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Preservatives and How to Avoid Them

In a world that values cheap and fast, that values the destructive over the beautiful, there is a desperate need for companies to modify their ethos and behaviour in order to fight against the ruin of the planet by the selfish. One only has to look at the blatant disregard for consumer health by many multinationals to be aware of the great potential companies have to change the situation.

Africology chooses to fight against this destructive trend by using all-natural preservatives in our products. Where many companies use to use parabens, we choose to use lacto perioxidase, the beautiful preservative that is produced by the female body in order to keep breastmilk fresh and perfect. Already, nature has provided us with a solution: however, there is a dire lack of interest in this gift.

So, what should you be looking for in that long, confusing list of ingredients? And why should you care? Because there are alternatives to these ingredients, and because both body and planet will thank you for it.

METHYLPARABEN has been proven to cause cancer, immunotoxicity, allergies, non-reproductive organ toxicity and neurotoxicity.

BUTYLPARABEN has been linked to endocrine disruption, organ system toxicity (non-reproductive), biochemical or cellular level changes, developmental/reproductive toxicity, cancer, allergies/immunotoxicity

The above listed disorders are associated with the entire family of parabens. Parabens are also used in food products, such as “jelly coatings of meat products, surface treatment of dried meat products, cereal- or potato-based snacks and coated nuts, confectionery (excluding chocolate), and liquid dietary food supplements.

While parabens have been banned in Japan and Sweden and are under review in the UK, it is still available for use in products in other countries, including South Africa.

Unfortunately, South Africa has very little legislation that actively protects the consumer from dangerous and unhealthy products. Because of this, consumers must educate themselves on these issues. Fortunately, lists all the chemicals used in products, and helps you protect yourself and your family.

Because of advertising, we have been led to believe that companies care about us, that they use ‘natural’ ingredients. But what many people forget is that these companies are not always bound by law to tell us the truth about their products. For example, there is no independent body in South Africa that monitors chicken farms who claim to be free-range. Any company can stick on a label that crows their free-range status, when they continue to feed the public chickens and eggs that are filled with hormones. Even when we try to be aware as consumers, sometimes companies take advantage
of this with the popular method of ‘greenwashing’ their products. The best way to challenge this is to buy from small farmers that you can meet and challenge. It is not always practical, but when we look at the people we love, we must consider what we are feeding and caring for them with. is a great way to find out about truly green products, restaurants and lifestyles.

A notable example is the use of parabens and petrol-based ingredients in baby products.. Add to this the high content of chlorine in disposable diapers, and we begin to understand why there is a higher incidence of allergies, cancer and illness in our children. A list of the reasons why parents should switch to either ‘green’ nappies or cloth ones:
  • Disposable nappies contain paper pulp, plastic, absorbent gels, chemical additives and perfumes. All these materials impact on the health of your child as well as the environment.
  • The absorbing gel in nappies (sodium polyacrylate) has not been tested for long term effects on reproductive organs from 24-hour exposure. This chemical has been banned in the use of tampons because of a link to toxic shock syndrome.
  • Studies at the University of Kiel in Germany have raised concerns about the rise in male infertility, which they link to the use of disposable nappies. Disposable nappies have been found to maintain testicles at higher temperatures, a potential cause of lower sperm counts.
  • Disposal of human faeces along with household rubbish can possibly contaminate ground water supplies.
  • Nappy waste from hospitals etc. is usually incinerated. This is an expensive process, which carries health risks as toxic substances (such as dioxins) are released in air emissions and ash.
  • Allergies to the chemicals used in disposables have been identified in some babies. Using natural cloth nappies alleviates some of the symptoms.
When we begin to realise that we are waging war against ourselves and our suffering planet, we can begin to make decisions that will help both bodies, for the human body is a microcosm of its nurturing home.

The repair and apology begins with the removal of harmful preservatives. There are hundreds of substitutes! Africology can answer all of your beauty needs with gentle, ethical products that thank the planet for its generosity. You do not have to listen to companies that are only concerned with profit in this capitalist age, and you are in control of your health and wellbeing. We hope you will join us on our journey to eliminate cancerous and dangerous products from our lives, because consumers have the power to force companies to behave. Not long ago, animal testing was not seen as a moral issue, and considered de rigueur for accurate tests. Now, animal testing is slowly being eliminated from testing procedures and companies are proud to offer alternatives.

Things do change, but it must begin with a desire to do so. Africology welcomes you to the consumer rebellion, and we hope you will find this journey as rewarding as it is healthy.

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