less and is less toxic.

If your bottle has a #3 PVC (v-vinyl/polyvinyl chloride), #6 PS (polystyrene), or #7 PC (polycarbonate) it will leach more chemicals and thus be more harmful to you. 

Okay let me simplify it for you.  If you must use plastic (which we all do sometimes) choose from the less leaching plastics.

Less Leaching Plastic: #1, 2, 4, & 5

More Leaching Plastic: #3, 6, & 7

 The Problem:  Those fabulous colourful hard plastic bottles made with polycarbonate plastics http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Polycarbonate and identified by the #7 recycling symbol, may leach BPA (Bisphenol A).  This is where the confusion begins. Many folks assume that because it doesn't impart flavour to the liquid it holds, that it's safer than other types of plastic bottles. Research findings show otherwise.

Bisphenol A is a xenoestrogen, a known endocrine disruptor.  Xenoestrogens disturb the hormonal messaging in our bodies. Synthetic xenoestrogens are linked to breast cancer and uterine cancer in women, decreased testosterone levels in men, and are particularly devastating to babies and young children. BPA has even been linked to insulin resistance and Type 2 Diabetes. For more of the science on the effects of BPA on our endocrine system etc. see these studies:

Polycarbonate resin (#7 plastic), a plastic polymer accidentally developed by General Electric in 1953, was and still is a revolutionary material. It's been used in a variety of products over the last four decades including compact discs and DVDs, bullet-proof windows, mobile phones, computers, baby bottles and water bottles.

BPA can leach into your water bottles contents through normal wear and tear, exposure to heat and cleaning agents. This includes leaving your plastic water bottle in your hot car during errands, in your back pack during hikes, running it through your dishwasher and using harsh detergents.  It is my opinion, that the best thing to do is to avoid plastic altogether, or at the very least minimize its use in your life, and family's life.

Unfortunately, most plastic baby bottles and drinking cups are made with plastics containing Bisphenol A. In 2006 Europe banned all products made for children under age 3 containing BPA, and as of Dec. 2006 the city of San Francisco followed suit. In March 2007 a billion-dollar class action suit was commenced against Gerber, Playtex, Evenflo, Avent, and Dr. Brown's in Los Angeles superior court for harm done to babies caused by drinking out of baby bottles and sippy cups containing BPA.

The Solution: There are two approaches to avoid exposure to BPA. First, if you are active and take water with you, switch to a stainless steel water bottle. But, be careful. Many products on the market are lined with an epoxy finish. This defeats the purpose. Make sure that the bottle is stainless steel both inside and out. Stainless steel water bottles are light, durable and hold both hot and cold liquids well.  I personally purchased stainless steel water bottles for my whole family.  The brand I researched and purchased is called Klean Kanteen http://www.kleankanteen.com/  Check out the link to get info from the company.  I personally called them myself and asked about using things like apple juice in them (as it is highly acidic and leaches containers even more).  They assured me that they have tested their bottles and they are completely non-leaching. 

The second approach is to reuse glass containers such as quart sized juice bottles. Yes, they are a bit heavier but are good solutions if you're in an office environment where mobility isn't an issue.  I personally use glass when at home, and I make sure that I purchase acidic products like tomato sauce, and vinegar in glass containers and not plastic. 

Check the recycling numbers on all your plastic food containers as well, and gradually move to storing all food in glass or ceramic.  Plastic leaches more when you heat it or freeze it.

One last note, there are some #7 plastics that do not contain polycarbonate and thus are said to be less leaching, but you would need to contact the makers of these plastics to find out for sure.  As a general rule most #7 plastics contain polycarbonates.

Related Links:

Organically Clean's Story.

