I grew up doing like my dad: washing parts in a pan of gasoline with my bare hands, going a solid week working on a motorcycle or car without ever taking a bath or washing my hands, and sleeping at night in the dirt with a tarp over me.
Like vitamins, there was no such things as "chemicals" to dad and me. Except when it came time to dispose of them. We were conscientious when it came to polluting something besides our body. At least as far as the best we knew. Dad used to get on the neighbors for draining from their garage into the irrigation ditch.
But we never did anything to contain or clean up lead.
More recently, I have been impressed with my discovery of how readily our skin absorbs things. I now shy away from penetrating oils and the like and gasoline. I do a lot of work around the house and garage. I do a lot of cleaning up. I have used caustic soda, TSP, all varieties of Zep, Spic and Span, Simple Green, and so forth. My wife started buying non-toxic, enviro-friendly cleaners about 15 years ago or more. I found that they did not work. We stopped buying them for a while. I wasn't too concerned.
Then she started buying safe, natural cleaners again, 2 or 3 years ago. I very gradually switched over to them from things like Lysol and Simple Green as I discovered that now they worked BETTER than the standard products, didn't have cancer causing ingredients, and they didn't knock me out to use (especially in the bathroom or shower)! It is so pleasant now, for example, to go out to the van and scrub dried throw-up from the carpet so effortlessly, and have such a mild pleasant healthy odor, and not cough and sneeze!
It's like I heard another engineer exclaim about getting his first personal computer back in 1991, "They're great! It's like our microwave - we don't know how we ever got along without it!" At the time, I had neither a computer or a microwave. Now I have a microwave, countless computers and totally amazingly awesome household and personal care products! I don't know how I ever got along without them!
Since I quit using the other stuff, our asthmatic son hasn't complained.
I love the very subtle, almost unnoticeable taste on my tongue all day that comes from using my great toothpaste and mouthwash rather than the old stuff that dried out my mouth, promoting bad breath, and that made me puke if I happened to eat anything after brushing my teeth. I am addicted to this new condition in my mouth. I could go on about all the other products. Love the shampoo. I searched for years for one that was good for my hair. I tried making my own. My friends let me know how bad that stunk. Finally. I found a couple that were quite good, but they still had formaldehyde releasing ingredients, which were linked to cancer. Now I have a safe shampoo that is better than any I have tried.
My buddy was a mechanic and he gave me a huge can of hand cleaner from Snap-On. By far the best mechanic's hand cleaner ever. Since I cannot get it, I settled for Fast Orange from Permatex. But lately, I don't appreciate my hands smelling like a citrus scent factory. I tried using the dainty, sparkley soft soap in my wife's kitchen (oh man, if you could see the thing I just called 'my wife's kitchen,' 9 out of 10 of you would simply be appalled) instead. It doesn't work quite as fast as Fast Orange or Snap-On, but close. And you only need a dab 1/10th the normal amount. Who would have guessed you could clean chapped hands that had been working on the car with such a soap? And get this - after using this soft soap repeatedly, your hands and fingertips don't feel greasy but they don't even begin to dry out! Now take the soft soap that is dispensed in the lavatories at our church: You walk out of there literally feeling like all oil and moisture was removed from your fingers, and your fingertips were ripped right off. It is literally more than harsh, this church soap. All the strippers and solvents I have ever worked with were more mild on my skin! I try to get just as small a bead of it as I can and then quickly water it down before I lather, but it still rips into my skin mercilessly. Lately, I just use water. They need my wife's soap. -Cleans without stripping, and how.
Did you know that the worst air pollution is in your house, that when Americans die in the wilderness, they decompose more slowly than third world people do, they have so much formaldehyde in them? For the last several years, I have struggled with the heavy burden of what to do about the lead paint issues in my home. Meanwhile, I have spread huge amounts of equally harmful (if not more) chemicals through the house when I mop and clean. Without a worry or a thought. Just because that's what we do. Producers of harmful products have always begged for forgiveness, never asked for permission. It is the American way. Never mind that lead is worse because it doesn't metabolize out as fast. Nooooooo Sir! Hey - when you are using the other chemicals every day, and spreading them around your house, or even just storing them in your house, rest assured your exposure is constant even if it is cycling through your body instead of just sitting in your body.
Why do you suppose we all get cancer now but never used to? Is it the food or is it the stuff we breathe and get on our skin? Is it both? What percentage is the food vs. the other stuff? I have eliminated both from my home.
Just imagine not having ever to have stuff like Raid or Lysol aerosols in your house because now you have something safe enough to spray on your food that is more effective (and enviro-friendly) than Raid or Lysol!