detect unhealthy products

Know what chemicals are in your home.

Chemicals are added to foods, cosmetics and household products.  Many manufacturers have words on their packaging that are meaningless but lead consumers to believe that the product will be safer than others.  These meaningless branding words are “green”, “safe” and “natural”.  Make-up and feminine and personal care products are among the worst offenders, with food and household products running close behind. It is a good practice to check one of these apps that will tell you what the products actually contain.

For food:

Dirty Dozen comes from the Environmental Working Group.  It  lists the 12 conventionally grown fruits and vegetables that contain the most pesticides and which 15 contain the least.

Food Scores is also from the non-profit Environmental Working Group.  It grades the healthiness of 80,000 food products, on a scale of one to ten.

Fooducate is a fitness and weight loss free app that focuses on nutritionally dense foods.   A barcode scanner reveals which items are truly healthy and which have high levels of sugars, fats or additives. Available for Google Play and iOS.

For cosmetics:

The Environmental Working Group (EWG)’s mission is to “empower people to live healthier lives in a healthier environment”  It has the Skin Deep website and issues the “EWG Verified” mark on products that are free from chemical concerns.

On the Skin Deep website you can look up any product for women, men and babies for potential hazards and health concerns.

Think Dirty is free, easy to use and has much to offer. Look up your personal care products (they have information on over 4,500 cosmetic brands) and learn all the details of what’s in those products. Think Dirty translates those lengthy chemical descriptions so that it’s understandable. Their app recognizes  over 26.2 million scans of  for beauty products – scan the barcode of the item and Think Dirty instantly tells you how healthy or unhealthy the ingredients are plus a list of safer alternatives. Finally, they have a lengthy list of verified products. They offer monthly curated beauty boxes that come right to your door.  The app is available for Google Play and iOS.

CosmEthics is a free European app that analyzes a product when you scan the bar code. If the product you’ve scanned triggers an Alert, the app searches for a good healthy alternative for you. The app is available for both iOS and Google Play.

For general environmental health:

Environmental Working Group (EWG) has the Healthy Living app that provides ratings for over 120,000 food, cleaning and personal care products.  It is free and available for both iOS and Google Play.

Chemical Maze specializes in decoding those hard to pronounce chemicals on your food label or beauty product bottle.  It tells you which are safe, green and ethical and which are not. It is an ideal shopping buddy.  The iOS app costs $10.99.  It is $8.49 on Google Play.

Detox Me is a free app from the Silent Spring Institute.  It helps us make small changes in our homes to reduce the chemicals we are exposed to daily.  Scan the barcodes on anything in your home you have concerns about and find non-toxic alternatives.  The categories they research and provide information for are Clothing, Personal Care, Cleaning, Food and Home.  The app allows users to track their progress in making changes. The app is available for both iOS and Google Play.

Read ASE’s earlier article on How ‘green’ is your laundry?

Healthy Products

Read ASE’s earlier article on Healthy Household Cleaning Choices

Healthy household cleaners