Harmful chemicals in everyday products

Many toxic substances and ingredients are found in the foodstuffs, cosmetics and household cleaners consumed or used in our homes daily. Research has linked many of these substances to health and neurological problems, including cancers.

FOODSTUFFS

Several toxic substances, or potentially toxic substances, some of which are banned from foodstuffs in other countries, are still permitted and widely used as additives in foodstuffs. These include certain non-nutritive sweeteners, preservatives, colorants, flavorants etc. Foodstuffs containing these substances are not required to also carry warning signs that, if consumed, they may cause specific health problems. They fail to  warn pregnant women, breastfeeding women and parents of infants that developing the foetus and infants are most vulnerable to these substances.

HOUSEHOLD CLEANERS, TOILETRIES AND PESTICIDES

It is an undisputed scientific fact that poisons can enter our bodies, not only through ingestion, but also through inhalation, eye contact and skin absorption. (Think about the nicotine patches, birth control patches, narcotic patches, motion sickness patches…if they work just by being applied to your skin then much more is being soaked up by the skin every single day!)

* While we note that it is a requirement that products which are ingested (i.e. food and drinks) bear labels specifying what ingredients are contained therein, we are surprised that there is no such requirement for products which are inhaled or absorbed through the skin. Thus, for example, we naively spray products such as air fresheners, Spray & Cook, and hair sprays into the air and breathe them in, not knowing that they may in fact cause cancer and/or respiratory problems. Similarly, we naively rub lotions over our bodies, massage shampoo into our scalp and spray perfumes and deodorants onto our skin, not knowing that all these products too may contain toxic substances linked to cancer, cataracts, convulsions and other health problems.

SPECIFIC ISSUES

1. Artificial Sweeteners The most common artificial sweeteners are Aspartame, Saccharin and Acesulfame K. Saccharin and Acesulfame K has been shown to cause cancer in laboratory animals and human beings. Aspartame has toxic acids that can lead to mental retardation. Many people have reported dizziness, headaches, epileptic-like seizures, and menstrual problems after ingesting aspartame. The unborn fetus, infants and children are most vulnerable. It is, therefore, alarming that there is an excessive use of artificial sweeteners in foodstuffs, such as sweets and cooldrinks, aimed at young children.

(Google the word “aspartame”) The manufacturers have very deep pockets and have tried to cover this up or tell you it is not true Medical researchers have proven beyond any doubt that aspartame is very dangerous.  The effects mimic MS. If those being told they have MS patients will avoid aspartame completely they can find out if their problems are the result of aspartame.

2. Artificial food colorants All certified artificial food dyes in use today are of a class of chemicals called polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons that are universally suspect as carcinogenic. Because children are attracted to bright colors, most food manufacturers use an excessive amount of artificial colourants in foodstuffs aimed at children, such as sweets, chips, popsicles, cooldrinks. Artificial food dyes have been banned in some countries. Some, but not all, colorants are banned because of the strong evidence of intolerance by some children or simply the perceived lack of need for them by those countries. The list also includes those dyes that child health specialists believe may trigger health problems. Many of these artificial colorants are still being used.

3. Food Preservatives Many of these preservatives are toxic and carcinogens/possible carcinogens. Nitrites and nitrates are used to preserve meat as well as add flavour, inhibit bacterium and provide the “desirable” pink color. However, these preservatives are suspected to cause stomach cancer. Another group of preservatives, sulphites, produce allergies and may induce asthma attacks in asthmatics. Preservatives should not be used in foods for children or anyone, for that matter, unless they are proven safe to their health. Because such proof is not available for the sulphite, benzoate, nitrite and nitrate families of preservatives, these should not be used in foods that are meant for consumption by children and pregnant women.

4. Artificial Flavorants Flavorants such as Monosodium Glutamate (MSG), guanosine and sodium 5-ribonucleotide produce headaches, tightness in the chest, burning in the throat and, in the case of MSG, a burning sensation in the forearms and the back of the neck. These flavourants find their way into most, if not all of children’s snacks, crisps and food. Crisps, snacks and convenience foods, including seasonings have a high MSG content.

5. Air fresheners Air fresheners commonly contain formaldehyde, naphthalene and/or paradichlorbenzene, all of which are toxic chemicals. Formaldehyde and paradichlorobenzene are both suspected carcinogens. Naphthalene targets the central nervous system, liver, kidneys and respiratory system. Paraffin candles are EXTREMELY TOXIC. (Why do you think all the celebrities went to soy candles??)

6. Dishwashing liquids Most dishwashing liquids contain naphtha (which causes central nervous system depression), diethanolsamine (which causes possible liver poison) and chlorophenylphenol (a toxic metabolic stimulant). Dishwashing machine detergents consist almost entirely of phosphates and silicates and can be so alkaline that they corrode some glazes, plastics, glassware and aluminium cookware. They may also contain chlorine to act as a disinfectant and to remove stains, such as tannin from tea. Dishwashing liquids need to be safe as they leave a residue on dishes, which are then used for foodstuffs.

