09 February 2010

Toxic contamination starts at home....

This is the headline that appeared the Vancouver Sun in 2008 (yes that is the right year).
Yet we really have not had an outcry from the public at large.

But it might be because we don't want to give up our beauty products, our household cleaning supplies and the other items that give us the niceties of life (where would be be if we could not scotch guard the couch?)  And I think about all the goodies I get in my hotel room - it used to be that I would want to take home all the soaps and shampoos offered up but I have now discovered that it is better to leave them untouched and just bring my own - better for my body and better for the planet. (Just think about a hotel with  500 rooms, each room is filled, each guest uses a bar of soap and leaves it behind, the housekeeper picks up and disposes of 500 bars of soap - and that is just one day).

The study was funded by the US National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences  http://www.niehs.nih.gov/index.cfm and the National Science Foundation http://www.nsf.gov/  The study was done in Cape Cod because the area is known to have a higher than average rate of breast cancer. 120 women volunteered urine samples for a study being done on chemical exposure.

At first, when told of the results, they thought it was due to chemical spills, waste dumping or secret military experiments.

However it seems that most of their exposure came from normal stuff: harmless looking plastics, flame-retardant clothing, beauty products and household cleaners.  If you spend a lot of time home or indoors you have to worry about indoor pollution.

What to be on the look out for:

Phthalates (common plastic ingredients); bisphenol A (BPA) in plastic bottles; anthracenes (from paving materials and diesel); solvents (paints, varnishes, some ink): flame retardants from upholstered furniture; parabens (an anti-microbial agent common in cosmetics).

Another headline "Boy died from spraying too much deodorant". 12 year old Daniel Hurley used too much deodorant spray in a confined space and ended up dead. Dr. Andrew Hitchcock, the consultant pathologist who carried out the study stated that "What we have in this case is someone who may well have had a cardiac abnormality in the presence of solvent. There is a very reasonable assumption that the passive inhalation of the solvent almost certainly led to his death."  He also felt that Unilever, the manufacture of Lynx, give enough warnings on its cans that excessive amounts were not to be used in confined spaces.


http://www.natural-skincare-authority.com/index.html  I googled the term Lynx (since I think it is a UK product but then I don't buy male products at all so I really don't know) and the link above came up with some pretty harsh comments about this line from Unilever.

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