Tag Archives: additives

PERFUMES – synthetic fragrances

Your perfume may not be as rosy as you’d like to believe. Even though perfume may evoke images of a field of wildflowers, it actually consists of a variety of synthetic chemicals that are manufactured in laboratories. Many perfume ingredients are far from natural. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Material Safety Data Sheets (MSDS) listed 20 common perfume ingredients on the EPA’s Hazardous Waste list, such as benzene, benzyl alcohol, limonene, acetone and ethanol. Many of these chemicals list headaches, nausea and other complications as side effects.

    History

Up until the 20th century most perfumes were made with natural animal or plant ingredients and were a luxury to have. Perfume became more accessible with the introduction of synthetic ingredients. The first synthetic fragrance was created from coal tar. Now waste byproducts could be used to make fragrances that smelled like flowers and be sold to the masses for less money.

    Features

Over 4,00 chemicals are used in today’s fragrances. According to a 1991 study by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, 95 percent of these chemicals are derived from petroleum and some are potentially hazardous. Common ingredients found in perfumes are: acetone, ethanol, benzaldehyde, formaldehyde, limonene, methylene chloride, camphor, ethyl acetate, linalool and benzyl alcohol. Phthalates and synthetic musks are also commonly used potentially hazardous ingredients.

    Effects

EPA Material Safety Data Sheets for the most poplar perfume ingredients list many nasty side effects from exposure. Acetone, often found in cologne, acts as a central nervous system depressant and can cause nausea, dryness of the mouth and slurred speech. Inhalation of ethanol vapors can produce symptoms similar to those of indigestion. Benzaldehyde is a narcotic and a local anesthetic. Limonene is a carcinogenic and should not be inhaled. Methylene chloride was banned by the FDA in 1988 but still may pop up in fragrances due to lack of enforcement. Another carcinogenic substance is benzyl acetate, which has been linked to pancreatic cancer. All these chemicals are found in everyday perfumes and are readily absorbed into the body with every spritz.

    Considerations

Even though personal-care products must list their ingredients, fragrances can keep their ingredients a secret because they fall into the “trade secret” category. Critics saytThe FDA is lax on regulations for the fragrance industry. The word “fragrance” may be used on any product that has a given odor, but there’s no telling what “fragrance” can stand for. It may contain one or 100 chemicals.

    Significance

Many people experience adverse side effects when exposed to second-hand perfume. People with asthma or allergies generally don’t tolerate being around fragrances. Chemical sensitivity, also referred to as Multiple Chemical Sensitivity, or Environmental Illness, is a condition in which people experience headaches or breathing difficulties from exposure to fragrance. Some workplaces have banned employees from wearing perfume as a result of these conditions.
(source: Sarah Valek, e-How)
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Avoid Certain Additives in Baby Skincare Products

You should read the ingredients of your baby”s skincare products very carefully to avoid certain ingredients that are potentially harmful. This includes shampoos, lotions, bath soaps and creams. Some of these ingredients may even be contained in “natural” products.

Here”s a handy list of synthetic ingredients to avoid in baby”s products:

* Alcohol: This harsh additive can make body tissues more vulnerable to carcinogens. Special note: Check your mouthwash to make sure it doesn”t contain alcohol; if it does, throw it out and purchase a brand that doesn”t. This is one of the number one ways that toddlers are poisoned in the household.

* Alpha hydroxyl acid: This removes the skin”s protective barrier, which can result in long-term skin damage.

* Animal fat, or tallow: Lye and animal fats and lye are found in many bar soaps, which can be a breed bacteria.

* Collagen: This is an insoluble protein derived from animal skins. The protein is too large to actually penetrate the skin, therefore it forms a filmy layer that can suffocate the skin.

* Diethanolamine, or DEA: This is a crystalline alcohol that is often used as a solvent, emulsifier, emollient and detergent; it is a common ingredient in skin lotions. DEA can irritate the skin and mucous membranes. It also reacts in products that also contain nitrates to form potentially carcinogenic nitrosamines. You should also avoid triethanolamine, TEA, and monoethanolamine, or MEA.

* Elastin of high molecular weight: Like collagen, this is derived from animal sources and can suffocate the skin.

* Glycerin: Unless the air humidity is above 65 percent, glycerin draws moisture from the lower layers of the skin and retains it on the surface; this has the effect of drying skin from the inside out. But glycerin is completely harmless in toothpaste given the mouth”s natural moisture.

* Kaolin: This is a fine white clay that is actually used to produce porcelain. It suffocates and weakens the skin.

* Lanolin: This substance is extracted from wool; it is often contained in lotions.

* Lye: Lye is a highly concentrated solution of sodium hydroxide or potassium hydroxide. It is often mixed with animal fats to produce bar soap, which can corrode and dry skin.

