I have known a little about Ava Anderson and her company Ava Anderson Non Toxic for a while now and have always been struck by the clarity and power of her passion: To provide the world with eco-cosmetic and personal care products that do not contain toxic chemicals. It was only the other day, though, that I had cause to read her story and realize what a remarkable person she is.
At the age of 14, Ava began to be interested in cosmetics. Nothing remarkable about that. Except that in contemplating what to use and how she used it, Ava asked more questions than the average teenager. When thinking about the products available, she wanted to know what was in them. What made them work? Was there a danger they could harm her?
With these questions she began to research and look for answers. What she found was troublesome and in her eyes dangerous. Use of potentially toxic chemicals in cosmetics and other personal care products was already an issue affecting all the big companies. Ava found a market awash with claims for the safety of its products. Words like ‘organic’, ‘gentle’, ‘natural’, ‘safe’ and ‘pure’; all used to imply that products were free from harmful substances. All the while, the debate raged over many ingredients, their effects and how much they are used.
Not only could she not find products which she considered sufficiently safe for herself, she was horrified to discover how unaware most other women were of the risks involved. Ava constantly found products claiming to be safe but containing chemicals which study after study was finding to have potential health risks. A double mission emerged: to help other women become better informed and to provide truly toxin-free alternatives.
Last week, the Ava Anderson facebook page taught me a word I did not know; phthalate (pronounced THAL ate). Turns out to be a group of chemicals called ‘plasticizers’, meaning chemicals which make plastics more flexible. You find them in toys as well as cosmetics. The facebook post was pointing to research which implicates phthalates in early menopause. They are already thought to increase the risk of diabetes and certain cancers.
Today I notice that Ava’s fans are sending in lists of the ingredients in baby shampoos and other common products. If you are asking what this all means for you? What are these chemicals? What are the dangers? Ava Anderson Non Toxic can help you start to find out more and put you in a position to make appropriate decisions for you and your family.