If you do what you have always done, you will get what you have always had.

Wednesday, June 06, 2007

Pot-Kettle-Black

The slam-fest against Chinese products continues. First it was poisoned pet food. Now it's toothpaste. I'm not saying it's not justified. The diethylene glycol (DEG) in the toothpaste is poison and is found in other products. In layman's terms, it's antifreeze. It's what kills neighborhood strays when they check out coolant leaks. Why the Chinese would think it's OK to put it in toothpaste and cold medicine is beyond me. Not only is there a chance of ingestion by swallowing, it can also be absorbed by the membranes under the tongue.

I've been systematically removing chemicals from my home for the last three or four years. I've been a compulsive label reader for nearly two decades and lately have been researching the ingredients with names I don't know. While it's wrong to put DEG and lead into products, the FDA's demonizing of China is hypocritical. You won't find DEG in products made in the USA, but you will find its kinder, gentler cousin, propylene glycol, which is also antifreeze (vegetable derived). You'll find things like sodium laureleth sulfate and sodium benzoate (which have been linked to cancer) in shampoo, toothpaste, and body lotion. The chemicals that American manufacturers use are "safe in small amounts." However, when you get a small amount from brushing your teeth, another small amount in the shower, and another moisturizing, you're not just getting "small amounts." One thing I have not been able to find is the length of time these chemicals stay in the body. If they have short half-lives, it's less of a problem. If they stay in the body for long periods of time, like heavy metals do, they could pose a real problem years from now. By then it will be too late.

Many people believe that the products in their home are screened by the FDA and are, therefore, safe. The FDA is just what's its name says it is: The Food and Drug Administration. Cosmetics and cleaning products are off their radar until they're proven to pose a major health risk. Do a little research. Go in your bathroom and read the labels of the products you use every day. It might be worth the effort in the long run to try something new. Even if you never change a thing, you'll be more aware of what you're putting in and on your body.

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2Comments:

Blogger Jean said...

This is a more serious concern than many people realize. Ruth, formerly a regular on FM, has health issues from being over exposed to pesticides when she was a young woman.

A few months back I was talking with a man who was desperately trying to find something to try for autism. I understand there's a theory that autism can be caused by childhood vaccinations. What I didn't understand was why. Apparently, there is mercury in vaccinations, and mercury poisoning, especially in children, can cause autism. What he was looking for was a product on the market that will leach heavy metals out of the body. Research has shown the effects of mercury poisoning can be reversed if the offending element can be removed before a child is from six to eight years old.

I'm looking for more natural solutions, but I'm not as emphatic about it as I should be.

8:32 PM  
Blogger EJ said...

Part of the problem is labeling. You have to know all the 'pseudonyms' for things. For example, MSG in food can also be call monosodium glutamate, sodium caseinate, spices, or natural flavors.

I haven't heard of anything to leach heavy metals from the body. I wonder if hyperbaric (sp?) therapy would help?

8:25 AM  

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