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The Dangers of Toxic Ingredients: Q&A with Non Toxic Revolution

We at Good Clean Love have advocated for the use of healthy ingredients in consumer products from our very start in 2003. We know how far-reaching the dangers of toxic chemicals are, and the serious effects they can have on a person’s long-term health and well-being – including their risk of developing cancers. Read more about why natural and nontoxic ingredients are better for you and the environment.

That’s why we are long-time supporters of Non Toxic Revolution, a consumer educational initiative from our friends at Keep A Breast Foundation. Non Toxic Revolution’s mission is simple: to inform, educate, and inspire young people to push back against the dangers of toxic chemicals in their environment and food supply, especially those linked to the development of breast cancer. NTR’s aim is to focus on prevention as a means of maintaining long-term health and well-being. They also provide alternative choices so that people everywhere can make smart changes in their purchasing and consumption behavior.

We recently sat down with Non Toxic Revolution to learn more about their work.

Q: What inspired the founding of your organization?

NTR was started in 2011 by Keep A Breast’s founder, Shaney Jo Darden. After she started Keep A Breast in 2000, she became part of the world of breast cancer news, research, and facts. When she learned that most cancers were not actually related to family history, she then began to ask herself: what can a cancer diagnosis be attributed to?

She studied more about the environmental links to cancer and came across a report from Breast Cancer Prevention Partners called “The State of the Evidence.” It was hard, scientific evidence of the environmental links to cancer. This changed her life. After realizing that breast cancer diagnosis was only 10 percent genetic and 90 percent attributable to our environment, she knew there was an even bigger conversation that needed to be had.

She started Non Toxic Revolution (NTR) to open a direct dialogue about the food we eat, the products we use, and the toxins we are exposed to daily that really increase our risk of breast cancer and many other diseases. NTR uses art, music, and creative messaging to inform, educate, and inspire young people to revolt against the dangers of toxic chemicals in their everyday environment and personal care products – especially those linked to the initiation of breast cancer. Moreover, it also teaches young people to become their own health advocates, both personally and through activism.

Q: How did you first become involved with NTR and Keep A Breast Foundation?

I actually started as a guest writer with Keep A Breast (KAB) when they first launched Non Toxic Revolution (NTR). Non toxic living has been my passion since I was a teenager and starting have terrible reactions to conventional products. My friend Luis worked for KAB and thought I would be the perfect person to create useful content for their blog. I was so stoked on the program and had no idea that one day I would be lucky enough to have it be my entire job.

Q: Some people may argue that it is too expensive, difficult, or time-consuming to make such a shift in their lifestyle and habits. What is your response?

I generally start with the facts and share our favorite resources, then open a dialogue about how using several products a day with harmful ingredients is the root of the problem.

To make it less daunting, you can ease into it – start with the products you use every single day and work your way from there. We love sharing DIY recipes as well, to show that it doesn’t have to be expensive if you keep it simple and only buy the products you need.

The best part of our job is hearing from customers about how much they love the products we suggested, and how much better they feel because they know they are doing something good for their health. It makes the tougher conversations worth it!

Honestly though, the interactions we have when we go to events are extremely heartwarming. People are so receptive of this information, and even if they are defensive at first, after we explain some of our education and what our mission is, they usually end up thanking us. The feeling of being able to help empower people to take their health into their own hands is unmatched.

Q: What is the most important piece of advice you have for our readers to help protect themselves against harmful chemical in their day-to-day lives?

Oh man, that’s a tough one! I would have to say the most important thing you can do is read labels! Everything we buy has a label, and to start understanding and becoming aware of what’s in your products you have to look there, especially with personal care and food. The answers are mostly there, and once you get more familiar, you’ll be able to quickly decide whether or not something is going to positively or negatively impact your health over time.

We recommend the Environmental Working Group’s Healthy Living App – you can easily scan products and ingredients while you’re shopping. It’s a huge help in the beginning. 

To learn more about NTR and the work they are doing, visit their website.