7. Mothballs Mothballs contain Naphthalene or paradichlorobenzene naphthalene, which is a suspected human carcinogen and may also damage eyes, blood, liver, kidneys, skin, and the central nervous system. Paradichlorobenzene can harm the central nervous system, liver, and kidneys.

8. Furniture and floor polishes Furniture and floor polishes contain nitrobenzene, which may cause cancer, birth defects, skin discoloration, shallow breathing, vomiting and even death.

9. Canned foods There is a concern that there may be lead in our canned food from lead-soldered cans.

10. Shampoos Nearly all brands of shampoos contain cancer-causing formaldehyde. Moreover, Sodium Lauryl Sulfate (SLS) is found in most shampoos and damages protein formation in the eyes, not only from direct eye contact but also through skin absorption. SLS can lead to cataract formation and eventually to blindness. Dandruff shampoos also contain chemicals that, if swallowed, can cause vital organs to degenerate. Dandruff shampoos may contain resorcinol, which is easily absorbed through the skin and can lead to inflammation of the inner eyelids, skin irritation, dizziness, restlessness, rapid heartbeat, breathing difficulties, drowsiness, sweating, unconsciousness and convulsions. Dandruff shampoos may also contain coal tar. Lindane, used in shampoos for treating lice and scabies, has been found to be associated with major risks of brain cancer.

11. Hair Dyes Permanent color hair dyes contain potentially carcinogenic, mutagenic, and allergenic ingredients. e.g. 4-methoxy-m-phenylenediamine (4-MMPD, 2,4-diaminoanisole), 4-chloro-m-phenylenediamine, 2,4-toluenediamine, 2-nitro-p-phenylenediamine and 4-amino-2-nitrophenol have been reported to cause cancer. Lead acetate, also found in these dyes, is a suspected carcinogen. Women who use dark, especially black, hair dyes for prolonged periods might have increased risk of non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma and multiple myeloma (malignant tumors formed by bone marrow cells).

12. Hair sprays Hair sprays may contain butane, which is known to affect the heart, central nervous system and cause skin irritation; and formaldehyde, which is cancer-causing when inhaled. A recent study in the USA showed that phthalates, which damages the human reproductive system, liver, kidney and lungs and harms the developing foetus, are found in Aqua Net Professional Hair Spray and VO5 Crystal Clear 14 Hour Hold. 13. Cosmetics and lotions Petroleum distillates (naphtha), which are present in lip cosmetics, can cause damage to the nervous system, skin, kidneys, and eyes. Dove Beauty Bar contains formaldehyde, which causes cancer, dermatitis, is a neurotoxic, a sensitizer and is poisonous. It also contains Butylated Hydroxytoluene (BHT), which is also carcinogenic. Glycols (may be carcinogenic, mutagenic, and toxic) are found in lotions, creams, and moisturizers. So is phenol, which causes severe allergic reactions (and may appear under the labels of Arosol, Dowanol EPH, Phenyl Cellosolve, Phenoxethol, Phenoxetol or Phenonip). Phthalates, which can damage the human reproductive system, liver, kidney and lungs and harm the developing foetus, are found in some cosmetics, including perfumes, lotions, nail polishes and lipsticks. Research by the Environmental Working Group in the USA found high levels of phthalates in Elizabeth Ardens’ Red Door perfume, Charlie Cologne Spray, Elizabeth Taylor White Diamonds, Escape by Calvin Klein, Eternity by Calvin Klein, Fire & Ice, Poison by Christian Dior, Christian Dior Nail Enamel, Cover Girl Nail Slicks Express Finish, Nutra Nail and Nivea Body cream. (I had been told about this by a pharmacist who will no longer wear any cologne!!) Varying levels were found in other name brand cosmetics such as Revlon and Calvin Klein. Women of childbearing age are exposed to these toxic and carcinogenic substances everyday.

14. Sunscreen Octyomethoxycinnamate (OMC) is a chemical ingredient in 90% of the world’s sunscreen lotions. The Norwegian Radiation Protection Authority (NRPA) found that this chemical is toxic as it actually kills living.

15. Mercurochrome Mercurochrome, which is used as an antiseptic/disinfectant, contains mercury and is used mainly on children who are the most vulnerable. Mercury interferes with normal brain development.

16. Children’s Food The Regulations relating to foodstuffs for infants, young children and children concentrate on canned foodstuff, infant formula and cereal-based food. Why is there no mention of other foodstuffs that children consume almost daily such as juices, crisps, sweets, fast foods etc.? The regulation also contains restrictions on the amount of sodium and nitrites in infant and children foodstuffs, because of its toxicity. Yet these are not the only additives that are potentially toxic to children and infants.

17. 599 additives found in cigarettes (think second hand smoke, too!) You can google this.

Are you suffering from Multiple Chemical Sensitivity?

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