After years of suffering from unexplained hormone related diseases, researching and looking for answers to my problems, Organically Clean was born.  Recent research has shed light on the xenoestrogen effects of beauty products, cosmetics and home cleaning products in our environment and in our own bodies.  In order to avoid toxic xenoestrogenic ingredients I formulated my own product line from food grade, organic ingredients, and pure essential oils. Organically Clean’s products have been used by my family and friends for many years.  Through the encouragement of those around me I decided to take the next step and offer my product line to other women in our world today who are searching for truly “Clean” and “Organic” cosmetics, shampoos, lotions for their beauty regime, and cleaning products for their homes.

In my early 20’s I began suffering from ovarian cysts.  These were painful, chronic and at times debilitating.  After many doctor directed tests, treatments and modifications to my diet I was no healthier.  In fact, I ended up requiring surgery for an ovarian cyst the size of a large goose egg.  I went in for my scheduled laporotomy, but came out with an appendectomy instead. This incident changed my life forever.   It made me realize, that I was responsible for my own health, and should not rely on conventional  medicine, the government or any one else with my health.  It was up to me to research, learn, and make my own decisions.  So began my journey.

Unfortunately, the removal of my appendix did not relieve my development of ovarian cysts.  I suffered for many years after my surgery.  The only answer the gynecologist could give me was to have children, and hope that the cysts would not return.  My husband had finished his university degree and we were ready to have children, so we had 4 beautiful boys.

The cysts continued to develop, and other hormonal disruptions now began to plague my body.  I was diagnosed with fibrocystic breast disease in my early 30’s.  My breasts had always been tender and fairly fibrous.  I thought this was normal, for they had felt this way for as long as I could remember.  The doctor was not too concerned, and had no recommendations for treatment.  My periods also became heavy, long and frequent.  I began suffering from adult acne, water retention, allergies, bouts of unexplained tiredness and finally lumps in my breasts.

I was still so young and decided enough was enough.  I needed to get some serious answers to my hormone difficulties.  I was a mother of 4 wonderful boys and did not want to be another statistic and die of breast cancer or some other horrible disease.  I began to research, dig deeper and find answers.

I discovered the source of my hormone related issues were due to environment estrogens (xenoestrogens) that are ubiquitous in the cosmetic industry.  I was unable to locate any truly natural products to put on my skin or the skin of my children that was not loaded with chemical ingredients.  I was forced to make my own products at home from ingredients in my kitchen.  This proved to be challenging, but fun at the same time.  As I progressed in my journey, I discovered many great suppliers of raw materials for my homemade products that increased their shelf life, and made them commercially viable, but were still completely natural and safe to use on my family.

Today, I no longer suffer from hormone related diseases.  I do not develop ovarian cysts and my breasts are normal.  I feel vibrant and energized everyday, with the energy to home school my 4 boys, cook healthy meals from scratch and work every day at Organically Clean.  I feel alive again.  In my opinion this is a direct result of abstaining from toxic beauty products, healthy living and keeping my body free of the burden of xenoestrogens.  I want to offer to the world now, my story, my knowledge and my passion for healthy living without toxic chemicals.  

Still washing your hair with xenoestrogens?

Bonnie Penner of Organically Clean gets ready to open her new storefront at KLO and Benvoulin on Saturday.
Bonnie Penner of Organically Clean is opening a storefront at 1790 KLO Rd., on the corner of KLO and Benvoulin. All products are BPA free and most are in glass bottles. She uses no colours, dyes, perfumes or fragrances; only pure essential oils.

Penner is passionate about what she does.  "I educate people about environmental estrogens (xenoestrogens) that are in their beauty and body products, as well as their household cleaners. Then I provide them with an alternate solution, which is food grade, organic, beauty and body products, as well as cleaning solutions for their home. It is based on organic olive and coconut oils. I produce make-up, lotions, shampoos and hair conditioners, as well as multi-purpose cleaners and laundry soap and lots more. We are in the middle of getting more product made here locally at Nature's Formulae, with more new products coming out in the fall."
The store will have a soft opening on Saturday August 4th, at 10 a.m. Penner will be on hand to answer any questions about her products. For more info, call 250-763-8988 during store hours or visit organicallyclean.ca.