* Mineral oil: This is a petroleum derivative. It forms an oily film over skin to retain moisture, but traps toxins and wastes; this suffocates normal skin respiration.

* Petrolatum: Like mineral oil, this is also petroleum-based and likewise keeps oxygen out of the skin.

* Propylene glycol: This form of mineral oil is also found in automatic brake fluid, hydraulic fluid, and industrial antifreeze! Would you want to rub those on your baby? Propylene glycol is a strong skin irritant; it can also cause liver abnormalities and kidney damage.

* Sodium lauryl sulfate, or SLS: This is a harsh detergent used in garage floor cleaners, engine degreasers and auto cleaning products! SLS can prevent your baby”s eyes from properly developing. It”s also a common skin irritant. It”s also rapidly absorbed by the eyes, brain, heart, and liver; it can also slow healing and cause cataracts in adults.

* Sodium laureth sulfate, or SLES: This is an alcohol form of SLS; it is slightly less irritating but more drying. SLS and SLES can react with other ingredients to cause potentially carcinogenic formations of nitrates and dioxins. A large amount of nitrates can enter the blood stream during one shampooing.

* Talc: This soft gray-green mineral can be harmful if inhaled; it is recognized as a potential carcinogen.

(Source; http://www.thefreelibrary.com)

FOODS continued…

I was astonished to see the movie link in my last post is unavailable due to “terms of use violation”. Hmm, interesting. So I will post you another little film here instead, can’t enough stress the importance of nutrition.

A connection is made between additives and ADD in children. ADD has increased enormously over the last years…makes me wonder…

FOOD

FruitVegWe need to take a look at how and what we are eating.  So many people are overweight and obese, have problems with; concentration, sleep, hormones, digestion, emotions…the list goes on forever. I have been watching this development for a long time and it took me some time to realize that much of it is connected to foods and eating-habits. “We are what we eat” doesn’t mean that we become pigs for eating pork, it is more about health and balance.
Our bodies have certain needs, and they are quite simple, in the old days all nutrients came naturally through our foods. Today much of our foods are either polluted or depleted of nutrients. Our bodies find ways to handle the toxins that come into our systems – to a certain point. When the amount of toxins becomes to large, the body slowly starts breaking down. And with body is included the brain = emotions, memory, hormones, concentration, learning…the list is vast. So much of the food people eat today is full of chemicals that are bad or outright dangerous. Much foods have no nutritious value at all. Many people don’t even know how to cook a simple meal.
Check out this video on additives in foodstuffs and tell me if you are prepared to feed this to yourself and your children.

Information on additives, toxins and depletion is becoming widely available as disease from unhealthy eating is growing rampant. Research has been and is being conducted to ascertain what nutrients we need to function  and what additives make us ill:

  • Essential fatty acids are vital for healthy brain-function and has been found to help combatting dyslexia, how interesting then, that the number of dyslectic children is rising in today’s society. Essential fatty acids are found in fish-oil and cold-pressed, unrefined vegetable oils. The vegetable oils you find in your local store, with the exception of good quality olive oil, are so refined as to be unfit for eating.
  • Vitamins and trace-elements (calcium, iron, magnesium etc) are found in most unrefined food-stuffs; vegetables, fruits, meat and dairy-products. Today most people suffer disease from vitamin and trace-element depletion. The levels of these vital nutrients are lower also in natural food-stuffs since the soil has been depleted.
  • Natural sugars are being replaced with “fake” sugars such as aspartam, sorbitol and others. Some are believed to induce cancer. Extensive studies are being done in this area.
  • Meat-producing animals are heavily medicated with antibiotics – not because they are ill, rather to “protect” them from illness. They are also given hormones for bigger meat-yield. Antibiotics and hormones are stored primarily in fatty tissue and also in muscle tissue (meat). When we eat the meat, we are also ingesting these antibiotics and hormones.
  • Fizzy soft drinks; the carbonic acid, which gives the fizziness, lowers the pH of the body. To balance that, calcium is excreted from the sceletal system, depleting the bones of calcium = osteoporosis. The number of children with osteoporosis has risen drastically. Osteoporosis is normally an old peoples disease and comes from low calcium-levels together with a sedentary life-style. Children need calcium and movement to grow healthy. Now they are drinking sodas (which are cheaper than milk) and sitting still.

The list goes on forever.

A whole new food-movement is gaining momentum in today’s society, especially in the USA; check out this article about one amazing mans work to change the wave of food-induced deterioration:

http://www.nytimes.com/2009/07/05/magazine/05allen-t.html

In the article is a link for the website, if you don’t feel like reading the article you can go straight to:

www.growingpower.org

05allen-190Will Allen

Picture by Nigel Parry for The New York Times